Archive | Corporate Cultures

Jobs in Switzerland Demand Longer Commuting Time

Posted on 05 September 2008 by Mr Bureau

The lives of businessmen at work in Switzerland are no longer as simple as they once were. Between rushing to the airport, plane travel, long taxi rides, endless meetings and business lunches, career executives and businessmen in Switzerland must increasingly hunt for time to accomplish their basic daily tasks like reading their email, making phone calls and negotiating contracts.

According to analysts, the number of nomadic workers traveling internationally will rise from 800,000,000 currently to over a billion in 2011.

Switzerland has not escaped the trend toward increasing travel requirements in the workplace: the number of workers in Switzerland taking flights from Swiss airports has gone up roughly 10% between 2006 and 2007 to reach almost 16 million travelers. While a part of this traffic is simple tourism, the large part is comprised of business travelers.

The phenomenon of increasingly travel as a component of work in Switzerland has resulted in a greater levels of stress among the executives and professionals working in Switzerland. Specialized centers are cropping up to cater to the need among traveling workers to release this accumulated stress.

The Worldwide rent-an-office chain Regus has noted that businessmen are increasingly pressed to accomplish their tasks in increasingly unfavorable conditions. One common sign of this is the businessman with his laptop computer posed on his knees in the middle of an airport departure lounge or frenetic telephone calls made from rushing taxis.

The employment market in Switzerland is international, with Zurich, Geneva, Basel, and Lausanne home to many large multinational companies. Cities such as Geneva have been chosen as European or occasionally world headquarters by many Fortune 500 companies.

Despite the turmoil on global financial markets and the slowdown in the European economies, with the resulting increase in joblessness, Switzerland’s has economy has so far remained robust with very low unemployment and booming luxury industries, private banking, and technology sectors.

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Employee Commitment at Work – Switzerland

Posted on 04 June 2008 by ThomasP

Contrary to perception, many employees and executives are ready and willing to commit themselves more fully in their companies. A study from consultancy Towers Perrin, which sampled 86,000 employees in 18 countries and examined motivations showed several surprising results. Within the overall study, 1000 people were interviewed from Switzerland during the 2007-2008 period, coming from companies ranging from 250 to 10,000 employees across different sectors of the economy.

The first myth dispelled by the study was that the employee motivation is principally dependent on the attitudes of and the employee’s relationship to direct line management.

The study found rather that the general management culture and organizational factors were preponderantly important. When the general management of a company is sound and sets an example showing it is sincerely concerned with the well-being of employees, this has a very strong influence on employee commitment to work and Employment opportunities - jobs - in Lugano, Switzerland

to the company. The study stresses that this is accomplished through acts and not by empty speeches.

In Switzerland, a major expectation of employees and executives was found to be management receptivity to new ideas, followed by a perceived influence on the decision making process in one’s domain of activity. In Switzerland, the perception of management preoccupation with employee’s well-being came in eighth place, Employment opportunities in Lugano, Switzerlandbehind such factors as rapid management reaction and clear management commitment to long term goals, reputation for financial stability and ability of management to elicit enthusiasm from staff.

The study grouped staff into 4 categories, from most committed to least committed. Switzerland had the highest rate of very committed staff (23% against 21% global average for the study). Switzerland also registered the highest rate of committed staff (50% against 41% for the global average). For Human Resources professionals its these two upper categories of ‘very committed’ and ‘committed’ on which they have to concentrate their efforts to retain and reinforce loyalty. The two lower categories of ‘disengaged’ and ‘very disengaged’ are considered as already lost by the HR professionals behind the study. HR services are advised not to spend excessive time on these two categories as much effort will wasted for few returns.

The study measured employee loyalty to the company by asking respondents if they intended to leave their current employment and if they were actively seeking another job. Among workers in Switzerland, the loyalty rate was very high: 38% of the employees polled had no intention of leaving their company, a figure much higher than the 33% global average. 37% responded that they were not looking to leave their job but would take into consideration another offer, for example from a headhunter. 11% responded that they were seeking another job.

The study points up to Swiss corporate Human Resources professionals that roughly half of employees working in Switzerland fall into the critical category of potentially leaving, lured by a more interesting opportunity elsewhere. Company HR needs to concentrate its attention on this pool to stave off exacerbated problems due to the penury of qualified personnel in Switzerland.

In Switzerland, the factors that explain the level of company loyalty are: satisfaction with and understand of company management decisions, possibilities for career development, and a good working relationship with the different departments within the company.

Another myth exploded by the study is that executives and workers in Switzerland are reluctant to devote themselves more to the company and are primarily motivated by salary. The study shows rather employees are ready to invest themselves more fully in a company if they feel a return for this investment, and that the return does not have to be financial, but can be in the form of vocational training or career advancement.

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Proctor and Gamble – Major Geneva Employer

Posted on 29 May 2008 by Heidi

Proctor and Gamble has risen to become the 3rd largest employer in the canton of Geneva, responsible for more jobs in Geneva than any other company, except Migros and UBS. Specializing in beauty products, a sector showing strong growth over the past several years, Proctor and Gamble is a major actor offering work in Switzerland in the corporate world.

Last April in Geneva they had a recruitment event at their innovation center in Petit Lancy, where the manager of the Lacoste brand welcomed graduating students from across Europe and subjected them to a recruitment workshop in which they had to prove themselves by imagining a new ad campaign for the Brand to stimulate sales. The students were given the advice to take account of the diversity of the product line (casual T-shirts, dress shirts, perfumes,…) and to also consider how competing brands situate themselves –such as Armani or Calvin Klein — and were a set loose for the day with the admonition to be creative and generate enthusiasm.

Proctor and Gambles also owns beauty products brands like Lacoste

Divided into roughly 15 groups, the students compete for the entire day, through their proposals and ideas, for the attention of Proctor and Gamble’s recruiters. The workshop/recruitment trial is also promoted as a means for students to get a close-up look at the Proctor and Gamble corporate environment and have an idea of their work in Geneva should they join the company.

The second day of the 2-day event, the students are individually interviewed and the Recruiting Director gives out scores for the two-day trial. Our of 420 candidates who applied for the event, 100 were invited and 20 will receive an offer of employment to work in Geneva at the Proctor and Gamble offices, the headquarters for the beauty products line.

When Proctor and Gamble opened its doors in Geneva in 1999, they started with 250 employees. There are currently, less than 10 years later, more than 2500.

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Security Incidents, Criminal Behavior and Employee Malfeasance

Posted on 22 October 2007 by LegalBeagle

More than four out of ten Swiss companies claim to have been victims of criminal activity from their own employees, according to a study by Price Waterhouse Coopers, which surveyed a variety of employers in Switzerland.

The typical profile of the employee likely to be a risk for his employer is a man between the ages of 30 and 40, most often with large managerial responsibilities within a company, career-oriented and leading a luxurious lifestyle. This is the profile of the type of employee most likely to engage in criminal acts against his company, which, on average costs close to CHF 3 million to the victimized companies (the average for Europe companies is CHF 2.7 million).

Price Waterhouse Coopers, the largest auditing firm, published its study on economic criminality. They surveyed 5400 companies based in 40 different countries and across 16 economic sectors. The Swiss study comprised 84 surveyed companies.

Among the typical crimes are embezzlement (22% of the cases in Switzerland), falsifying balance sheets (4%), corruption (5%), money-laundering (8%), and counterfeiting (15%).

The surprising thing is that 43% of companies surveyed claimed to have had an incident within the past 2 years. In Switzerland 37% of responding companies were victims of fraud.

The study’s authors note that while the incident rates have not changed much over many years despite improvements in corporate controlling and surveillance, the willingness of company management to file complaints has increased markedly. More than half of the currently surveyed cases of employee misdemeanors were discovered via informers within the respective companies.

Price Waterhouse Coopers notes that more than the financial damages inflicted, companies suffer from the damage to their image, to their brand,, or to the motivation of their employees, which can damage a company for the long term.

Among the characteristics of the profile of the employee who turns to criminal activity against his company are a low resistance to temptation and a high degree of frustration at work.

Among the preventive measures recommended by the auditors are reinforcement of the corporate culture, ethical directives, and a strict code of conduct. The study revealed that the most effective means for fighting against employee criminal conduct is the existence of a strong company culture firmly entrenched in the management.

Switzerland’s economy is particulary dependent on the financial services sector, the pharmaceutical and chemicals sector, the luxury watch sector, and other technology sectors.

Growth in each of these sectors (except perhaps chemicals and pharmaceuticals) have recently put enormous pressure on the Swiss job market for qualified candidates in a wide variety of fields and skill sets.

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