Archive | Miscellaneous

Tags: downsizing, extra hours, fear, long-term, motivation, overtime, paradox, perspective, productivity, promotion, replacement, stagnation, Unemployment, workload

The Invisible Promotion

Posted on 06 February 2011 by Brucellus

The past 2-3 years has seen increased tightening of the Swiss labor market, a process that began with the opening up of Switzerland to EU labor. With the drastically increased pool of labor and the contractions or stagnation in key economies,  unemployment has been high by Swiss standards (4% – 5%) and salaries have stagnated.
 
An unwelcome result has been an increased workload for those who survived cuts and downsizing.  This is the world of the ‘invisible promotion,’ where you keep your job but have to do as well a part of your fired colleague’s or dismissed boss’s.
 
Productivity is high, thanks to unemployment. Across Switzerland, managers and staff now shoulder duties from laid-off managers and peers or positions that were eventually to be filled but probably won’t be.  The extra work means extra headaches and longer hours, but little or no extra money.
 

The piling-on of responsibilities is at an all-time high.  Employees who find themselves in such a situation often have difficulty working up the courage to ask for recognition for the work they are doing,  either a promotion and raise to recognize the additional work and responsibility undertaken, or a splitting up of the extra work among several people.
 
Though many people fear risking their supervisor’s wrath in an environment where jobs are still scarce, almost a third of employers say they’re willing to discuss raises with employees this year, according to a recent survey released in December. The percentage rises to over 40% for business-services and IT companies.
 
If you want to build a case for a real promotion instead of an invisible one, you need a strategy.
 
First, objectively document how you’re contributing, whether that is by bringing in more money or saving it.  Even if you’re not in sales,  your work or your ideas may have impact on increasing revenue.   Employees who consistently find unusual value for the company are always appreciated and retained.
 
Second, have a sense of timing. Being sensitive to the organization’s own pulse is critical.   
 
Then bring solutions to your boss, even including a staffing analysis.  Making things look easy is a good strategy. Act like you’re not tired, worn out, and angry,” even if you are. To keep one’s team engaged and motivated use appreciation, openness, respect – lifestyle gimmicks like work-from-home Fridays can be very effective, allowing staff to wear pajamas or spend an extra hour with their kids, and taking some of the pressure off those ‘invisible promotions,’ making them a little less stressful.
 
There are a few way to make that ‘extra work’ work for your career in the long run :
 
Prioritize: work with your manager to understand what your role is now that so-an-so is gone and not to be replaced any time soon, what the key results are, and which are the most important elements.  An important thing to cover is determining which tasks can be eliminated  (even if they once seemed important).
 
Ask for training or — if relevant — coaching.  In you the responsibilities that have been foisted upon you, you may need to develop new management techniques to handle the new tasks.  To succeed, you have to figure out what skills you need and then get your management to buy into the training; they need to see that it’s cheaper than hiring someone else.
 
Fill the holes in your résume.
You may not have asked for the job, but now you need to prove that you can keep it.
If you’re in a context wehere everybody has an MBA but you don’t, then you’d probably  better sign up for that Saturday-morning program.
As with any new change in job description, one needs to take a hard look at one’s skill set and make sure one has what it takes.
 
Establish a time frame.   If your employer is now adding a huge extra load to your job, you have to hammer out some kind of agreement about the expectations and the time frame. 
 
If you find yourself with a bunch of new responsibilities dumped on you, make a case for your promotion.  Be clear that you want to move up — and that you see that as good for the department and the company/organization too.
Alternatively, if you want to return to a lower level, think up a plan to make that happen.  
 
If these strategies don’t work, look around for another job.  But in the interim, try to stay appreciative of what you have.

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Tags: bilateral agreements, criminality, european community, jobs at multinationals, professional workforce, social disturbances, swiss economy, swiss tax, swiss-based companies, tax advantages, Unemployment

Multinationals Reconsider Switzerland

Posted on 25 January 2010 by Steven

swiss_economy_downAccording to a SwissHoldings survey conducted in 2009 across 80 of the largest multinational groups operating in Switzerland, there is considerable anxiety and uncertainty over the degradation of working conditions and ‘standard of living’ in general.

The erosion of banking secrecy is no the only illness affecting the health of the Swiss economy. Switzerland is also suffering from a variety of other problems, some of which of such a serious nature that many multinationals are re-examining the advantages of remaining in Switzerland.

Criticism is rising concerning the different tax regimes in operation in the different cantons, which compete to attract the multinationals and foreign holding companies.

This loose federated system is under attack by the European Union, of which Switzerland is not even a member; the EU considers it to be unfair competition.

The companies surveyed evinced anxiety over the uncertainty over the political direction Switzerland will take. The Swiss only narrowly voted for bilateral agreements with the European Union permitting the free flow of workers into Switzerland from any EU country, and the integration into the Schengen space. The result has been a stark degradation in the employment market, as well as precipitous rise in criminality and disorder. In all the major Swiss cities, open air drug dealing and violent crime has risen sharply, prisons and police forces are overwhelmed, and at the same time real-estate prices and rents have exploded as Switzerland welcomed 300,000,000 potential buyers onto its market. Previously, Switzerland’s laws forbid the acquisition of property by nonresidents.

Multinationals have often chosen to set up their European headquarters in Switzerland not only for tax advantages but for the standard of living it offered its expatriates — a major selling point in its global recruitment efforts. The decline in living standards, along with overcrowding, housing shortages, regular traffic jams, rising criminality and other social problems previously unknown here, are causing companies to reconsider their presence here.

A change in the tax structure may just be the last straw. Finance Minister Hans Merz (who was responsible for the UBS bailout) has proposed instead of changing the regime of cantonal prerogatives in taxation, to rather appease EU concerns by proposing to abolish or modify the statutes regulating domiciled or holding companies. The cantons would be forced to raise their taxation of these types of companies. The Swiss government has been doing a lot appeasing of foreign governments over the past year. In Switzerland the Federal government (following almost a Chinese-style model) is not elected by the people.

SwissHoldings director Peter Baumgartner laid particular stress on the fact that the large international companies are seeking ’above all a legal and fiscal stability,’ and that this stability is absent in Switzerland.

However the current problems affecting international companies based in Switzerland go beyond potentially shifting tax structures –which well-paid accountants have always been able to navigate– and overlap with the current problems facing almost every other Swiss citizen: and these problems, extensive in nature, will require a major change in direction of Switzerland’s currently mismanaged foreign policy and economy.

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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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Swiss Brain Deficit – Jobs in Switzerland

Posted on 13 November 2007 by ThomasP

According to leading economists and academics, the labor market is close to drying up and an influx of foreign workers will be necessary to mitigate the shortage of highly qualified professionals in Switzerland.

Professor Yves Fluckiger of the Employment Observatory spoke about the shortage of talent for the number of jobs in Switzerland at a conference yesterday in Lausanne, during which he highlighted the problem and proposed a variety of solutions.

The main sectors affected by the shortage of professionals are banking, finance, manual trades, and medicine, as well as several branches of I.T and telecoms. The situation has created an unusual number of job vacancies in Switzerland.

To understand the problem, one needs to analyze the supply and demand on the market as well as salary levels.

Over the past 10 years the evolution of demand from companies and employers has largely been determined by the economic climate and

by specialization of the economy, particularly in the tertiary sector. Switzerland has to a large extent opened up its job market to recruit qualified personnel for employment in Switzerland and the bilateral agreements with the European Union have created a certain migratory influx. Still, this has not been sufficient to meet the demand on the job market for recruitment in Switzerland of highly qualified staff in the key areas where shortages exist.

Swiss residents remain in the labor market beyond legal retirement age to greater extent than citizens of other European countries. The number of workers pursuing additional vocational or job training in Switzerland to update their skill sets is too small to meet the increasing demands of the market for new skills. Further, the brain drain toward large urban centers is progressing. Add to that the aging of the population and the lengthening of the period of time spent in studies, the practice of early retirement and phenomenon of part-time employment. There are not enough workers for the job vacancies in Switzerland.

Different policies need to put in place to deal with the shortages,

notably using more effectively local resources by lengthening the professional career (later retirements), raising the rate of employment among women, and the recruitment of specialists from around the world when necessary.

Further, another look at the modes of remuneration and pension plans, old age compensations and a better utilization of the pool of retired persons.

The debate examined as well the expansion of Swiss job training programs, continuing education, and changing or reorienting of career paths. Employers in Switzerland today place great value on professional experience acquired in a variety of jobs, whereas previously career advancement depended more on seniority and fidelity in the same position.

The result is a strong demand among Swiss employers for international candidates with a multilingual and multicultural background who have had a variety of professional experiences.

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Shortage of workers – Foreigners to the rescue !

Posted on 27 October 2007 by LegalBeagle

Switzerland and the Swiss economy several needs highly qualified professionals from around the world to staff its high tech industries.

And the quota of working permits for foreigners from outside of the European Union is expected to run out in less than one week.

In order to deal with the shortage of professionals across a wide range of sectors of importance to the Swiss economy, and to bridge the gap until the new law on foreign workers comes into effect in January 2008, the Federal Council has fixed a number of ‘contingents’ –exceptions– to cover the transition period.

As was done previously, 4000 authorisations for the year and 7000 short-term authorisations were accorded.

Thanks to this provisional measure, the Swiss economy will have a sufficient number of work permits available to recruit qualified staff for high-tech industries, luxury watch making, pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and the financial services and banking sector.

swiss high tech industriesThe Swiss economy remains very dependent on specialists, often from outside the European Union or AELE. The shortage is highest in I.T. and telecommunications, but other sectors such as financial services and banking and the luxury watchmaking industry have also experienced such keen labor shortages that economists have argued that the phenomenon is limiting growth.

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Finding Employment in Switzerland

Posted on 23 April 2007 by info

Those trying to find work in Switzerland — Job seekers from abroad– have many options for finding employment in Switzerland.

Are you looking for a job in Switzerland ?

The international organizations around the United Nations, of which there are nearly 20, are all Switzerland-based employers for which no work permit is necessary. And most have websites on which they post their vacancies on a weekly basis. W-i-S also periodically posts excerpts of these job offers.

For the rest of the job market, there are many ways to find a job in Switzerland :

1) Consult the newspapers (almost all of which are now online): job offers (offres d’emploi – Stellenmarkt)
are in the classifieds area of the dailies (usually printed on Wednesdays or the weekend), or weeklies. However, often interesting advertisements for jobs and other employment offers

can be found in specialized trade magazines. There are regular advertisements for offers and Swiss career opportunities in Le Temps, 24heures and Tagesanzeiger.

2) From the Internet: there are many online recruitment websites (site web d’emploi – Jobsbörsen) which permit tailor-made job-searches. One can look for a job selecting the sector and region where one wants to find work. The most popular Swiss employment websites are monster, jobup, topjobs, jobpilot, and jobwinner, jobscout24. Executive and high end professional jobs are concentrated on websites like executive search and MichaelPage.ch.

3) Employment agencies: Recruitment agencies play a key role in the employment in Switzerland and the Swiss job market. Most agencies however prefer to work only with candidates holding a valid work permit. Agencies cannot obtain a work permit: only employers can do this.

4) Spontaneous applications: Sometimes the most successful strategy for finding a job is to send your c.v. and an unsolicited application to the specific companies where you would like to work. You can do this often via the company’s website. Be sure to address your application to the individual responsible for recruitment or the manager of the HR department (Directeur de Ressources Humaines – Personalabteilungsleite). Some personnel departments stock these applications and when jobs openings occur they look at their c.v.s on file before advertising the position and contacting an employment agncy or recruiter. One can find a list of the 2000 largest Swiss companies in Top 2000,

5) EU citizens have the right to look for work in Switzerland and can search for a job for up to 3 months. In order to spend more time in the country looking for employmentt, one needs to apply for a residence permit for an additional 3 months. EU citizens have many options for finding a job in Switzerland not available to other nationalities.

For highly skilled professional positions, the most effective route to a job offer in Switzerland and a permit for employment remains Swiss recruitment websites and the Swiss employment, placement, and headhunting agencies which all have an important presence on the web.

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Luxury industry creating more jobs

Posted on 17 April 2007 by info

Looking for a job in Switzerland ? Job seekers looking to find work in Switzerland should consider looking for employment in the luxury industry. The careers opportunities in the Swiss luxury industry are growing exponentially.

The luxury watch industry has moved into the forefront as one of the hottest sectors of the Swiss economy. If you looking for a job in the french speaking part of Switzerland — in Geneva, the luxury industry is now as important economically as the banking industry. Employment opportunities and jobs in the luxury watch and jewelry industry have grown three times faster than in previous years, creating a steady flow of new jobs and opportunities for professional work in Switzerland, and also overheating the job market.

The SIHH salon is a key symbol of the health of Swiss luxury industry, an index of the sector’s health, the number of jobs being created and the diversity of employment opportunities. In terms of numbers of jobs and taxes collected, the industry now contributes almost as much as

swiss job market for professionals in luxury industry explosion of employment in the luxury sector demand for swiss luxury watches creates new jobs

the banks to the Geneva economy. Recruitment agencies are starting to specialize in finding qualified staff for the luxury watch brands and plans for more specialized job training institutes are in the works, creating study opportunities as well. This is a key sector in which to look for jobs in Switzerland. How does the candidate from abroad find a job in Switzerland ?

Candidates looking for work in Switzerland and job opportunities in Swiss cities can check directly on Swiss-based recruitment websites. Some of them are specialized in career opportunities or jobs in the luxury sector. Both high-end recruitment websites like MichaelPage and more popular general sites like Jobup or Monster carry daily job advertisments and employment opportunities.

The luxury industries have shown a growth of more than 175% since the 1980’s. For more than two years, the new rich from emerging economies are spending on luxury products. The companies based in Geneva are particularly active in the high-end of the luxury industry – brands such as Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Roger Dubuis, Chopard, and Grisogono. (In 2006, over 25% of the growth in sales was due to China. Russia and the Ukraine, as well as India are also contributing strongly to demand.) Employment in this sector is growing very fast.

There are numerous jobs and employment opportunities in Switzerland in the luxury industry. How does one get a job at a prestigious luxury brand ? The first step is to consult their websites. New jobs are posted daily to the corporate websites of the major brands and we often excerpt some of them to call our readers attention to these Company job boards.

The Geneva Chamber of Commerce reports that 30% of the Swiss luxury industry receipts are generated in the Canton of Geneva. There are 75 watch making companies registered in Geneva, responsible for thousands of jobs. The projected growth for 2007 is over 40%.

The Swiss luxury watch business is 95% exports. In 2006, exports of luxury watches reached 13.7 billion out of a total of CHF 180 billion, which means that the luxury watch industry represents about 8% of the national GNP. The sector is a very important contibutor of employment, providing thousands of jobs across multiple professional areas.

41,000 people work in Switzerland in the luxury watch sector. Employment growth in the sector was three times as large in Geneva than elsewhere with 500 new jobs created in 2006. There are approximately 8500 people employed in the branch in the canton of Geneva.

Swiss employment oportunities and high paying jobs

The luxury watch industry is a sector very much anchored in know-how and high-technology. The branch is confronting a penury of qualified labor that is impacting its ability to respond to increased demand. There is a strong need for trades like mechanics, master watch makers specialized in complications, and many other professions. Job offers are posted daily to company and recruitment agency websites.

Besides the luxury industry, the majority of opportunities in Switzerland are in finance and accounting jobs, bank jobs, and IT , tech, and pharmaceutical industry jobs. Job seekers should watch our job board for hints on which companies are now hiring and which company websites to check for new job openings.

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