The world of work is in flux, presenting us with new challenges. We know that we have to change if we want to keep developing and progressing. We see this as an opportunity that we want to meet and exploit for the benefit of our company and our employees.
“Implenia is only as good as the people who work for it”, says Christelle Beneteau, Chief Human Resources Officer. “That is why our employees are our top priority.” The HR and wider social challenges that Implenia faces in this context cannot be underestimated. The general scarcity of skilled workers and specialists is just one of them. But we also see great potential: we see growth opportunities, and the chance to develop new working methods, processes, skills and employee profiles that will make us stronger and enable us to operate even more effectively in a changing environment. We have to put the people who work for our company at the centre of all we do. And there is plenty to do. We are currently adjusting our HR processes in line with our employees’ requirements with the aim of supporting Implenia people in their roles even more effectively, and preparing the way for future employees to grow professionally. We believe that perseverance and patience in this task will lead to success.
The course we have taken is focussed entirely on our workforce. Ignoring hierarchies, we are embarking on a journey together that will change many aspects of our company’s approach to HR and social matters. Our employees are our most important asset, which is why we are investing in teams that work efficiently and in leaders who inspire. This is how we ensure that our workforce can go about its business with the right attitude and the right skills.
Total of young people doing apprenticeships at Implenia
1 Previous year comparison not applicable for Buildings, Civil Engineering and Specialties due to new organisational structure.
Four priorities, one path
To get all this off the ground, we set ourselves four priorities for the year under review.
HR strategy We have developed a comprehensive HR strategy at Group level for the first time, and defined Group-wide benchmarks. The aim of this is to take our Human Resources operation forward – away from administrative tasks and towards being a genuine partner that provides powerful support for the Implenia Group as it seeks to realise its corporate vision and achieve its goals. When developing our personnel and our organisation, we try to think ahead and identify and respond to emerging external, as well as internal trends that have an influence on our business. Specifically, our HR strategy is focused on the core business and covers four important aspects: We want to optimise our HR skills and the digitalization of our HR processes, make our recruitment work excellently, continue to improve our talent development and increase our employees’ sense of commitment.
Individual development During the year under review, we concentrated on the ongoing development of our people and our organisation. Our goal is to make Implenia into an innovative employer that attracts outstanding talents and instils a long-term enthusiasm for the company. At the same time, we want to give our employees more space for their personal growth and promote their professional careers. To do this, we’re working on the range and quality of our training so we can promote our employees’ development even more actively. During the year under review, we developed our new digital eCampus, which we are rolling out in Germany and Switzerland in 2020, and then later in our other home markets. This will allow our people to register for training or begin an eLearning course with just one mouse-click, making it the perfect tool for each individual employee’s personal development. In order to be able to assess employee development more consistently, we also introduced a new appraisal standard in 2019 called the “Organisation Capabilities Review”. Having successfully launched this standard review for managers, we are currently preparing to roll it out for all functional levels in the coming years. While we’re on the subject of the entire workforce: we are encouraging diversity in order to unite the widest variety of personalities, backgrounds and talents within our global Implenia team
We also put a special focus on promoting our trainees, who we support with a series of activities, including excursions, social days and, for example, a cooperation arrangement with Zurich Career Centre. Meanwhile, our managers benefit from programmes such “Winning Performance”, which delivers knowledge from six different areas in six days and stages evening social sessions that prioritise meeting new people, networking and exchanging ideas. 64 executives took part in Winning Performance in 2019, and the programme is helping Implenia to grow more close-knit every year.
HR management We established an HR management team in 2019. It is defining our future HR strategy and serves as the policy maker for all divisions, functions, countries and HR responsibilities. The aim is to coordinate all HR activities and initiatives closely in order to achieve the maximum benefit for our employees and for Implenia. As a professional, reliable HR consultant and equal partner, we want to help push forward the change in our company.
Digitalization We are working to digitalize our work to make it more efficient and to ensure our decisions are based on better data. Overall, we are trying to align our employee development standards in all our markets, improve the quality of reporting and make sure information is quickly and easily available to those who need it. At the same time we want to empower employees and help them work more independently and autonomously.
Benchmarks: the key to our onward development
We need data and benchmarks so we can analyse trends among the employees and teams in our company and gain a better understanding of our workforce and its behaviour. Attrition and the proportion of women employees are, for example, two of our most important benchmarks. Voluntary attrition continued to fall across the Group during the year under review, from 9.5 to 8 percent. While we are very happy with the attrition rate in central Europe – in our Swiss home market and neighbouring markets – we would like it to improve in our further-flung locations. To achieve this we will be implementing personnel measures tailored to the needs of international locations and working to embed the values that characterise our company throughout the Group.
The proportion of women in our company went up slightly, rising from 12.3 percent in the previous year to 13.5 percent. Obviously we want to encourage and promote all our employees, but we particularly want to see a further rise in the proportion of female employees, especially in management positions. In November 2018 we became a member of “Advance”, an association dedicated to the promotion of high-potential women employees that also offers a mentoring programme. Every year Implenia offers eight women the opportunity to gain further leadership skills in a “Skill Building Workshop”, and enables one woman to receive coaching from a mentor. The “Role Model Networking” events, by contrast, are open to both female and male employees.
Campaigns: bundled strength with local impact
Implenia is a leading multinational provider of construction services. We work hand in hand across national borders. Together with all our employees, we launched a long-term HR change process during the year under review. The overall HR strategy is also supported by country-specific and innovative initiatives: In Norway, for example, we have launched an intranet blog in which managers can post their thoughts and perspectives and generally show something of their personal side. The response has been extremely positive. We have encouraged stronger networking among our Norwegian employees on LinkedIn. This has been successful: our number of followers more than doubled in the year under review, and the engagement rate has also risen considerably. In 2019 we launched the “Mentor and Trainee of the Year” award – also in Norway – to show our appreciation and to encourage our employees. In Germany, we have continuously expanded our network of partner universities since 2016 and are currently working closely with eight institutions. Every year we present the Implenia Awards for the best bachelor’s degree dissertations, which come with a cash prize. Last year’s awards were presented in November at the Albvorland Tunnel project (Stuttgart), with prizes in various categories: construction, BIM, structural engineering and a special category. All winners also get a chance to gain valuable practical experience by doing an internship at Implenia. These are just some of examples of how Implenia seeks to attract and retain talent, and how it is gradually implementing its Group HR strategy at country level.
2019 was a year of transition for Human Resources, as for the Implenia Group as a whole, and it completed a lot of valuable groundwork. One thing is clear: cultural change does not happen overnight. In 2020, Implenia’s HR department will continue to work with strong commitment on further improving its strategic services for the business, and thus making the most effective possible contribution to Implenia’s success. It will do this with new digital tools such as eCampus, new processes, training and development opportunities and all-round professional support for our business partners and employees across the entire employee lifecycle: from initial contact and appointment, to ongoing development and right through to retirement or departure. The foundations for this have been laid.