Sustainability is an essential component of our company DNA. We take our responsibilities – environmental as well as social – very seriously, and offer our customers sustainable solutions and business models based on the right innovations. We carefully encourage and promote our employees, support their onward development and put the necessary safety and precautionary measures in place to protect them.
We support our employees and managers through change
Number of men and women
Age structure 2020
Change Management methodology and tools for change processes
2019 had seen the introduction of a new operating model and a new organisational structure as part of the new strategy, as well as the adoption of our five corporate values. The aim in 2020 was to optimise the processes associated with these changes and make them more efficient. The COVID-19 pandemic, the lockdown imposed in most European countries from March 2020 and the restructuring we had to announce in the autumn all presented our employees with additional challenges. There was a change on the Implenia Executive Committee too towards the end of the year: Claudia Bidwell took over the role of Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) from Christelle Beneteau.
Workers by country of origin
Change continued to be a constant at Implenia in 2020: in order to help our employees and managers cope with this, we developed and implemented a Group-wide change management programme. First of all a standardised change management methodology was developed that could be used with all strategic initiatives. Based on this we defined a toolbox with different change management instruments that could be deployed and adapted to suit the different phases and needs of a change project. Selected employees from all divisions and functions were then trained as change experts in addition to their existing roles. They will now provide change management support to the project managers who run the initiatives, and will help embed the methods and tools in our organisation. Claudia Bidwell: “Changes are a challenge for everyone involved, so it is important to provide lots of support to accompany the changes that come with the implementation of our strategy.”
Total of young people doing apprenticeships at Implenia
Applying our corporate values
The foundations on which these changes are based are solid: Implenia’s operating model and our five corporate values – Excellence, Collaboration, Agility, Integrity and Sustainability. These values were embedded even more deeply in the organisation and in our day-to-day work last year. They have been integrated into our performance management system, for example, and so also have an influence on our employees’ remuneration. And they play a central role in our “Welcome Day” induction for new employees. Thanks to the excellent collaboration and agility of our employees on the construction sites, in our offices and in home offices, we have ultimately coped well with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Beating the COVID-19 pandemic with teamwork
The COVID-19 pandemic put our freshly implemented structures, processes and communication tools to their first test. One of the biggest challenges was to coordinate local rules across the Group, as these rules kept changing and differed from country to country. Implenia reacted quickly and set up local and global task forces, which were in constant contact with each other as they formulated protective measures. The goal was to protect all employees – whether on construction sites or in offices – and to provide them with the key information as directly as possible. We used digital and analogue media to communicate through numerous different channels: via the intranet and an external web site, through our coronavirus hotline, and with posters, flyers and newsletters. Jobs on construction sites and in offices also had to be made safe, and standards for home working had to be established. Organising temporary short-time working in various teams and countries was an intense process. Claudia Bidwell: “I’m really proud of how professionally we have tackled the challenges of the pandemic. With the task forces leading the way, all divisions and functions have worked together very flexibly and constructively, and the new structures have proved their worth.”
Recruitment, talent development and intensive dialogue
Having the right people with the right skills in every position is one of the keys to Implenia’s success. The professionalisation of our recruitment process continued despite COVID-19. We are using social media more to recruit talent externally, and are currently developing our employer branding. We have already tested this in some pilot applications and campaigns. The aim of the branding is to put us on the radar of the right people more effectively. We have also made progress with our internal talent development: top management has identified potential leaders and firmed up internal development plans. Claudia Bidwell: “There has been more dialogue overall at management level. This marks an important step on the way to becoming a globally active company that aims to promote and utilise the potential of its employees as effectively as possible.” The CEO Meet & Greet is just one of the ways in which internal communication is being improved: once a month, André Wyss meets eight Implenia employees for an open discussion. It is an opportunity to spend two hours talking to the CEO, asking questions or presenting projects. The central aim of this new format is to get to know people personally and to promote internal networking of capabilities across national borders and divisions. Some planned workshops and training sessions had to be delayed or, where possible, switched to digital formats as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was a lively interest in the increased volume of online training.
Human resources: efficiency and effectiveness through harmonised and digitalised processes
Within Human Resources (HR), one major challenge was to standardise processes, or in some cases to redesign them. Claudia Bidwell: “During the year under review, we created local and global organisational structures and processes in pursuit of a common goal: greater efficiency and effectiveness.” While the operational business is the main preoccupation at local level, the global organisation’s job is to develop and implement initiatives and programmes that will make Implenia stronger in future and that position the company as an attractive employer. HR also faced additional operational challenges last year from the COVID-19 pandemic and from the “Way Forward” restructuring.
The strategic direction of the HR organisation was not altered by the change at the helm of the HR department on 1 December: Claudia Bidwell – previously Global Head of People and Organisation Development and Head HR Switzerland – succeeded Christelle Beneteau as CHRO.
Claudia Bidwell: “Christelle Beneteau laid the foundations for a global, integrated HR organisation. 2021 brings the next phase, in which we are optimising what has been achieved so far so that we can continue to contribute to business success and productivity. To do this we will focus more on standardising processes, increasing efficiency, improving the skills of our employees and developing internal talent in a targeted manner.”
Digitalization plays a vital role here: We evaluated an HR information system last year and have now started implementing it. The new system equips the HR organisation, but also all employees and line managers, with standardised, integrated and harmonised processes. In addition to greater efficiency, this creates clarity and reduces mistakes. We use the data and key metrics recorded in the system to analyse the way employees and teams are developing. This allows us to identify trends and then act proactively and quickly on the basis of predictive analytics. Along with the new system we are introducing employee and manager self-service, which allows improved access and faster data processing. Pleasingly, the proportion of women in our company went up last year to 14.1%, compared with 13.5% in 2019. We aim to keep increasing this proportion, especially in management positions. We have, for example, been a member of “Advance”, an association dedicated to the promotion of high-potential female employees that also offers a mentoring programme, since 2018. Voluntary attrition went up during the year under review from 8.4% to 12.0%.
In an attempt to identify employees’ needs more quickly and directly, from 2021 we will be carrying out regular employee surveys that can be filled in easily on a smartphone. This will help us to understand better and faster what is working well, what could be improved and what employee concerns need more attention.