Number of employees slightly up

At the end of 2014, the Geberit Group employed 6,247 people worldwide – 21 persons or 0.3% more than in the previous year. This change is primarily due to capacity adjustments in the production plants and an expansion within sales.

Based on the average number of 6,303 employees, sales per employee amounted to TCHF 381.5 or 3.5% more than in the previous year.

The number of employees by business process did not change significantly compared to the previous year. At the end of 2014, 29.5% worked in marketing and sales, 54.1% in production, 3.7% in research and development, 9.0% in administration and 3.7% were apprentices.

Attractive employer thanks to transparency and team spirit

First-rate employees are key to the success of Geberit. Not only the best, but also the right employees are to be acquired and retained. Geberit sees itself as a company with an open corporate culture that offers attractive international development opportunities at the interface between the craft, engineering and sales sectors.

The most important findings from the 2011 employee survey revealed that employees identify with the company to a high degree and are very satisfied with their employment conditions. A further survey is planned to review the progress made in further development issues, among other aspects. In recent years, a strong focus has been placed on the standardized global performance assessment, development and compensation process (PDC). The goal is to reinforce the performance culture, increase transparency and better recognize and promote talent. Remuneration policies are to be based on standardized job assessments and salary levels for the relevant country. A central element of the process is that several supervisors assess the performance, development and salary of an employee. Although this group process is time-consuming, experience suggests a high level of acceptance and effectiveness. At the beginning of 2014, the upper hierarchical levels – a total of around 1,000 employees or 15% of the entire workforce – were involved in this PDC process. The process was expanded in the reporting year to include further employees and around 1,250 employees or 20% of the entire workforce are now involved.

For internal communication with employees, there is a focus on interactive, real-time communication that is accessible to all. The intranet plays a central role here. For instance, the CEO regularly informs employees on the current state of the business, the economic parameters, the future prospects and general topics of interest in videos that are accessible on the intranet as well as via electronic newsletters. Special solutions involving newsletters and/or communal large-screens have been developed for production employees without access to personal computers. The intranet is currently being adapted to the latest communication trends. The initial elements of the revised version are to be introduced in 2015. In addition to the intranet, a Group-wide employee magazine is published four times a year and contains articles on issues relevant to the world of Geberit.

Targeted promotion and development

Geberit offers its employees attractive employment conditions. In 2014, salaries and social benefits amounted to CHF 483.9 million (previous year CHF 475.4 million), please also refer to the  Notes to the Income Statement. Employees were also able to participate in share participation plans at attractive conditions, see  Financial Statements of the Geberit Group, 18. Share Purchase Plans as well as  Remuneration Report.

Equal opportunities and equal pay for women and men are self-evident. The proportion of female employees at the end of 2014 was 31% (previous year 31%), and for senior management this figure was 7% (previous year 7%). The five-member Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board do not have any female members.

Geberit employed 232 apprentices at the end of 2014 (previous year 234). The transfer rate of apprentices to a permanent employment relationship was 82% (previous year 59%). The target is a rate of 75%. As a global company, Geberit promotes the internationalization of employees. Experience abroad and the transfer of know-how are an advantage for both employees and the company. Therefore, apprentices have the option of working abroad for a period of six months on completion of their apprenticeship. Such apprentice programs were carried out in India and South Africa in 2014.

The expenditure and measures for  training and education are adjusted to the needs of the respective employee groups. The Potentials Management process enjoys a high level of priority. The goal is to identify talent within the company and provide targeted support. Candidates for management functions within the Group are introduced to current issues from the core business as part of an “Action Learning” program and are thus prepared for their first management, project management or specialist function. These measures are intended to ensure that at least half of the open management positions can be filled by internal candidates. In 2014, it was possible for 69% of all vacancies in Group management to be filled with internal candidates (previous year 70%).

The management training program at the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in Lausanne launched at the end of 2012 for the 160 members of Group management was completed in 2014. The course was tailored individually to Geberit’s needs and included further training modules on strategic management, leadership and finance.

Systematic process for improving occupational safety

Group-wide, the absenteeism rate was 3.9% for the reporting year (previous year 4.1%). 3.8% (previous year 4.0%) was due to sickness and 0.1% (previous year 0.1%) to occupational accidents.

The health and safety of employees has the highest priority. Geberit has therefore formulated the vision of an “accident-free company”. By 2020, the accident rate is to be reduced by 50% compared with the base year 2010. The greatest potential lies in preventing accidents due to carelessness, and a focus is therefore being placed on changes in behavior. All measures are controlled as part of the Geberit Safety System (GSS). Occupational safety is monitored at the production plants by means of monthly key figures. The accident frequency rate (AFR) in 2014 came to 9.6 (previous year 10.2) and has been reduced by 33% since beginning of 2010. The accident severity rate (ASR) increased slightly to 130.5 in 2014 (previous year 124.3), but has fallen by 14% since the beginning of 2010.

For details of the measures taken to ensure active health management for the employees, also see  Occupational Health and Safety Management Approach.

Code of Conduct updated

Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible operations. In this regard, the Geberit Compass – which formulates the self-image of Geberit (what we do, what motivates us, what is responsible for our success, how we work together) – and the  Geberit Code of Conduct for Employees serve as the applicable guidelines. In 2014, the Code of Conduct was updated on the basis of its wording from 2007. It is to be introduced and actively communicated to employees in 2015.

in order to do justice to the topic of whistleblowing, the Geberit Integrity Line is available to all employees and is intended to enable employees to anonymously report cases such as sexual harassment or corrupt payments. The Integrity Line is operated by an external company with experience in this area and is available around the clock seven days a week. No major cases were reported through the Integrity Line in 2014. The few registered complaints were all dealt with and issues were settled swiftly.