At the end of 2015, the Geberit Group employed 12,126 people worldwide, which equates to an increase of 5,879 people or 94.1% year on year. The majority of the increase is attributable to the integration of the acquired Sanitec employees. In Geberit's original organisation structure, the number of employees increased by 96, or 1.5%.
Based on the average headcount of 6,311, net sales per employee in the original Geberit organisation amounted to TCHF 308.1, or 7.0% below previous year, mainly driven by negative currency effects. For the newly combined Group following the integration of the Sanitec activities, this figure was TCHF 207.9.
As regards the breakdown of employees by business processes, the takeover of Sanitec resulted in a shift toward production, at the expense of all other processes. As a consequence of this, Marketing and Sales accounted for 23.9% of employees (previous year 29.5%), Production 62.6% (previous year 54.1%), Administration 7.8% (previous year 9.0%) and Research & Development 3.6% (previous year 3.7%). The share of apprentices was 2.1% (previous year 3.7%).
Image as an attractive employer
First-rate employees guarantee the company's success in the future. With this in mind, a variety of efforts were again made in 2015 to position Geberit on the job market as an attractive employer with an open corporate culture and international development opportunities at the interface between craft, engineering and sales. This included specialists from various departments attending a series of university career fairs, together with Human Resources managers.
Geberit offers its employees attractive employment conditions. In 2015, salaries and social benefits – adjusted by various special effects in connection with the Sanitec acquisition – amounted to CHF 654.2 million (previous year CHF 483.9 million), please also refer to the Notes to the Income Statement. Employees can also participate in share participation plans at attractive conditions, see Consolidated financial statements Geberit Group, 17. Participation plans and Remuneration Report.
Equal opportunities and equal pay for women and men are self-evident. The proportion of female employees at the end of 2015 was 25% (previous year 31%), and for senior management this figure was 8% (previous year 7%). There are no women on the Board of Directors and the Group Executive Board.
Investments in employees are a key issue in terms of education and further training. Geberit employed 255 apprentices at the end of 2015 (previous year 232). The transfer rate to a permanent employment relationship was 64% (previous year 82%). The target is 75%. Apprentices also have the option of working abroad for a period of six months on completion of their apprenticeship. As a global company, Geberit promotes the internationalisation of employees. Experience abroad and the transfer of know-how are an advantage for both employees and the company.
The two-stage Potentials Management Programme continues to be held. The aim is to selectively identify talents throughout the company and support them along their path to middle or senior management. Initial experience of managerial or project management responsibility are part of this. The problems investigated as part of the programme are geared towards the reality at the company and provide decision-makers with concrete bases for action. The programme is intended to help fill at least half of all vacant managerial positions within the company with internal candidates. In 2015, this was achieved for 40% of all Group management vacancies (previous year 69%).
Standard assessment scale
The standard Performance Assessment, Development and Compensation (PDC) process has been in place since 2012. This standardised process enables the company to gain an overview of the available potential. The aims of PDC are severalfold: to reinforce the performance culture, increase transparency and, finally, improve the identification and promotion of talents. As regards compensation, the standard job assessments used throughout the Group provide a solid reference system. All employees of the previous Geberit Group - with the exception of manual workers - are now incorporated in the PDC process. The circle of participants is currently being extended to include managers of the former Sanitec Group.
A comprehensive employee survey is planned for the coming year. As with the previous survey, the aim is to ascertain identification with the company and employee satisfaction. The survey also includes specific questions about the integration activities as part of the Sanitec acquisition.
Proactive internal communication
The Intranet has been a central platform for communication with employees for many years. But this status was reinforced following the takeover of the Sanitec Group. During a transitional phase, the two former Intranets were operated in parallel but a new, joint Intranet was launched in October. Equally important on the new Intranet are balanced reporting, which reflects the new reality within the Geberit Group, and information by the CEO and Group Executive Board, which help foster understanding of the integration process going forward and, in particular, the associated milestones. For employees in production, who have no access to a personal computer, there are still special solutions such as a newsletter and/or communal large screens.
From the second edition, the recipients of the employee magazine, which has been published three times, were broadened to include all employees of the company. This has increased its print run from more than 6,000 to over 12,000 copies, now in six rather than the previous two languages.
Identity and 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 identity 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. At the end of 2015, a physical copy of the Compass, together with a letter from the CEO, was delivered to the homes of all our employees (see also Compliance section). Furthermore, the Compass was also explained by the CEO in the employee magazine. The revised Code of Conduct was communicated to employees at the start of 2015 (see also Compliance section).
Focus on occupational safety
The vision of a zero-accident company still holds after the takeover of the Sanitec Group. However, the targets have had to be revised to take account of the new situation: based on the 2015 reference year, the aim is to halve the number of accidents by 2025. By then, the AFR (Accident Frequency Rate) is to be reduced to a value of 5.5 (accidents per million working hours) and the ASR (Accident Severity Rate) to 90 (number of days lost per million working hours).
Due to the acquisition, the accident frequency rate rose to 11.4 in 2015. The accident severity rate increased during the same period to 206.2, again due to the acquisition. As the majority of occupational accidents and time lost are still attributable to carelessness, the focus in this regard is on changing behaviour. To this end, as part of the Geberit Safety System (GSS), a comprehensive masterplan on occupational safety, including a catalogue of measures, has been devised and adopted. Occupational safety is also part of the annual appraisal of managers at the plants.