Number of employees down slightly

At the end of 2018, the Geberit Group employed 11,630 staff worldwide, which is 79 employees or 0.7% less than in the previous year. The drop is due to a reduction in production. In addition to synergies and efficiency-improving measures, the main reason for this was the termination of individual employment relationships – which mostly took place in the final quarter of 2018 – as part of the closure of two ceramics plants in France in the previous year. However, this drop was mitigated by specific initiatives at various sales companies.

Based on the average headcount of 11,803, sales per employee amounted to TCHF 261, or 5.2% more than in the previous year.

Employees by countries
(as of 31 December)
  2017 Share
in %
in %
Germany 3,329 283,28228
Poland 1,603 141,65514
Switzerland 1,362 121,39512
Ukraine 638 56606
Austria 551 55575
China 565 55305
Italy 509 45204
France 539 54314
Others 2,613 222,60022
Total 11,709 10011,630100

Broken down by business process, staff numbers were as follows: marketing and sales employed 25% of the staff members. 61% worked in production. Additionally 8% of the employees worked in administration, and 4% in research and development. The share of apprentices was 2%.

Employees by business processes 2018

(as of 31 December)

Continued digitalisation of the employer brand

Committed, well-skilled employees are a key prerequisite to the company’s future success. With this in mind, efforts continued in 2018 to position Geberit on the job market as a progressive employer with an open corporate culture and international development opportunities at the interface between craft, engineering and sales. The new appearance of the company’s employer brand was implemented in job advertisements in print and, above all, digital media. In general, focus is switching more to digital media, with the use of videos and other footage playing an increasingly prominent role. For example, the company launched a new video during the reporting year to promote apprenticeships. Other videos for target groups in the sales and engineering sectors are to follow. In addition, Geberit intensified its campus recruitment activities in 2018 by appearing at fairs and increased its digital presence, working here in close collaboration with a number of renowned universities.

In 2018, personnel expenses amounted to CHF 744 million. Once again, the employees were also able to participate in share participation plans at attractive conditions, see Financial Statements of the Geberit Group, 17. Participation Plans and Remuneration Report. Equal opportunities and the same salaries for women and men are embedded in the corporate philosophy. The proportion of female employees at the end of 2018 was 24% (previous year 23%), and for senior management this figure was 9% (previous year 8%). The six-member Board of Directors has one female member.

Increased focus on education and further training

Geberit employed 247 apprentices at the end of 2018 (previous year 235). The transfer rate to a permanent employment relationship was 89% (previous year 83%). All apprentices should essentially have the opportunity to work at several sites during their training. Experience abroad and the transfer of know-how are an advantage for both employees and the company. Apprentices have the option of working abroad for a period of six months on completion of their apprenticeship.

A two-stage Potentials Management Programme aims to identify talents throughout the company and support them along their path to middle or senior management. The issues investigated in project work as part of the programme are geared towards strategic tasks of relevance to Geberit and provide the decision-makers involved with concrete bases for action. During the reporting year, part of the programme was further developed and carried out for the first time in collaboration with the University of St. Gallen (CH). The Potentials programme is intended to help fill at least half of all vacant managerial positions with internal candidates. In 2018, this was achieved for 57% of all Group management vacancies (previous year 76%).

In 2018, the ceramics plants in Germany, Poland and Ukraine saw the implementation of an initiative aimed at improving leadership skills at various hierarchical levels. This initiative was planned at Group level, adapted to local requirements and put into practice in multi-day workshops involving local coaches.

During the reporting year, a programme targeting the development of managerial staff was implemented within the sales organisations in the European countries. The aim of these courses was to strengthen the leadership skills of regional sales managers on one hand and, on the other, to standardise the role of these managers in order to drive the sales entity as a whole.

Transparent appraisal

A standard Performance assessment, Development and Compensation (PDC) process has been in place since 2012. PDC is about reinforcing the performance culture, increasing transparency, and recognising and promoting talent more effectively in order to make the organisation future-proof. Except for the employees who work directly in production at the plants, all employees have been incorporated into the PDC process. In 2018, the competence model on which the appraisal process is based was revised and restructured in the interests of user friendliness.

Promoting the corporate culture

Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially responsible operations. The 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 Code of Conduct for employees serve as the applicable guidelines. During the reporting year, work began on digitalising both these important employee tools so that new and existing employees can access them in the form of an e-learning course in future.

In connection with the integration of various ceramics brands under the Geberit brand umbrella – which is scheduled to begin in 2019 – a total of 42 moderated workshops took place in spring 2018, involving around 6,100 employees. Apart from presenting information about the new brand world, these events provided participants with an entertaining insight into the company’s values as well as an opportunity to discuss these values together.

Prioritising occupational health and safety

Occupational health and safety continues to have highest priority within the Geberit Group. Using 2015 as the reference year, the aim is to halve the number of accidents by 2025. By then, the AFR (Accident Frequency Rate) is also 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). In 2018, the accident frequency went down to 9.7 (previous year 10.3), a decline of 5.8%. The accident severity decreased by 10.9% to 181.5 in the same period (previous year 203.8).

29 of the 30 production plants are certified in accordance with OHSAS 18001. The Geberit Safety System (GSS) defines occupational health and safety principles as well as processes that are applicable throughout the Group. All production plants and the logistics centre have a safety manager. Since the beginning of 2017, a “Geberit Safety Team” has also been playing an active role in addressing the issue of occupational health and safety. In terms of occupational safety, special attention is paid to changes in behaviour, as the majority of occupational accidents and time lost are still attributable to carelessness.

To promote the health of every individual, employees at a total of 13 production and sales sites can participate in a vitality programme consisting of sports and preventive healthcare. At the sites in Rapperswil-Jona (CH), Pfullendorf (DE), Pottenbrunn (AT), Ruše (SI), Kolo and Wloclawek (both PL) – which account for around 40% of Geberit employees – a comprehensive occupational healthcare management is established.


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