Number of employees down slightly
At the end of 2020, the Geberit Group employed 11,569 staff worldwide, equivalent to a slight decline of 50 employees or 0.4% compared to the previous year. Above all, this reduction was due to the lower number of temporary staff and natural fluctuations seen in production and logistics. In contrast, there was an increase in the areas of IT, marketing and development. The additional employees were mainly assigned to digitalisation projects.
Based on the average headcount of 11,552, net sales per employee amounted to TCHF 258, or 2.6% less than in the previous year.
Employees by countries
(as of 31 December)
Broken down by business process, staff numbers were as follows: production employed 60% of the staff members, with a further 27% in marketing and sales. Additionally, 8% of the employees worked in administration, and 3% in research and development. The share of apprentices was 2%.
Employees by business processes 2020
In 2020, personnel expenses amounted to CHF 750 million. Once again, the employees were also able to take part 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 2020 was 24% (previous year 24%), and for senior management this figure was 11% (previous year 11%). The six-member Board of Directors has two female members.
Dealing with COVID-19 in everyday work
The coronavirus and associated protection against COVID-19 infections affected both business development and everyday work at Geberit in 2020. Numerous protective measures were taken to minimise the risk of infection for employees. At the same time, customer service, production and thus also product availability had to be ensured. With this in mind, Geberit strictly adhered to the applicable official regulations and recommendations on a local level and also implemented the prescribed hygiene and social distancing measures consistently. Other measures, such as the obligation to wear masks, rapid tests, directives for business trips or carrying out meetings, were also adapted according to local regulations and in line with the corresponding stages of the pandemic.
In order to contain the pandemic further and protect the workforce, employees were also given the possibility of working from home if their work and circumstances permitted. Furthermore, regulations on working from home were also adjusted on a Group level and in the individual countries for the time after COVID-19. This ensures that it is also possible to work from home in normal times – where appropriate – and increases the attractiveness of Geberit as an employer.
For other aspects, in particular economic aspects, see the section on Geberit and COVID-19.
Digital employer branding
The employer branding programme started in 2018 also continued in the reporting year. The goal here is to address both current and potential employees via digital channels and to position Geberit as a strong employer brand. With this in mind, Geberit presents itself on the job market as a progressive employer with an open corporate culture and international development opportunities. In 2020, the corresponding activities were also expanded to include IT specialists in addition to engineers and sales staff. The communication focused on current IT employees at Geberit, who detailed their background and everyday tasks and explained why they are convinced of Geberit as an employer. These insights were published on the company website, on social media – predominantly LinkedIn (73,000 followers) – and also on the company intranet. As part of the further expansion of the social media presence, activities on other platforms are currently being evaluated.
The new Geberit Intranet for everyone
In November 2020, a new intranet platform was launched for comprehensive communication within the company. In addition to a browser version on the PC, the Geberit Intranet (GIN) is also available as a mobile app. With this new approach, Geberit is able to reach all employees all over the world for the first time – whether those working on PCs, others in production and logistics, or sales representatives. The goal is for the GIN to be the central information and communication platform for all company employees. Among other features, the new tool can be used to access HR applications directly. Furthermore, it also offers significantly more opportunities for internal communication at the individual local sites.
Further expansion of education and training
The search for young talent has been further intensified. The various local sites are in contact with institutes of technology and universities regarding project-related collaborations, plant visits or gaining students for internships. Geberit is also part of international engineer networks such as UNITECH and offers members exciting internships as well as collaborations for Bachelor and Master theses.
The Operations Development Programme was set up at the start of 2020. The goal of the programme is to ensure that the plants and logistics sites also continue to have a sufficient number of highly trained managers at their disposal in future – with experience at the respective site where possible. The company is looking for talented prospects with an engineering, technical or commercial background who want to head up strategic projects and take on responsibility following internal training.
The two internal Potentials Management Programmes – on a regional and Group level – aim to identify talents in the company and support them along their path to middle or senior management. Around 70 employees were nominated to take part in the programmes by their supervisors in the reporting year. These programmes are intended to help fill at least half of all vacant managerial positions with internal candidates. In 2020, this was achieved for 47% of all Group management vacancies (previous year 58%).
Geberit employed 262 apprentices at the end of 2020 (previous year 264). The transfer rate to a permanent employment relationship was 86% (previous year 85%). As experience abroad and the transfer of know-how are an advantage for both young employees and the company alike, the apprentices should already have the opportunity to get practical insights at other sites during their training.
New appraisal process launched
Following the successful pilot phase started in 2019, the valYOU Performance assessment, Development and Compensation process was rolled out at all sites for all white collar staff in the reporting year. In connection with this, all management personnel received training on the process and assessment tool. Additionally, a special, dedicated annual assessment process was developed for employees working in production and logistics, and was launched at selected sites in the reporting year. From 2021, the valYOU process should be established for all employees across the Group.
Guiding principles for all employees
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.
Focus on occupational health and safety
Occupational health and safety has highest priority within the Geberit Group. Using 2015 as the reference year, the aim is to halve the number of accidents by 2025. By 2025, the AFR (Accident Frequency Rate) is also to be reduced to a value below 5.5 (accidents per million working hours) and the ASR (Accident Severity Rate) to below 90 (number of days lost per million working hours). In 2020, the accident frequency fell to a value of 8.9, which corresponds to a reduction of 9.2% (previous year 9.8). The accident severity decreased by 8.4% to a value of 171.9 (previous year 187.6) in the same period. There were no fatal accidents.
All production plants and the central logistics centre in Pfullendorf (DE) are certified in accordance with the new occupational health and safety standard ISO 45001. The Geberit Safety System defines occupational health and safety principles as well as processes that are applicable throughout the Group. Safety managers have been appointed at all production plants and the central logistics centre. The Group-wide Geberit Safety Team also plays an active role in systematically developing occupational health and safety through the entire company by defining key topics and exchanging best practices between plants, among other aspects. The creation of safe, clean workstations at the production plants was again pursued consistently through the continuous optimisation and modernisation of systems and processes, the replacement of hazardous substances or the reduction of dust and noise emissions. Workstations have also been further optimised from an ergonomic point of view through the increasing use of robots or lifting aids. As the majority of occupational accidents and time lost are still attributable to carelessness, great importance is attached to long-term training and raising employee awareness. These efforts will be supported by an eLearning programme, which should help to correctly identify danger areas in the workplace and rectify them consistently, among other aspects.
The active promotion of employee health – thus ensuring they remain fit and able to work – is very important. With this in mind, a diverse vitality programme is offered at 18 production and sales sites in the fields of exercise, mental fitness, nutrition and the working environment. The most comprehensive programme here is “Geberit Vital”, which can be accessed by around 40% of the workforce. This programme was additionally adapted to the demands of the ceramics plants in the reporting year, and will now be gradually rolled out.