Attractive working environment

More than 6000 people from over 70 nations work at Implenia. The company does many things to ensure their health and safety. Implenia is also committed to its employees’ wellbeing and to their ongoing professional training and development.

Employees from over 70 nations
work for Implenia.

 

 

3.1Staff structure

As at end-2013, a total of 6435 employees worked for Implenia (full-time posts including temporary workers). Implenia employs people from more 70 different nations. Around 40% of these are from Switzerland, 19% from Portugal, 8% from Italy, 7% from Germany and 6% from Norway. Long service at Implenia and high levels of loyalty are the norm. On average, employees stay at the company for 11.8 years. In 2013 the fluctuation rate was 11.3%, compared with 8.1% in the previous year (excluding seasonal fluctuations). The percentage of female employees (FTE) was slightly higher than in the previous year at 7.5% (2012: 7.2 %).

Implenia guarantees all of its employees equal treatment regardless of their ethnicity, colour, gender, religion or political views. The company follows the guidelines issued by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These deal in particular with employment standards relating to equal remuneration and to discrimination in employment and occupation.

Implenia works with the Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE) to ensure long-term equality of opportunity. The FOGE periodically carries out audits – of salaries for example. During the period under review no incidents relating to discrimination were reported. The company attributes this success to, among other things, its comprehensive group-wide training in the Code of Conduct.

Full-time equivalents

Employees (FTE) by country of origin 2013

 

3.2Encouraging skills and responsibility

With its “One company, one goal, one spirit” philosophy, Implenia wants to strengthen the feeling of togetherness and commitment within the company and encourage cooperation across departments, business units and countries. The flat structure that has been in place since February 2013 also promotes efficient decision-making and personal responsibility – things that make the company more effective on the market.

Management delegates decision-making power down to the lowest level possible. This principle certainly makes processes more efficient, but also increases each employee’s sense of responsibility and makes jobs at the company more attractive. This is confirmed by Implenia’s regular place in the list of most attractive employers: in the annual Universum Top 100 survey, Implenia came 24th in the engineering category in 2012, and 29th in 2013.

Full-time posts by type of employment 2013

 

A modern talent-management process and the basic principle of promoting from within wherever possible strengthens the sense of togetherness and facilitates careers that span different areas of the business. During the period under review Implenia trained around twenty new potential leaders within the “Winning the Future” programme (see Report). As the company becomes increasingly international, Implenia is also encouraging mobility among its staff by formulating transfer rules for short and long placements in foreign offices.

Good specialists are hard to find, so considerable resources – in terms of time as well as money – are devoted to recruiting new staff. Implenia regularly attends university and college recruitment fairs to tell young professionals, students and graduates from all disciplines about the Implenia Group and the opportunities it offers for careers and training.

3.3Compensation

Implenia Switzerland has a fair and transparent compensation policy. For office staff each function is evaluated in terms of the knowledge, cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills required and the responsibility involved. Basic salaries are fixed on the basis of this evaluation. For on-site personnel, Implenia complies with statutory minimum wage requirements and the conditions set out in national settlements. In addition to their agreed basic salary, managers receive a variable salary component tied to the goals they have been set. Top managers, around 25 of them throughout the group, are also paid an additional component in the form of shares.

Employment rules and social benefits also meet modern standards and go beyond the statutory requirements. Employees get an extra week’s holiday, while fathers can have a week of paternity leave and expectant mothers enjoy maternity leave of 16 rather than the statutory 14 weeks.

Pension benefits also exceed the statutory minimum. Implenia employees are enrolled in a defined contribution pension scheme with employer and employee usually paying half the contributions each. Between 2005 and 2013 Implenia transferred a total of CHF 38.5 million of voluntary payments to shore up the pension scheme’s funding ratio.

The pension fund’s board of trustees is made up of equal numbers of employee and employer representatives, and in recent years it has taken various measures to strengthen the fund’s finances. Benefits were adjusted, for example, and employer contributions raised temporarily. The pension plans were standardised and simplified. At the end of 2013, the Implenia Pension Fund’s funding ratio came to 100.5%.

In addition to its statutory pension provision, Implenia runs the “Fondation Patronale” pension foundation, which has capital of CHF 11 million. This was set up to mitigate the financial consequences of illness, disability and death by paying out pension benefits and voluntary inflation supplements, and helping people who have been affected by restructuring.

A modular training and development programme helps secure new management capacity and greater expertise.

 

 

3.4Training and development

To ensure that employees are prepared for current and future challenges, Implenia offers a modular training and development programme for managers and specialists. Courses, on-the-job training and certificated apprenticeships are used to provide participants with the knowledge they need. Implenia is thus increasing its employees’ expertise and practical skills and helping managers use management tools effectively. During the period under review, Implenia developed a web-based learning and seminar administration platform with a transparent online registration and authorisation process.

Summer internships at Implenia Norge

Every year Implenia Norge goes to various key schools and universities to tell students about Implenia and invite prospective engineers to do a summer internship. In 2012 /2013 a total of 23 students took up the opportunity, enabling them to get to know more about the company, its projects and working in the construction industry in general. Of course the internships also give Implenia a good opportunity to get to know students, with a view to offering them future employment.

Employee development is based on the “Management by Objectives” (MbO) approach that Implenia established during the period under review. The annual employee meeting, an important management tool across Switzerland, is now focused on MbO, and line managers are trained in agreeing and assessing objectives. The company has set up a modern, web-based employee management system called Iperform, which supports processes like agreeing objectives, employee development, training and e-learning.

People often first join Implenia as apprentices, so good, solid apprenticeship training is crucial. As an outstanding organisation for training, Implenia is currently taking care of 200 apprentices, mostly in on-site roles. The company offers most apprentices a job once they have finished their courses. Again, Implenia goes beyond the statutory requirements for apprenticeships. Induction weeks and days ease the transition into life as an apprentice and strengthen team spirit. Implenia’s on-the-job training is augmented by a wide variety of projects, training trips and development opportunities.

Cost planning is a key function within the construction process. In conjunction with the School of Engineering and Architecture at Lucerne University, Implenia has developed a comprehensive training programme for construction cost planning: the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Construction Cost Planning for General and Total Contracting. By running this programme Implenia and Lucerne University are doing a lot to position construction cost planning as an attractive career. The CAS course was run for the first time in 2012. The second run of the course began in May 2013 with eleven participants, five of whom work for Implenia.

To ensure the management culture – the one-company philosophy – remains consistent, all managers are trained together in a two-step programme regardless of which department they work for. The first stage, the management development programme which started in 2014, is designed for employees who are about to embark on their first management job and for managers who have just joined the company. The second stage, aimed at Implenia’s senior management in Switzerland and Norway, includes numerous modules covering in-depth management skills. This programme was run for the first time during the period under review (see Report). Participants are selected on the basis of the Talent Management Process.

 

3.5Health and safety

The construction trades involve a lot of hard physical work, and there are many potential risks to be found in workshops and on construction sites. Implenia therefore puts a great deal of effort into awareness and information campaigns relating to health and safety at work. Within the two Construction Business Units – German-Speaking Switzerland and French-Speaking Switzerland – where the most employees work and where the risks are greatest, OHSAS 18001-certifed programmes ensure effective measures are in place.

Implenia gives health and safety training to all new employees in these Business Units when they first join. Temporary employees hired through agencies also have to go through this initial instruction. In addition, managers on the construction site are responsible for informing temporary staff about the particular dangers and the emergency procedures used on site. Foremen and site managers make site personnel aware of current danger areas on a monthly basis.

Health and safety at work are the highest priorities for Implenia.

 

 

The most effective and lowest cost approach is to build health and safety considerations into the planning and implementation process right from the start. Remedial measures in later phases are more restricted and usually lead to higher costs. Implenia aims to act on this principle, and in all projects where it is either the developer or total contractor it assumes responsibility for effective accident prevention at the earliest stages of the project. When it comes to health and safety, Implenia makes no distinction between its own and other employees. Anyone contracted to work on a site where Implenia has responsibility as general contractor must comply with all the relevant in-house and statutory health and safety rules.

Good advance planning can influence everything – whether scaffolding is in place correctly and on time, whether lorries have to drive in reverse, whether there is enough room to store materials, etc. Implenia has set itself the target of formulating a standardised safety concept for all major projects, based on Suva’s “Health and Safety Plan for Building Sites”. The plan is started as soon as the offer is being calculated and then is added to as the project progresses. By using this planning tool for its own projects, Implenia aims to achieve a stricter safety culture.

In addition to internal measures and awareness campaigns (see chapter 3.5.1), it is vital to bring subcontractors on board when trying to achieve health and safety goals. A construction site will only be safe if all the companies involved pull in the same direction. As a first step towards this, we spoke to around 90 representatives of major companies and suppliers at a suppliers’ seminar in October 2013 and told them about the issues that general contracting would be focusing on in future.

In 2013 the number of accidents that occurred on Implenia projects was 143 per 1000 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, virtually the same as in previous years. The targeted reduction in the number of accidents has not yet been achieved. Implenia remains committed to its ambitious target of bringing the number of accidents at work down to a maximum of 100 per 1000 full-time employees by 2015, thus becoming one of the best in the industry in terms of health and safety.

Trips and falls remain the commonest type of accident (2013: 30%). Preventing falls remains a priority, so Implenia is continuing the “Stolpern und Stürzen” (“Trip, stumble, fall”) initiative in conjunction with Suva (the Swiss accident insurance association).

Absence rates

 

The absence rate due to accidents at work, non-work-related accidents and illness came to 4.4%, on a par with the previous year. In relation to the Implenia Group as a whole this is equivalent to the annual productivity of around 300 persons. Roughly 60% of total absences were the result of illness, with another 26% down to accidents at work and 14% caused by non-work-related accidents.

All the accident statistics are overshadowed by three tragic fatalities that occurred in 2013: two Implenia employees and a contractor died as a result of accidents on Implenia building sites. These deaths caused great upset at Implenia and reinforced our determination to do more for health and safety at work. Following these accidents, Implenia commissioned an external analysis to review its safety organisation and in-house regulations as well as their practical implementation on Implenia construction sites. Based on the findings of this review, a number of measures have been put in place. These include organisational adjustments, the introduction of consistent safety standards across all areas, an increase in the number of safety officers and more thorough safety checks. Implenia also introduced a Group-wide accident reporting process, the results of which are discussed every month at Group Executive Board (GEBO) meetings. This guarantees that senior management is always aware of the latest accident figures and categories.

In addition to these comprehensive health and safety measures, Implenia is committed to various other initiatives designed to enhance employees’ wellbeing. One example is the “Über Alkohol im Unternehmen sprechen?” (“talking about alcohol at work”) campaign against alcohol abuse, which won the Grand Prix Européen Santé et Entreprise 2012. Implenia also looks after employees who suffer accidents or illness, and helps them get back to work; it collaborates with case management specialists who provide intensive support and rehabilitation services.

Although it already does a lot, Implenia is currently working on making its operational health and safety management even more systematic. This entails developing frameworks, structures and processes that help people to work and organise themselves in a way that promotes health and safety, and that encourages safer practices among employees.

An external analysis shows many positive factors at Implenia, including its acceptance of social responsibility, its commitment to the common good, and the quality of its absence and case management. However, the study reports, these efforts could be better coordinated and standardised throughout the company as a whole. The experts also believe that the increasingly important theme of “overload” needs to be addressed more systematically. Implenia is currently assessing the results of the study and evaluating possible measures.

Comprehensive training and awareness-raising campaigns (see down) play an important role in the effort to reduce the number of accidents.

 

 

3.5.1Raising awareness

Implenia conducts regular awareness campaigns on construction sites to remind site personnel and technical managers of important health and safety measures and, therefore, to reduce the number of accidents in the medium and long term. For instance, the “Safety in 15 minutes” initiative provided site workers with training on important safety issues. These mini-courses were designed centrally and delivered to the workforce on site by their foremen. The courses are backed up by internal poster campaigns. The following subjects were addressed in 2012 and 2013:

  • Neatness and cleanliness on the building site
    Around three in ten accidents on building sites are the result of tripping or falling. A neat, orderly site cuts down the risk of accidents and reduces search times.

  • Use hand rails
    Accidents caused by stumbles account for roughly 40% of daily accident benefit payments. Stumbling on stairs is particularly dangerous, so one campaign is dedicated specifically to safety when using stairs.

  • Personal safety equipment
    Almost a fifth of all accidents result in eye injuries. The message of this campaign is that wearing safety goggles and a hard hat can substantially reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Using ladders properly
    Ladders are often used incorrectly on construction sites. Part of the training involves repairing or disposing of defective ladders.

  • Safety charter: say stop!
    Implenia was the first construction company to sign the Suva safety charter. Employees are trained to recognise when they should stop work for safety reasons.

  • Toolbox
    In tunnelling operations, weekly “Toolbox” meetings – in which small groups of site workers receive training from safety officers – have proved highly effective.

  • Turbo-sleep
    A lot of serious and fatal accidents are a result of tiredness. A 15 minute nap is an effective preventative measure. This campaign was carried out at several Implenia sites in collaboration with the bfu.

  • Vehicle speed
    Most traffic accidents happen in built-up areas, so this initiative emphasised vehicle speed, leading on from the earlier EcoDrive course.

3.6Achievement of goals 2012 /2013

Implenia wants to be the preferred partner for employees.

Strategy

Goals for 2012 /2013

Achievement of goals

Status

Use training and development to nurture employees

  • Successfully implement CAS Construction Cost Planning
  • CAS course run for the first time
    in 2012. The second run of the course began in 2013 with eleven participants (chapter 3.4)
 
  • Continue existing training and development offering
  • Training in working techniques, accounting, IT, marketing and sales, law and languages. Summer internships in Norway (chapter 3.4)

Recruiting from within

  • Implement succession planning / talent management / Implenia Academy (Icademy)
  • 16 managers were successfully trained in the “Winning the Future” programme (title story 3, chapter 3.2)
 
  • In 2012 and 2013 Implenia was involved in the graduates’ congress in Zurich and attended the ETH contact meeting (chapter 3.2).
  • Support for the ETH Foundation and the Excellence Scholarship Programme

Reduction in the number of accidents at work and hours lost

  • Use training and control measures to reduce slips, trips and accidents involving tools and equipmentn
  • The targeted reduction in the number of accidents has not yet been achieved. The number of occupational accidents remained constant in 2013 with 143 per 1000 FTEs (chapter 3.5)

Goal fully achievedGoal partially achievedGoal not achieved

3.7Goals and activities 2014 /2015

Implenia’s wants to be the preferred partner for employees.

Strategy

Goals for 2014/2015

Activities 2014/2015

Use training and development to nurture employees

  • Develop construction specialists into expert professionals so they can pursue a specialist career at Implenia
  • Continue building up training programme (Icademy) and strengthen internal and external positioning
  • Training and development courses to support the specialist career model for construction professionals (project managers, construction managers, site managers, construction cost planners)
  • Introducing a graduate trainee programme

Recruiting from within

  • Develop management talent from within the company
  • Improve the quality of training and increase the proportion of those in
    training
  • Carry out the “Winning the Future” management development programme for the second time.
  • Carry out the “Winning Performance” new managers development programme for the first time.
  • Promote new talent by training up new foremen, overseers and site managers.

Maintain and promote health and safety, efficiency and motivation

  • Reduce the number of occupational accidents to less than 100 per 1000 FTEs, cut the number of days lost and manage occupational health systematically
  • Constant awareness raising at all levels of management about occupational
    accidents
  • Introduce safety as component of work preparation (safety concept)
  • Expand the team of health and safety officers so there is a greater presence on building sites
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