Humanity

Social contribution

Bühler’s success depends on people, collaboration, and the ecosystems we build. On an individual level, it is about building awareness of global challenges and making changes. On a company level, it is about valuing our most important resource – our employees. On an industry level, it is all about collaboration and building ecosystems, as no individual or company alone has the intellectual or financial power to create impact. 

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Humanity

Social contribution

Bühler’s success depends on people, collaboration, and the ecosystems we build. On an individual level, it is about building awareness of global challenges and making changes. On a company level, it is about valuing our most important resource – our employees. On an industry level, it is all about collaboration and building ecosystems, as no individual or company alone has the intellectual or financial power to create impact. 

   

Human Resources

Irene Mark-Eisenring, Chief Human Resources Officer, explains why 2021 was unique from a Human Resources (HR) perspective. It was a year that polarized in many ways considering the global vaccination debate, and Bühler made a point of unifying and pulling together as a company. Bühler, like many companies, saw higher attrition rates globally, though it continues to be perceived as an attractive employer. It 2021, it was ranked among the top employers in Switzerland for the third consecutive time. Strong leadership was vital during the year to bridge gaps, unify, and motivate people, and provide clarity and direction in this dynamic year of market challenges. Bühler continued to support managers and employees with webinars on how to lead and how to navigate through the new normal of hybrid working. Ensuring employee safety, while also maintaining customer focus, remained a key priority. Watch the video to learn more from Irene Mark-Eisenring about Bühler’s strategy to strengthen its culture, enhance employees’ skills, and develop leaders. 

Our people – Rising to the challenge

The Carat-team in front of the true-size picture of the Carat 920.

 

In 2021, Bühler continued to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of all employees. In the meantime, we maintained our focus on career growth, customer training, and project development – all in alignment with our overall Destination-25 strategy for the company. With over 12,500 staff spread across the globe it has taken flexibility and resilience to react, as countries responded differently to public health challenges. The two main bulwarks against the spread of infection have been varying degrees of societal controls in the form of lockdowns and vaccination programs. Wherever possible, Bühler chose to be at the forefront of the battle against Covid-19, not only organizing vaccination programs for our colleagues, but also for their families and the communities in which we operate.   

As the next wave of Covid-19 caused severe disruption across India, the Bühler South Asia management team formed a task force to plan, monitor and implement a response in line with government advice. In April, the team launched its first voluntary vaccination drive for eligible employees and their immediate families. As infection rates rose, Bühler provided essential staff needed on the premises with medical backup from doctors and paramedics who had access to personal protective equipment and oxygen cylinders.

Bühler vaccination days were also organized in other countries such as South Africa, China, Austria, and at our headquarters in Uzwil, Switzerland. With the help of the vaccination team at the Cantonal Hospital of St. Gallen, 500 people received Covid jabs as well as help with their electronic vaccination registration. Bühler employees, along with their families, local businesses, and people from surrounding communities were invited to get vaccinated. Uzwil staff self-test weekly and are tested monthly for Covid-19.    

 

The pandemic took a toll on the mental health and wellbeing of many people globally, prompting governments, organizations as well as employers to take action. Bühler is offering a range of mental health support to our employees with the first priority of keeping our employees safe. Six global health ambassadors were appointed to help drive both physical and mental health strategies across the organization. Pulse surveys were carried out across our regions to assess the wellbeing of colleagues.

Bühler vaccination days in Uzwil, Switzerland. Bühler vaccination days in Uzwil, Switzerland.

Living up to our corporate values

Our people strategy, which is anchored in our Destination 25 Business strategy, has excellence in leadership and engaged employees who operate in a fully inclusive culture at its core. Our corporate values are the compass that guides us in how we want to interact with each other. The TOP values, which we launched at the end of 2020, were this year incorporated into our Employee Performance Management System. TOP stands for “Trust, Ownership, and Passion”. Trust relates to integrity, partnership skills, and the credibility required for Bühler to form collaborative networks with customers, start-ups, academia, and NGOs to address global challenges. Ownership is about taking responsibility for decisions taken in the interest of our customers, and passion drives people at Bühler to live their intentions, to seize each day, to support others, and to drive success.  

 

Corporate culture needs to be driven from the top of any organization. Bühler has in 2021 kicked off the TOP leadership program, which targets our hundred plus top leaders and provides them with the tools to develop as individuals and enables them to live our TOP values and build a high-performance culture across the organization. 

Governance

Bühler follows international standards of corporate governance. Its corporate governance activities are based on the principles of the Swiss Code of Best Practice – an instrument for clearly defining internal powers and responsibilities and optimally designing the interaction between the Board of Directors, the Executive Board, and the Group Internal Audit.  

Diversity & Inclusion

Bühler is continuing to focus on fostering gender balance with the launch of the Women@Bühler network and the further development and growth of the Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) initiative in 2021. The Women@Bühler network currently has 200 members who meet monthly. It provides a global support network designed to empower women throughout the organization by helping them share knowledge, learning opportunities, and experiences across borders. 

The aim of the Women in STEM initiative at Bühler is to defeat gender stereotypes by helping employees, leaders, parents, and students to empower women towards STEM careers and into future leadership roles within the company. The initiative has grown significantly this year with the support of 25 passionate ambassadors from Bühler who organized 20 events attracting a thousand internal and external participants. These include school visits, leadership workshops, a mentoring program with a children’s home in Kenya, and two global events, including a panel discussion around “women’s empowerment across continents” and a collaborative event with Microsoft for the “International LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer/Questioning+) in STEM Day” on November 18.    

Women in STEM. Women in STEM.

Bühler published its second Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report in 2021 outlining our key achievements and plans. In 2020 we launched our online diversity dashboard, enabling employees to access specific diversity metrics to support key performance indicators. This year, the program has been further developed through the quarterly publication of diversity metrics relating to specific regions and businesses so that local leaders can take appropriate actions. Bühler also marked various diversity and inclusion events throughout the year such as International Women’s Day on March 8 and Pride Month in June, to celebrate the company’s diverse workforce and raise awareness around the challenges often faced by under-represented groups. 

The Bühler Beyond Bias workshops continued throughout 2021 with the aim of addressing unconscious bias in the workplace and to help foster an inclusive environment. Workshops were carried out across global locations, with every region able to tailor the training sessions to address local cultural circumstances. Over 300 participants attended 30 workshops in 2021. Five new internal facilitators were certified in Bühler’s Beyond Bias “Train the Facilitator” program, adding to a total of 21 passionate facilitators who support running these workshops.

 

Shaping the Bühler of the future

Bühler’s Generation B (Gen B) is an employee driven movement that empowers employees to create the company they want to work for. The global movement aims to inspire employees to be engaged and motivated through initiatives that will shape the future of the company. Gen B is an opportunity to look at global challenges and take ownership of how Bühler can address them. The topics addressed this year included discrimination, the climate crisis, Women in STEM, and sustainable food choices. 

 

Throughout 2021 the Gen B team organized over 50 events with more than 2,000 participants as the membership grew to 900 employees around the world. A team of 90 active ambassadors from different countries led projects that they have a passion for and that benefit the company.   Gen B has further developed long-term change initiatives such as the SWAP (Seeing With Another Perspective) collaborative mentoring program where staff are connected across the company to share insights and knowledge and help foster inter-company dialogue. This year the SWAP program included 150 global mentoring pairings. 

In June, the One Young World Switzerland Caucus, which was supported and hosted by Bühler, brought together 400 passionate people from different industries and backgrounds to connect and exchange ideas, discussing how we can live within the boundaries of our one planet. The two-day event allowed participants to collaborate on building sustainable start-ups, fostering sustainable tourism and pushing grassroots change in corporations. This enabled the development of business ideas to build both a more sustainable planet and ecosystems with the creativity and passion to make real change. 

People development

As public health interventions help combat the increase of infection rates, it has allowed the cautious loosening of pandemic controls and a reintroduction of face-to-face elements in our learning and development program. Bühler is adopting a hybrid approach while maintaining safety as our primary objective. The pandemic has shown that learning, collaboration, exchange of ideas, and networking can be effective using virtual technology. However, in some circumstances face-to-face contact is needed to fully leverage creativity and team collaboration and best achieve our goals.  

Ismail Mohammad Haji and Stefan Schroff, ITP. Ismail Mohammad Haji and Stefan Schroff, ITP.

Lifelong learning for all employees is a core principle for Bühler regardless of age, location, or career stage. The pandemic has taught us that employee versatility is integral to business resilience. Today’s employees need the skills and knowledge to quickly adapt to new technologies and economic drivers. To help achieve this, Bühler has continued to develop its Next Generation Learning Program designed to explore how innovation can shape employee learning. Flexible learning programs help employees choose the most appropriate learning medium at different life stages. Bühler continues to develop the B-Learning platform delivering a broad spectrum of learning opportunities through videos, e-learnings, classroom trainings, webinars, and a mobile app. This year Bühler launched a new learning commitment, accompanied by a series of skill-building webinars available to all employees on topics such as cultural awareness, collaborative mentoring, and the power of self-belief.    

Our customers attend high-end training programs at our Application & Training Centers in 24 locations around the world – from our Die Casting Technology Center in Switzerland to our Rice Milling Academy in India, to our Cocoa Training Center in Ivory Coast to name but a few.  

Subject experts running the training programs help customers develop and improve their knowledge of Bühler technologies and services. At Bühler’s African Milling School in Nairobi, Kenya, dozens of apprentices finished their apprenticeships in 2021, 17 participants graduated from the third Head Miller Class, and 106 employees from 24 different customers took part in trainings such as Mechanical Maintenance, Baking Technology, or Milling for Executives. 

This year has involved a major redesign of the internal Bühler salesforce training program. Bühler recognizes that frontline staff need to be highly adaptable to quickly react to dynamic market changes. Sales employees are often the first contact customers have with the company, which is why Bühler is dedicating resources and time to developing the sales training skills matrix, building the skills required by the individual salesperson. Rather than having a fixed sales license, Bühler is developing a “dynamic license in sales” where tailored training provides individuals not just with additional technical skills but also with soft skills in areas like communication. Test pilots for the new training concept were run throughout 2021 for 80 colleagues in South America, Middle East, Africa, and Europe who underwent one-week virtual training courses. 

By adopting a blend of virtual and face-to-face learning, Bühler is leveraging the best out of the new hybrid training world we now find ourselves in. To support this, a dedicated sales training room has been created to accommodate the new hybrid training format.  

Bühler apprentice Jan Meier won the SwissSkills competition in 2020 and came fourth this year in the EuroSkills in Graz. Bühler apprentice Jan Meier won the SwissSkills competition in 2020 and came fourth this year in the EuroSkills in Graz.

In 2021, Bühler provided 542 apprenticeships globally, of which 275 were in Uzwil. These apprenticeships are based on the Swiss dual-vocational model, a global benchmark that has been adapted by other countries, where students receive a mix of practical and academic training. These three or four-year education programs cover eight different professional fields. The programs continually evolve to meet the changing skill sets required by companies. This year 65% of the apprentices finishing their apprenticeship chose to pursue careers within Bühler.  

We are proud to announce that the Bühler apprentice Jan Meier not only won the SwissSkills competition in 2020 but came fourth this year in the EuroSkills in Graz, Austria. These events are part of the global WorldSkills movement to raise the ambitions and opportunities of vocational education and training for young people, employers, and societies. Jan Meier will also be competing in the WorldSkills competition in Shanghai in 2022.  

In 2021 we made substantial investments in practice equipment and machinery to drive forward apprenticeship training within the topic of Industry 4.0, developing the future skills of our apprentices. We are among the first private sector companies to have introduced practice equipment and machinery to deepen Industry 4.0 knowledge and skills in Switzerland and we plan to make this training program available to a wider range of employees in the future.  

Bühler continues to affirm its commitment to train apprentices across the globe and value them as vital contributors to our success. Our approach has long been recognized by other countries including the Unites States. In 2014, Professor – and now First Lady – Jill Biden visited Bühler in Uzwil to see first-hand how we train and promote apprentices. In November 2021, Bühler broke ground for the new Energy & Manufacturing Technology Center. The state-of-the-art building in Uzwil will become the central hub for vocational training and offer space for prototyping and innovation in manufacturing. 

Bühler Management trainees 2021. Each trainee is given the opportunity to work closely with regional heads and top management on the Executive Board. Bühler Management trainees 2021. Each trainee is given the opportunity to work closely with regional heads and top management on the Executive Board.

To help develop future leadership, the Bühler International Management Trainee Program is designed to attract the best talents leaving universities and business schools and fast-track them through the Bühler corporate experience. This year saw the first trainee from our Middle East and Africa region join the three-year internal training program. Each trainee is given the opportunity to work closely with regional heads and top management on the Executive Board.

This year, Bühler collaborated with Ashesi University in Accra, Ghana, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) to select Master’s Degree students in engineering and provide them with internships to ensure African talent is being developed for employment opportunities in Africa. Bühler is also working with ETH to send Swiss ETH interns to gain work experience in Africa. The project aims to encourage the sharing of ideas and experiences across cultural borders and increase understanding of the African food industry.  

The Excelerator Program, now in its fifth year, continues to develop the specific needs of individuals so that talented employees are first recognized from within the company and then enabled to mature and develop into leadership roles. 

In 2021, Bühler was again awarded the Swiss Leading Employer Award. In 2021, Bühler was again awarded the Swiss Leading Employer Award.

For the third year in a row, Bühler is pleased to announce winning the prestigious 2021 Swiss Leading Employer Award ranking us among the top 1% of nominated Swiss employers. Over 2021, Bühler has been adapting its approach to our company branding in the light of pandemic restrictions. We continue to leverage our social media presence in the absence of face-to-face opportunities to build our employer brand amongst potential recruits to the business.  

We have also revamped our career website to provide more tailored and targeted information on job opportunities at Bühler. A global talent ambassador community with 25 members was created, where experiences and best practices stemming from local employees branding activities are shared. We continue to clearly articulate our corporate ambitions to encourage the best talent who want to work for Bühler and join us in our ambition to make meaningful changes to planetary and human wellbeing. 

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