Bühler as an employer
Strong workforce base.
Qualified employees as the basis for success.
Even if the general situation has recently changed somewhat, qualified and well-trained specialist staff are still hard to find in the labor market. Beside strengthening its own employee base, Bühler is therefore also recruiting outside talent and for this purpose is collaborating closely with universities and universities of applied science. Bühler offers several students an internship as an opportunity to gain initial experience on the job. In the eyes of prospective employees, Bühler is an especially attractive employer thanks to the interesting jobs offered and the Group’s international orientation. Geographical mobility is encouraged and is being eagerly taken advantage of by employees. This may be in the form of an internship, a brief stint abroad, or prolonged activity in a foreign country. Such continuous exchange fosters the sharing of knowledge worldwide and ensures that the corporate values are lived everywhere.
Investing in continuing education.
Employee development is a high priority for Bühler. It is individually planned on the basis of annual performance appraisals and agreement on defined goals. Bühler maintains a number of career programs – on the one hand leadership training for a line career in management, on the other hand training for specialist careers either as experts or as project managers. Outstanding talents are identified and coached in their development to occupy future top positions. Moreover, on the basis of a program specifically designed to cover the needs of the capital goods and services sector, global sales and service staff are trained to meet their future challenges. Bühler offers a wide range of opportunities to employees for their individual continuing education, also actively supporting part-time continuing education courses outside the organization.
International apprenticeship exchange.
Group-wide, Bühler offers some 400 apprenticeships for training young people in commercial or technical vocations, of which 290 in Switzerland. In order to ensure the permanent availability of an adequate pool of qualified specialists, and to offer young local people a better opportunity to enter the labor market, the apprenticeship training program based on the Swiss model is also implemented in the affiliated companies in Germany, India, China, South America, and Africa. In Switzerland, Bühler is taking a new approach in the industry with its technical vocations concept, which was introduced in 2008. In the specialist subjects, apprentices now all undergo virtually the same basic training in the first year in preparation for future interdisciplinary projects. Starting in the second apprenticeship year, they deepen their knowledge in the specific vocation they have selected. They are offered the opportunity to take part in cross-vocational projects. This means that they work in teams on real customer projects and are also accountable for budgets and schedules. As part of a pilot project, five apprentices spent two months in a Bühler factory in China in 2008. In Switzerland, some two thirds of all apprentices remain with Bühler as regular employees after completing their training.
Sharing corporate success..
Employees in Switzerland benefit from a bonus system that covers all hierarchical levels. If the Group achieves a minimum EBIT margin that is defined at the start of the year, employees receive a financial payment which is social- security-insured. Performance related employee bonus systems are also in place in the international affiliated companies; they are tailored to the local conditions.
Representatives from the European affiliated companies form the European Works Council. In the past year, four new members and a new chairman were elected as replacements. Group Management maintain an open dialog with employees and provide regular information on ongoing projects and the business situation. On a global basis, women account for an average of 15 percent of all employees. The highest share of women in the workforce is in Asia, with almost 20 percent, and the lowest in Switzerland with just under 13 percent. Bühler has pursued an equal-pay policy for men and women for many years. The average age of employees is 42. With about 7 percent worldwide and 3 percent in Switzerland, Bühler has a comparatively low staff turnover rate. The average years of service is 14 years. On average, employees stay longest with the organization in Switzerland and in Europe (almost 17 years), and shortest in Asia (7 years).