Annual Report 2016


Decreasing number of employees

At the end of 2016, the Geberit Group employed 11,592 staff worldwide, which is 534 employees or 4.4% less than in the previous year. This is mainly due to fewer people employed in the ceramics plants, synergies as a result of the consolidation of functions and efficiency-enhancing measures, as well as the sale of the Koralle Group. Based on the average headcount of 11,972, net sales per employee amounted to TCHF 234.6, or 12.8% more than in the previous year.

Employees by countries
(as of 31 December)
  2015 Share
in %
2016 Share
in %
Germany 3,319 27 3,282 28
Poland 1,532 13 1,515 13
Switzerland 1,333 11 1,336 12
Ukraine 1,089 9 627 5
France 693 6 691 6
China 665 5 637 5
Austria 541 4 532 5
Sweden 431 4 419 4
Italy 425 4 434 4
Others 2,098 17 2,119 18
Total 12,126 100 11,592 100

Broken down by business process, staff numbers were as follows: marketing and sales employed 24.5% of the staff members (previous year 23.9%). 61.7% worked in production (previous year 62.6%). Additionally, 8.2% (previous year 7.8%) of the employees worked in administration, and 3.6% (previous year 3.6%) in research and development. The share of apprentices was 2.0% (previous year 2.1%).

Employees by business processes 2016

(as of 31 December)

An attractive employer

First-rate employees guarantee the company’s success in the future. With this in mind, efforts were again made in 2016 to position Geberit on the job market as an attractive employer with an open corporate culture and international development opportunities at the interface between craft, engineering and sales. For example, specialists from various departments attended a series of university career fairs together with Human Resources managers.

Geberit offers its employees attractive employment conditions. In 2016, personnel expenses – adjusted for special effects in connection with the Sanitec integration – amounted to CHF 696.2 million (previous year CHF 654.2 million). The employees can also 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 men and women are embedded in the corporate philosophy. The proportion of female employees at the end of 2016 was 24% (previous year 25%), and for senior management this figure was 9% (previous year 8%). Since 2016, the six-member Board of Directors now has a female member once again.

The capital of tomorrow

Geberit employed 233 apprentices at the end of 2016 (previous year 255). The transfer rate to a permanent employment relationship was 75% (previous year 64%). The target is 75%. All apprentices are essentially required 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 also have the option of working abroad for a period of six months on completion of their apprenticeship. Such apprenticeship programmes took participants to the US, India and South Africa.

The two-stage Potentials Management Programme continues to be held. The aim is to selectively identify talents throughout the company and support them along their path to middle or senior management. Initial experience of managerial or project management responsibility are part of this. The problems investigated in project work as part of the programme are geared towards the reality at the company and provide the decision-makers involved with concrete bases for action. The Potentials programme is intended to help fill at least half of all vacant managerial positions within the company with internal candidates. In 2016, this was achieved for 88% of all Group management vacancies (previous year 40%).

Fair and uniform conditions for all

The standard Performance Assessment, Development and Compensation (PDC) process has been in place since 2012. This standardised process enables the company to gain an overview of the available potential. PDC has several goals: to reinforce the performance culture, increase transparency and better identify and promote talents. Except for the employees who work directly in the production processes, all employees of the original Geberit Group have now been incorporated into the PDC process. The circle of participants is currently being extended to include the managers of the former Sanitec. PDC in practice means that the individual performance as well as the potential for future development are assessed by several supervisors. The direct supervisor then has to give employees feedback on their performance, development and compensation. As regards compensation, the standardised job assessments used throughout the Group provide a solid reference system.

Group-wide survey carried out

84% of the employees took part in the Group-wide survey carried out in the reporting year. This encouraging response rate shows that the employees are prepared and willing to participate in the development of the company.

A very good sign is that more than 80% of the employees are positive or at least neutral about the integration, even though such processes always go hand in hand with much personal uncertainty. The survey also revealed cultural differences between the original Geberit and the acquired Sanitec units, and confirmed that the integrated organisation has some way to go until it is really one company.

Since October, the local Geberit companies have been discussing the survey results and evaluating and implementing measures in all areas flagged for action by the feedback from the employees.

Identity and Code of Conduct consolidated

Geberit aims to act as a role model for ethically unimpeachable, environmentally friendly and socially res­ponsible operations. In this regard, the Geberit 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 Geberit Code of Conduct for employees serve as the applicable guidelines (see also Compliance). The Compass, together with a letter from the CEO, was delivered to all employees of the new, enlarged Geberit Group at the end of 2015.

Focus on occupational safety

Geberit’s vision is to be an accident-free company. The extension of the production network following the integration of the Sanitec plants and the resulting increase in staff numbers led to the adjustment of the targets in 2015. 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 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).

The accident frequency dropped to 9.8 in 2016 (previous year 11.4), a reduction of 14.0%. In contrast, the accident severity increased by 1.6% to 209 in the same period (previous year 206). In the reporting year, many optimisation measures were implemented at the different plants (see also Production), all of which play a central role in occupational safety. Special attention continues to be paid to changes in behaviour, as the majority of occupational accidents and time lost are still attributable to carelessness. Occupational safety has been part of the annual appraisal of plant managers since 2013.