Speeches by Christian Brunier
12.00 am - 01.00 pm
01.00 am - 02.00 pm
01.00 am - 02.00 pm
SIG was named best Swiss-Romand employer of 2018 by Bilan Magazine, largely due to the dramatic changes Mr. Brunier made to the culture of the company since he took the helm in 2014.
The thought process which led to the transformational planned called EquiLibre started with a smartphone. When one of his IT managers came to him to discuss how smartphones were impacting work, Brunier realized it was time to rethink the way the whole company worked, from where to when to how. He introduced the notion of “distributed work”: the way a collaborator works based on the best space (office, home, other), the best time to complete his tasks, and the best way to work. Time tracking was virtually eliminated, people were given up to 2 days a week to work outside the office, and the “silos” that physically separated people based on the product they worked on were removed to create aesthetically pleasing, open workspaces, including foosball tables to encourage collaboration. Relaxation rooms, nurseries, fitness centers and other facilities were created to encourage employees to be happier at work!
This was not just paying homage to the latest trends in some of the bigger companies riding the happiness train to lure talent. Brunier backed this up with a real culture of trust, compassion and empathy. Autonomy and responsibility were given to teams to create their own work rhythms and environments. As long as productivity is up, no one at SIG is checking what time you come or go.
While it took a few years for the majority of the staff to be completely convinced, Brunier says, “Today, there is no going back.” Besides being a great place to work, productivity has increased and costs have gone down. The hardest challenge, says Brunier, was to get buy-in from the managerial class. Managing on the basis of trust was foreign to many supervisors, more used to the “carrot and whip” approach to management. Today, SIG is a model for many companies interested in improving work-life balance for their teams as well as increasing productivity.