An employee of GF Machining Solutions in Biel (Switzerland).

Our employees

Motivated employees are crucial to the success of a company. GF relies on the commitment of its employees. To promote their engagement, GF offers various perspectives and opportunities for their development.

Company Culture

Cultivating shared values

As an internationally operating company, GF employs 14’678 staff worldwide in 33 different countries from several cultures and ethnic groups. GF welcomes employee diversity as a valuable source of creativity and innovation. In order to create a common basis for global cooperation, GF has defined five corporate values (see box below). They form the foundation of the corporate culture and are taught to employees in training courses. In this way, GF creates a culture of mutual respect and cultivates an atmosphere of openness, trust and team spirit.

More than 1’000 people – employees and partners – participated in the GF Charity event “Walk for Water” and raised money for a good purpose.
At the Lausanne Marathon (Switzerland) in October, 65 employees from all the European sites of GF Machining Solutions demonstrated tremendous team spirit, adopting the motto “Run as one team” for the marathon.

Beyond borders

At GF, employees have the opportunity to acquire professional and life experience in different cultural environments over the course of their careers. GF encourages the exchange of exceptionally talented employees across national and cultural borders. Expats and inpats are able to gain the skills necessary to assume global responsibilities within the company and acquire an understanding of other cultures, customs and traditions.

Long-term international assignments per year and region

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Modern working environment

Attractive employer

Promoting employees and job satisfaction is a high priority throughout GF. In addition to offering modern employment conditions, GF focuses on providing an innovative working environment that strengthen open communication and efficient cooperation, while still making it possible for employees to withdraw on their own to do concentrated work. Last year, GF invested in modern workplaces in Romania, Japan, and at its Swiss sites in Biel and Schaffhausen.

Modern workplaces at GF Machining Solutions in Biel.

Modern workplaces at GF Machining Solutions in Biel.

Modern workplaces at GF Machining Solutions in Biel.

Coworking space at GF Piping Systems in Schaffhausen.

Bright office spaces at GF Piping Systems in Schaffhausen.

Inauguration of the new office building in Romania.

Employees
per Division

in % (100% = 14’678)

2019
2018

Employees
per region

in % (100% = 14’678)

2019
2018

Compensation & Talent Management

Fair compensation models

GF applies the same four principles of compensation to the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and all employees. Compensation should be fair and transparent, performance-related, long-term oriented and in line with the market. To this end, GF works with modern function evaluation models that permit internal and external comparisons. These models take into account factors such as experience, responsibility and competences. GF attaches great importance to avoiding any form of salary discrimination.

Promoting skills and expertise

For employees at management level, GF follows the Management by Objectives (MbO) approach. Annual targets are set in a target agreement at the beginning of the year, and target achievement is monitored over the course of the year by both the employee and its manager. This process is designed to promote employees’ skills and competencies and strengthen their sense of personal responsibility.

Finding highly qualified talents

GF attaches great importance to the search for up-and-coming talents. GF participates in professional and student fairs around the world to introduce itself to students and graduates of universities and applied science universities as a modern employer offering attractive career prospects. Students also have the chance to get to know GF better as a potential employer at a number of different events.

GF works with universities and technical colleges around the world, including China. Students have the opportunity to do internships or to write their bachelor’s or master’s theses (BA or MA) within the framework of challenging GF projects or case studies. GF maintains partnerships with top technical universities in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Australia. New cooperations have been established with the Harvey Mudd University in Southern California (USA) and the University of Lugano (Switzerland).

The Capital Market Day for analysts and journalists gave students insights into the current status of GF’s innovation strategy.
At the exhibition Die & Mould China in Shanghai.

Education at GF

Training our own specialists

GF employs 446 apprentices worldwide, giving them the opportunity to launch their careers within a global company. A good example is the trainee program especially developed in 2017 for technical customer service at GF Machining Solutions in Lincolnshire, Illinois (USA). This initiative has met with a strong positive response, as the USA does not have an officially recognized apprenticeship system like in Switzerland and other European countries.

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Design Thinking training in Schaffhausen for employees from all over the world.

GF supports and promotes its employees throughout their careers through targeted development and training programs. The GF Academy formulates the company-wide range of training measures and programs and is responsible for their implementation. The offerings address employees from all divisions and regions and are aimed at supporting them in acquiring and further developing professional and social skills. For 15 years now, all new employees have been introduced to Stephen Covey’s “Seven habits of highly effective people” (nicknamed the “7 habits”) in a training course. The 4DX method (4 Disciplines of Execution) teaches employees important skills that help them successfully implement the corporate strategy. The topic of innovation is to be promoted through regular training sessions on “Design Thinking.”

Employee trainings at GF 2019

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Women at GF

GF wants to increase the proportion of women in management positions. Two women hold appointments to the Board of Directors, the company’s highest management level. When filling vacant management positions, where internal candidates are usually preferred, attention is paid to include at least one woman on the shortlist. Women are also increasingly occupying line management functions. To help enable female employees to continue their careers, for several years now, GF in Switzerland has voluntarily granted all expectant mothers a job guarantee of twelve months from the date of birth in a comparable position, which exceeds the requirements of the collective employment agreement. In other countries, GF is also endeavoring to find economically viable and sensible solutions along these lines, taking legal frameworks into account.

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