Hey Ben, What do you do at Great Place to Work?
I am responsible for marketing and communication at Great Place to Work® Switzerland. This includes the content on the website, brochures, social media posts - and of course the monthly newsletter. I'm also the contact person for media inquiries and help to bring in the marketing perspective on topics like product development or process design.
How and when did you come to Great Place to Work?
I joined Great Place to Work in March 2019. Before that I was employed by JobCloud, the operator of jobs.ch and jobup.ch, and so I dived into the HR world. But because I wanted to do a master's degree and had to reduce my workload, I could no longer work there. So I was looking for a new job that was compatible with my studies. I took a short detour in the financial sector, but quickly realized that this was not for me. A friend of mine then pointed out the job opening at Great Place to Work and said that it was exactly what I was looking for. She was right: it worked out right away!
And does the name of the company keep its promises? ;-)
Definitely! We also carry out our internal survey every year and see what points need to be improved and what points need to be retained. Sure, there are always things that need to be adjusted, but that's what makes it so special for me: For me, a Great Place to Work is open to new ideas, is in a constant state of change and tries to improve its workplace culture. And that, I think, is what we do brilliantly!
What makes an employer a Great Place to Work for you?
Phew, there is a lot to it. But the bottom line is that you like to work where you are and what you are doing. Here's an anecdote: where I grew up, I always had to take the bus and train to work. Every morning to work, every evening back. And if not on the bus, then at the latest on the train, you could hear someone complaining about their job. How deep their motivation was to go to work. And if not in the morning, then in the evening at the latest. That's not a great employer, for example. But when you hear someone tell you how great it is at work, or how proud you feel about your work, or how well the managers take care of you, or how strong the teamwork is - then I think you can already talk about a great employer. After all, it's all about the employees. They are the most important "asset" of an organization. When they feel good, they are not only more motivated and do a better job, but also actively contribute suggestions and improvements or even innovations.
A Great Place to Work has a lot to do with workplace culture. What does workplace culture mean to you?
Workplace culture is the result of people interacting with each other in the workplace. A workplace culture always exists. But its form depends very much on how people interact with each other. If they show mutual care, support each other and treat each other with respect, this will also be reflected in the workplace culture. It is therefore at least as important as how managers behave. They set the standard for accepted behavior in the workplace. In a sense, they set the guard rails for the range of employee behavior. If they are impudent and rough in their behavior, this will also be reflected in the workplace culture. And the same applies if they are supportive and appreciative. Personally, I think workplace culture is so important because it is one of the reasons why I like going to work.
Why should companies concern themselves with their workplace culture?
A workplace culture can be the reason why a company is successful. Employees go to work every day and do their best, not because they have to, but because they want to. Because it fulfils their work. Because they can achieve something with their work, because the work gives meaning. Last but not least, this also creates new innovations within the company for the company. A well-known example of the power of workplace culture is Gmail. This Google product was not developed through a planned product development process. It was developed because an employee wanted to invest time and develop his idea - and because Google's workplace culture gave him the opportunity to do so.
How does your contribution to a better workplace culture look like?
On the one hand, I always try to raise awareness for the development of the workplace culture with exciting and important topics. For example, by producing white papers on leadership quality or by showing the positive monetary effects of an excellent workplace culture. On the other hand, I try to positively shape our internal workplace culture. As a passionate hobby baker, I occasionally bring fresh bread, muffins or suchlike with me. At the same time I know that I can trust every person in our team and that I can return this trust. Whenever there are conflicts, I address them proactively and openly in order to resolve them and strengthen interpersonal relationships.
What makes you an expert in workplace culture?
On the one hand, I bring a lot of experience from the HR world, where I have dealt with issues related to the application process of candidates. This has also given me a lot of knowledge and expertise in employer branding. As part of my master's degree, I also focused on corporate culture and change management. And of course I learn something new about workplace culture every day from my team colleagues. This combination makes me an expert - but one who likes to pass on his knowledge.