Focus on our workplace culture

With an employee survey in April 2021, the nursery network globegarden will participate in "GREAT PLACE TO WORK" for the first time this year. Silke Bührmann, regional and departmental head of education, explains why workplace culture is central to globegarden and what participation in "Great Place to Work" means for employees. 

Ms. Bührmann, globegarden will be participating in GREAT PLACE TO WORK for the first time in 2020/21. How did this come about?
Before we decided to participate in GREAT PLACE TO WORK in 2020, we had always been intensively involved with our culture in the years before. An appreciative, motivating and good workplace culture is created when employees receive responsibility and recognition, can trust their leaders, enjoy working together as a team and are proud to be part of the company. Reliability and trust in working with children, is essential and plays a major role in everyday pedagogical work.

For this reason, we have been conducting annual employee surveys for years, which give us a picture of the corporate culture at globegarden. The result of this survey was also the foundation for the definition of our Vision 2021. The GREAT PLACE TO WORK assessment thus offered the opportunity to determine where we are at this point. Furthermore - and much more importantly - the process enables us to once again engage intensively with our corporate and team culture together with our employees.

What are your goals concerning the participation?
The most important thing for us is to understand where we stand in terms of workplace culture - also in comparison to other national and international companies - and above all where we have weaknesses and the potential to improve. GREAT PLACE TO WORK will give us the opportunity to find out how our employees view globegarden as an employer, and this in a very comprehensive manner: the target is that over 80 percent of our employees participate in the survey.

What happens with the results?
The results of both the culture audit and the employee survey will provide us with valuable insights that we can use to further improve our workplace culture and internal framework conditions. They will also provide an impetus for discussions with our employees. In particular, the GREAT PLACE TO WORK approach of empowering employees has convinced us.

It is precisely because each globegarden in our network is so individual that the workplace culture of the teams is also often very different. Furthermore, at globegarden many people from different nations, religions and cultures work together in teams. Empowering these diverse individuals with the GREAT PLACE TO WORK approach, empowering them to determine and influence changes in their own team culture, making changes measurable and then sharing best practices across our organization is the right approach for us as a learning organization.

What would you like to achieve long-term with this project?
At globegarden, we have a unique, value-based and appreciative corporate culture - and I am sure that this will be reflected in the GREAT PLACE TO WORK program. Our long-term and qualitative orientation gives our employees security and a wide range of development perspectives. Despite our strong growth, we have remained a manageable family business with short decision-making processes - people know each other and cultivate an appreciative and very respectful interaction.

The most important thing about this project for us is to get an overall picture of our workplace culture and to see where we can further develop and improve. We want to measure ourselves against international standards in the area of workplace culture and then learn from each other with best practice sharing and thus remain innovative in what we do.

About Great Place to Work:
Great Place to Work is an internationally active consulting firm for workplace culture. It supports companies in understanding their culture and developing it further. In 2019, Great Place to Work worked with over 10,000 organizations worldwide. In Switzerland, Great Place to Work works with more than 100 organizations each year and supports them in developing their workplace culture. The GREAT PLACE TO WORK project consists of the Trust Index, a questionnaire to map the employee perspective, and the Culture Audit, which highlights the most important workplace culture measures, processes and policies.

Globegarden will participate in the GREAT PLACE TO WORK certification for the first time in 2021 and, as part of the certification, will have company wide trainings and workshops on workplace culture, trust and empowerment and conduct an external survey of all employees throughout Switzerland in April 2021.

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