“Dear friends” – that’s how most emails at Sika begin. Many employees describe the work atmosphere as informal and uncomplicated. The Sika corporate culture combined with the skills and expertise of our workforce is what defines the Sika Spirit and consistently produces new record results. To ensure that this remains the case in future too, employees are assured the best possible conditions.

Shared values as a strong foundation and basis of the growth strategy

Customer First, Courage for Innovation, Sustainability & Integrity, Empowerment & Respect, and Manage for Results are the defining elements of our company. These values and principles serve as a compass at all Sika national subsidiaries around the globe and are applied by our employees. Thus the Group’s culture of trust, transparency, and openness has a firm global foundation that is lived out in practice. Sika’s 2020 growth targets describe what is being done, the corporate values how this is being achieved.

Ethical conduct as a cornerstone of reputation

The company is actively committed to ethical conduct and integrity as the strategic cornerstones on which Sika’s excellent reputation is founded. Numerous compliance initiatives were conducted in the year under review, owing to the strong growth experienced by Sika as a result of the takeover of large companies, the establishment of new national subsidiaries, and fast-growing business activities in challenging markets. Accompanied by a large-scale international compliance campaign designed to promote integrity awareness, a new digital training program on the Code of Conduct was widely introduced throughout the company, as was the misconduct reporting system, the Sika TrustLine. Worldwide over 5,000 employees underwent compliance training and education in 2017. Leaders including senior managers, general managers, and executive management members in the 100 countries reinforced their role model status by signing a multi-year compliance commitment.

Employees – the key to success

The number of employees rose 6.1% during the year under review to 18,484 (previous year: 17,419). Regional distribution is as follows: EMEA: 9,822 (previous year: 9,083), North America: 2,142 (previous year: 1,818), Latin America: 2,479 (previous year: 2,349), Asia/Pacific: 4,041 (previous year: 4,169). In 2017, 901 new employees joined Sika as a result of acquisitions. Organic growth also added a further 164 employees to the company headcount. The age structure at Sika is broadly balanced: 15% of employees are under 30 years of age and 24% over 50. Sika wants to offer its staff long-term prospects with the company. Over 96% of employees have permanent employment contracts.
Together, the workforce generated a net added value of CHF 2,092 million in 2017 (previous year: CHF 1,935 million). This corresponds to net added value per employee of CHF 117,000 (previous year: CHF 112,000).

Interesting prospects across the globe

Sika has a local presence in over 100 countries and its products are available worldwide. The company is growing fast and able to offer employees adaptable career paths as opposed to rigid development plans. With its culture of flexibility and trust in talents, Sika creates and nurtures individual career opportunities and increasingly champions international mobility. Internal candidates are given preference. In recent years, for instance, some 300 employees were promoted to new positions and 100% of Sika senior management roles were filled in-house. The longterm employee prospects and the corporate culture are among the reasons behind Sika’s low fluctuation rate of 6.2% (2016: 6.2%). Sika is proud to have employees who remain with the company a long time and contribute their know-how and experience over a lengthy period.

By building an employer brand and introducing related measures focusing on digital communication, Sika is further enhancing its reputation as an employer of choice. The external recruitment strategy is aimed predominantly at hiring and developing young talents, increasing the quota of female employees, and attracting more candidates from emerging economies.

Learning for long-term success

Sika is growing rapidly and posting record results. As a multinational, the company is still able to act as fast as a medium-sized enterprise and respond to business opportunities with highimplementation speeds. To ensure that this remains the case, employee know-how must be kept in sync with current trends and market demands. In the year under review, Sika spent CHF 10.7 million (previous year: CHF 9.9 million) on employee development. The aim is to provide at least ten hours training per year for each employee. In 2017, this figure stood at 12.9 hours (previous year: 12.4 hours). The focus is on external as well as in-house training opportunities.

Geared to a strategy of sustainable growth, the programs offered by the Sika Business School comprise leadership and talent development, sales training, digital learning, and special academies. The more than 100 courses on offer in the year under review were attended by 1,600 participants. The 29 training programs conducted for existing and upcoming managers were designed to further foster management and leadership know-how and, among other objectives, prepare them for assignments abroad.

To promote the development of sales skills within the company, sales and marketing training was expanded to include new courses on negotiating tactics and key project management. Approximately half of all Sika Business School courses are sales-oriented. Furthermore, many training courses on Sika products and their applications take place at local and regional level. The company’s expertise in advising customers is thus fostered further. The range of online courses available was also increased significantly. Over 200 new programs were implemented, and more than 2,000 training hours completed online.

Digital communication platform

Driven by the Internet, real and virtual worlds are growing increasingly into an Internet of Things. In the year under review, Sika made further headway with the wide-scale integration of employees, customers, and business partners into business, value creation, and communication processes. Internal and external digital media therefore play a crucial role in shaping Sika’s corporate culture. This not only applies to innovation management, recruitment, and training, but also extends to everyday communication, whether at the workplace or off-site.

In 2017, Sika pressed ahead with the worldwide launch of its state-of-the-art intranet platform SikaWorld, designed to promote the global transfer of knowledge. Every country where Sika is present has access to the platform and around 60 national subsidiaries publish their own regional content. In the year under review, SikaConnect was transferred to the cloud, the global tool for worldwide internal collaboration. Thanks to these two digital workplaces, the global transfer of know-how is faster and more straightforward. In the process of implementing a sophisticated online communication strategy, a social media management tool available in all countries was introduced. In 2017, the Sika social media channels numbered around 90,000 regular users. LinkedIn remained the most popular channel, with some 60,000 followers.