“Dear friends” – that’s how most e-mails 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 this remains the case in the future, 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 for all Sika national subsidiaries around the world, 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 Code of Conduct digital training program continued to be introduced throughout the company, as was the misconduct reporting system, the Sika TrustLine. Over 7,000 employees worldwide underwent compliance training and education in 2018. Leaders, including Senior Managers, General Managers, and Executive Management members in over 100 countries, reinforced their role model status by signing a compliance commitment.

Employees – the key to success

The number of employees rose 8.5% during the year under review to 20,060 (previous year: 18,484). Regional distribution is as follows: EMEA: 8,816 (previous year: 8,368), Americas: 4,147 (previous year: 4,048), Asia/Pacific: 3,931 (previous year: 3,858), Global Business: 2,472 (previous year: 1,522), and Corporate Services: 694 (previous year: 688).

In 2018, 1,190 new employees joined Sika as a result of acquisitions. Organic growth also added a further 386 employees to the company headcount.

The age structure at Sika is broadly balanced: 15% of employees are under 30 years of age and 25% over 50. Sika wants to offer its staff long-term prospects with the company. Over 95% of employees have permanent employment contracts.

Together, the workforce generated a net added value of CHF 2,264 million in 2018 (previous year: CHF 2,092 million). This corresponds to net added value per employee of CHF 117,000 (previous year: CHF 117,000).

Interesting prospects across the globe

Sika has a local presence in over 100 countries and its products are available worldwide. The company is growing rapidly, and is 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 or with managers joining from acquisitions. The long-term employee prospects and the corporate culture are among the reasons behind Sika’s low fluctuation rate of 6.9% (2017: 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 high implementation 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 11.5 million (previous year: CHF 10.7 million) on employee development. The aim is to provide at least ten hours of training per year for each employee. In 2018, this figure stood at 16.8 hours (previous year: 12.9 hours). The focus is on external, as well as in-house training opportunities. In addition, Sika is expanding the e-learning platform, with now more than 320 internal trainings available.

Geared towards 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 knowhow 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 salesoriented. 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 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.

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. SikaConnect was also 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 was introduced and made available to all countries. In 2018, the Sika social media channels numbered around 140,000 followers. LinkedIn remained the most popular channel, with some 89,000 followers.