Togetherness comes first

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First-class employer: Scientist Irene Ferretto appreciates Empa’s good emp
First-class employer: Scientist Irene Ferretto appreciates Empa’s good employment conditions and the fact that equal opportunities are promoted. Image: Empa

According to a survey conducted by Handelszeitung, Le Temps and Statista, an independent market research institute, Empa is considered the best employer in Switzerland in the category "Education and Research"; overall, Empa ranked 24th out of 250 institutions that made it on the final list. The recognition confirms the good corporate culture at the research institute.

"Empa - The Place where Innovation Starts" is the slogan of the research institute. The extent to which Empa is also innovative as an employer is demonstrated by this year’s "Best Employers in Switzerland" award. To evaluate a total of 250 Swiss companies and institutions, Handelszeitung, the French-speaking Swiss daily Le Temps and the independent market research institute Statista conducted an online survey of more than 7000 employees between May and July 2020. These worked for a total of more than 1,500 Swiss companies (with more than 200 employees), of which the top 250 were included in the final ranking.

A key aspect of the survey was the willingness of the respective respondents to recommend their employer to others. This was determined on the basis of various criteria, such as cooperation and the behavior of superiors, salary, the overall conditions and the equipment and infrastructure at work. Moreover, they were asked to recommend other employers in the same sector. This resulted in the top ranking for Empa in the "Education and Research" category.

Especially in times of home office and video conferencing, an external, independent survey among employees provides an important mood gauge. "The challenge for Empa is to continue to maintain the culture of cooperation and a team spirit, even if personal interactions are no longer possible and competition for external research funding is likely to become tougher in view of the tight financial situation," says Urs Leemann, Head of the Corporate Services Department at Empa. After all, the outstanding research results that are the basis for Empa’s good reputation are produced in teams and through intense interpersonal exchange.

However, it is not only cutting-edge research that makes Empa’s reputation. Whether scientists, technical and administrative staff or apprentices - for all employees, the atmosphere at work likewise plays a crucial role. Over the years, an open, trust-based leadership and corporate culture has become firmly established at Empa, emphasizes André Schmid, Empa’s Head of Human Resources: "This enables open, constructive collaboration at all levels, which is ultimately also the basis for innovation. We’ve been cultivating and developing this corporate culture for years, whether in personnel development, leadership trainings, work-life balance, or simply in everyday work." And that, of course, makes a lasting contribution to the fact that employees enjoy working at Empa and are happy to recommend it as an employer.