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Success Story

How Schindler Group elevated performance in its corporate culture

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March 12, 2019

In order to deliver on its goal of being the best service provider in the industry, Schindler Group sought to evolve to a more performance-driven culture with the help of Willis Towers Watson.

Schindler Group at a glance

  • Family-owned business for 145 years
  • Headquartered in Switzerland
  • 64,000 employees in over 100 countries (60% field workers)

Vision: To be the best service provider in the industry

In order to deliver on its goal of being the best service provider in the industry, Schindler Group sought to evolve to a more performance-driven culture. They asked Willis Towers Watson for help.

Here’s how they did it, as told to us by David Clymo, Deputy CEO and Head of HR and Norma Hernandez, Head of Leadership Development & Learning.

The challenge:

Engage employees in a renewed company vision and bring them along the journey toward high performance in an authentic, sustainable way.

A series of leadership changes starting in 2014 resulted in a renewed emphasis on the company performing against objectives. But that was just the beginning. Schindler wanted to evolve to a broader measure of performance, which included increased attention to how results are delivered. And they wanted to evolve the measure of “top performer’’ to being a role model for behavior that’s reflective of the company values.

But they needed a benchmark to gauge progress on modernizing their workforce and making sure employees evolved with their vision. How would these changes be perceived by managers and employees and how could they create a unified culture of high performance?

Schindler developed strict standards for measuring high performance in their managers.

Graphic showing Schindler's success metrics for high-performance leadership and standards for measuring high performance in their managers

The approach:

Use existing Schindler Employee Engagement Survey (SEES) to monitor perceptions of and progress toward high performance.

Beginning in 2006, Willis Towers Watson developed a survey to assess Schindler’s employee engagement. Then, in 2014, a number of important changes were made to the survey to align with the company’s focus on high performance.

Graphic showing survey goals, survey design and KPIs, and survey changes

The results:

The survey helped Schindler assess and modify its approach to high-performance.

Survey goal: To exceed the high-performing company norms* on every level

Graphic showing the results from the Schindler 2018 employee engagement survey

Graphic showing how to achieve a high-performance culture

The Willis Towers Watson difference

According to David Clymo, some key advantages of working with Willis Towers Watson are:

  • A desire to evolve the whole process in a way that yields truly meaningful results
  • A proactive approach to providing ideas about how to improve the survey: “Willis Towers Watson really understood what we were trying to achieve and helped us design the survey accordingly”
  • The incorporation of action planning tools as a result, to actually address concerns of the survey so employees see they’re getting support for what they’ve indicated
  • The ability to manage the program on a local level (including delivering more than 100 results presentations to various teams around the world in less than four weeks)

Schindler’s decision to focus on performance, teamwork and behavior — combined with changes in how they measured performance and how they communicated these messages from the top — made people engage with the survey, and therefore engage with their roles and the company.

For more information on implementing an employee survey or listening strategy at your company, contact your local Willis Towers Watson consultant.

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