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Investment in people

We support the development of our employees and offer a flexible and inclusive work environment. We act responsibly towards and communicate openly with all employees and partners.

Sonova investment in people

Our 2022/23 priority goal

We will achieve >35% female representation in upper management by 2022/23.

Our approach

  • Professional career development: We develop our employees to higher levels of success with a systematic talent management process including a strategic approach to training, succession, and career planning.
  • Employee engagement: We foster employee engagement through a holistic Diversity & Inclusion strategy and other initiatives, such as the group-wide Body & Mind initiative.

Initiatives and programs

At Sonova, we foster a spirit in which shared engagement and personal responsibility are the driving forces for innovation. Inspired employees are our life-blood: with high agility and in self-dependent teams we work towards enhancing the quality of life of millions by bringing better hearing to people with hearing loss.

Our employees are key to our success

At Sonova, our employees contribute to something greater than themselves – they transform lives. We work to enhance the quality of life for millions of people by bringing better hearing to those with hearing loss. Our shared corporate values – innovation, engagement, and responsibility – shape the culture that defines and unites us as a company across all brands and regions.

Global trends such as demographic changes, a limited availability of specialist talent, and the need to adapt quickly to shifting markets highlight the importance of a proactive staffing strategy for Sonova. We strongly believe that developing talent with the goal of ensuring internal succession is vital to sustainable success. Appointing internally to key positions while retaining and developing skilled employees helps to ensure that Sonova’s specialist knowledge and intellectual property remain within the company, sustaining our competitive advantage.

Sonova prides itself on offering meaningful, interesting work, a transformational leadership style, and a feedback-oriented culture. By regularly reviewing the competencies, performance, potential, and career plans of our employees, we invest in the development of  each individual’s strengths. A fully integrated global talent management system supports all our activities through the complete career path.

Leadership is a critical factor for sustainable business success; we have therefore established a comprehensive leadership program. Through intensive feedback, coaching, and exercises we challenge our managers to become even more effective at leading and developing their employees, their teams, and their organizations.

Diversity and inclusion

Sonova has subsidiaries in over 30 countries and a workforce of over 14,000 dedicated employees representing a broad mix of experiences and backgrounds. We consider this diversity to be key to our success, since it fosters innovation and helps us understand our global customer base. All facets of diversity are important to us; we strive to create an inclusive environment where everyone – regardless of age, gender, language, ethnic origin, religion, culture, sexual orientation, or health status – can contribute and realize their full potential. Our commitment to diversity is recorded in our Code of Conduct and is binding for all our employees.

As the world’s largest hearing care provider, Sonova campaigns for equal opportunities and a better quality of life for people with hearing loss. It is our vision to create a world where everyone enjoys the delight of hearing and lives a life without limitations. By offering the most comprehensive range of solutions to treat all major forms of hearing loss, we aim for our customers to feel fully included in society. To help us reach this challenging goal, our workforce and work culture need to reflect the values of diversity and inclusion.

Building a diverse workforce 

Our employees bring different skills and characteristics to the table, depending on their age, gender, origins, and personal background. We are convinced that our success as a company largely depends on the extent to which we are able to realize the benefits of this diversity. A variety of perspectives is essential to best meet the many and various needs of our clients and to make a convincing case for the company over the long term with innovative products and services. We therefore make it a priority to recruit and develop a wide range of people who share our passion and bring in new skills, viewpoints, and experiences. To guarantee a balanced mix, we have a special focus on recruiting and promoting women and employees from different cultures in leadership and executive positions. By striving for gender balanced representation in filling open positions, we aim to achieve a 35% proportion of women in upper management within four years.

We actively support the compatibility of having a career and a family by promoting flexible working models, such as home offices, flexible working hours, and part time work in leadership positions. Our terms of employment guarantee our employees in Switzerland a number of additional family related benefits, including 16 weeks of maternity leave, two weeks of paternity leave, and the possibility of purchasing additional vacation time. In all our production sites, where shift work is standard, employees returning from maternity leave can choose to work at between 50% and 100% of their previous level during their first year back. We operate our own day care center at our headquarters in Stäfa and financially support lower-salary employees in Stäfa and in our production center in Vietnam to help pay for day care. We are proud that today, 48% of all positions involving staff responsibilities are held by women. In lower and middle management, the ratio of women is 55% – these are ideal conditions to reach our ambitious gender diversity targets in upper and senior management through professional succession planning and individual development plans.

Sonova also provides reasonable accommodation in its job application procedures for qualified individuals with disabilities, or to enable otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Advancing our culture of inclusion and innovation

Inclusion ias a foundation of our corporate culture, and  is an integral part of how we benefit from the diversity of our workforce: by embracing. We embrace the differences that make each of our employees exceptional. We are committed to creating a safe, positive, and nurturing work environment where all people feel valuedappreciated, respected, and heardtaken seriously. We are convinced that this promotes thoughtful and valuable dialog and fosters innovation.