Taking action for the employees

Three bakery employees.

Taking action for the employees

In addition to offering an insurance for daily sickness benefits, Zurich assists SME in taking preventive measures. This is an interesting process, as can be seen from the example of John Baker, a bakery based in Zurich.

John Baker is the epitome of a trendsetter. The Zurich-based bakery returned to traditional methods even before sustainability became fashionable. Instead of using bread mixes and industrial yeast, John Baker opts for sustainable ingredients, all of which are either organic or Demeter-certified products. 

Another difference is the dough proofing. The dough is given a lot of time to rise. The shopping experience, too, is matchless. When entering one of the two locations, you enter the actual bakehouse. Customers can watch the bakers while they do their work. No wonder that John Baker is considered Zurich’s "cult bakery".

John Baker was incepted by Jens Jung. After coming up with the idea of a sustainable organic bakery back in 1995, he founded the company with three friends in 2013. Today they run the two bakeries John Baker and Jung & Jung AG with a total of 120 employees at two locations in Zurich (Stadelhofen and Helvetiaplatz) and four additional points of sale.

Focus on the employees

John Baker’s human resource management is also sustainable. "We want our employees to feel that we value them," says Chigme König, HR Manager. However, that is easier said than done, especially in a business where everything happens in plain sight. "Our business model is demanding. We have people from a plethora of professions and backgrounds. Plus, consider the production pressure. All of this can cause difficulties," says König.

Insurance partner from the outset: Zurich

An external perspective can be beneficial. For this reason, the HR Manager cooperated with Rebecca Schuler, Corporate Health Consultant at Zurich Switzerland, in initiating a change process. Zurich has been John Baker’s insurance from the outset and also coaches the bakery in the field of corporate health management.

Workshops to promote personal initiative

The defined objective is to boost the employee satisfaction, thereby reducing the fluctuation rate and promoting personal initiative. For example, this is done with the help of regular workshops that John Baker conducts with its employees in collaboration with Schuler.

This is a win-win situation. "Evidence has shown that companies in which the employees are satisfied and are able to be creative experience fewer sickness-related absences. That is something we all benefit from," says Schuler.

Of course, such a process does not end on a specific day. "This is a permanent task. Obviously, it requires a lot of commitment on the part of the management," says König. What is more, the points of contact need to be harmonious on both sides.

That is the case with John Baker and Zurich Switzerland. Though the process stagnated last year due to the corona crisis, there is no reason to worry. "We’ll get things going again," says König. Corporate Health Consultant Schuler expresses the same confidence: "It is wonderful to see how much attention John Baker pays to prevention and how much we have already achieved together."

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