Jovana Uzelac, Direktorka ljudskih resursa kompanije Nestlé za jugoistočno evropsko tržište

Business culture of Switzerland – values that ensure long-term success

How would you describe the business culture of Switzerland?

We say "like a Swiss watch" for a reason. It is this accuracy, organization, long-term planning that I would point out as the main features of Swiss culture. These are followed by respect for diversity stemming from their tradition of multilingualism and multiculturalism, and it is these values ​​that strongly influence the business culture underpinning Nestlé, the largest food company in the world. Diversity and inclusion, and above all respect for them, are an integral part of Nestlé culture, regardless of the geographical area in which it operates. I would also emphasize transparency, as well as two-way communication, as this type of dialogue gives room to our employees to express their opinion and to influence changes.


What is the common denominator of our business cultures?

The primary constituents of our company’s culture are its employees. Work ethic, responsibility, planning, non-hierarchically established system are the main business codes of our company. Also, caring for family and family members is what Nestlé culture is known for. Our employees can always openly ask for help, teamwork is in place, we provide them with additional education for everything that would contribute to their everyday business life, and we generally strive to make work a pleasure, not a burden. What goes without saying in Nestlé is that we respect the diversity of every kind, and a team made up of the most diverse profiles is both the most efficient and the most proficient.


What are the key differences you would single out?

Differences can be most strikingly singled out by foreigners working with us, and they describe us as hardworking, adaptable, persistent, dedicated and temperamental. What sets us apart from other Nestlé companies in Western Europe is the greater number of females in managerial positions.


Which candidate profile would be appropriate in Swiss business culture? Can we make a generalization for different positions?

The long-term success of a company certainly depends primarily on its ability to attract, develop and retain the right and best employees. Nestlé attaches great importance to the business culture and grounds its success on employees, and we treat each other with respect and dignity and expect all employees to promote a sense of personal responsibility and open communication and cooperation. Competent and motivated people who respect our values, such as respect for ourselves, for others, for diversity, are certainly candidate profiles that can easily and quickly fit into our company. Taking personal initiative, flexibility, willingness to change, being quick to learn and acquire new skills, and authenticity are values ​​ I consider relevant. In addition to experienced, we also have very young teams as we also give opportunities for employment without much previous work experience, as well as the opportunity to advance. This is evidenced by 46 percent of "Millennials" in the company, and an increasing number of "Generation Z" members.


What do I need to know if I want to work for a Swiss company?

I describe our environment as dynamic, pleasant, but working. Our goal is to provide a workplace culture that creates equal opportunities for all, where people are treated with respect. If you work in our company, you can gain a lot of knowledge through mentoring programs, coaching, digital academies, and through constant work on innovations in all fields that are also the goal of our business. Our employees would say that Nestlé is like an "additional school" in their professional development, which is a vivid description of the policy of our work style.