MAKING OUR LIVES BETTER
FRIENDLY WORK SPACE FOR A MULTICULTURAL TEAM
Who doesn’t enjoy a massage? Well, luckily for Micarna’s 1,400 employees in Courtepin, they can treat themselves to an on-site massage, completely free of charge. Micarna is one of the largest meat producers in Switzerland, selling its wares primarily to the large food retailer Migros, but to several other companies, too. “The work is physically demanding because it involves moving heavy loads around, often in cold conditions”, explains Véronique Rolle, HR Director at Micarna. “This is why we have long made health promotion a priority, and we now work with specially trained ergonomics coaches.” The number of physical ailments among the workforce has fallen dramatically and occupational safety is even better than before. Nonetheless, Micarna is not content to rest on its laurels. The next issue it has pledged to tackle is psychological stress. Unsurprisingly, the company has been officially named a “Friendly Work Space”. This label is awarded to employers who have shown outstanding commitment to workplace health management.
This is not the only award bestowed on the company. It also received the canton of Fribourg’s “Migration and Employment” prize for its Maflü programme. Devised in response to the refugee crisis, Maflü was a pilot project aimed at offering refugees an opportunity to gain work experience. This is followed up with work placements, language courses and pre-apprenticeships. “Within the next couple of years, our first intake of refugees is set to complete their apprenticeships with us”, Rolle notes. Micarna has since made the pilot a permanent programme, and former refugees are now part of a workforce that boasts some 70 nationalities. “A major factor in its success has been the excellent collaboration we enjoy with the canton.”
At Micarna, apprentices are also given a great deal of responsibility early on, “As part of our Mazubi programme, they run their own firm within the larger Micarna operation, which includes managing the budget, turnover and quality control.” The trainees, though, are by no means the sole beneficiaries, “Our apprentices have been behind the launch of a host of innovative products. Every year, the new hires arrive with their own set of fresh ideas!”
It is not only the apprentices, refugees and the workforce in general who reap the rewards of Micarna’s commitment and dedication. Consumers benefit from great-tasting, quality products, too.