In May 2021, in the middle of both a phase of restructuring and the pandemic, the Civil Engineering division launched a campaign to say thank you. It is no coincidence. Why the videos are only part of the movement and what cultural change they are intended to support across the Group.
YOU MATTER! People are the most important factor in everything Implenia does. No project can be planned and above all implemented without the hard work of many; no result can be achieved without the support of a wide range of teams. Although we all know this, and are generally grateful for the contribution others make, in the rush of everyday life we often forget to put it into words.
Evolutionary biology tells us that the human brain is wired to weight threatening messages much more strongly than good ones. This negativity distortion influences our perception and means that we spend much more time chewing over one-off criticism than enjoying praise. And it is precisely because the negative is so dominant that it is so important that we remind ourselves repeatedly of the positives and support one another in doing so. That is the idea behind You Matter!, the Group-wide campaign initiated by the Civil Engineering division that invites colleagues at all levels to share what they appreciate about others.
They have always been able to in person, of course, but now they also have the opportunity via the YOU MATTER! platform. By video, like Alois Rumo and his team colleagues, who have thanked Gabriel Baeriswyl for his outstanding work as their boss and for always motivating them to give their best. Or in writing, like Dominik Jakoby, who has thanked Lukas Eger for bringing him to this great company through the Employees recruit new employees scheme.
The campaign is intended to encourage people to praise their colleagues, just as they might do on social media like LinkedIn, for example. To do this, it provides a platform for people to upload short videos or images with text. What we want is not perfection, but authenticity: it’s the taking part that counts. Having started in Civil Engineering, YOU MATTER! is now being rolled out across the group.
Dozens of posts have already been put online, several of them by Christian Späth, Head Division Civil Engineering, who explains the idea behind the campaign: “We rely on the colleagues we work with. We value the dedication and motivation of every single one. And we want to put that into words.”
The yellow speech bubbles can be spotted all over the place: on the screens at the new Connect headquarters, on posters and stickers at construction sites and in offices, even on the mugs that all the staff in the Civil Engineering division received in the summer. And of course in the various videos.
Although the videos themselves are an important part of the campaign, they are not the goal in itself, explains Change Manager Mark Lauzon: “The Civil Engineering division has undergone huge changes recently. As always in such cases, this has led to some uncertainty. In a phase like this, it is especially important that every single individual senses that they are needed and valued. That it is important they are there. That they count.”
«Nothing is stronger than open, sincere praise.»
Mark Lauzon, Change Manager
The posters, stickers and videos are not an end in themselves. Their primary aim is to remind people not to forget about the interpersonal level. “In general, we do not praise people enough in our working environment,” says Mark Lauzon. “The tone in the construction industry is often coarse – if no-one says anything negative, it is considered praise. But this attitude means that we are missing a huge opportunity – and that is what we want to change.”
The Change Manager goes on to explain exactly what that opportunity is: “Life is full of encounters. If our meetings with a wide range of people are positive, we gain energy from them. Nothing is stronger than open, sincere praise. One kind word leads to the next; good collaboration makes work seem easier. If we make an effort to maintain this positive tone, we will gradually improve our immediate working environment. That benefits all of us, both at work and beyond.”