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Minimizing employee turnover is a core HR objective for SGS, as with other large skills-based companies.

Within SGS Madagascar, the turnover of administrative and finance roles was notably higher than in other roles. We discovered that stress – linked to deadlines, management styles and operational pressures – was a contributory factor. In particular, we found that some employees within the Government and Institutions Advanced Cargo Information (GIS ACI) department were suffering from a high exposure to risks associated with SGS Code of Integrity (Code) violations, such as corruption, and this was contributing to their anxiety.

In September 2017, the HR team integrated stress management training into its annual employee integrity training on the Code. A one-day training course was held at every work site and attended by 173 employees. Participants were encouraged to share their experiences in groups and to discuss challenges they faced and how to overcome them. The training proved to be a useful team building exercise and resulted in employees reporting increased levels of confidence in their ability to raise issues of concern related to the Code with their managers.

In 2018, we will organize training for managers to help them reduce, identify and manage stress within their teams by improving lines of communication and ensuring that employees receive adequate support in managing their roles and their workloads. We are also planning to conduct a survey to inform our strategy for retaining high potential employees.