In this episode, Tatiana Schnyder tells us how Nicomatic turned its organization around to create an "empowering" company. Behind this great concept, employees choose their raise, self-evaluate and manage their agenda on their own. "We have ideas and we want to deploy them. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But we tried" explains Tatiana. Nicomatic is a company where "you never get bored", where the HR team supports each employee in his or her self-fulfilment and the development of the team.
The guest of the Corporate Culture podcast
Tatiana Schnyder first trained in business and management in Paris. When she became HR/payroll manager at Cattin Filtration in 2013, she discovered a world that fascinated her and led her to complete her training in Geneva.
For almost two years, she has been in charge of human resources at Nicomatic, where HR plays a central role: the "empowering" company requires learning and support so that everyone can organize themselves and find their place in the group.
The "empowering" company: empowering to engage
It all starts with a trip to India. Julien Nicollin, manager of Nicomatic, a manufacturer of micro-connectors in Bons-en-Chablais (Haute-Savoie), realizes with the distance how much the hierarchy causes communication problems within the company. "He said to himself that if he has trouble getting information internally, it must be even worse for the customers," explains Tatiana Schnyder, HR manager for the past two years at Nicomatic.
The leader then learns about the "empowering" business model, and in 2010, the family-owned company founded in 1976 transforms its organization. It drastically reduced the number of levels: since 2012, the company has gone from 15 managers for 150 employees to 2 managers for 220 employees. The objective is "to give employees the opportunity to make decisions in line with the company's strategy". An organization based on two pillars: individual responsibility and collective freedom.
Collective freedom means more autonomy and flexibility. "That's simple, you grow with it, but the responsibility is not the same: there is more pressure" says Tatiana Schnyder. At Nicomatic, the employee does not clock in or out. They manage their own schedule, objectives and projects. This freedom requires individual responsibility "because we have a job, a client, and we participate in a collective that offers us this freedom".
Tatiana is aware that this particular organization requires learning and HR support: "We have to take out of the group those who are capable of making a decision" she explains.
Human Resources, pillars of a liberated organization
Tatiana Schnyder tells us that adapting to a company like Nicomatic is neither simple nor for everyone. In the absence of managers, the teams, organized around 6 to 15 people, must learn to manage and communicate.
"We have to identify the personalities of leaders, federators and followers," explains Tatiana. HR supports each team in the organization of their governance: strategic committees are elected to manage HR issues (vacations for example), customers and production. The leaders identified in this way are trained "to make decisions, to take the necessary distance from their position, and to communicate".
This organization allows employees to feel confident: they have chosen those who lead them, they are autonomous and empowered, and they learn to communicate and understand others. This sharing of responsibilities extends to the recruitment process and annual interviews, where employees accompany HR.
An atypical organization that works: "We have a very low turnover, which is a good indicator" explains Tatiana.
The challenge of growth
Thanks to its "empowering" organization, Nicomatic has managed to preserve its "family soul". But with more than 30% growth in 2022, a new question arises: how to grow and remain a human-sized company?
A paradox that is not a paradox for Tatiana Schnyder: Nicomatic has decided to split its workforce into two sites. "We have created a subsidiary in France and Western Europe for the design office, innovations and custom products. This split allows us to refocus. It's a new challenge that puts the team back together" says Tatiana.
With two separate sites, the family model should continue and bring new projects. "International on-boarding", the possibility of self-assessment and choosing one's raise. For the past two years, Tatiana Schnyder has been helping to develop a company with an atypical organization that questions but is unanimously accepted by customers and employees. Often, companies come to the premises to discover the "empowering" company that Tatiana summarizes as follows: "There are no rules: we have ideas and we want to deploy them. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. The empowering company is an adventure; you live it to the fullest."
Nicomatic will open its doors on October 27, 2022 as part of a discovery tour: 1.5-hour visits to discover the industry's professions and Nicomatic's corporate culture.
For more information, visit the Comlespros website: https: //www.comlespros.com/visite/nicomatic-parcours-decouverte/