Can you train courage?
Definitely. There are lots of different ways to train courage, including small dares that prompt people to leave their comfort zone, having them consciously face their fears, and mental training. Leaders play a central role in encouraging employees. I’m convinced that the trust you place in somebody engenders courage. Trust lays the foundation for employees’ belief in both their abilities and their potential. A culture of learning from mistakes and psychological security are prerequisites for employees to dare to question the status quo and try out new things, even if that involves risks. Ultimately, though, courage is also highly personal. Leaving your comfort zone means something different for everyone. Making one’s views known can also take courage. “Speaking up” is part of our culture, which is why we also provide employees with several platforms and channels where they can express their opinions, provide feedback or even report potential shortcomings. Our goal is to find solutions to important issues, but that hinges on having the courage to break new ground. This is an attitude that’s firmly entrenched in our code of conduct.
Speaking of “breaking new ground”, is there an initiative where you’ve already taken on a pioneering role?
We wanted to find out how our employees were doing during the pandemic, so PwC Switzerland collaborated with Professor Dr Georg von Krogh, Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation at ETH Zurich, to conduct a study on it. At the same time, we opened up a dialogue on whether there should be a new standard for work post-pandemic. Feedback from those surveys formed the basis for the development of a new hybrid work model. That’s where we played a pioneering role, by rapidly implementing the feedback we received from our people in the real world. After all, ensuring the satisfaction and wellbeing of our team is at the heart of every-thing we do. One example of this is the fact that we were taking targeted steps to address the issue of mental health even before the pandemic. Thanks in part to the insights gained from the ETH survey, we were able to gear our existing “Be well, work well” programme even better to our employees’ needs so that we could support and strengthen them during the pandemic by providing them with targeted offers and training courses.