We are changing together

Cultural change is already having a tangible impact. We are striving to become a more agile and learning organisation where everyone collaborates without boundaries. Cultural change takes time, but we are moving forward with success. In 2022, we saw a lot of progress on our collective journey to transform our culture.

There are many of us and we’re all very dif­ferent – more than 1,000 employees from 42 different countries work for Cembra. Chan­ging our corporate culture is not something that can happen overnight. But if each and every one of us is prepared to contribute, we will be able to implement over 1,000 changes and improvements. We are taking this cultu­ral journey step by step. Our goal is to achie­ve a common understanding of our values that is built on curiosity, a positive error culture, constant learning and close, cross­team collaboration.

Customer focus makes all the difference

Our focus is always on our customers. Katja Alder, Head of Organisational and People Development, knows that Cembra has to change and focus even more on its custom­ers. “Against this backdrop, we have defined our vision for Cembra for the coming years. It brings together our strategic work, ambi­tions and efforts. Our vision forms the foun­dation for achieving our shared company goals.” And 2022 was an important step in developing our uncompromising customer focus.

Strengthening the culture of trust

“In 2022, we focused on building a culture and attitude of trust within the company”, explains Katja Alder. “Our ’Trust and Team’ initiative has been further deepened. It ser­ ves as a foundation on which we can build a learning, more collaborative and more agile organisation. Above all, it’s about how we interact with each other, how we work toge­ther and how we approach our customers.” This is a crucial point, because a strong corporate culture is reflected all the way through to the customer experience.

Driven by Change Agents

35 Change Agents, who are employees from various parts of the company, are multipliers of the changes across Cembra. It is their job to support and foster cultural change. With them, we introduced various measures to strengthen cooperation. Our approach: to try out new processes and ways of working, and to learn from them. Evidence­based pulse surveys were used to check whether the company was on the right track. Based on the findings, further measures were then identified during workshops.


“I am proud to be a Change Agent. Through various nitiatives, we have managed to get people to talk about our culture and bring about change through targeted culture hacks. But cultural change is hard work and takes time.”

Samareh Janami,
Internal Regulation Advisory Officer


“Learning from mistakes is our human nature. This is how we can make progress. The way we address mistakes at Cembra helps us to improve our internal processes and deliver better services and products to our customers every day.”

Karel Vanicek,
Head of Risk Control


“We’ve broken new ground and been efficient and agile when we recruited and onboarded employees for the Certo! service hotline. The mutual trust and commitment of all teams has been remarkable. When everyone pulls together, we can be even more successful.”

Luca Di Maso,
Head of Customer Service



New ways of working

One of these measures is our “Speedbo­ats”, which serve as pilots for new working methods. With these, new project ideas can be implemented rapidly. Implementation is hierarchy­free and cross­departmental, and projects can be rolled out in a lean and cus­tomer­oriented way within a few weeks. For example, we adjusted the processes in one “speedboat” so that clients receive feedback on a loan application more quickly and easily. Quick, “out­of­the­box” solutions like these are a good example of how creative problem­solving can be implemented.

Something small with a huge impact

Another popular measure was our culture hacks. The idea here is to make small impro­vements in our everyday work that will have a big impact. All employees were able to contribute to this process, and so far around 80 culture hacks have already been imple­mented. These include the Coffee Lottery, where employees are randomly assigned to exchange ideas over a coffee. Those who sign up have the opportunity to make new contacts and find out what colleagues from other departments are working on. Another culture hack is the Thank You Cards. They can be used, for example, to thank col­leagues for their cooperation on a project or to pass on positive feedback in general.

It’s all a question of attitude

As Katja Alder puts it: “We can be proud of what we have already achieved in 2022. We have seen that special situations, such as the launch of the Cembra app or the Certo! Mastercard, require special commitment. We know that we can successfully tackle many things together. Our new attitude is: we take it in, we solve it, we learn from it.”

We will start to see more positive impacts from these measures in 2023. Here, six em­ployees tell us about the impact the cultural transformation is already having on our working methods and processes (see quotes).



“Customer service is not a depar­ tment, it is an attitude. Our customer obsession mindset does just that: it focuses on the customers. If we know exactly what their expectations and preferences are, we can meet their needs, and even exceed their expectations.”

Monika Normand-Schwab,
Teamleader Swissbilling


“For the company to change, employees have to change. Entire teams are now adopting agile structures and methods, and Change Agents are driving cultural change from within. We are bringing about deep­seated change that will have a lasting impact and drive our success.”

Jan Uetz,
Head of Digital Solutions


“Thanks to the cultural transformation, people within Cembra are more aware of the impor­tance of technology. There is more mutual understanding between IT and business, and needs are better under­stood and implemented in a targeted manner, especially through increased cross­team collaboration.”

Dipti Rao Kissling,
Business Process Engineer