«The public administration must be innovative and flexible if it wants to keep up with the times and operate efficiently»
What are your management principles?
In this regard, I absolutely share the opinion of Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum. Executives need a high degree of professionalism and ideals, along with vision, passion, empathy and know-how. They must keep calm and act sensibly. And last but not least, they must love people and love their work.
What added value do you expect from increased gender diversity in public sector management?
A balanced gender mix at the company ensures a diversity of approaches, and innovative solutions. This is crucial.
What steps have been taken in your canton’s administration to increase the number of women at the upper management level?
We have reviewed and revised our system for evaluating all duties to ensure the most equal pay possible. We offer opportunities for job sharing and part-time work at all levels of the operation.
What should businesses, politicians and society do to achieve a better balance between career and family life in Switzerland?
Naturally, the general conditions must include equal pay, job sharing, part-time opportunities, and the creation of child-care services, but education and cultural change are also necessary.
With administrative management, there is always tension between political demands and business requirements. How do you deal with this tension?
Although the public administration is subject to certain efficiency requirements, it is not under the same competitive pressure as the private sector. It must be innovative and flexible if it wants to keep up with the times and operate efficiently. Obviously, there is competition in the recruitment of employees, especially at the executive level.
Digital transformation is leading to some surprising and disruptive changes in all industries. How are you responding to this challenge in your canton?
As far as digital transformation is concerned, the Canton of Jura is a leader in many areas, especially with respect to the virtual front desk. We are very ambitious when it comes to paperless offices and digital links with our «customers», i.e. with the general public and the companies. We want to be actively involved in the changes brought about by digital progress. We do this proactively, and also internally by assisting our employees with the transformation. This is a difficult task that requires a lot of intuition, the ability to listen, and power of persuasion. From our perspective, the transformation is only possible if the employees are involved, so we want them to take part in the transformation process.
The growth of the Swiss economy is expected to continue, but the population is aging and the number of highly qualified immigrants is declining. How are you dealing with the impending staff shortages in your canton?
Fortunately, we have two important advantages in this respect: One is the young people from Jura who have been trained elsewhere in Switzerland or abroad, and the other is the geographical location, which allows us to hire qualified personnel from neighbouring countries.
In your view, is it an advantage when executives in the administration bring in experiences from the private sector? Does this apply in reverse?
This requires an ideal mix of internal promotions and the appointment of executives from the private sector. Each puts their expertise and experience at the service of the company or the administration. I am convinced that both sides can benefit from it.