Tone at the top

“Tone at the top” at Swiss Post

People in management roles must comply with and implement laws and directives consistently and they must behave impeccably, both morally and ethically. Exemplary behaviour of this kind is expected at Swiss Post from members of management, and it is expected at all levels.

Complying with legal frameworks, provisions and rules, living up to moral and ethical principles: for Swiss Post, the “tone at the top” – the communication and behaviour of its management – is of the utmost importance.

Peter Hasler, why is the “tone at the top” so important to Swiss Post?

If a manager behaves incorrectly, the news will spread quickly, both inside and outside the company. The damage to the company and to the individual quickly becomes enormous and is sometimes difficult to repair. A good reputation built up over years can be damaged in a short time.

What do you expect from your managers?

Management staff at Swiss Post have many skills and competencies. They therefore assume a great deal of responsibility, because decisions are not usually black and white; there are grey areas. Managers must recognize and appreciate that compliance with written provisions alone is sometimes not enough – for example, when it comes to distinguishing between business and personal interests. I expect managers to behave appropriately, both ethically and morally, to be aware that in what they do, they are leading by example.

What is Swiss Post trying to achieve with “tone at the top”?

“Tone at the top” is about correct, decent and friendly behaviour as a manager in all situations. This can only work if the manager has a firm inner conviction that ensures that the right decision is made, even in awkward situations. This in turn requires a steadfast character, based on experience, on clear and distinct values that lead to the right decision on good or evil, right or wrong. These values must not be thrown overboard as a result of friendships, or even of corruption. Correct behaviour must stem from inner conviction, and it must be incontrovertible. There can be no such thing as a little cheating, there is no moral spectrum. In a company, this moral quality should be present in all managers, otherwise there is no advancement. Employees recognize the lived values of people in management roles and the behaviour they exhibit. They pass on these values to colleagues, encouraging their propagation and acceptance.

How do managers at Swiss Post become role models?

Being a role model means implementing Swiss Post's values in everyday life, making them visible, and shaping the corporate culture by doing so. I'm thinking for example of the honest preparation and implementation of decisions reached collectively, or of a positive and constructive approach to dealing with mistakes. The issue of management is not just about correct and lawful implementation, free of questionable ethics – managers must also always consider the impact on those affected, be they customers, suppliers, and in particular the employees who report to them. The lesser the extent to which profit may be based on cheating and infringement of rules, the less injurious it can be to employees whose personality, health and moral integrity is inviolable.

I expect managers to be aware that in what they do, they are leading by example.

Peter Hasler,

Chairman of the Board of Directors