Back to all the people: at the heart of air navigation services

People: at the heart of air navigation services

People: at the heart of air navigation services


People, with their skills and attributes, are at the heart of our organisation. And in order that our employees can fulfil their challenging task as well as is required by a company in the safety sector, we both challenge and develop them.


The dynamic growth seen in aviation demands a dynamic response from air navigation service providers. We bring new technologies, methods and skills to the task of meeting new demands from customers. In this way, skyguide continually creates new, high-quality jobs, whilst fewer currently trending jobs disappear. This trend will accelerate, and the number of people in our workforce as a whole will slowly decline as a result of more efficient methods of working.


We are responding to this development accordingly, and providing the necessary support. Good performance is rewarded, and not only financially. We want to make it possible for committed employees to build on their skills and continue to develop themselves professionally. The development of individuals is as important as succession planning in assuring the long-term future of a high-quality operation. The greater part of the responsibility for this lies with line managers, who must have outstanding leadership qualities.


Skyguide employees some 1,500 people. This corresponds to around 1,400 jobs across all departments.


Performance and skills

An organisation aspiring to the highest levels of reliability naturally pays great attention to the performance and skills of its employees. The annual year-end interview offers the framework for this, in that it includes the agreeing and evaluation of targets, as well as skills management and the personal and professional development of individual employees.


A fair remuneration system is another key to healthy motivation. In order to be well placed in relation to the market situation, skyguide operates a career and functions system, which it periodically reviews. In the same context, skyguide is developing various bonus plans, so that employees and management are paid according to their performance as individuals and the overall performance of skyguide.


Personal development

Other HR initiatives and tools based on this systematic approach come into play. These include personal career planning, succession planning, talent management and measures to foster the development of individuals.


In its approach to personal development, skyguide not only gives consideration to the needs and objectives of the company, but also to the employability of each individual. In such a specific industry, this is important. We can’t just pluck experts from anywhere, and our specialists can’t immediately find work outside skyguide.


We operate in a stimulatingly dynamic, qualitatively demanding work environment. We therefore concentrate not only on training and the improvement of technical skills and competencies, but also pay attention to the improvement of team, leadership and social skills.


We value each employee for their individual qualities, and nurture those who are committed, work on their continuing professional development, and are keen to take on responsibility.


Virtual tour of the Tower at Zurich airport



The Human Resources department sets the framework for the assessment and development of performance and skills. Responsibility for individual employees, however, lies primarily with their managers – as well as with the employees themselves.


We don’t see management as merely a system of bottom-up reporting, or the issuing of top-down orders: at skyguide it means leadership, which encompasses empowerment, communication, cooperation and social skills. This principle applies to all employees, regardless of their level in the hierarchy or their function, and can be enshrined in the following eight statements:


  • We lead by example.
  • We trust others and are trustworthy ourselves.
  • We agree on goals and deliver results.
  • We give constructive feedback.
  • We develop and empower.
  • We communicate effectively.
  • We acknowledge and respect decisions.
  • We assume and respect responsibilities.


A multi-level management training programme ensures that this understanding of management and leadership permeates the whole hierarchy, indeed the whole organisation.


Management style and communication

Responsibility in this sense means personal responsibility. That’s why the defining feature of skyguide’s management style and communication is openness. All relevant information from the divisions and relating to the company (policy documents, decisions, reports, etc.) is promptly published on the intranet. And thanks to the free access they have to this platform, all employees can express their opinion on each issue openly, even controversially, and can also put questions directly to management.


Such direct exchange of views, without reserve, has become institutionalised and takes place, for example, at themed employee events and workshops between management and staff associations, as well as generally being part of the company’s “open door” policy.


The air navigation services of tomorrow will be characterised by its high-performing, competent, committed, responsible and well-informed employees.


Virtual tour of the Tower at Geneva airport