Stefanie Weiss - another site representative in Basel

I’ve been with Roche since 2003 and have always appreciated the many opportunities for personal development the company offers. I started off as a training manager in Liquids Production in Basel, then moved to Kaiseraugst as part of the start-up team for PKau (Parenterals Kaiseraugst), where I was responsible for implementing a new training scheme. After that I was the line manager responsible for visual inspection in sterile production. In 2013, I moved to Quality Business Support as a Business Process Manager and am currently Operational Change Manager at SOLA (Strategic Operations and Lean Academy) in Kaiseraugst.

  • What motivated you to become actively involved in the AVR?

In every role I’ve had, I’ve always been particularly interested in people issues. The world we work in is currently undergoing rapid change. New, agile ways of working and flexible working options are giving rise to opportunities, but also conflicts.
Getting involved in the AVR gave me fresh insights and additional opportunities to stand up for all employees’ interests. By that I mean maintaining jobs, enabling flexible job models, and structuring redundancy schemes in a fair way – but also making myself available as a contact for people with workplace-related problems.

  • What was the best decision you made during your career at Roche?

One of the most stimulating ideas I encountered during my career was in a workshop on the subject of strengths-based working. The takeaway was that we can make the biggest impact by focussing on our personal strengths rather than always working to eliminate our weaknesses.

Even though I did a science degree, my strengths are in the soft issues – things such as communication skills, persuasiveness and integrating colleagues.

That was when I decided to follow this path. My current role as an Organisational Change Manager enables me to do just that, since I help people navigate the change process (organisational changes, changes in the working environment or cultural change). I really enjoy it, and I have the feeling that it enables me to create genuine added value for the organisation.

  • What will your next project be?

As part of the transformation project at Kaiseraugst, which I myself advised and supported, my job has become redundant. Although this is obviously something I anticipated, it still came as a big shock at first, particularly the fact that it hit me during a phase when I was enjoying considerable success.

That means I’ll be retiring early next year, and I’m now actually very much looking forward to the additional time the redundancy scheme will give me. The AVR was heavily involved in shaping the redundancy scheme and I received very good advice on how it would be applied in my particular case. That’s something I’m very grateful for.

My next project will be practising not having a project for once. ;o)

The first thing I’m looking forward to is having more time for my hobbies and being able to spend more time with my family, partner and friends. After missing out on last year’s ski season, I’m planning to buy an annual pass for the Bernese Oberland and hope we’ll have a great season.

I’m sure that after that, the time will come when I’m ready for new projects outside Roche.

Written by Gernot Scharf, AVR vicepresident