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31 years working for the same company? "Thirty-one" - that's even more impressive in words. What motivated Philipp Meyer to spend more than half his life at Georg Utz AG?

It's Friday, and the clock says 5:30 pm. Philipp Meyer is cleaning up the workshop after a busy week. "Come, let's go for a beer," Philipp his team and the new colleague Tom went to the historic center. Tom has just completed his first week of work at Georg Utz, and wants to get to know his new colleagues a bit better. "What was it like with you back then, about 30 years ago?" he asks Philipp. The other teammates smile. Yes, how was that back then?

Philipp summarises his career in one sentence: "I started my apprenticeship as a polymechanic at Georg Utz AG and completed it in 1995 - and I stayed”. Tom is visibly impressed. “Why the loyalty and company affiliation?”, he asks. Philipp needs to go back a little further for his explanation.

Recession and stagnation

After his apprenticeship, his teacher at Utz offered him a job in the tool grinding shop. He accepted the offer without hesitation. He liked the work in the team and felt he was in good hands. They went through thick and thin together. Like a real team.

This was necessary because the company was in a state of upheaval at the time - just like the entire Swiss economy, which did not really make headway from 1990 to 1996: first three years of recession, followed by three years of stagnation. It was not an easy time for Georg Utz AG either. Instead of saving money and surrendering to fate, the management decided to invest in new machinery and infrastructure. And the employees? For Philipp and his colleagues, the special situation meant one thing above all: a lot of work and constant anxiety about their jobs. Nevertheless, Philipp likes to think back to this time. Everyone did their best every day, nobody gave in to despair. Something like the often described and quoted optimistic mood. The commitment and effort were absolutely worth it and paid off. The Utz Group with Georg Utz AG in Bremgarten has continued to grow, is very profitable and solidly positioned. "Today we have 8 production plants spread over 3 continents with over 1,100 colleagues," he adds proudly.

Wanderlust

After the turbulent times, Philipp needed a bit of a break from the company. He caved in to his wanderlust. He wanted to do something good for himself, circumnavigate the globe, discover new things, get to know other people and cultures. Simply away from Switzerland.

On his journey through Nicaragua, his homeland caught up with him completely unexpectedly: A grey plastic container in the middle of nowhere - Made in Bremgarten and by Utz! No way! He still remembers a warm feeling of happiness flowing through him. The plastic container belonged to a Swiss man who had packed his odds and ends in a RAKO to find his pot of gold in the rainforest. Did he find it? Philipp has no idea. But he knew that his own happiness was waiting for him at home. He didn't feel like a real migrant and wanted to return to Switzerland.

Stay or go?

And he was right. After briefly taking a stormy and stressful respite, Philipp graduated from business school and once even flirted with a change of job. He could've made a few hundred francs more at the other company. However, he was denied the function of team leader. They fobbed him off with a “you aren’t ready yet". Those responsible at Georg Utz AG saw things differently and had more foresight. They entrusted him with the role of team manager for the toolmaking department.

"A lovely story," says Tom as he finishes his beer. "No wonder you stayed at the company." Philip looks around. Well, actually, he doesn't feel like he’s any different. Roland has already been with the company for 43 years, Christian for 26, Robert for 16, Andreas for 10 and Fabio for 4 years. And he? 27 beautiful, eventful and valuable years. An Utzian through and through.

"Let it stay that way!"

(Storytelling with businessmind.ch)