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The responsibility for its employees and good corporate citizenship are deeply embedded in the Schaeffler Group’s core. Based on the significance process, the “Employees and society” field of action focuses on the issues of diversity, being an attractive employer, work-life balance, health management[, compensation and retirement benefits, supporting and developing employees, as well as good corporate citizenship.
Diversity is anchored in the HR strategy and, to Schaeffler, it means acknowledging, appreciating, and including diverse views, experiences, and technical expertise across all hierarchical and organizational units. The company signed the “Charta der Vielfalt” (diversity charter) as early as in 2008 and is committed to proactively promoting diversity within the company. In order to gradually embed this issue throughout the company, it has issued a conceptual diversity plan in 2017 that it plans to implement in the coming years. Demographics, promoting women, internationality, and people with disabilities are important issues to be dealt with here. During the year, a reverse mentoring program was launched in order to promote the sharing of experiences between young and old and an international network was founded. The objective of the latter is connecting employees around the world using the opportunities for interaction and teamwork provided by Schaeffler CONNECT, the company’s new social intranet.
Globalization and digitalization make new demands on organizational and work processes. The Schaeffler Group responds to these trends with its New Work working methods initiative that forms part of its “Agenda 4 plus One”. Working method and space planning concepts that promote interaction are used to promote knowledge transfer and communication between employees and to support innovation processes. The comprehensive approach to finding the ideal combination of space planning, structuring work processes, and technology increases interdisciplinary collaboration. Advancing the existing company culture and providing flexible workspace layouts ensures that the “Mobility for tomorrow” strategy can be experienced in the working environment as well. The Schaeffler Group has initiated or completed four pilot projects at its Schweinfurt , Erlangen, and Nuremberg locations. These projects include providing multifunctional rooms, quiet areas, and "gravity points", where employees can have flexible meetings and conversations in an appropriate and attractive atmosphere. A win-win situation for the company and its employees: The innovative use of existing resources in a manner that meets existing needs significantly increases employee satisfaction and Schaeffler’s attractiveness as an employer.
The company has continued to systemize its workplace health management program during the year. Location-specific health management programs were established that have been adapted to the situation in the specific working environment. To help with this project, a standard analysis instrument for surveying employees was developed and used. In Schweinfurt, Wuppertal, and Herzogenaurach, the company initiated the “pit stop active back” (“Boxenstopp Rücken Aktiv”) program involving exercises to counteract the specific strains and stresses of the production workplace. The training program “Fit4Shift” for shift workers was developed in Herzogenaurach, Eltmann, and Bühl in order to prevent health issues like insomnia and stress. The “Fit4Innovation” program was launched in Bühl and Herzogenaurach. It provides future project managers with information on avoiding stress and on resilience, and helps them form stabilizing networks among themselves. In order to be able to offer measures under the workplace health management program at the same level of quality all over Germany, the company began cooperating with a health insurer with operations throughout the country. This provides the company with access to an existing network of certified service providers, allowing it to flexibly plan and execute its health management program measures.
In its Factory for Tomorrow initiative, which is part of the “Agenda 4 plus One”, the newly developed job register was rolled out at two locations as part of the company’s efforts to design workspaces more ergonomically. The register uses a database solution to determine and visualize the ergonomic strain involved in the job. The Schaeffler Group uses the instrument in its inclusion efforts to compare the employee’s skills to the requirements of the job, allowing the company to identify jobs for employees with impaired physical abilities that are appropriate for their performance capabilities and medical condition. At the same time, it also promotes the focused reduction of high-strain jobs.
Attractive remuneration and benefit programs are key elements of the HR strategy aimed at promoting employee satisfaction. In addition, fair, transparent, and performance-based remuneration and retirement benefit schemes that meet employees’ needs are important characteristics of an attractive employer.
The Schaeffler Group's remuneration models were changed to reflect uniform, consistent performance indicators and adjusted for all levels of staff. As a result of these changes, the profit sharing arrangement in Germany is now based in equal parts on three indicators. Along with the existing quality indicator, in 2017, the company component, comprising Schaeffler Value Added and free cash flow, was adjusted and delivery performance of the German production locations was added as a new indicator.
By making this adjustment, the company is not only pursuing its objective of consistent and performance-based remuneration models, but also highlights the importance of the proven “Quality-Cost-Delivery performance” approach, which emphasizes a strong quality and cost mindset as well as delivery performance.
A further significant step toward becoming a more attractive employer was coming to an agreement that LuK GmbH und Co. KG will join the collective labor agreement of the metal and electric industry in Baden Württemberg effective January 01, 2018. Collectively bargained working conditions and transparent remuneration rules now apply to wage earners and salaried employees alike.
To cover potential pension shortfalls, the company offers its employees attractive retirement benefit schemes financed by the employer and/or the employee. A dedicated retirement benefit portal provides employees in Germany with extensive information about various retirement benefit schemes and with the opportunity to obtain a calculation of the income they can expect to receive from the various retirement schemes.
The Schaeffler Group's ideas management system enables its employees to be actively involved in the company. By contributing their creativity and knowledge, employees are taking on responsibility and are continually improving processes and products. The Schaeffler Group’s employees submitted a total of 33,988 ideas via the ideas management software in 2017, generating cost savings of approx. EUR 20.8 m. The group is currently using this system at 45 locations in 13 countries and is continually adding further locations. The ideas management system, an important management instrument, assists senior management with achieving objectives and helps secure the company’s success for the long-term.
See chapter "HR strategy" for further detail.
The Schaeffler Group focuses its corporate citizenship activities on three main areas: education and science, health and social affairs, and sports and cultural events. Its priority is on supporting organizations and projects near Schaeffler locations.
Schaeffler’s strategic partnerships and collaborations in education and science demonstrate its commitment in this field. For instance, the company is the main partner of the “Young Car Mechanic” competition held for the first time in Poland in May 2017. Students from Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia competed against each other in a variety of virtual vehicle repair tasks using a specifically designed simulator. The competition is designed to get young people interested in being a professional mechanic.
Through its HOPE initiative (Health, Occupational skills, Preservation of culture & heritage, and Empowerment of society), the Schaeffler Group continually provides support in India via Schaeffler India Limited. Under the heading “May everyone be happy”, the initiative helped expand a school in Vadodara, India, which will shortly provide 800 students with the opportunity to obtain an education, compared to less than 200 students previously.
In addition, the Schaeffler Group supports sports and cultural activities to help convey values and provide impetus for the positive development of society. In November 2017, female employees of Schaeffler’s Barcelona location participated in the “Carrera de la Mujer”, the largest women’s sports event in Europe, in order to raise funds for initiatives against breast cancer and violence against women. Schaeffler also once more supported the “Lauf für Kaya!” (“Run for Kaya!”), which was held in conjunction with the 7th Earth Day in Herzogenaurach to promote cultural exchange between Germany and Burkina Faso.