Diversity and equal opportunity
For ElringKlinger it goes without saying that every person is treated equally and individuality is encouraged. The Group sees cultural diversity as one of the factors in its success, as different social, cultural, and language backgrounds lead to different ways of thinking and different perspectives from which ElringKlinger can only benefit. Appreciation, tolerance, and respect for one another are always the main focus of day-today interactions.
With a total of 45 sites, ElringKlinger has a presence in 21 different countries and is able to service the needs of customers worldwide via its global network. The knowledge and language skills of the Group’s around 9,500 employees facilitate communication with customers and enable prompt handling of their concerns. ElringKlinger actively fosters international collaboration by offering intercultural training programs and approving long-term postings abroad for individual staff members working on international projects. In addition, the different experiences, perspectives, and viewpoints gained as a result of these interactions support the ongoing development of the Group.
ElringKlinger promotes a culture of integration by focusing on the skills and individual talents of people with disabilities. Severely disabled staff and employees with health impairments receive special protection and targeted support at ElringKlinger. As well as the Works Council, the company’s Equal Opportunities Officers address the concerns of affected staff whenever necessary.
The Group builds up internal expertise through a range of training programs and work-study courses. Alongside the external recruitment of specialists, these measures are important both in terms of training new internal experts and retaining qualified staff for the long haul. This is why the Group has stuck to its strategy, even during the coronavirus pandemic. In September 2021, 11 work-study students and 15 apprentices embarked on courses at ElringKlinger’s main site in Dettingen/Erms.
As from September 2022, the Group will also be offering a new course entitled Digital Business Management, which will explore the key areas of “Digitalizing the Economy” and “Industry 4.0” in greater depth. ElringKlinger developed the relevant training plans and course content in 2021. ElringKlinger now offers 11 dual study programs and 11 vocational job profiles.
The international dimension of vocational programs continued in 2021, with 80% of content for the specially developed training plan standardized across the Group and 20% of content specially adapted to regional circumstances. Despite the difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic, two Maintenance Technicians managed to commence apprenticeships in Buford, United States, during 2021. By contrast, training activities in Suzhou, China, and Toluca, Mexico, are still on hold because of the continuing global pandemic.
ElringKlinger is opposed to any form of discrimination and is committed to social diversity and responsibility. The Group eats, sleeps, and breathes these principles through a number of projects. For example, it works in close cooperation with the BruderhausDiakonie Foundation and the associated disabled persons’ workshops in Dettingen/Erms, which handle end-to-end processes for the company's Aftermarket division. At the company site in Buford, USA, too, people with disabilities perform assembly, sorting, and packaging tasks, providing them with an environment in which they are included in working life.
The Group actively supports the performance capability of ElringKlinger employees. Alongside workplace health promotion and measures to improve work/life balance, the issue of occupational safety is hugely important to the Group. All guidelines and principles are firmly anchored within the Group’s occupational health and safety policy that is binding on all employees of ElringKlinger.
Alongside company sports groups that meet outside working hours, ElringKlinger's occupational health management program also includes health-related measures implemented at the place of work. An external physiotherapist has analyzed the company's workspaces and work processes at the site in Dettingen/Erms, drawn up ergonomic exercises for personnel, and implemented an ongoing training program. At the same time, selected staff members have been trained as "multipliers" so that they can maintain a steady level of awareness with regard to this topic and ensure regular training.
Potential leader program 2.0 - EKDrive
Our leadership development strategy is designed to meet the Group’s future personnel requirements. This makes it one of the most important elements of human resources management. Every two years, since way back in 2008, a committee has nominated highly qualified employees from the Group’s headquarters for our Potential Leader Program, a period of intensive training lasting just over 12 months. “To date, we have been able to develop a total of 73 potential leaders at our sites in Germany. Many already hold management positions or are involved in specialized tasks,” explains Dr. Lucy Tengbeh, Director Training & Development. The time and cost of running such a program should not be underestimated, but as an investment it pays off in the long term. By recognizing the strengths of individual employees and helping them to progress, the Group hopes to keep them motivated and strengthen their loyalty to the company.
The success of the concept prompted the Group to further develop the program globally. ElringKlinger will now run dedicated potential leader programs under the name EKDrive in each of its three core regions (North America, Asia-Pacific, and Europe). Employees from every area will be able to apply with a view to boosting their career within the Group. A panel of experts will select the 36 participants for each program on the basis of transparent suitability criteria. Besides ensuring diversity and broad international representation, the panel will focus on securing the Group’s future personnel requirements in different management areas.
EKDrive participants will complete a total of four modules in English to help them develop leadership skills and familiarize them with other leadership tools. The modules reflect both the Group’s strategy and ElringKlinger’s value system. Participants are also given an opportunity to discuss broader Groupwide issues in a more relaxed setting during informal meetings with board members and senior managers. ElringKlinger is very keen for employees to develop and actively display an open attitude to social commitment. As such, over the course of the program, all participants are expected to organize a sustainability project that offers social benefits.
“It is always fascinating to see how participants develop at a personal level in just one year between the first module and the final presentation,” observes Dr. Tengbeh. Based on previous experience, the program’s success also depends on the composition of the teams. Through teamwork, participants can gain a different perspective on complex tasks – globally, regionally, and locally.