- Human Resources
- Workforce development
- Vocational training in Switzerland
- Staff welfare
- Standardised employment conditions
- Integration of the Doors Division
As of 31 December 2017, the Arbonia Group had a workforce of 7 188.9 employees, converted to full-time equivalents (in the continuing operations, without the Profile Systems Business Unit and the Condecta Group), which corresponds to a 2.3% decline compared to last year (7 357.3 FTEʼs in the continuing operations).
Shifting production from Arbon (CH) to Stříbro (CZ), from Vlotho (D) to Plattling (D), and from Altstätten (CH) to Langenwetzendorf (D) and Pravenec (SK) led to more job losses during the reporting year, particularly in Switzerland, but also meant that jobs were created abroad.
Vocational training in Switzerland
The Swiss companies Arbonia Services, EgoKiefer and RWD Schlatter train apprentices in the following careers, all of which are to Swiss Federal Certificate standard: Business clerk, IT specialist, media and technology specialist, logistics specialist, metal worker, metalwork designer and joiner. Vocational training was centralised on 1 July 2017 and is now part of the Corporate Human Resources departement. With this move, Arbonia is aiming to ensure a standardised approach to training across Switzerland.
The company places a great deal of emphasis on high-quality training. At the annual induction days, young apprentices have the chance to get to know the company and receive training in the companyʼs teaching methods and code of conduct. Apprentices receive a high degree of support throughout their training. The focus is on the defined goals, vocational school, individual concerns, and practical experience in the career in question. Arbonia offers successful graduates the opportunity to continue working at the company.
Staff recruitment is one of the Human Resources departmentʼs primary duties. Arbonia is always looking for ways to improve its recruitment processes. Wherever sensible, these processes should be standardised while also leaving enough scope for the siteʼs specific circumstances. The goal is to attract the best and most suitable employees and to inspire them to work for Arbonia for the long term. We conduct in-depth interviews, explaining our corporate goals and strategy. Each interview is accompanied by a follow-up meeting that helps to ensure the quality of the process. For external recruitment processes, Arbonia works with specially selected partners.
Arbonia provides its staff with extensive support throughout their entire working relationship. The company shares its values in its introductory programmes. One measure that has proved successful is on-the-job training. Managers are trained up as trainers so that they can help staff to enhance their strengths and work on their weaknesses. One key development measure is something known as job enrichment. Employees with potential are entrusted with higher-status tasks, enabling them to qualify for a promotion.
Arbonia also encourages employee loyalty with its non-cash-based bonus systems. The success of these systems is reflected by long-serving, satisfied employees in all companies. Arbonia has defined a clear, fair procedure for employees leaving the company. Staff departure meetings are normally evaluated and measures are developed as a result in order to help cut fluctuation rates even further.
In an effort to promote a balance between work and family life, Arbonia supports staff through all phases of life, for example by offering support when caring for ill family members or with child care. One example of this work is its cooperation with a childcare facility in close proximity to the production plant in Plattling (D).
The company also encourages employees to do their bit to help as well. In October 2017, a blood type testing campaign took place at a factory in aid of an employee diagnosed with leukaemia. Almost 100 colleagues took part in the test.
Standardised employment conditions
A few years ago, employment conditions were standardised for all Swiss companies based in Arbon. Previously, RWD Schlatter, EgoKiefer and Koralle on the other hand had their own employment conditions. Moreover, the general employment contract set out further provisions for employees covered by this agreement. The various employment conditions led to staff being treated differently within the Arbonia Group and also prevented transparency between the individual companies. They also generated additional work for the various in-house service providers. In light of these factors, Group Management resolved to harmonise standards. However, their plans only extended to the most important issues, allowing existing corporate cultures to continue to thrive. As part of these changes, Arbonia was able to align itself with a general employment contract issued by the industrial association Swissmem; this new solution helped to significantly improve communication with social partners. The project was rolled out in spring 2017 and was developed with the support of the various HR departments. After informing the HR Committee and the employees affected, the standardised employment conditions went into effect on 1 January 2018.
Integration of the Doors Division
The door manufacturers Prüm, Garant and Invado have been part of the Arbonia Group since December 2016. The integration of these three companies into the Doors Division was successfully completed in the reporting year. The restructured division is based on a matrix organisation, with the areas of sales and production remaining as far as possible in the countries in question for better market alignment. Support services on the other hand (such as finance, product management, human resources, processes and systems) are geared more towards functionality.
The Door Divisionʼs future strategy was drawn up in the first half of 2017. Arboniaʼs appeal on the job market was defined as an important core issue due to the demographic shift taking place in Central and Eastern Europe and ever-increasing global competition.