- Number of employees rises to 77,080
- Career opportunities for skilled and young talent
The number of employees in the Würth Group rose by 3.9 percent to 77,080 as of 31 December 2018 (2017: 74,159). In Germany, the Würth Group had 23,772 employees on its payroll (2017: 22,620), while Würth companies abroad reported 53,308 employees (2017: 51,539). There were 33,218 employees working as permanent sales representatives worldwide in the 2018 fiscal year (2017: 32,295). A total of 330 employees joined us in connection with acquisitions.
In the meantime, the shortage of specialists and managers is having an impact in many countries and qualified employees are increasingly becoming a limiting factor for growth. It is therefore important to retain employees at the company and to offer a positive working environment with interesting development opportunities. The Würth Group, with its diverse business models and international orientation, has many possibilities in this respect. Various activities were launched to present these prospects in a transparent manner. A binding and structured process was launched for the large companies to identify potential risks when filling key positions, but also to identify where new career prospects are opening up. Another approach is an international job platform, on which mobile specialists and managers can find open positions in the Würth Group. Employees can search for specific regions and functions and benefit from the many opportunities. In addition, members of the High and Top Potential programs are informed about interesting job offers within the Würth Group once a month, and candidates are systematically developed as versatile junior staff for the Group through the international trainee program.
The new location for training and HR development activities in North America has also brought us closer to our target groups and the internationalization of our operations is being pushed forward. The programs have been adapted to decentralized requirements. The establishment of further locations is planned for the medium term.
Digitalization will lead to major changes and associated challenges with regard to human resources. The objective is to map HR management in a central system in 2019 so that standard processes can be improved and made more secure across the Group, allowing trends to be better identified and refining control by means of benchmarks. In addition, the Würth Group Learning Campus was established as a platform for e-learning open to all employees within the Würth Group.
Under the leadership of Würth Business Academy, international cooperation within the Group is being strengthened by a Group-wide HR network. This group discusses, develops and establishes HR-related topics such as standards and best practices, developments in the field of recruitment, requirements for a modern employee survey, digital media as a source of information and learning, or the introduction of global mobility policies.
There are various phases in each employee’s working life: There are times at which personal issues such as self-worth or self-confidence play a key role and there are also times in which focus is placed on career advancement—be it in an employee’s career as a manager or in the various specialist departments. The programs set up by Würth aim to offer everyone training that suits their individual skills and professional objectives.
As a family business, Würth is committed to long-term corporate development. This also applies when it comes to promoting the talents of the future. In Germany, where there is a long tradition of dual training concepts, Würth has been committed to providing people with extensive initial training for more than 60 years now. At the end of 2018, the Würth Group in Germany employed 1,297 trainees for more than 50 occupations.Young professionals can also study for bachelor’s degrees at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University: Around one third of Würth’s trainees make use of this opportunity. Commercial and technical occupations and catering traineeships form training focal points within the German companies. The social commitment in the support of refugees regarding access to the labor market is evident from the cooperation with the Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE).
The skills, competences and qualifications of all employees, together with their motivation and enthusiasm, form a decisive basis for a successful future. For this reason, personal development and further professional qualification are of particular relevance in order to meet the demands of the market. Akademie Würth offers a holistic further training concept for employees of the Würth Group as well as for customers and interested parties outside the Würth Group. The training program includes seminar topics in the fields of language and (inter-)cultural understanding, working methods and specialist knowledge, leadership and personality, as well as health and safety. This is supplemented by technical training courses focusing on fire safety, metalworking, fasteners, sealants and adhesives, motor vehicles and occupational safety. With these seminar topics, Akademie Würth offers a practice-oriented range of further training courses specifically for the skilled trades, thus supporting Würth customers as a service provider, innovation driver and learning companion. Consulting services for management systems, process optimization and organizational system development round off the concept. Demand for specific qualifications is jointly analyzed and appropriate measures for the targeted further training of employees are designed. In addition to seminars, this also includes accompanying consultations, personal coaching sessions and mediation services.
Degree programs for working professionals at Akademie Würth Business School, which are open both to employees of the Group and to interested individuals from outside the Group, allow people to study for academic degrees. The Bachelor of Business Administration in cooperation with the Distance Learning University Hamburg is a seven-semester program leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The bachelor’s program in Industrial Engineering and Technical Sales in cooperation with SRH Distance Learning University takes six semesters, finishing with a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.). In collaboration with the University of Louisville in Kentucky (USA), Würth is also offering the internationally recognized master’s degree in Global Business. This one-year program, which is conducted in English, awards graduates a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The master’s program in Digital Management & Transformation confers a Master of Science (M. Sc.) in four semesters; likewise in cooperation with SRH Distance Learning University.
The Würth Group recruits most of its managers from within the company. At the Group-wide level, we offer various training programs via the Würth Business Academy to ensure holistic management training processes and the systematic development of up-and-coming talents:
- The MC Würth program prepares employees for middle management positions. In 2018, 479 up-and-coming management staff took part.
- The High Potential program supports managers on their way to upper management positions. In 2018, 166 specialists and executives participated.
- The Top Potential program prepares select managers for positions in the highest echelons of corporate management over a period of two to three years. In 2018, 46 executives underwent development measures as part of this program.
In order to establish forward-looking training and development and to secure the next generation of managers within the Group, Akademie Würth has set up the “Career Workshop” (Karrierewerk) for the German companies—a basic qualification seminar for all further career programs. The Career Workshop is aimed at the lower management level and is designed to provide employees with guidance and training so that they can identify the next steps to take in their development journey. The program is split into management and specialist responsibilities, also offering advanced modules for employees who already have experience in their areas of responsibility and want to deepen their expertise. As well as providing networking opportunities for employees from various companies, the Career Workshop plays a key role in promoting the management philosophy and, as a result, the corporate culture of the Würth Group.
Since 1994, the in-house health management program “Fit mit Würth” launched by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co KG has been committed to the health and performance of its employees, offering a wide range of measures to promote a healthy lifestyle. The program covers the areas of exercise, nutrition, safety, social affairs, prevention and well-being. Around 2,000 employees, relatives and pensioners of the Würth Group take part in the special programs and courses every year. Every two years, “Fit mit Würth” takes part in an audit to obtain the Corporate Health Award. The criteria for the top performance seal were met again in 2018: According to the jury, “Fit mit Würth has established an outstanding corporate health management system that is among the best in Germany.” Employees benefit from comprehensive offers tailored precisely to their needs and are consistently supported in their performance and motivation.
An annual event with health officers within the Würth Group is used to discuss ideas and measures for health promotion and to achieve common goals. Since November 2017, for example, employees at Würth Elektronik eiSos GmbH & Co. KG in Waldenburg have been able to use WillGym®, a new full-body training device.
The new “Würth PanoFit Parcours” is a trendy outdoor fitness center for everyone: fitness trail 3.0 or relaunch of a classic. What was initiated in Germany in the 70s by the DOSB (German Olympic Sports Confederation) is once again possible in Waldenburg Forest based on current scientific training aspects. A concept that adapts to changes in the exercise preferences of the general public. You can use the “Würth PanoFit Parcours”—Hohenlohe’s most beautiful high-altitude lap—365 days a year free of charge!
Employee satisfaction has always been a top priority for the Würth Group. Only satisfied employees can be good employees. They secure the company’s competitive standing and, as a result, help to secure jobs. The Würth Group has been conducting a standardized employee survey on a regular basis since 2005. This results in structured information allowing comparisons to be drawn and used to improve employee well-being and processes in general. The Group-wide survey provides a benchmark both for and between individual companies in the Würth Group. The survey is carried out together with the Mannheim-based WO Institute (Institute for Economic and Organizational Psychology). To date, 233 companies within the Würth Group take part in the survey. The companies are free to decide how often they conduct the survey—it is generally conducted every two years.
Thanks to our employees
Growth is an ongoing process. A plant needs light, water and good soil to grow, but also cold, resting phases to gather and bundle strength for new growth. An image that can easily be transferred to a company and its employees. Company growth is fed by many things: the right product for an existing market, the right ideas for new requirements, a trustworthy brand with which customer can identify. Quality, service, price: these are common criteria. However, corporate growth is primarily fed by employees who think ahead, implementing and embodying all these things. Every day anew.
Competition for these people seems great: digital revolution, artificial intelligence. Developments that all have their opportunities and potential to secure a place in our everyday lives. But, even the artificial world uses nature as a model. A natural flower is the model for the artificial world—not vice versa; a living woman Alexandra for the artificial being Alexa.
As in the plant ecosystem, healthy corporate growth also thrives on partnership—with customers, co-workers, supervisors and company management. It thrives on the respectful and sustainable treatment of our environment and value-based interaction with society. This requires intuition and tactfulness, creativity, enthusiasm and passion. Healthy growth requires people who listen, help, support, recognize questions and offer solutions. What is needed are employees who, based on their natural self-concept, orient themselves towards the customer, the company and mutual success.
The Central Managing Board of the Würth Group would like to thank all employees as well as the employee representatives at the Würth companies for their great commitment to promoting the Würth Group’s healthy growth.