Hydro's rolled products plant in Grevenbroich, Germany, is committed to making work and private life for its 2,000 employees more compatible – and now has received a “Job and Family” certificate from the German government.
Plant manager Stefan Kästner received the certificate in Berlin from the State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology, Bernhard Heitzer.
At a ceremony for certified institutions, Heitzer stated: "Already today, many companies in Germany are facing problems regularly or at least partially to find suitable specialists to hire. Due to low birth rates and an aging population, this situation is going to deteriorate. Thus it will be of high importance to secure staffing with specialists by making job and family life more compatible."
In August 2012, Hydro had been audited and certified by "berufundfamilie gGmbH," an affiliate company to the Hertie Foundation under the helm of the Federal Ministers for Economy and Technology as well as for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth. “We have committed ourselves to the realization of a three-year plan by taking a range of measures, and we are well on track,” said Kästner.
Swift agreements are often made with superiors to enable employees to handle situations such as sick children, an ailing relative, such as changing shifts. Holiday bottlenecks are being bridged by a local holiday program. In addition, there are far more employees today than in the past who make use of the option to nurture their newborns. "All this we do today already. And we want to do it even better in the future,” says Kästner.
According to „berufundfamilie“, all this benefits the employees and the employers too. A survey found higher motivation and productivity of employees, coupled with reduced times of absence and sick leave.
A pioneer in the industry sector
At the ceremony in Berlin, the Federal Minister for Families, Kristina Schröder, said: "Family-conscious employers are making an important contribution to continued improvement of conditions for families in our society." Her ministry is certified as well, for the fourth time in a row.
In total, 304 companies or plants, authorities and other institutions have been certified in Berlin, from the small law office to huge plants. In the industry and manufacturing sector, Hydro ranks among the pioneers, since merely 6 percent of all who are certified come from this sector.
For Hydro manager Kästner it is the right way to go, and his plant will surely pursue it further: “Success in a plant can only be achieved when all employees feel they are in good hands at their employer. This is what we want to contribute to.”