Jointly designing the future
Competent, motivated and happy employees are the backbone of a company. The Uelzena Group is securing its future workforce and supporting its long-standing employees within the business with its sustainable personnel management.
The need for qualified employees also continued in the reporting year. As a result of investment projects and the challenges we have faced, the total number of employees has increased to 832. Finding new, skilled employees and retaining them in the long term – that's a challenging task for employers. A strong and authentic employer brand and a positive application process – referred to as the candidate journey – are therefore extremely important. A corporate culture of appreciation and transparent communication provides the basis for this. The development of such a brand for the Uelzena Group began in 2020. In the reporting year, our focus was on defining the brand essence, which was developed within workshops at all sites. The messages we mapped out will be implemented internally and externally by a communications agency. Another forward-thinking project was initiated in the course of constructing the new contract-drying tower. The “mindset” project aims to enhance the ownership of every individual with regard to their daily work and improve how mistakes are handled.
„Our goal is to promote a company culture in which our employees feel valued and supported.“
Insa Wolter, Personnel Development/Recruiting, Uelzena eG
In 2022, following the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, we were able to adapt operational and strategic personnel processes in line with the declining cases of infection and return to our original processes in the majority of divisions. Various adjustments that were made due to the pandemic have helped to optimise long-term solutions. For instance, remote working is being continued and is predominantly regulated by means of works agreements. Digital communication upgrades have also shown success. For example, digitalising the selection process in specific areas when recruiting personnel, and introducing a user-friendly learning platform. These upgrades have also meant fewer necessary business trips.
.Outlook for 2023
Strategic projects such as further developing an employer brand, improving the candidate journey and our mindset project will continue to be advanced in 2023. The aim is to promptly incorporate the insights gained into actions. We plan to use additional recruiting tools to expand the opportunities to reach applicants and the Group also aims to further develop the employee recommendation management system. The option to lease bikes via JobRad provides employees with a sustainable mobility concept.
The workforce at the Uelzena Group has been constantly growing for many years – the company has recorded an increase in employee numbers of six percent within in the past four years. In order to continue to grow in the future, the company needs specialist workers. However, in the future, there will be fewer skilled workers throughout Germany, as the number of people available on the labour market has been declining for the last 15 years. Up until 2013, it has decreased by approximately 2 million people. According to calculations by the Federal Institute for Population Research, a further 2 million will be lost by 2030. This demographic change is a challenge for German industries because it intensifies the competition for skilled workers on the labour market. In addition, there are fewer people willing to do shift work; flexible working time models are instead in demand. As the Uelzena Group is a company where employees are constantly needed to work in shifts, this is an aspect that makes the search for specialists even more difficult.
Another major challenge is the enormous technological upheaval that is taking place at ever-shorter intervals because of digitalisation and automation. Knowledge is becoming obsolete much faster with new skills being constantly needed resulting in lifelong learning becoming indispensable. The Uelzena Group is ready to face these challenges.
The ‘employees’ action field comprises the following topics: Employment, occupational safety and health, further education and training, as well as the relationship between employers and employees. The way that the Uelzena Group manages these areas, the objectives it has and how these will be implemented is of interest predominantly for employees, but also for members of the Uelzena Group and local politics. See also: Stakeholder results.
Our sustainable human resources strategy – overview on targets and measures
Targets aimed at employees
- The appeal of the Uelzena Group as an employer – for specialised professionals and managers as well as for young people – should be further improved. This will enable our growing company to meet its need for new employees.
- Qualified employees – new recruits as well as senior employees – should be employed at the Uelzena Group for as long as possible. Therefore, it is important that employees are happy, stay healthy and are able to combine their family life with their job.
- The Uelzena Group supports the development and advancement of its employees to further their skills.
Qualified employees of the Uelzena Group can be sure that the company offers them a long-term and secure perspective within the company - including a salary that is attractive compared to the compensation paid within the industry and the region.
The Uelzena Group goes to great lengths to raise the awareness of itself as a company to potential professional employees. The Group is increasingly present at job fairs, offers internships and has a modern website. Applications can be made easily via the online application tool. In addition, the company supports students from various universities in the preparation of their theses and thus gains new highly qualified employees.
Education and training
- Employees and supervisors jointly discuss the possible requirements for education and training. These dialogues take place on a regular basis.
- Set-up of modern knowledge management in the company. This includes online webinars for education and training.
- The long-term pilot project “Production OC 2025” is aimed at improving the work processes in the production departments at the Uelzen and Bismarck sites. Plans have also been made for other sites. The central idea behind this is that the employees shall initiate optimisation measures independently.
- The Uelzena Group trains young people in a structured manner to become skilled workers. Each apprenticeship is based on a reliable training plan defined in writing. Moreover, the trainers provide the trainees with intensive support and assistance – whether in their daily work or in preparation for their examinations.
- For its training programmes, Uelzena received the "TOP" seal of quality from the IHK Lüneburg-Wolfsburg for excellent training for the period 2018 - 2021.
Since 2016 there has been a central comprehensive health project in place for the employees of Uelzena. It includes various components, such as discounted membership cards for various sports and health facilities as well as comprehensive health and ergonomics coaching.
Occupational health and safety
Uelzena considers it a top priority to offer a safe working environment that contributes to avoiding accidents and work-related illnesses. It goes without saying that we improve and promote occupational health and safety by complying with existing laws and setting group-wide objectives. These measures include regular risk assessments, training and preventative measures such as specially adapted hearing protection in production, and continually optimising our fire prevention and explosion protection strategies. Since 2014, Uelzena eG has taken part in the reward scheme offered by the BGN – the employer’s liability insurance association for the food and hospitality industry – and since then it has won a cash prize every year for occupational health and safety measures that go far beyond legal requirements.
Reconciliation of family and work life
The Uelzena Group supports its employees so that they do not have to decide between work and family. For instance, employees with children or family members who require care are offered individual working solutions such as part-time work, as far as is feasible for our company.