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Company News, 2010-10-07, 01:27 PM

ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe wins “Fokus 50+” best practice award for demographic management

At the end of September Germany’s biggest steel producer ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe received the Fokus 50+ Award from the consultancy company Apriori in recognition of its “ProFuture” program, a program for the future “anchored in corporate strategy in exemplary fashion and promoting integrated, interdisciplinary and sustainable demographic management”.

The study conducted by members of the Fokus 50plus initiative’s advisory council centered on company strategies and concepts in the areas of recruitment, career opportunities, training, health management and work organization. Based on structured interviews and questionnaires, the survey analyzed to what extent the potential of experienced employees is assessed correctly and what sustainable adaptation processes have been initiated. A total of 137 companies took part in the “Managing Demographics” study across Germany, seven of them received awards.

The “ProFuture” program developed and initiated by ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe in 2006 encompasses a wide range of measures aimed at meeting the challenges of demographic change in the company’s workforce.

A key aspect is rejuvenating the steadily aging workforce. By cutting the working time of its tariff employees in recent years, the company has created 500 new jobs and retained an additional 1,000 finished apprentices.

ProFuture also fosters and maintains the capabilities and motivation of employees through innovative health and safety initiatives. The work of the company’s occupational physicians focuses on preventing sickness and keeping employees healthy. This includes increasing motivation and encouraging healthy behavior. For example, for employees working rotating shifts and those working in production-related areas ThyssenKrupp Steel has introduced a “health shift” (Gesundheitsschicht®): In a one-day workshop, the employees take part in a health check and develop a personal health program with the help of fully qualified doctors. Participants are also given advice on the implications of demographic change for the individual and – depending on their requirements – on issues such as back problems, diet and stress management.

A further aim of “ProFuture” is to improve the work-life balance: ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe is a family-friendly company. To make it easier for mothers and fathers to return to work after parental leave, working hours are flexible and there is an advisory service for individual childcare arrangements. As well as helping young families, the company also provides support for employees with family members in need of long-term care.

When older employees leave the company, their valuable knowledge must not be lost. Knowledge transfer is a complex process aimed most of all at passing on experience. Under “ProFuture” there is a standardized system for passing on knowledge and training successors on the basis of moderated interviews.

“This award confirms that we set the right course in good time,” says Dieter Kroll, Executive Board member and HR director of ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG. “It’s a great achievement and an incentive for us to continue ‘ProFuture’”.

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