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Products and solutions, 2011-12-01, 10:00 AM

Good health pays dividends – ThyssenKrupp VDM receives “1st HAWARD Health Award”

ThyssenKrupp VDM is the first company in Germany to be awarded health management certification by the TÜV NORD inspection agency. Dr. Jürgen Olbrich, Chairman of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp VDM, accepted the “1st HAWARD Health Award” at the official HAWARD Initiative award ceremony in Hamburg yesterday. “We’re very pleased to have received another award for our health management system. It is a further incentive for us to keep improving our programs and tailoring them to our employees,” said the CEO of the Werdohl-based manufacturer of high-performance materials. The HAWARD Health AWARD is presented each year to the company with the best certified health management system. With the support of TÜV NORD, the BARMER GEK health insurance association, the business magazine “impulse” and other partners, the HAWARD Initiative aims to promote health management at the workplace based on recognized quality standards.

ThyssenKrupp VDM’s award-winning program is based on a complex system of health promotion through health centers at all locations. The Werdohl-based company focused in particular on the introduction and organization of preventive measures such as dental care and skin/bowel cancer screening, allergy advice and thyroid gland ultrasound scans – all of which are free of charge for employees. The company health management system also offers additional incentives to keep fit and active, e.g. through cooperation with fitness centers or by offering massages at work. The establishment of the company sports club has played a major part in improving the health of employees. With more than 400 members, it now offers over 20 different sports and has become not only a platform for improving physical fitness, but also – by offering e.g. chess, card games or billiards – for enhancing social skills and strengthening interpersonal relationships.

In addition to numerous HR development and training measures, the ThyssenKrupp VDM company health management system also provides a bonus scheme for employees and long-term health promotion activities. “We are putting our faith in creating a new health culture: Arrive healthy and leave healthy,” says Matthias Schmoll, health manager at ThyssenKrupp VDM. In particular, constantly repeating the core processes (diagnosis, planning, intervention, evaluation) in the company health management system has been a key quality criterion for success. The aim is to motivate employees, and above all managers, to behave healthily and safely, and thus play an active part in the development process. Executives in particular receive training on “health-focused management”. In parallel, all opportunities to optimize working conditions are utilized. One of many examples is the so-called “experience shift”, in which all managers complete a one-day “internship” in the production areas of the company. “This opens people’s eyes to other perspectives on both sides,” says Schmoll about the experiences gained.

The “health bonus booklet” supplements all these measures. It acts as both a source of information and as an incentive. By participating in health promotion measures offered by the company, employees can earn points, which they can exchange for non-cash rewards. The Werdohl-based company received an HR management award from the City of Dortmund Economic Development Agency in 2008 for this measure. “We are investing in the health of our employees and know that this is an investment in the future, as good health pays dividends,” said Dr. Olbrich at the award ceremony.

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