The financial year was the most difficult in the Heidelberg Group’s more than 150-year corporate history. Our employees were particularly affected by this. Despite massive job cutbacks and short-time work, they significantly supported and advised our customers worldwide, secured shipments of service parts, implemented new procedures in the administration, secured our capital structure, and ensured ongoing high quality in manufacturing.
|Number of employees||31-Mar-09||31-Mar-10|
Recent years have been subject to very severe cyclical fluctuations. Thanks to constructive negotiations with staff representatives in Germany, which we concluded in early October 2009, Heidelberg continues to be in a position to react flexibly to fluctuations in demand in the future.
Adjusted for first-time consolidations and trainees, and including temporary hirings, we reduced our total staff by nearly 4,000 positions worldwide over the course of the past two financial years, of which over 2,700 job cutbacks were undertaken at our German local units. In addition, employees agreed to forgo payments called for by the collective bargaining agreements as well as additional excess payments. Moreover, we agreed to a working time account through December 31, 2012 in order to be in a position to cope with possible peaks in demand as well. Overall, the cost reductions that have already been achieved in the human resources area correspond to the targets of the Heidelberg 2010 program, under which we had announced cutbacks of up to 5,000 jobs worldwide. The impact of the global economic crisis on our industry necessitated this deep cut.
|Number of employees||31-Mar-09||31-Mar-10|
|Europe, Middle East and Africa||13,668||11,731|
Structural and strategic changes in an enterprise result in a substantial increase in the informational needs of the staff – all the more so if it is necessary to terminate jobs. We have extensively informed our employees concerning the required measures and their background, as well as the progress made and the results achieved in negotiations. We promptly provided employees with information concerning additional
The transfer company was established in close cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency. Its goal is to mediate new jobs for employees. Over 99 percent of the employees in Germany that we had to dismiss took advantage of the opportunity of shifting to the transfer company as of March 1, 2010. They will be ensured employment in this company for up to twelve months; they may acquire additional qualifications for new job positions during this time.
We focused our on-the-job training on strategic areas during the financial year. For example, we ensured that our sales and marketing specialists are in a position to even better advise customers on packaging printing and consumables in the future.
We continued the measures for enhancing professional qualifications at our plant in China. Intensively trained Chinese employees are meanwhile even active in successfully training each other. For example, the so-called reprint time – the length of time a mounted printing press must be reworked to produce perfect results – has been further reduced.
At the end of 2008, the Federal Government decided to promote personal specialized training during short-time work phases. We took advantage of this opportunity to develop a comprehensive advanced training offering within a short period of time. Our cross-sector training programs, such as English and IT courses, which we make available in our Intranet, have been requested over 20,000 times. Two-thirds of all employees participated in at least one course for enhancing their professional qualifications. Throughout Germany, a total of 31,000 days were allocated to staff training during short-time work. We believe that the measures also had a favorable impact on employee motivation.
We increasingly value the importance of compatibility of one’s family and professional life on the motivation of employees. We view this as an important factor in the competition for highly qualified and committed employees, which we are therefore striving to promote further. In view of this situation, we are highly pleased that the Amstetten local unit received the “Audit Profession and Family” certificate from the non-profit Hertie Foundation. Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s Federal Minster of Labor and Social Affairs, and a patron of this initiative, awarded the certificate to Heidelberg and other companies in June 2009.
A total of approximately 80 measures are to be implemented at Amstetten through 2012. These include not only the further enhancement of flexible working time, but also improved offers for child care during school vacations and greater support for employees who are caring for family members.
We selected the Amstetten local unit in a first stage towards the Company’s overall certification, since it is seen as having an exemplary production environment. The portion of our staff working on a part-time basis of 2.7 percent was down from the previous year. The share of the employees working in alternating telecommuting jobs remained unchanged at 0.7 percent.
Despite the crisis, Heidelberg continues to place high value on outstanding training. Thus, 193 trainees began their vocational training on September 1, 2009 at the German local units; some 3,000 young people and young adults had applied for these positions. The 14 apprenticeship-based trades range from mechatronics and draftsmen all the way to packaging mechanics – the latter which was made available for the first time. A total of 23 of the junior executive employees begin their studies in one of seven bachelor’s degrees on offer – for example, in engineering, digital media, and international business. The extremely low dropout rate of less than one percent speaks for the quality of training at Heidelberg – the equivalent average figure for Germany as a whole is approximately 25 percent.
The many years of experience gained by employees are of great benefit in precision engineering – and are associated with considerable opportunities in the form of ideas for improvement. We systematically make use of these opportunities through our