For the second time, Aker Wirth has been honoured as one of the best German small to medium-sized enterprise employers. In comparison to the numerous companies competing for the title, 'Top Job' was convinced by the exceptionally good personnel management at the Erkelenz enterprise. In recognition of this Dr Wolfgang Clement, the former German Economics Minister and mentor of the project, presented the company with the prestigious Top Job seal of quality at a ceremony in the Landscape Park in Duisburg, Germany.
From left: Liane Knops, HR Aker Wirth; Christoph Kleuters, CEO Aker Wirth; Wolfgang Clement, former German Economics Minister; Helmut Pospiech, Vice President HR Aker Wirth
In a scientific study, the prestigious University of St. Gallen in Switzerland examined every aspect of the human resources department at Aker Wirth and compared it with other SME's (small to medium-sized enterprise employers). The areas investigated in the competition ranged from the management qualities of senior executives to the dynamics, culture and family orientation within the company, and included motivation of employees and their development perspectives. "We attach great importance to the regular comparison of our work with that of other companies and the identification of improvement potential. Our human resources manager, M. Pospiech, and his team, advanced our participation in the Top Job award with enormous commitments. A lot of hard work is involved in the preparation of the survey, interpretation of findings and the realisation of measures", said CEO Christoph Kleuters. "But we want to take advantage of this opportunity to prepare ourselves for the upcoming shortage of skilled personnel. This can only be faced through intensive in-house training and offering our new and existing employees attractive benefits as a company."
The leading employers were selected in a multi-stage process. It encompassed a survey of employees and a questionnaire for key Human Resources personnel addressing the personnel management methods and instruments employed. On the basis of the findings, a jury of experts selected the employer of the year. Aker Wirth achieved particularly good results in the 'Personnel development and perspectives' category. Employee satisfaction with regard to their work, working environment and remuneration was noted as above average. In addition to further adult education, a particularly strong emphasis is placed on the training of junior skilled personnel at Aker Wirth. Due to the international character of the business environment in which it operates, the company integrates apprentices in its global daily business right from the outset. Language courses are as much an integral part of apprenticeship as special cross cultural programmes in which apprentices are introduced to the customs and communication forms of other countries. Very soon after qualifying, young professionals from the assembly department participate in international assignments under the watchful eye of experienced employees. After approximately two years, they are then ready to tackle sites all over the world in an independent capacity, thus assuming an enormous responsibility in international teams in their early 20s. Numerous opportunities for advancement exist at Aker Wirth, as management expressly promotes internal applications. The chances of gaining a higher position are excellent if qualifications meet the mark. In addition, internal applicants have the opportunity to improve their know-how through further training measures if their skills profile is still in need of refinement.
"Our employees are our most important asset," concluded Christoph Kleuters. "Our top performers secure our international competitiveness in the long term".
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