- Number of employees rises to 78,686
- Broad-based in-house employee development program
The number of employees in the Würth Group rose by 2.1 percent to 78,686 as of 31 December 2019 (2018: 77,080). In Germany, the Würth Group had 24,344 employees on its payroll (2018: 23,772), while Würth companies abroad reported 54,342 employees (2018: 53,308). There were 33,979 employees working as permanent sales representatives worldwide in the 2019 fiscal year (2018: 33,218). A total of 996 employees joined us in connection with acquisitions.
Human resources strategy
The shortage of specialists and managers is having an impact in many countries and qualified employees are increasingly becoming a limiting factor for growth. It is therefore important to retain employees at the company and to offer a positive working environment with interesting development opportunities. The Würth Group, with its diverse business models and international orientation, has many possibilities in this respect. Various activities were launched to present these prospects in a transparent manner. A binding and structured process was launched for the large companies to identify potential risks when filling key positions, but also to identify where new career prospects are opening up. This information is condensed and analyzed with the top management team of the Würth Group at regular intervals, with agreements being made on the measures to be taken and talent pools being defined.
The location for training, HR and talent development activities in North America has also brought us closer to our target groups, thus encouraging the internationalization of our operations with regard to HR. Another location in China, responsible for the entire Asia-Pacific region, has been in operation since January 2020. This decentralized approach allows the programs to be adapted to better suit local requirements and allows for more efficient talent management on location.
Digitalization will lead to major changes and associated challenges with regard to human resources. HR management has been mapped in a central system since the end of 2019, allowing standard processes to be improved and made more secure across the Group. In addition, the Würth Group Learning Campus was established as a platform for e-learning open to employees within the Würth Group.
Under the leadership of Würth Business Academy, international cooperation within the Group is being strengthened by a Group-wide HR network and a platform for best practice sharing. The Group-wide HR network also discusses, develops and establishes HR-related topics such as social media recruiting or requirements for an employee survey that is in line with the latest standards.
There are various phases in each employee’s working life: There are times at which personal issues such as self-worth or self-confidence play a key role and there are also times in which focus is placed on career advancement—be it in an employee’s career as a manager or in the various specialist departments. The programs set up by Würth aim to offer everyone training that suits their individual skills and professional objectives.
As a family business, Würth is committed to long-term corporate development. This also applies when it comes to promoting the talents of the future. In Germany, where there is a long tradition of dual training concepts, Würth has been committed to providing people with extensive initial training for more than 60 years now. At the end of 2019, the Würth Group in Germany employed 1,387 trainees for more than 50 occupations. Young professionals can also study for bachelor’s degrees at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. Commercial and technical occupations and catering traineeships form training focal points within the German companies. The social commitment in the support of refugees regarding access to the labor market is evident from the cooperation with Steinbeis University’s School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE).
The skills, competences and qualifications of all employees, together with their motivation and enthusiasm, form the basis for a successful future. For this reason, personal development and further professional qualification are of particular relevance in order to meet the demands of the market. Akademie Würth offers a holistic further training concept for employees of the Würth Group as well as for customers and interested parties outside the Würth Group.
Akademie Würth offers a practice-oriented range of further training courses specifically for craft businesses in the form of technically oriented training courses. The targeted courses focus on specific topics such as fire safety, metalworking, fasteners, sealants and adhesives, motor vehicles, and occupational safety. This allows Würth to support its customers as a service provider, driver of innovation and mentor as well.
The concept is rounded off by consultancy services on all matters relating to quality and process management, organizational development and business excellence. Companies within and outside the Group alike are given support to help them meet the requirements that apply to them. These include compliance with customer requirements and the implementation of overall statutory conditions, such as the creation and implementation of integrated management systems or support with certification processes. We also provide companies with support in areas such as strategy development and the implementation of change processes. Lean Management and Six Sigma have already been launched successfully at companies in various sectors. In order to ensure sustainability, the approach chosen tends to involve providing support with projects that will have an impact on the organization’s profit or loss.
Degree programs for working professionals at Akademie Würth Business School, which are open both to employees of the Group and to interested individuals from outside the Group, allow people to study for academic degrees. The Bachelor of Business Administration in cooperation with the Distance Learning University Hamburg is a seven-semester program leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. The bachelor’s program in Industrial Engineering and Technical Sales in cooperation with SRH Distance Learning University takes six semesters, finishing with a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.). In collaboration with the University of Louisville in Kentucky (USA), Würth also offers the internationally recognized master’s degree in Global Business. This one-year program, which is conducted in English, awards graduates a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The master’s program in Digital Management & Transformation confers a Master of Science (M. Sc.) in four semesters; likewise in cooperation with SRH Distance Learning University.
The Würth Group recruits most of its managers from within the company. At the Group-wide level, we offer various training programs via the Würth Business Academy to ensure holistic management training processes and the systematic development of up-and-coming talents.
The in-house health management program “Fit mit Würth” launched by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2019. A program that started out with 10 courses and three presentations made by doctors back in 1994 is now a firmly established component of the corporate culture 25 years down the line. “Fit mit Würth” aims to raise awareness for healthy living and working and to create an overall environment that is conducive to employee health. Approximately 1,100 employees and their relatives attend over 300 courses. The program covers the areas of exercise, nutrition, safety, social affairs, prevention, and well-being. Every two years, “Fit mit Würth” takes part in an audit to obtain the Corporate Health Award. A large number of subsidiaries are now also developing sports programs of their own.
Employee satisfaction has always been a top priority for the Würth Group. Only satisfied employees can be good employees. They secure the company’s competitive standing and, as a result, help to secure jobs. The Würth Group has been conducting a standardized employee survey on a regular basis since 2005. This results in structured information allowing comparisons to be drawn and is used to improve employee well-being and processes in general. The survey provides a benchmark both within and between individual companies in the Würth Group. The survey is carried out together with the Mannheim-based WO Institute (Institute for Economic and Organizational Psychology).
Thanks to our employees
The Central Managing Board of the Würth Group would like to thank all employees as well as the employee representatives at the Würth companies for their great commitment and flexibility in exploring new avenues in a constantly changing environment in order to promote the Würth Group’s healthy growth in the long term.