How can you put ideas into practice within a company? Certainly not by issuing instructions from the top down but by operating on equal terms and in agreement with the respective employees. Duravit’s corporate culture is based on encouragement and support, which promote mutual respect. This, in turn, enables employees to identify with the company, is inspiring and increases productivity – and it is also sustainable in the best sense of the word. After all, if employees remain at the company for longer, less time, money and energy is spent on recruiting and training new staff.
- Each employee has a large amount of freedom within his/her working area and the scope to act independently.
Duravit wants to establish long-term relationships with its employees. This is why we promote an extremely human corporate culture. Flat hierarchies mean that all employees can go straight to management with any questions. Each employee has a large amount of freedom within his/her working area and the scope to act independently. A nonbureaucratic, collegial and cooperative management style maintains flexible structures and invites all employees to assume greater responsibility and to act upon their own initiative.
Social benefits both in Germany and abroad
Some years ago, in order to ensure social provision in old age, Duravit introduced a company pension scheme in Germany that is additional to the collectively agreed pension provision. As employees come from a large catchment area, we also give travel allowances. Employees also receive other forms of support, including a vacation allowance. In Germany and at all its international sites, Duravit not only pays the statutory or contractual minimum wage but also a voluntary component above the general scale. This depends upon quality and productivity, individual performance and the economic success of the respective site but is, of course, regardless of gender, religion or nationality. If there are no national social insurance systems in place in the respective countries, Duravit insures employees against basic risks on a voluntary basis.
Commitment to a location as loyalty factor
Even in the current difficult economic conditions, Duravit’s supervisory and management boards both pursue the same policy of not moving production from Western Europe to low-wage countries; rather, they wish to maintain the competitiveness of existing structures. This strengthens both the company and the employees as the expertise required to remain in the vanguard of design is only available at Western European sites. And, a company that is committed to a location is rewarded by the unconditional loyalty of its employees.
- To make it easier for young people to make the transition into the world of work, Duravit cooperates with different educational establishments and with numerous schools in the region.
In Germany, Duravit currently provides training in a total of 20 different training and study courses, both in the commercial and the industrial sectors, and this portfolio is being constantly extended. To make it easier for young people to make the transition into the world of work, Duravit cooperates with different educational establishments and with numerous schools in the region. The trainers and instructors are also trained internally and given specific support. Duravit pays particular attention to ongoing cooperations with schools and higher education institutes, whether as long-term, contractual cooperation partners or in the form of individual projects for specific target groups. Students can carry out internships or work on final thesis projects at Duravit. In addition, it offers placements to students and school children.
Various activities and events promote health and sociability
Duravit is particularly concerned about the health of its employees. This is reflected not only in comprehensive occupational health and safety measures for production and management. Duravit’s “I’m keeping fit” health campaign includes a wide range of massages, prevention courses, health checks and special membership offers at gyms. A variety of events, such as sports competitions, walking tours and parties to celebrate company anniversaries, also encourage social contacts.
- Working sustainably in a human environment: thanks to Duravit’s corporate culture of mutual respect, employees identify with the company.
Almost 20 years ago, Duravit’s international activities made up about five percent of turnover; today, this figure is about 77 percent. Progressive internationalisation ensures jobs in Germany but also presents the individual employees with new challenges: ranging from telephone calls to professional participation at international trade fairs, many employees today have contacts all over the world and have to be able to move around the globe. This demands not only mobility and a knowledge of foreign languages but also an understanding of different cultures, and this is something that is strongly encouraged at Duravit. This, too, is sustainable: only those who endeavour to understand different values, traditions and ways of thinking can hope to be understood in return – and to work together to shape the future.