People Must Come FirstPublication: FP special interest page topic “Gesund im Unternehmen” (“Healthy at Work”) / Special interest page 2 on 15 November 2016
Author: Michael Ertel, Topic: Article: “Best Practice GEALAN”, Date: 08/11/2016
The GEALAN Formteile Group values and respects its employees
‘Burnout’ is not a short-lived phenomenon that will only exist until we have grown accustomed to the faster pace and denser workloads in the modern world of work. To reduce pressure in the workplace and achieve a harmonious and motivating working atmosphere in the long run, our actions must be sustainable – and that begins with leadership behaviour within the company. This is why Gerhard Laubmann, who with his colleague Thomas Fickenscher heads Gealan Formteile in Oberkotzau, focuses on a “culture that values and respects employees”. Employee well-being is his top priority. “People should take pleasure in their work.”
Gerhard Laubmann disagrees with the common viewpoint that psychosomatic illnesses are already the cause of the majority of sick leave cases today. Obviously, sick employees and the cost associated with their absence are issues for GEALAN as well, says Laubmann. But what is most decisive for him is “that we create a situation in our company that promotes our employees’ willingness and ability to perform”. Laubmann: “We want an atmosphere in which people see that they come first – and are not simply a number in the HR department.”
The Managing Director sees the successful automotive supplier’s employees’ well-being as an ongoing process. A company that values employees – beginning with creating appealing jobs – can work together better to create value for customers. “Thomas Fickenscher and I have a similar view of leadership culture. We are constantly sharing these views with managers in our company so that they have the tools they need to treat employees the same way.”
For Laubmann, merely acting on numbers and budgets is the “simplest form of leadership”. But this approach fails to address the human factor. The keyword here is ‘communication’. “We always try to find a compromise between hard facts and our deeds and actions – and the factors that influence a particular situation and may in some cases have contributed to the failure to achieve a goal.” This might not be the easiest path – but in the long run it is the most successful, he adds. For example, when employees take pleasure in their work and it shows. Laubmann: “We are very satisfied when this positive basic attitude is palpable for us.”
Intense employee involvement in ‘GEALAN comes together’ is further proof of employees’ strong commitment and dedication. This initiative committee organizes collective activities that reinforce the feeling of being part of a team and the bond between colleagues. Whether photography, welding or cooking courses or group hikes and sports activities: “Everyone benefits from the knowledge and skills of others here – and this is also important for our success as a company,” the Managing Director is certain.