Laying the groundwork to become employer of choice

Industry faces many demands today. The need for more sustainable production methods and end-products, increasing digitalization and disruptions caused most recently by a global pandemic, to name a few. Finding ways to turn these challenges into opportunities requires well-trained individuals with a passion for innovation and collaboration.
Motivated employees are the foundation for successful businesses. They are critical for coping with a dynamic, fast-paced environment. Without them, customer satisfaction will suffer, leading to diminished financial performance. Also, engaged, curious people can significantly accelerate the journey towards greater sustainability. Thus, by focusing on their people, companies can safeguard their own long-term stability and success.
Employer of choice - Bakel

In Europe and around the world, the mechanical and plant engineering industry needs more skilled employees. And while economic demand and the job market may be strong, standing out as an employer has rarely been as contested as it is today – particularly as job seekers place more emphasis on purpose, sustainability and flexible work models. 

GEA offers purposeful work for people globally

Our long standing and unique purpose – “Engineering for a better world” – is a source of motivation and pride for employees around the world. It is our mantra and commitment to provide solutions for a more sustainable society. And it reflects the fact that we supply people and businesses everywhere with the food, medicines and other essential goods and services they depend on.

The ability to offer meaningful work is a key asset to attract and motivate employees. But looking ahead, we know this alone is not enough to differentiate us as an employer. To enhance our appeal to current and potential talent in fiercely competitive markets, we must continuously hone our attractiveness along various dimensions. 

That is why we made this topic an explicit focus area of our Mission 26 corporate strategy and ESG activities. Going forward, we aim to become the employer of choice in the engineering industry by fostering diversity, equality, and inclusion and by promoting lifelong learning and long-term career development. Our approach aims to further develop GEA as an attractive working environment built on the foundation of our values: excellence, passion, integrity, responsibility and diversity.

Employer of choice - Koszalin

Our approach to retain and develop the best people for GEA

Attracting, retaining and developing key talent over the long-term is critical for managing succession and maintaining our leading market position. As a result, we have an ambitious target to fill 80 percent of open management positions with our own talent by 2026.

On that journey, first-class training and growth opportunities are critical. Enabling our workforce increases employee satisfaction and improves GEA’s performance. That is why our global, regional and local HR teams will increase their efforts to create the right conditions for continuous employee learning and long-term career development.

Specifically, we will finetune and strengthen our offering which includes a structured framework for:

  • employees to align training and development goals with managers and elicit regular feedback and dialogue about their performance 
  • managers to align and develop their goals with more senior managers, to elicit succession and development needs and identify high-potential candidates 
  • all employees to access e-learnings, trainings and webinars on topics relevant to their job responsibilities and development goals. 

To be an employer of choice requires fostering a work environment characterized by appreciation and respect for all. For example, when an employee experiences a change in their physical ability, we secure the tools they need to do their existing job or identify other roles where they can use their knowledge and skillset. We strive to anchor an open and welcoming culture everywhere at GEA, which also ensures we’re drawing from the largest possible pool of candidates when recruiting.

It goes without saying that we empower all employees and provide them with equal access to opportunities and resources – regardless of their individual differences. And going forward, we will focus even more on enabling diversity and inclusion. While both are long-standing values within GEA, there is still scope for us to improve. This includes increasing female representation, particularly in our upper management roles. 

Fostering continuous improvement through regular dialogue

While it is essential that all our employees can make meaningful contributions and have sufficient opportunities for growth and development, this alone is not enough. In a large and diverse global company, the real potential to significantly empower employees and improve satisfaction lies at the local level.

This requires constant dialogue within all our business units and teams. We strive to facilitate more and more opportunities for exchange between managers and their team members – so that mutual expectations become clear, improvement potential is leveraged and the training and career goals of employees remain in the spotlight. “During the last two years, we have asked much of our employees and they have responded by adapting and demonstrating great resilience,” says Leonie Marquort, Global HR Manager Strategy & Governance at GEA. “We are committed to unlocking their full potential and supporting their development and growth.” 

Employer of choice - Oelde

“We have asked much of our employees and they have responded by adapting and demonstrating great resilience. We are committed to unlocking their full potential and supporting their development and growth.”

Leonie Marquort

Global HR Manager Strategy & Governance, GEA

On a mission, with a clear purpose

We offer meaningful work that makes a difference in the lives of millions of consumers and businesses every day all around the world. Now we are on a mission to become the employer of choice in the engineering industry.

Our goal in the upcoming years is to continually improve employee retention and satisfaction through dialogue and implementing feedback from our workforce. And we will increase our attractiveness as an employer by further developing our people and strategically recruiting the best talent worldwide. Lastly, by helping our employees maximize their potential, combined with clear targets that focus on diversity, we ensure that GEA remains a stable company that embraces respect and inclusion. 

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