GEA takes pride in providing an attractive working environment where everyone is treated with respect and can contribute to the company’s global success, to the best of their abilities.
Our strength comes from having diverse and motivated employees. The five GEA values are at the heart of a working culture in which we nurture and develop the skills and competencies of our people through training, learning on the job, exchanging ideas, international working and providing a variety of interesting and challenging assignments.
GEA recognizes that diversity is a strategic factor for sustainable business success around the world. That is why diversity is central to our corporate DNA. Diversity in GEA’s workforce is defined by nationalities, gender, age and qualifications. To truly harness diversity, we strive to increase organizational and international mobility, as well as flexible working arrangements.
At GEA we value differences in personalities and ways of thinking, in how people work together and in their various approaches to solving problems. In this way we can match the right people to the right jobs, and attract and retain the best minds.
“With diversity I associate the wealth of ideas and strength that are the basis for survival; diversity has made evolution possible and is a key to success. For me, personally, diversity also means the ability to put things into perspective, to accept inconsistencies and deal with them accordingly,” says Jürg Oleas, Chairman of the Executive Board.
Our commitment to achieving diversity throughout GEA, at all levels, is driven by our Diversity Management Program. We measure success in the following six areas:
GEA recognizes the growing dynamics within global markets and the importance of international networking. We aim to increase the percentage of international employees throughout the group.
Mixed gender leadership
We believe that GEA’s overall performance benefits from having a balance of men and women in management roles. Male and female candidates for management and other key positions should be considered equally.
GEA encourages employees of all ages to contribute their experience and knowledge to embracing the demographic change.
At GEA we actively encourage mobility between our different organizational units around the world. This not only creates synergies between our areas of operation, it also promotes a GEA-wide exchange of knowledge and potential.
In order to benefit from a broader spectrum of knowledge and experience – and to promote innovative thinking – we are aiming to extend the range of management-level qualifications and competencies.
We aim to increase the opportunities for helping our employees to balance their professional and family responsibilities by adapting the way we work. This includes offering flexibility in working hours and location, as well as healthcare and family services schemes.
At GEA we believe that our employees are our most valuable resource, which is why we offer every opportunity to help them to develop their skills and enjoy a rewarding career.
We view development as an ongoing process that we support by giving people challenging assignments, enabling them to take on more responsibility and encouraging them to share information between the different parts of GEA. On-the-job learning is complemented by a range of development measures and integrated training courses.
GEA Learning Center
The GEA Learning Center bundles the complete training offer at GEA as well as tools and information on learning and development related topics. This comprises training on internal products and applications as well as a broad scope of leadership and functional topics such as project management and sales management. The offer is accessible to all employees via an intranet platform.
First Professional Program
This training program is for employees who have been with GEA for at least two years and who have demonstrated future management potential. It comprises three targeted modules; 'leading yourself’, 'leading teams' and 'leading change', to help them further develop their competencies in communication. Participants are also assigned projects to complete between each module so that they can apply what they have learned to their jobs.
The program starts with a two-day development workshop to identify the employees’ key strengths and any areas for improvement. The results form the basis of individual development plans.
As the program involves GEA employees from around the world, it helps to foster international networking and cross-segment cooperation.
Professionals on stage
This program serves as a central forum for future managers. Every year we invite 12 senior employees from around the world, who have excelled in their work, to attend a three-day assessment. They work together in groups and individually to solve problems from different professional fields.
Six top GEA managers act as observers and provide feedback to help participants to recognize their own strengths and the qualities that they need to develop further – important steps both for their personal and professional development at GEA.
At the end of the three days participants will be able to start preparing their personal development plans, incorporating the feedback that they received. They will also have made valuable connections with colleagues in other parts of GEA.
Global Business Consortium
By participating in the London Business School’s Global Business Consortium (GBC) GEA is contributing to the further development of both our company and our managers. Every year six of our managers join top managers from other international companies. By working together and exchanging information, they are able to further develop their skills and strategic competencies.
Mentoring and coaching
Through our mentoring program, talented employees are guided individually by experienced GEA managers who support them through mutual trust.
The program lasts for a year, during which time the mentor helps the mentee to learn specific corporate skills and know-how and to develop both professionally and personally.
Coaching has also proved to be an effective way of developing key people. Highly qualified coaches are assigned by our HR team to steer current and potential managers through various core competencies.