Aker Wirth, a leading equipment supplier, is one of the best small-to-medium-sized enterprise (SME) employers in Germany. ‘Top Job’, was awarded to Aker Wirth because of the exceptionally good personnel management at the Erkelenz enterprise.
Dr. H. C. Wolfgang Clement, the former German minister for economy and mentor of the project, presented the Bohr (Drill) to Aker Wirth with the prestigious ‘Top-Job’ seal of approval at a ceremony in the Landschaftspark in Duisburg, Germany.
In a scientific study, the human resources department at Aker Wirth was carefully examined and scrutinised, and then compared with 162 other SMEs. The competition placed emphasis on a number of key factors when deciding who should be granted this award, including the quality of the management / leadership structure, the dynamics of culture and family orientation within the company, the motivation of the employees and their perspective on development.
“Our employees appreciate that we continue to develop and support their competence and independence,” stated CEO Christoph Kleuters regarding the advantages of the Bohr award.
Success through education qualifications
In 2007 Aker Wirth began a large-scale project focusing on the qualifications and further education of employees. Computer and language courses had previously been the standard and the offer for international specialists’ seminars was later added. Today, the further education programme has been implemented so employees use these qualifications to their optimum capacity specific to their working requirements.
“Together with staff, management and external training specialists, we continually ascertain the training needs of our employees and check the effectiveness of the individual training courses, to ensure they are an advantage for both our employees and company as a whole,” explained Helmut Pospiech, human resources manager at Aker Wirth.
This investment in specialist personnel starts early at Aker Wirth. On average, 40 young people are educated in seven different occupations – from draughtsmen, mechanical technicians, to administrative roles. The technical and commercial apprentices study in the trainees’ workshop and the Aker Wirth competence centre, learning to handle the materials, tools and machinery in practice. At the in-house training school, staff are then intensively prepared for the examinations.
In 2009, the Aker Wirth Competence Centre was established where Aker Wirth employees and customers are prepared for their service tasks. In the modern training centre, experienced technicians and engineers deepen their knowledge of complex systems and new technical developments.
The training concept combines the most modern media technology, simulator training, practical instruction on product components, along with theoretic instruction from experienced practical instructors. The training offered was developed together with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Industrie und Handelskammer) Aachen and is IHK certified.
The success of Aker Wirth is proof that investment in their personnel is on the right track. The company has managed an average annual turnover of approximately 200 MEUR and consistently raised the EBITDA to over 15%.
The employees are loyal to their ‘Bohr’. On average each employee has worked for more than 19 years with the company.
“We are proud that our employees stand by us,” says Kleuters. “The ‘Top-Job’ seal of approval is an award and incentive for us at the same time – after all, the performance of our team is the key to the success of our company.”