Demographic change is already influencing everyday business. After all, many employees can expect to continue to work until a much later age than was the case a few years ago. Concerning the future generation of workers, too, age-appropriate work models continue to gain significance. As a result, the ability of a company to succeed tomorrow already depends on the creation of an environment that enables long-term staff commitment and the appropriate application of expertise today.
In order to deal with the various aspects of the subject in a differentiated manner, Gira takes part in the German project Vitness, and thus receives expert support from the German Society for Organisational Development and Media Design (GOM), one of the few specialists in the sector. Within this framework, a detailed age structure analysis was already carried out in 2010, along with an assessment of how the demographic structure of employees will develop until 2017. "We discussed the results with our managers in great detail," states Martin Brochhaus, Head of Internal Corporate Development. "We then derived possible consequences, developed sensible measures and formulated new fields of work."
One key measure is the generation of a future workforce in the engineering sector. Accordingly, Gira has been training engineers itself as part of the dual study system since 2012. Another important area of action is workload alleviation for older employees, particularly in terms of shift work. Gira is currently developing a new shift system which will enable workloads to be reduced for elderly and sick employees.
Preserving the ability to learn amongst staff is another key concern for Gira. "Many of our staff stay at Gira for 20 or 30 years, and this is a fantastic situation for our company. Nevertheless, it is also important that they show a willingness to develop further and keep their knowledge up to date," explains Brochhaus. To encourage this, consideration is being given to making a certain level of qualification obligatory. "We are also working on a way to enable employees to follow a targeted path through various functions over the years. This keeps employees moving and positively increases their willingness to change. And that brings us all a step forward," states Brochhaus.