Gira and the Industrial Trade Union of Metalworkers are currently working side by side on the project "Work 2020" on the topic of digitalisation. What is this all about?
Markus Sieling: Digitalisation, Work 4.0 – one hears these terms with increasing frequency in more and more contexts, and everyone has their own interpretation of them. The Industrial Trade Union of Metalworkers also recognised this and announced a pilot project on the subject. We want to shed light on the matter together and to answer fundamental questions: "How will we actually work in the future? What effects will digitalisation have on the employees at Gira? And how sustainably positioned for the future are we at Gira?". Within the framework of the project, a future agreement is made with the employer which stipulates, for example: We don't want any operations-related layoffs in the future due to digitalisation". To this end, the Gira Works Council proposes a plan for how we can implement that along with the Executive Management and the employees.
What are the individual steps which will make us fit for the future at Gira?
Markus Sieling: First, we have carried out an inventory in several workshops with numerous employees, Works Council members, and managers in order to determine where we currently stand with regard to the digitalisation of work. This resulted in the creation of a business map, from which we were able to deduce: "What effect does digitalisation have on the workload of Gira employees? How does it affect the overall mood at our company? Which qualifications will employees need in the future?" Then we wanted to gain the most concrete impression possible of what the work of the future will look like. As difficult as it is to predict what will happen in the future, it is also clear that, due to the digitalisation of work, some jobs will be eliminated while others will be newly created. Therefore, we are dealing with the question of what happens to the people whose jobs are eliminated. How can we support these people? What possibilities are there to provide them with qualifications so that they can take over the newly created jobs? Here the input of our external service provider Sustain Consult, which has hosted all the workshops on the subject, was very helpful.
We then got together with Executive Management to align the interests of the Works Council and Executive Management in this regard. Our common goal is to pull together on this issue at Gira.