Continuously improve employer attractiveness

There are easier tasks than recruiting employees for Magnetic. The specialist for access and access control systems is located in Schopfheim in the border triangle where Germany, Switzerland and France meet, and this situation makes the search for qualified employees difficult. On the one hand, there is the proximity to Switzerland: Those who work across the border have less time off and less protection against dismissal. However, the wage level is significantly higher: It is not for nothing that the region counts over 30,000 cross-border commuters. But even on this side of the border, the competition is fierce: In the southern Baden region, there are several large companies in automation and sensor technology, which attract highly qualified specialists with their large development and design departments.

Magnetic relies on its own control and drive technology. Therefore, the company's demand for qualified employees for the design and development of hardware and software is very high. That is why Magnetic 2020 has launched a process to sustainably improve workplace culture and its image as an attractive employer.

The solution approach: a continuous process

Magnetic had also previously conducted internal employee surveys. This time, however, the management wanted to go further and initiate a continuous improvement process – deliberately relying on external consultants. The Great Place to Work® (GPTW) institute was appointed as a partner. The decisive factor was that GPTW not only collects internal data, but also has an extensive database of other companies. This allows the institute to determine where Magnetic stands in comparison to its competitors.

GPTW started with a written survey of employees. The team in Schopfheim answered questions about "credibility", "respect", "fairness", "pride" and "team spirit". The result was revealing for two main reasons: In the overall valuation, Magnetic positioned itself between the average market benchmark and a good valuation – so there is room for improvement. Moreover, the detailed evaluation showed where there is a particular need for action.

The decisive process step was the conversion of the results into concrete actions and into permanent structures. Eckard Bathe from the management and personnel consultancy LIMBERGER + DILGER, a partner of GPTW, moderated this step. First, the management team identified the most urgent areas for action in several workshops. Subsequently, several change groups were established, for example the following:

  • The "Weight Watchers" make sure that weights and sizes of all products are stored so as to make the work in shipping easier.
  • The "Communication Group" deals with the improvement of task assignments and feedback culture within the framework of shop floor management.
  • The "Order" team is responsible for the organization of order and cleanliness in the company buildings.

In each group, four to five employees from all levels develop solutions for their field of action.

The result: Magnetic improves from the inside

After more than two years, Magnetic can draw a positive conclusion from the collaboration. Employees have seen the change groups as an opportunity to change the company on their own initiative. The first groups have completed their work and created new ways of working and structures in the company. The team has reacted very positively to the process and its results, new change groups on additional topics have been established.

And how does it look from the outside? The situation regarding employer attractiveness is not so easy to determine. A first clue will be the next employee survey.

"Our employees implemented the external suggestions quickly and enthusiastically," says Managing Director Arno Steiner proudly. “With GPTW, we have initiated changes that benefit the entire company. We have definitely come an important step closer to winning the 'Great Place to Work' award.”