The knowledge, ability, skills and engagement of our employees are essential to our business success. We therefore strive to create a working environment in which our employees can develop at a personal level, drive innovation and perform at their best. This requires a leadership and management culture centred on trust, respect and a commitment to performance.
In the context of fierce global competition for top personnel to fill specialist and executive roles, we seek to recruit exceptional individuals who can help us achieve our growth targets. Our search for potential colleagues prepared to take on responsibility and contribute actively to the company extends worldwide. When selecting future employees, we look beyond their professional qualifications to assess whether their interpersonal capabilities fit with us and our company’s culture.
We use social media channels to reach out to potential applicants, primarily via contact platforms such as LinkedIn and Xing. This enables us to connect with interesting candidates, build networks and quickly fill vacant positions.
To meet demand for specialist staff we have also developed our own vocational training programme focussing on practical learning and a collaborative working culture. In the year under review, 57 trainees began their training in 18 vocational occupations at our locations in Frankenthal, Halle and Pegnitz. 10 young people started a dual work / degree programme to gain either a Bachelor of Engineering (mechanical engineering) or a Bachelor of Science (engineering science). We are currently training a total of 233 young men and women.
In addition to technical knowledge and manual skills, it is also important to us that junior staff nurture a strong sense of responsibility. The year under review saw KSB trainees demonstrate the social and environmental dimensions of this responsibility by volunteering at animal shelters, assisting at care homes for the elderly and participating in charity runs. The success of our training activities is reflected in the performance of our young KSB employees before the examination board of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the awards we received as an exemplary training company.
In 2016 we invested € 6.7 million in vocational training in Germany alone, including equipment and machinery for three training workshops.
The challenges our staff face are continually evolving. To develop and expand their expertise and abilities, we offer them task-oriented qualifications in engineering, business administration, IT and communication.
2016 saw the continuation of our internal distance-learning study programme to qualify staff as “Pump & Applications Professionals”. This one-year course is designed to strengthen and extend their knowledge of pumps and pumping applications. A related project saw us pilot a modular train-the-trainer programme with a group of technical experts which sought to refine their ability to convey technical content in a didactically and methodologically effective manner at internal seminars.
As part of a new concept, we adjusted our language training to focus more on the practical requirements of the course participants. Their needs were determined through a series of interviews prior to the start of the course. In addition to our classic training programmes, we introduced a web-based language learning system comprised of online learning modules, individual support from coaches and communication training.
Managers worldwide are offered in-depth seminars in which they can assess and improve their social skills and approach to leadership and management. In the year under review, our Chinese subsidiary KSB Shanghai Pump Co., Ltd. continued the “Leadership Improvement” training programme which was launched in 2015. 51 managers took advantage of this opportunity to further develop their skills.
In a competition involving 800 companies in China, we received two awards for the best HR team and the best HR management. The jury of the largest HR media company in China commended the HR department of KSB Shanghai Pump Co., Ltd. on its exemplary early-retirement programme, culture of achievement and staff versatility.
In particular, the HR team in China train personnel to work in multiple areas. This enables our employees to operate more flexibly within the company and improves their job security. Our HR personnel in China has developed a tailored and transparent development programme in order to achieve this goal.
In 2016 we conducted KSB Voice – our first global employee engagement survey of around 11,000 members of staff at KSB’s ten largest companies in Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa and the USA. At 79 percent, the response rate was well above average throughout the company.
The feedback from our employees provided us with valuable reference points for improvement. It also indicated that more than two thirds of employees surveyed are open to changes within the company.
Employees and managers discussed the results and devised measures for improvement. Subsequent surveying of randomly selected employees is being planned in order to assess the extent to which the measures have already begun to take effect.
At the close of 2016, KSB employed 15,572 staff – 624 less than in 2015. This is the result of measures introduced to adapt our cost structures to changing market conditions.
Our European companies reduced their personnel most significantly with 321 fewer employees, 160 from locations in Germany. A marked decrease in staff numbers was also implemented in the USA, with 157 fewer members of staff being employed as at the reporting date when compared with the end of December 2015.
Change is a crucial part of life in that it makes development and growth possible. Whatever their title or position, every individual in our company can strike new paths and inspire others.
The Board of Management would like to expressly thank all employees who actively helped the company to assert itself in a difficult market environment in 2016. This applies in particular to the development and implementation of measures introduced in the course of our global efficiency improvement programme. The broad and open feedback given via KSB Voice also provided important impetus for change.
Special thanks also goes to the works councils, the executive representatives and young employee representatives for supporting us with their constructive criticism. Together we will help KSB to move forward and achieve new successes.