voestalpine employee participation
“A slice of the cake!” That was the motto in 2000 when the management and Works Council joined forces to develop the unique employee shareholding scheme. Currently, 25,300 employees own voestalpine shares, functioning as a stable core stakeholder in voestalpine AG by holding 14.8% of the voting rights. This scheme makes us a European pioneer. You can find further information at:
Open feedback culture
We care what our employees think. They are encouraged to express their opinions, helping to create a respectful corporate culture. That’s why a positive error culture is so important to us. During the annual appraisal dialogue, each employee and their manager exchange feedback, discussing the past year’s work priorities, the goals for the coming year, as well as any options for the employee’s professional development. Once every three years Group employees are invited to take part in the voestalpine employee survey, submitting an anonymous assessment of their working conditions. More than 400 improvement measures were developed as a result of the last survey. Overall, the survey covered around 97% of the workforce and was made available in 24 languages and in all 50 countries.
Annual incentive payments for employees
In addition to the employee shareholding scheme, our employees benefit from an annual incentive payment. Two motivators are better than one! When an operational voestalpine company posts excellent results, its employees receive a bonus. The amount is variable, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand euros. But some years this may not be possible, and there is no legal right to a payout. That’s because, in times of crisis, we pull together and fight for our voestalpine. But as soon as we are successful again, the company management and Works Council negotiate on an equal basis. That is our culture of respect.
Flexible working time models and working from home
In order to meet both the needs of our employees and our operational requirements, we offer more than 100 different work time models, including flextime working, working from home, partial retirement arrangements, honor-based working time arrangements, and a variety of shift models. We make a particular effort to assist our employees in combining their careers with family and childcare obligations. We know that because our plants operate around the clock, it is not possible to eliminate shift working. However, we can create the optimal framework conditions for those working shifts. Flexibility, flextime with plus/minus hours (time recording), and various opportunities to work from home are also offered to our salaried employees. In short, our Human Resources department always finds a satisfactory solution to meet individual requirements.
Equal opportunities & diversity
One step ahead through plurality: voestalpine’s global network, with around 500 companies and sites in 50 countries, is a perfect example of a colorful diversity of nationalities, regions, and cultures. A few years ago voestalpine signed the Diversity Charter, expressing the company’s pride in its diverse workforce. The company is extremely satisfied with the broad range of nationalities working within the Group, but is looking to change the gender balance: women currently make up just 15% of the workforce. This is a number we would like to increase. In contrast, the age structure of the workforce is highly uniform: the average male employee is 41.3 years old, with the women on average 39.7 years of age. But irrespective of nationality, gender, or age, at voestalpine everyone is valued and supported equally. There is no room for discrimination at voestalpine.
Maternity leave and childcare facilities
We are always delighted when staff members have children, especially as many are following in the footsteps of both their parents and grandparents by choosing to work at voestalpine. That’s why we go to great efforts to help parents combine family with working life and to provide prospective mothers and fathers with all the support they need. We are pleased to see that paternity leave is also becoming increasingly popular. At our larger sites we have the capacity to offer our own childcare facilities. At the site in Linz, for example, more than 100 children of employees attend the nursery or the kindergarten, ensuring they are in excellent hands.
Training and continuing education
Learning is part of our corporate culture and is actively promoted. Each year we invest more than 53 million euros in employee training and continuing education. That amounts to around 782,000 hours of targeted training for our employees as well as introducing them to new tasks & opportunities. This does not happen by chance—we take a clearly structured approach: every year, during the annual appraisal dialogue with their manager, each employee plans their next professional development activities and the steps in their career progression. The range of available programs is wide and usually tailor-made. Whether a forklift license, first aid or language course, e-learning, coaching, support in achieving higher qualifications such as an MBA or PhD, our internal academies for HR, sales, purchasing, etc., training to become a master craftsman, the voestalpine value:program for developing tomorrow’s executives, or an apprenticeship in 50 skilled trades—at voestalpine you almost need a fitness watch to keep up with all the development opportunities on offer!
Professional onboarding, i.e. orientation for new employees, eases the process of starting work at voestalpine. We actively ensure that new employees are well integrated and feel welcome. We offer a comprehensive level of support, from welcome brochures covering the most important information prior to the start of employment, through to individual mentoring programs. We accompany you during your first steps!
Health & fitness
We place great importance on occupational health management which is why we offer many programs in this field. They range from seminars to help people stop smoking, healthy food in the canteen, vaccinations, medical check-ups, and spiritual welfare at work through to discounts for fitness centers. Our employees’ health always takes priority! This is, and has been, especially the case during the COVID-19 pandemic: a central task force within the Group acts quickly and since the very start of the pandemic has been in direct contact with the relevant authorities on a daily basis in order to guarantee that our employees enjoy the best possible level of protection.
Discounts & shopping benefits
At each company site voestalpine employees enjoy access to benefits offered by a comprehensive network of partner companies in the region. For example, they enjoy discounts at fitness studios, price reductions in retail outlets and supermarkets, at cultural events, for insurance policies, and when purchasing houses and cars.
Wherever it has been possible, our employees immediately switched to working from home. This was a huge accomplishment by our IT department! In those countries most affected, working from home remains an option for minimizing risk. Free lunch packages, face masks, and disinfectant were provided by the company for all those who kept our system-critical plants running. The shift models and number of skilled workers per shift were adjusted to guarantee that minimum distances could be maintained. The Group is fighting to save every single job, which is why the short time working model is being used in all countries in which it applies.
Catering and canteen operations were also adapted to reflect the circumstances. However, we do ensure that our staff are well fed! Our recruiting teams continue to support every single applicant, with the applications process being adapted to reflect the challenges of COVID-19: hearings and job interviews are being increasingly conducted by video call or telephone.
Occupational health & safety
It is important to us that our employees also get home safely. Every day we work to ensure workplace safety by implementing our corporate health & safety program. Our goal is to avoid not only accidents, but also near misses. Regular safety audits, competitions, and information campaigns are designed to raise awareness of the subject and highlight visible successes. Our motto is “Professionals work safely!” At voestalpine, the world is more than simply a market. This philosophy obliges us to actively accept responsibility for both our employees and society as a whole.
Buying working equipment is something you certainly won’t need to worry about before starting at voestalpine: we provide you with all the devices and equipment you will need for your tasks, such as work clothing (safety footwear, fireproof jacket, helmet), company cell phone, computer.
Only those who live up to their social responsibilities have a future: that’s why voestalpine is clearly committed to the global climate goals and to a broad reduction in CO2—a goal on which we are focusing our energies intensely. We are a pioneer in the industry with our large-scale, key investments over the past decades, as well as promising projects such as the H2FUTURE hydrogen pilot facility, recycling, and water management. Our goal is to reduce CO2 emissions by around a third by 2030, and by 80% by 2050. All further details about our climate protection strategy are available here.
There are many ways of thanking our employees. We believe the most important of them is through shared celebrations: whether company anniversary, staff party, seniors’ meetings, or open house days, we enjoy spending time with our employees and their families.