• Number of employees rises to 74,159
  • Expansion of the Group-wide HR network

Workforce development
The number of employees in the Würth Group rose by 3.9 percent to 74,159 as of 31 December 2017 (2016: 71,391). In Germany, the Würth Group had 22,620 employees on its payroll (2016: 21,697), while Würth companies abroad reported 51,539 employees (2016: 49,694). There were 32,295 employees working as permanent sales representatives worldwide in the 2017 fiscal year (2016: 31,498). 257 employees joined us in connection with acquisitions.

Employees 2017

HR strategy
Making people’s work easier – this is a vision that Würth also applies to the most important resource in the company: our employees. The focal point in the area of human resources is digitalization. With digital support, processes can be designed in a straightforward, transparent manner and in accordance with a uniform standard worldwide.

In the future, the plan is for the Würth Group’s HR administration to use one central system worldwide. This means that standard processes can be improved and made more secure across the Group, while making it easier for us to identify trends and refine controlling operations by means of benchmarks. The idea is that these measures will give our employees more freedom and free time. Time that will allow them to focus more intensely on the individual wishes and needs of our customers, and that will bring us one step further in our vision of being the most customer-friendly company for the trades, construction and industry.

In addition, international cooperation is being strengthened by an HR network within the Group. Within this network, HR and HR development officers are working together on HR topics that are relevant to the Group under the auspices of the Würth Business Academy (Rorschach). This allows us to ensure that we can meet the current and future requirements of modern HR work.

Employees development 2017

Employee training
There are various phases in each employee’s working life: There are times at which personal issues such as self-worth or self-confidence play a key role and there are also times in which the focus is on career advancement - be it in an employee’s career as a manager or in the various specialist departments. The programs set up by Würth aim to offer everyone training that suits their individual skills and professional objectives.

As a family business, Würth is committed to long-term corporate development. This also applies when it comes to promoting the talents of the future. In Germany, where there is a long tradition of dual training concepts, Würth has been committed to providing people with extensive initial training for more than 60 years now. At the end of 2017, the Würth Group in Germany employed 1,255 trainees for more than 40 occupations. Young professionals can also study for bachelor’s degrees at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University. Around one third of Würth’s trainees make use of this opportunity. Commercial and technical occupations and catering traineeships form training focal points within the German companies. Quality is a top priority when it comes to initial training, too: In 2017, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG was once again awarded the Dualis certificate by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Heilbronn-Franconia for its outstanding commitment as a training provider. The social commitment in the support of refugees regarding access to the labor market is evident from the cooperation with the Steinbeis School of International Business and Entrepreneurship (SIBE).

In Germany, Akademie Würth offers employees a holistic ­further training concept spanning all hierarchical levels. The program includes seminars on management, leadership, commercial or technical subjects, as well as training sessions to promote personal and social skills and training on working methods, IT applications and foreign languages.

Due to the increased demand for consultancy and training services for quality, environmental, energy and process management, organizational development and business excellence, Akademie Würth also started to establish a supporting program in July 2017. It is aimed, on the one hand, at Würth companies, while, on the other, helping our customers to meet the market and legal requirements that apply to them.

Degree programs for working professionals at the Akademie Würth Business School, which are open both to employees of the Group and to interested individuals from outside the Group, allow people to study for academic qualifications. The Business Administration B.A. in cooperation with the Distance Learning University in Hamburg is a three-and-a-half year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. In collaboration with the University of Louisville in Kentucky (USA), Würth has been offering the internationally recognized master’s course in Global Business since 2002. The one-year program, which is conducted in English, awards graduates a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

The Würth Group recruits most of its managers from within the Company. At the Group-wide level, we offer various training programs via the Würth Business Academy to ensure holistic management training processes and the systematic development of up-and-coming talents.

  • The MC Würth program prepares employees for middle management positions. 343 up-and-coming management staff took part in 2017.
  • The High Potential program supports managers on their way to upper management levels. 143 specialists and executives took part in 2017.
  • The Top Potential program prepares select managers for positions in the highest echelons of corporate management over a two to three-year period. In 2017, 49 executives underwent development measures as part of this program.

In order to establish forward-looking training and development and to secure the next generation of managers within the Group, Akademie Würth has set up the “career workshop” (Karrierewerk) for the German companies – a basic qualification for all further career programs. The career workshop is aimed at the lower management level and is designed to provide employees with guidance and training so that they can identify the next steps to take in their development journey. The program is split into management and specialist responsibilities, also offering advanced modules for employees who already have experience in their areas of responsibility and want to deepen their expertise. As well as providing networking opportunities for employees from various companies, the career workshop plays a key role in promoting the management philosophy and, as a result, the corporate culture of the Würth Group.

Health management
The in-house health management program “Fit mit Würth” launched by Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG offers a wide range of activities: it covers fitness, nutrition, safety, social affairs, preventative health, and well-being. Around 1,500 employees, relatives and pensioners of the Würth Group take part in the special programs and courses every year. 2018 will mark the 10th birthday of the “Kraftmobil”, an electric vehicle with a piece of exercise equipment on the loading surface. It allows employees to engage in regular exercise at work. Study results show that exercise improves the strength and flexibility of the back muscles and the spine. Specially trained health navigators help their colleagues in the branch offices and within the sales force to live and work in a healthy manner. The “Fit mit Würth” health management program has been integrated into the company’s processes in a structural and strategic manner and promotes a culture of health throughout the company. An annual dialog event with health officers from the subsidiaries is used to exchange information on ideas and measures for health promotion and to achieve common goals.

Employee survey
Employee satisfaction has always been a top priority for the Würth Group. Only satisfied employees can be good employees. They secure the company’s competitive standing and, as a result, help to secure jobs. The Würth Group has been conducting a standardized, regular employee survey since 2005. This results in structured information allowing comparisons to be drawn and used to improve employee well-being and processes in general. The Group-wide survey provides a benchmark both for and between individual companies in the Würth Group. The survey is carried out together with the Mannheim-based WO Institute (Institute for Economic and Organizational Psychology). 201 companies within the Würth Group now take part in the survey. The companies are free to decide how often they conduct the survey – it is generally conducted every two years.

Thanks to our employees
Something always comes before a “thank you”. Performance, motivation, inspiration, perseverance, or sometimes just being there, offering support and understanding. It is the conscious recognition of what has come before that makes a “thank you” so valuable. Then, saying “thank you” becomes a way of showing appreciation.

Globalization. Digitalization. Industry 4.0. Value streams are becoming increasingly networked worldwide. Increasingly close-knit processes are masking the performance of the individual. Economic and social conditions are being transformed, while working conditions and individual lifestyles are changing. As individuals, however, we still have a desire to be seen and heard. We all long for recognition, no matter how fast-moving the world around us is.

The Central Managing Board of the Würth Group would like to thank each and every employee for their unbounded commitment to our customers, as well as the employee representatives in the individual Würth companies. Open and honest dialog forms the backbone of successful and constructive collaboration.