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Annual Report 2016

Human Resources

The employees are the backbone of Feintool and the most important pillar for the success of the company. Success factors include competence, motivation and commitment, which are strategically supported and expanded at all Feintool locations.

In the reporting year, the number of Feintool employees continued to grow. The reason for the increased need for staff was mainly the expansion of the Oelsnitz (Germany) location and growth in China. In 2016, a total of 2 239 people were employed in the 16 companies (+9.3 %). Added to this are 68 (previous year: 75) young people in training at a total of seven Feintool companies.

Survey confirms staff satisfaction levels

The satisfaction survey of all Feintool employees carried out every two years is an important indicator of the mood in the company. After the evaluation of last year's survey, it confirms that the identification and loyalty of the staff to Feintool continue to be at a high level. Besides this, the staff have a clear self-concept of their duties and of the company. At all locations, the statement of "I know what is expected of me in my work" received the most agreement. Both help to create a positive corporate culture, thus contributing to Feintool's success.

Viewed as a whole, employee satisfaction has increased slightly compared to the last survey in 2014 as measured by the share of "yes" and "no" votes in the individual questions. However, there are sometimes very significant regional differences and, for the first time, results from Feintool China.

Roughly three quarters of employees at the locations in Switzerland and the United States expressed their satisfaction, reinforcing the results of the last survey. Results for the five Feintool companies in Germany remained roughly the same, but at 58 %, they remain lower than the other countries. The results in Japan were significantly higher than two years ago, with employee satisfaction climbing from 57 to 67 %. For the first time, the Taicang location in China participated in the survey. With 94 % "yes" votes, it represents the highest level of satisfaction. After analyzing the individual results, all of the companies have already defined specific measures to further increase employee satisfaction. 

FEINmind links Feintool experts

Since last year, a new digital knowledge platform has been supporting the internal transfer of expertise and the search for experts at Feintool. FEINmind facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experience across country and location borders. Anyone posting a question in FEINmind does not have to know whom they are addressing: The allocation of the question and the possible answers is done by the self-learning algorithm behind FEINmind. Answers appear immediately on the platform. This enables expertise and information to be shared easily within the companies. The figures since its introduction are pleasing: During the first six months, 493 questions were asked, with 397 answers supplied. Almost half of those questions were answered within 24 hours. For some questions, a lively discussion between four or more experts ensued. The knowledge network is continually growing, and in doing so has linked up more than 500 active Feintool employees worldwide. In fact, 70 % of the answers come from experts who work in a different location to the person posting the question.

Focus on training and professional development

The subject of training is and continues to be of great importance to Feintool and a measure to fight the prevailing global lack of experts which also affects Feintool. A total of 16 vocational training programs in technical and business administration fields are offered at seven locations in Switzerland, Germany and the US. As with other industrial enterprises, especially in Europe, a lack of suitable applicants is causing Feintool to experience increasing difficulty in filling these training positions.

Feintool is approaching this differently in the US. At the Cincinnati location, an internal training program for "certified press operators" has been developed and started. As a rule, new employees were previously trained on the job. After all, in the industrial sector, there are only a few specially regulated recognized occupations which require formal training, unlike in Europe for example. The "Press Operator Training Program", introduced by Feintool in April 2015, raised the level of training for employees in the USA onto a new regulated footing. This approximately four-year long program is expected to maintain and expand the high level of competence in the company.

Safeguarding and expanding competence

The annual employee reviews in the Feintool companies are there for personal goals to be defined together and in order to develop the individual. These reviews are also used to determine the professional development needs of the employees. This additional expertise is of great importance to Feintool. The company has again invested around CHF 2.4 million in education and trainings (incl. apprentice wages). A large proportion of this goes into further technical training. In all, Feintool employees attended around 1 000 professional development sessions last year. The focus of these was specific technical training and instruction on the environment and safety in accordance with ISO.