Employees

  • 3.1 % increase in the number of employees in the Group
  • Demographic Fitness project launched
  • Value-based cooperation promoted

If we want to provide our customers with innovative products and attractive services, we need the very best employees. We seek such employees out around the world, foster them and give them the opportunity to develop their skills in a professional, highly cooperative work environment.

Increase in number of employees

At the end of 2010, KSB had 14,697 employees around the world, 448 more than in the previous year. This growth in staff is mainly attributable to the first-time consolidation of five operating companies in Germany, Italy, Canada, Norway and Russia. Staff was also added at KSB AG, which launched numerous strategic projects, as well as at two companies in Brazil and India.

Competition for talent

Demographic changes pose new challenges for our human resources department, particularly in Germany. In the Demographic Fitness project launched in late 2010, we are developing analytical methods for identifying location-based problems associated with the aging population and limiting their impact on KSB. Part of this involves finding suitable young talent at an early stage; at the same time we want to give our more senior staff the opportunity to extend their professional lives.

We maintain close contact with students in the disciplines that are important for our activities so that we can recruit well educated, qualified graduates in the near future. Our partnerships with technical universities such as those in the German cities of Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe and Leipzig help us in our search for engineers. At university job fairs, we show potential young talent which options are available for starting a career at KSB.

In Germany, we satisfy our need for specialists and commercial staff to a large extent through our own vocational training programme. Over the past few years we have continuously increased the number of trainee positions, which reached 327 during the year under review. In 2010 we invested around € 8.5 million in this area, including expenses for equipping our training facilities. All in all, we are currently training young people in 13 different vocations. Methodological skills and social learning form core components of the training programme.

To determine the best candidates for key positions we use the opportunities offered by international recruitment. In 2010 we began standardising these around the world. Defined target processes, uniform quality standards and transparent responsibilities are desigend to help fill these vacancies quickly and more efficiently.

Qualified project managers simplify strategy implementation

We offer our employees a diverse range of opportunities, covering a variety of topics and presented using different methods, for improving their professional skills and abilities. They can take advantage of an in-house training portfolio featuring foreign language courses, commercial and technical training, IT seminars and personal development events. In 2010 some 4,600 participants took part in 525 seminars and training sessions from this portfolio. Employees also made use of learning opportunities offered via electronic media. E-learning enables each and every participant to choose when and how quickly they want to study, specify what topics they wish to focus on and repeat content as often as they want.

One key focus of staff development activities during the year under review was to train employees to become project managers. This will make it easier for us to use uniform processes and professional methods to guide our strategic plans to success. With that goal in mind, prospective project managers also completed their qualifications in line with the standards of the “International Project Management Association”*.

Developing the corporate culture even further

We want to base our actions within the Group on clearly defined values and rules of conduct. The values that guide our work and the way we act and interact with each other are trust, responsibility, professionalism, honesty and appreciation. We consider these to be a part of our corporate culture and believe that in developing this culture even further, we also contribute to our economic success.

In 2010 some 300 employees debated the concrete meaning of these corporate values in “value dialogues”. During the sessions, these employees discussed with their managers how they relate to the corporate values personally and what relevance the values possess with regard to their business activities. External facilitators structured and guided the process. In addition, managers with leadership functions attended special seminars where they focused on value-based leadership.

Regular feedback, provided both by department heads to their staff and also by staff to their managers, contributes to the KSB leadership culture. Following its success in Argentina, Germany and Finland, the anonymous “Leadership Feedback” initiative was organised on a global scale for the first time in 2010. The results show managers how their behaviour is perceived by employees and how they can improve their work as managers.

Our employees’ special achievements

2010 was a tough financial year plagued by crisis and yet throughout it all, our employees showed great flexibility in responding to changing market requirements. Some employees in underutilised areas made use of their working time accounts to reduce or prevent short-time work. Our sales staff made good use of generally lower market potentials to stabilise the order situation; production staff quickly re-adjusted to increasing volumes in standard business during the second half of the year. At the same time, employees implemented our new organisation and many of them contributed toward the implementation of strategic projects. This achievement deserves our respect and our gratitude.