With a flexibly designed working environment, we create the right conditions for our employees to work efficiently and thus increase performance and innovative strength in our buying association.
Relationship management is at the core of our business model, and these relationships are fully embraced by our employees. We do a lot to ensure that they also continue to regard E/D/E as an attractive employer. Rendering the working world both flexible and virtual is leading to a change in organisational forms, processes and rules. These developments require a contemporary leadership and corporate culture, which we are constantly working on.
Diversity and social responsibility have always played an important role at E/D/E. We appreciate the diversity of our workforce, which aligns with the wide range of services and broad pool of knowledge found at E/D/E. There are people from more than 26 nations working within the E/D/E Group. With the programmes contained in our Learning World, we promote the internal development of high-level potential and were able to slightly increase the quota of our female experts and managers in addition to the internal filling of management positions. Moreover, we were able to further develop the inclusive paradigm, and purposefully hire and successfully integrate employees with disabilities. For many years, we have exceeded the specified employment quota and specifically support the reintegration into our teams even of employees who experience restrictions during employment.
In the course of EVOLUTION, the Human Resources Management division closely supported the introduction of the new, market-oriented organisational structure. Along with this, we have digitised many HR processes and workflows. Through our E/D/E AKADEMIE, for example, we have established our “digital learning world”. With the forward-looking expansion of the education and training offer, we were able to fill several positions in the IT and digital area of E/D/E internally. Lifelong learning is becoming ever more important in the age of digitalisation. The nature of learning is becoming increasingly linked to the working world. Learning where employees are currently located – that is our “digital learning world”.
In 2022, we continued to develop our transformation process with face-to-face encounters in meetings or at events. For example, we facilitated “team time” events for our employees to promote personal encounters outside of day-to-day business. For this purpose, the teams were given a budget which they could use on their own responsibility for team-building measures. We created additional places to meet up with a hybrid end-of-year event and a Christmas market on the E/D/E premises. We continue to focus on hybrid working models. They offer our employees a greater degree of personal responsibility and flexibility, and enable them to do their work efficiently and according to requirements in the respective context with the best performance.
More than 400 employees, whose work content essentially allows for mobile working, regularly use these flexible options even in times of increasing office-based work. This is how we support our teams in striking a better balance between work, leisure and family. Among other options, we offer a wide range of part-time opportunities and flexible working models. In addition to young parents, our “Best Agers” are also increasingly taking advantage of the part-time offer, which is a real added value for our company in times of a shortage of skilled workers. In this way, we can keep our employees in employment for longer in old age, and in line with their needs. Our parttime rate increased by almost 2 percent compared to the previous year. Childcare in our own daycare centre “Die EDEfanten” is available to our employees with a constant offer of 45 places in three groups. In 2022, we implemented the demand-driven expansion of our office working environments together with the teams. In the course of this, we have designed the initial office spaces in our main building, and we enable our teams to test different working environments and methods in a modern collaboration hub. With mobility-supporting equipment such as a Gamba board, a treadmill or an Ergo bike, we want to promote the health of our employees. We continue to develop our health management philosophy by expanding our range of health training courses and by planning health days.
We want to offer our employees optimal conditions for their individual career paths from the very beginning, and fulfil our mission as a responsible employer. Our goal: to retain people in the company for the long term. For us, this starts with the training. With our varied and diverse offer for young people in E/D/E, we promote talent in a targeted way. Regardless of whether it concerns an internship, student assistant positions, trainee offers, apprenticeship or dual studies: the focus is always on the close link between theory and practice. We are continuously enhancing our attractiveness as an employer by offering our employees a wide range of learning and further training opportunities. Our company training programme is a fantastically successful way to bring on board and promote qualified junior employees. The E/D/E Group is currently training 19 apprentices and eleven students pursuing a dual study programme in six apprenticeship professions and four dual study programmes. In 2022, we employed twelve apprentices and two students pursuing dual study programmes in the fields of IT, trade, logistics, marketing and business informatics. At the same time, we took on ten apprentices and five dual students after they successfully completed their training.
We also further digitised our recruitment processes in 2022 and adapted them to the dynamic requirements of the labour market. We have expanded our social media activities to present ourselves as an attractive employer for potential candidates. For example, our trainees run their own Instagram channel on their own responsibility. We also introduced a new recruiting tool at the beginning of 2023. It simplifies the posting of jobs, as well as the application process for potential candidates in various channels. We increasingly benefit from recommendations from the individual networks of our employees. With “Family & Friends”, we have introduced a promising referral programme through which we have already been able to bring many new employees on board. This also shows: employee retention is a significant recruiting tool.
To make the arrival and introduction of new employees and managers a positive experience for all, we have expanded our onboarding programme. The programme provides support throughout the process – not only for new colleagues, but also for existing teams. Within the framework of management development, we have established an accepted format for collegial learning through our experience exchange event “Ne(t)working”.
With a balanced and continuously optimised offer that sets out great working conditions, stimulating work content, personal development and individual scope for creativity, we remain an attractive employer for our employees. The employee retention rate in E/D/E has increased this year, and, at almost 93 percent, is far above the industry average of around 82 percent. This development is also due to our efforts to recruit our own junior staff, the apprentices and dual students. We continue to enhance the employer experience with new tools and benefits. One example for this is our major “Canteen Innovation Project”, which we will implement in 2023. Here, too, the idea of “New Work” will come into play. We will redesign the canteen so that it can be used for meetings outside the usual catering hours.
We assume that the supply situation concerning skilled workers will continue to tighten. At E/D/E, we are countering this development by, among other things, intensifying our work with young talent and further developing the content of our proven, high-quality training as the most important recruiting tool. In addition, we are expanding our employer branding activities and increasingly using active sourcing methods.