At the end of May 2017, Mäurer & Wirtz brought its award-winning HR development project to a successful conclusion. Over the previous 18 months, managers and employees had used a multi-stage process to work through specific areas with a view to optimising corporate and management culture. Their work has now been summarised in a final evaluation report. Motivated by this milestone, it is hoped that everyone involved will continue to play an active role in shaping corporate culture.
Awarded the BDVT Training Prize
In recognition of this project, Mäurer & Wirtz and management consultants Machwürth Team International were awarded the European Prize (Bronze) for Training, Consulting and Coaching 2016/17 at the Zukunft Personal (Future Personnel) trade fair. The award was presented by the BDVT, Germany's Professional Association of Trainers, Consultants and Coaches. The key elements cited by the judges included Mäurer & Wirtz's strategic and systematic approach for achieving a sustainable cultural shift within the organisation.
Focus on HR
The project came into being when Mäurer & Wirtz realised that, in order for the company to achieve its primary goals, all its employees, across all departments and at all levels, had to be involved. "We can only achieve our goals if we encourage all our employees to rise to the challenge and if we continue to invest in our people", explains Yvonne Jussen, Head of HR at Mäurer & Wirtz. "This requires a top-down cultural shift within the organisation."
In order to implement the desired cultural shift, management worked closely with Mäurer & Wirtz's HR department to set up a three-phase change concept. In the first step, members of the senior management team held a workshop to agree on leadership principles. This formed the basis for the management development programme, which empowered heads of department and shift managers to lead according to these principles. Following on from this programme, a comprehensive cultural project was rolled out, in which all employees were able to define how the corporate culture should look in future and the steps that needed to be taken to make it a reality. The aim was to embed the striving for quality and a culture of continuous improvement in the company's DNA.
Why the project succeeded
The success of the project was largely down to the involvement of all levels of the organisation and the mobilisation of a large percentage of the workforce, which gave the project dynamism and credibility. But it was during the third stage, the cultural project, that the programme revealed its full potential. Because while the heads of department had overall responsibility for the various themes, it was managers who were in charge of driving forward individual areas of activity. In total, almost 50 percent of employees signed up voluntarily to play an active part and to put forward their ideas for improving corporate culture. The progress of the project was ensured via constant feedback from the project control team, the senior management team and the sounding boards made up of employees and managers.
Pioneers in the SME sector
According to the BDVT, this award-winning HR project by the Stolberg-based perfumery makes the company a pioneer in the SME sector. In its summing up, the jury emphasised the fact that the comprehensive approach of this multi-stage change project was unique in the German corporate arena. Instead of limiting itself to individual ad-hoc and acute measures, the culture change set in motion has been both systematic and strategic. As a result, Mäurer & Wirtz has set new standards for innovative and sustainable corporate development projects.