Fostering skills at WILD. 08. March 2023 Tomorrow‘s specialists need our full attention today. That is why WILD is increasing the number of apprenticeships within the company, offers numerous upskilling programmes, and promotes an autonomous choice of career paths. Costs, processes, key figures. For quite a long time, a company‘s alleged success factors were viewed from a very sober perspective. Today, it is common knowledge that a company‘s employees and the value attributed to them are much more essential determinants. ”It is ultimately the talents, values and ideas of our purchasing agents, developers, project managers, assembly workers, and apprentices that will determine our ability to survive in the future. Therefore, the struggle to get the best minds is rarely about money, it is much more the human factors that make a real difference“, affirms Andrea Gritsch, who is in charge of People & Culture Management in the WILD Group. She identifies the following crucial factors: ”Genuine appreciation towards the individual, a meaningful answer to the question ‚Why should I work here?‘, autonomy in choosing your career path and a stable corporate culture that provides guidance to employees. A THREE-PRONG TRAINING SYSTEM WILD realised the importance of addressing these tasks and developed its own strategy programme to this end, which is already starting to bear fruit. ”There‘s a very solid volume of applications and we can fill vacancies quickly. There are some occupational groups, however, where we lack new blood, for instance in machining and surface engineering, metal engineering or mechatronics“, Gritsch explains. The company is increasingly investing in the training of its own skilled staff, who are currently receiving a lot of attention. Apprentice training is based on a three-prong system: this means that, in addition to in-company training and vocational school, apprentices can further expand their basic knowledge in an external training centre. ”In addition, we promote their individual development. Be it a training course in presentation techniques or a communication workshop – everything on the schedule is jointly decided and individually agreed with the apprentice“, says Gritsch. The mentors, who act as the apprentices‘ confidants, also have a say in this and aim to establish an open and appreciative communication. YOUNG PEOPLE ARE LOOKING FOR MEANINGFUL JOBS WILD and PHOTONIC are coveted employers not only because of the numerous innovative products that are manufactured here. There‘s a great longing for meaningful work out there. Especially the young generation of skilled workers are excited to play a part in the creation of medical technology products that can save lives or improve the quality of life for many people. In this regard, the WILD Group offers ideal conditions, since the staff tasks are compatible with their individual values. ”Young people in particular are proud when they are given responsibility. Many accept the confidence placed in them with enthusiasm,“ Gritsch happily states. SECURING LOYALTY IN THE LONG RUN To guarantee consistency in the projects and a continuous advancement of skills, however, a company also needs people who will commit to the company for many years, or even decades. Positive employer branding alone will fall short of the mark. In-depth knowledge of the personal background and skills of the individuals is more important. An all-in-one talent management software helps WILD identify a person‘s strengths early and develop them in a targeted manner. The employees also have access to a learning managment tool that shows current and future workshops. AGILE STRUCTURES LEND AN OPEN EAR Especially when structures, processes and technological requirements are subject to constant change, there‘s need for reciprocity. It can only prevail when there‘s a culture of intensive exchange between colleagues. In the WILD Group, silo mentality and rigid structures have long given way to an open and agile culture and collaboration which are evident in all business units. They are also reflected in an agile project management, a discipline that WILD truly masters. ”The requirements for complex development and industrialisation projects have changed fundamentally. Previously, people would draw Gantt charts on the basis of a waterfall model. Today you apply complexity models that require different approach strategies to achieve optimized throughput times with maximum quality“, stresses CTO Wolfgang Warum. The company encourages this out-of-the-box thinking in many ways, including a multi-annual training programme with several live workshops. Moreover, staff are given numerous options and are granted autonomy in shaping their areas of responsibility. ”The path they want to embark on must be discernible, be it in terms of specialisation or towards a management position“, so Gritsch. ”We listen to their ideas and innovations, we discuss them in a spirit of appreciation and advance them in a targeted manner“. Exploring individual work models can also help reconcile private and professional life. ACADEMIC SUPPORT FOR NEW LEARNINGS There is a wide variety of training and upskilling programmes on offer. For instance, 14 WILD employees recently underwent extensive training to improve their skills in supply chain management. In the process, WILD‘s Supply Chain Academy received academic support from the University of Applied Sciences FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg. ”This cooperation helped forge the perfect interface between theory and practice. Armed with the knowledge from the academy, employees find it easier to avoid the same as always‘ approach, take a holistic view of a problem and jointly work out the best possible solution for the customer“, stresses Christian Rabitsch, Managing Director of WILD GmbH. The topic of lean thinking is also deeply embedded in the Group‘s culture and was significantly bolstered by a lean excellence programme already successfully completed by numerous employees from all the Group‘s sites.