Integration through shared learning
Family-run Dornbirn company Ölz has received the Vorarlberg Integration Award 2017 in the Large Company category for the project "German in the Workplace – We Understand!"
Just how important genuine diversity is to Austrian family-run company Ölz can be seen from their company vision:
"We are convinced that companies with mixed teams – women and men, young and old, Austrians and non-Austrians – are more successful in the marketplace. Our aim at Ölz is to make diversity a living element of our company," explains Bernhard Ölz, executive partner. People from 39 different countries work at Ölz. Since 2015, 101 people with subsidiary protection/refugee status have been employed by the company.
The project "German in the Workplace – We Understand!" supports the linguistic integration of factory workers. To ensure a shared learning experience, small groups are run during working hours in collaboration with the Götzis adult education college and Capito German language courses. Company paperwork is also available in simplified language on a fixed learning platform. As well as course content with a learning quiz, the platform also includes a living Ölz dictionary with audio function as well as familiar images.
Our office and factory managerial staff are deeply committed to supporting those employees following a second training path to complete their apprenticeship. Five members of staff are currently developing to move from unskilled to skilled status. Ölz has also been a supporter of the integration project START for many years (Start Grants Association Austria).
For more than 80 years now Ölz has been a family company producing the finest baked goods and can look back over a successful history. In 2014, our anniversary year, we celebrated this fact with a big Ölz 75-year anniversary party for all our employees.
We also express our appreciation of our employees every year with the celebration of the company anniversary.
"Best Family Company"– Ölz is a family company founded on tradition and in its third generation was awarded this title by business journal WirtschaftsBlatt in 2010." Austria's economy is characterised by many successful family companies and we are proud to be a good example at the forefront of this community and to serve as a role model for other companies in the country when it comes to economic viability, sustainability and corporate responsibility," said Bernhard Ölz, managing director of the company, when he accepted the Award from the WirtschaftsBlatt.
The most important thing in any company is its staff, including their expertise and motivation to perform.
Our employees have the opportunity to pursue their interests through individualised professional training and development programmes. Opportunities include both personal and professional training. Since 2009 apprentices, too, have had the opportunity to complete their professional training in the fields of food technology, electrical engineering and IT within our family company.
Alongside direct communication, employee surveys offer an important platform for all Ölz employees to have a direct influence on shaping their workplace. This regular survey enables us to implement a continuous improvement process.
Areas such as working times, efficiency, workplace design, collaboration between departments, professional development and training and internal communication are important components of the survey which provide us with the opportunity to investigate the individual needs of our staff. A number of measures have already been introduced at the request of employees. These include the annual employee review, internal information meetings each quarter to enable interdepartmental exchange, presentations on the subject of nutrition and many more.
"I'm Coming Too"day gives the children of our staff members the opportunity to spend a day getting a taste of the place where their parents work and getting to know Ölz a little better as a company. We are really pleased that there has been so much interest!
By eating healthily and taking sufficient exercise we can all have more energy, experience greater success and enjoy life more. We are keen to support our staff members in this, so amongst other things, we provide healthy fruit snacks and a varied lunch menu in our canteens.
A significant part of a holistic approach to health is sufficient exercise. The Ölz running team offers our actively sporty employees the opportunity to take part in runs and competitions together.
And if you're not a born jogger you don't necessarily have to don a pair of running shoes. Just 10,000 steps a day are very beneficial for your health which is why some of our employees find the Ölz walking group the perfect counterbalance to the working day.
With the support of our company medical officer we are implementing a number of measures to ensure that the working environment best meets the individual needs of our employees. These range from workplace visits with a list of improvements to health campaigns such as sight and hearing tests, vaccination programmes and much more.
When it comes to safety at Ölz, our safety officer is constantly on the go around the company in the interests of prevention. Regular site visits and the evaluation of individual workplaces are just as much a part of the safety officer's tasks as special project-related safety measures.