At the turn of the year, first analysis results of the EU-funded restructuring project SWOPS have emerged. Especially in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the service sector with a high, mostly sector-specific proportion of women: employers who aim to keep pace with international competition and thereby on health management set as a strategy to tie their skilled and dedicated employees, are especially valued by their female employees.
In a personnel services company with a female share of around 80% in operational performance, already the inventory in the consultation process has shown that personal reasons play a predominant role when employees leave the company. First indications pointed towards for women unfavorable working conditions and high stress levels. Following the request of the management, the consultants investigated the causes with the aim of solid data from which to develop measures to curb unwanted fluctuation. It was also found that the sickness rate was too high with 8%.
The analysis of the interviews shows a gap between the professional activities on the one hand and private activities to restore the energy level on the other. Accordingly, great is the need of the predominantly female workers to receive health care offers from the employer.
Henrike von Platen, President at BPW Germany: “The traditional concept of gender roles is still firmly rooted in the unconscious. Double burden or bad mother, what would you choose? We need a cultural change and a change in corporate cultures that enables us to change our subconscious – towards new role concepts and towards mothers in leadership positions and men at Kindergarten entrances as lived normality. ”
Employers who are committed to the health of their employees are being rewarded by the German tax office: Up to 500 euros per person per year can a company spend for health management measures free of wage tax and social insurance without leading to deducting a cash benefit among their employees.
In a company together with the employees and staff the following health management measures have been developed: cooperation with the gym around the corner, a company trip into nature, training in different relaxation methods, the establishment of a meditation space, introduction of a “Health Day” with fitness and nutrition consultants who offer a health check and inform about preventive measures. The management took up acute problems with causal research and thereby signaled that the welfare of their employees is at heart. Occupational health management is motivation by honestly meant recognition and attention.
Henrike von Platen, President at BPW Germany: “In the meantime, it has now spread to the upper executive floors that the key for a forward-looking personnel policy in times of increasing digitization with also increasing rationalization claims the mental and physical health of employees is at least as important as their skills development. Recent findings on the subject is now provided by the BPW Club Berlin with the development of a structural change oriented personnel strategy (SWOPS). ”
In the previous year, a total of 16 small and medium enterprises from France, Austria, Germany and Sweden had applied for the targeted SWOPS consultancy by experienced organizational and personnel consultants. The now analyzed consulting results from the countries show: Occupational health management is high up on the agenda at company across Europe.
Cornelia F. Kramer, SWOPS project manager and first chairwoman of the BPW Club Berlin says: “The first achievements speak for themselves; Thanks to SWOPS, in some companies employees have entered the second management level after just one year duration of the project. Furthermore, it becomes clear that in times of skills shortages greater importance should be given to occupational health management. As a strategic tool, occupational health management can contribute to sharpening the profile of the company, trigger an increased volume of unsolicited applications and to retain staff. Who identifies with his company, retains loyal to the employer. The economic benefits for the company are obvious. ”
SWOPS is a tool for the (ongoing) development of HR strategies and operational human resources management financed by the PROGRESS program of the European Union and co-financed by the Berlin Senate for Labour, Integration and Women (SenAIF) and the Senate Östergötland (Sweden) with a total of around half a million Euros. SWOPS is currently being developed on the initiative of the BPW Club Berlin.
In addition to the Berlin RKW GmbH, which is responsible for the content control, other international partners are involved: In France the European employers ‘association, Centre Européen de Ressources of Groupements of Employeurs (CERGE), Poitiers, and at the regional level, the Centre de Ressources of Groupements d’ Employeurs (CRGE), Poitou-Charentes. In Austria the cluster for sustainable waste management in Styria ARGE.at comprising 130 companies and in Sweden the SME network of regional developer Tillväxt Motala.
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