Nr. 2016 | 2017
Online Sustainability Report


As an employer too, OTTO FUCHS very much follows the traditions of a family-owned enterprise. We firmly believe that our success first and foremost comes down to our employees. They influence all the business processes and advance our innovations – and will continue to be the bedrock of the company.


We must systematically increase our expertise if we wish to continue to be the “best in class” and remain competitive in the long term. We therefore seek to always find and nurture suitable junior employees, offer all of our employees long-term career prospects, create a motivational work environment, and maintain a high level of employee satisfaction. This means we are also ready for the challenges of the future such as demographic change, the resultant shortage of skilled workers, and increasing wage pressure.

OTTO FUCHS wants to give every employee the opportunity to develop their talents and skills.

Employees on parental leave



Training and developing the next generation of OTTO FUCHS employees have been top priorities since the company was founded. There has been a training workshop in Meinerzhagen since 1934, where an average of 30 young people begin vocational training every year. The subsidiaries around the world are also training more and more junior employees every year, and we are introducing a new training course in China. In this way, OTTO FUCHS uses and creates sustainable structures with which to handle the shortage of skilled workers in the future, too.

On average, there were around 114 apprentices, trainees, working students, and interns working at the Meinerzhagen site in 2016 and some 120 in 2017. There were additionally approximately 38 junior employee positions at the subsidiaries in Dülken, Hungary, the USA, China, and South Africa. Trainee programs for university graduates have proved their worth as a means of covering the company’s increasing executive and specialist needs. The apprenticeship occupations at the German sites include industrial mechanics, cutting machine operators, tools mechanics, materials testers, machine and plant operators, and industrial clerks. OTTO FUCHS also offers a combined technical and clerical study course. Internal training ranging from company school classes to first-aid courses makes the employees’ career starts easier.

To get more school pupils and students interested in technical professions, OTTO FUCHS also does its bit outside of its own plant gates and promotes technology and construction competitions. For example, OTTO FUCHS has been the main sponsor of the Formula Student Team at Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences since 2010. The company also sponsors the international “Formel 1 in der Schule” (“Formula 1 in Schools”) competition, which promotes technology understanding, economic skills, and teamwork among the young entrants.

OTTO FUCHS wants to give every employee the opportunity to develop their talents and skills. We will be unable to maintain our ability to innovate, build up specific expertise, and make long-term careers within the Group possible if we fail to do so. We have therefore put in place a professional developmentsystem. There are professional training and personal development programs for skilled workers and executives. In addition to language courses, we attach importance among other things to teaching in the areas of IT, quality management, and materials processes. The array of development opportunities
is rounded out by training on topics such as employee management, communication, occupational safety, and environmental issues. The employees’ basic entitlement to training is governed by works agreements. The costs of professional development are generally also assumed by the company if employeesgain further qualifications on their own initiative, for example becoming a master craftsman or engineer.2

The professional development activities were stepped up at all the plants once again in 2017 compared with the previous years, and the Meinerzhagen site achieved a new record high of more than 7,700 training days. The number of training hours at the sites around the world likewise increased significantly. In Hungary, it almost doubled between 2015 and 2017. There, the good professional development opportunities are also helping the company to hold on to employees. The fluctuation rate in the Hungarian region of Tatabánya is four percent higher than at OTTO FUCHS Hungary.


Average training hours per employee and year

The long-term success of OTTO FUCHS very much depends on its having happy and healthy employees. We conduct regular employee surveys at all of our sites in order to identify approaches to making improvements. These have been conducted at the Meinerzhagen site every three years since the 1990s, with the most recent survey being held in March/April 2016. We survey our employees in Hungary on an annual basis. The data collected is evaluated centrally, processed on the basis of the different departments, and communicated to the various sites. The sites then develop and realize appropriate improvement measures.

Total new hires and employée fluctuation

Fluctuation rate due to employee termination

At OTTO FUCHS, employee appreciation is also about allowing them to share in the company’s success. As early as in 1953, Hans Joachim Fuchs introduced a system which was unique at the time: in next to no time, his profit-sharing model resulted in a greater willingness among the employees to assume responsibility, greater profitability, and above-average wages. All OTTO FUCHS plants now offer attractive performance-related compensation as a rule. This represents a major advantage when it comes to competing for the most qualified employees. The success of this approach is borne out not least by the company’s low employee fluctuation rate.

At OTTO FUCHS, the employees are paid on the basis of their qualifications and the success of their respective companies, and no differentiation is made between the genders anywhere within the Group. As a rule, in addition to the standard basic compensation, OTTO FUCHS pays a bonus based on the profitability of the department or plant in which an employee works. In the directly operation-based areas of production in Meinerzhagen and Dülken, work group-based quality and productivity targets make up 50 percent of the basis of assessment for the bonus. The targets are reviewed on a monthly basis, and their cooperative specification has been proving its worth for more than ten years now. Profit sharing is closely tied to a number of improvement systems such as the continuous improvement process (CIP). Similar models exist at the Group’s other sites and are based on success, effectiveness, and efficiency performance indicators.

Promoting equal treatment by means of professional development

Professional development at OTTO FUCHS is based not only on personal goals and international standards, but also on regional requirements. One example of this is the Employment Equity Plan of the subsidiary Foxtec-Ikhwezi in South Africa. South African legislation dictates that all companies in the country have to have such an equal treatment program in place in order to overcome the former discrimination of certain population groups. The concrete measures realized at Foxtec-Ikhwezi include a graduate program, which offers unemployed graduates an internship within the company. The aim here is to teach skills that make it easier for young people to start their careers. The skilled workers at OTTO FUCHS help to specifically close gaps in their knowledge.

New partnership and training project

With the automotive industry growing rapidly in China, competition for the best candidates is intensifying at the major production plants. OTTO FUCHS Technology Shenyang therefore promotes training opportunities in China which are based on Germany’s dual training system. At the Chinese site’s initiative and with the support of the German Chamber of Commerce North-East China, dual-system training as a mechatronics fitter and tools mechanic is now being launched at Shenyang Polytechnic College. The curriculum is based on its German role model and the final exam is similar to that developed by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. OTTO FUCHS Technology Shenyang will train six to eight junior employees a year and plans to hire them permanently once they have successfully completed their training.