Nr. 2018 | 2019 | 2020
Online Sustainability Report

Motivated Employees

Satisfied and motivated employees are the core driver of our strength, innovative power and competitiveness.

Attracting, developing and retaining employees.


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. Particularly in the current challenging times, it is important for companies to be able to meet future challenges such as economic volatility, the shortage of skilled workers and increasing globalization and digitalization. This can only be achieved with a motivated and adaptive workforce. 

HR recruitment, development, and support represent the cornerstones of our approach. Our various sites currently operate predominantly independently in these areas. While HR support and recruitment will continue to be handled primarily at the local level, we will make our HR development increasingly networked. It is becoming more and more apparent that the processes within the metalworking industry require expertise that can only be established and broadened on the basis of ongoing knowledge transfer within the company. OTTO FUCHS is therefore making systematic investments in training and education. Professional development management at a number of the sites is also certified in accordance with the international standards IATF 16949 (quality management within the automotive industry), ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety), and ISO 14001 (environmental management).

Attractive working conditions and work flexibility are becoming increasingly crucial for success when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented employees as well as skilled workers. OTTO FUCHS is actively adapting to this situation: High quality training and development, regular employee surveys, long-term career and development plans, a profit-sharing system, flexible working time models and structured management development are some of the aspects that characterize our corporate culture. Flat hierarchies and short decision-making paths give our employees the opportunity to get involved, make a difference and help shape processes in all areas. We are gradually transferring proven concepts to other locations.


Employees on parental leave


Since the founding days of the company, OTTO FUCHS has attached great importance to training and developing the next generation of employees. The training workshop in Meinerzhagen has existed since 1934. Every year, an average of about 30 young people start training at this location in a variety of technical and commercial professions. As we have recognized the signs of the times with regard to ever-increasing technical requirements, in Meinzerhagen we are currently expanding the apprenticeship occupations to include IT-technical combined courses of study in order to train skilled personnel ourselves and to be prepared for the future. 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. The apprenticeships at the German locations include industrial, machining and tool mechanics, materials testers and industrial clerks. In addition, OTTO FUCHS offers a technical and a commercial course of study as well as, for the first time, a combined IT and technical course of study. Internal training ranging from company school classes to first-aid courses makes the employees’ career starts easier.

"Training goes digital" is the current motto of the training courses in Meinerzhagen, where our trainees contribute numerous ideas for increasingly digitalized online training and marketing. And this approach is proving to be successful: In addition to the classical practical teaching of learning content, training is already digitally supported by means of learning platforms to a large extent. The overarching aim is always to make sure that our next generation of employees is fully prepared for the future. 

To get more school pupils and students interested in technical professions, OTTO FUCHS also does its bit outside 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.

Motivated and qualified employees are the deciding factor for being successful.

Average training hours

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 development system. 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 employees gain further qualifications on their own initiative, for example becoming a master craftsman or engineer.*

Training activities were greatly reduced in 2020 because of the Corona pandemic,  In 2017 we reached an absolute high point with 7,700 training days. In contrast, we only had around 2,400 training days at the Meinerzhagen location in the 2020 reporting year.


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.

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. As the current times are so challenging and as we need to now the situation of our employees to an increasing extent, an annual survey of the workforce took place in Meinerzhagen since 2020. The results are examined and discussed with great care and effort in numerous rounds with managers and employees and improvement measures are derived 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 employee 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.

Participating in the economic success of the company motivates every single employee to contribute their own ideas and suggestions for improvement.

Since summer 2019, OTTO FUCHS has carried the quality seal "Family-Friendly Company".



Combining family life and the employee’s career has always been firmly anchored in the corporate culture at OTTO FUCHS. For years, we have been promoting family-friendly measures such as holiday care for employees' children, flexible working hours, mobile working, parental leave as well as collectively agreed offers such as additional days off to care for family members and children. In today's competition for the best applicants and to maintain employee satisfaction and loyalty, however, this topic is becoming even more important.

OTTO FUCHS is not satisfied with the status quo of its already existing and very comprehensive measures, but successfully obtained the "Family-Friendly Company" certification in 2019. We have thus once again demonstrated that we are systematically pursuing the issue of "making family and work compatible" and are concretely looking for further potential to improve. Since combining work and family not only affects families with children, but also increasingly taking care of relatives, we have appointed a company "care pilot” for example who quickly provides employees with necessary information in acute care situations, helps overcome bureaucratic hurdles and arranges contacts to the most important contact points.

We are particularly proud of our "Kita Füchschen" daycare center, which is close to the company and where both FUCHS employees and parents from Meinerzhagen know that their children are in good hands. The day care center is not only modernly furnished and fully equipped with high-quality materials to stimulate the children's imagination and to ensure that they have great fun when at play. The little "foxes" are also professionally cared for there, especially by specialist educators from Kita|Concept, and embedded in so-called family groups.

At the same time, this creates an significant prerequisite for continuously increasing the proportion of women in management positions at OTTO FUCHS. Because after having had a child, the associated tasks and duties are still mainly taken on by women. They often interrupt their professional careers for this purpose, as statistics show. That is why we would like to open up even more opportunities in order to make family life compatible with work. A big step in this direction is that managers can also work part-time. This applies equally to fathers and mothers, because more and more fathers today fortunately see themselves as equally responsible for their offspring and are already actively demanding parental leave or part-time work during parental part-time work, for example. We expressly support this and appeal to all fathers (and those who will become fathers) to make use of our family-friendly offers as intensively as possible and thus strengthen both the bond with the child and the bond with the company.

Unfortunately, the family-friendly measures at OTTO FUCHS cannot yet be used to the same extent by every employee due to the wide range of activities in the company and the associated working hours or shift distributions. However, in order to provide targeted support to these employees, we have now launched a broad-based survey to find out what improvements could be made here from the employees' point of view and how we can best implement them for the benefit of all concerned. We are confident that we will be able to submit practical offers in the near future.

OTTO FUCHS is thus one of the first companies in the region and beyond, not only to have recognized this need for action, but also to be looking for appropriate solutions. This once again underlines the high priority we attach to the issue of "making family and work compatible". We are all the more pleased about the support we are receiving from all employees.


* In the case of professional development on an employee’s own initiative, OTTO FUCHS initially assumes 50 percent of the costs at its Meinerzhagen and Dülken sites, for example. If the employee then accepts a position within the company for which their newly acquired qualification is needed within two years of qualifying, OTTO FUCHS assumes the full costs of their professional development.


Since summer 2019, OTTO FUCHS has carried the quality seal "Family-Friendly Company". This award is an important milestone in the designing family-oriented personnel policy. Making family and career compatible has always been an important success factor for us - both in the competition for attracting new skilled workers and for retaining qualified ones. The OTTO FUCHS corporate culture is geared towards supporting families, providing the basis for a range of different measures.

Since spring 2020, the company daycare center has been an important building block in the modern working world of OTTO FUCHS. In cooperation with Kita|Concept, both children of employees and children from the catchment area are cared for in the "Kita Füchschen" at the Meinerzhagen site. As the biggest employer in the region, OTTO FUCHS thus takes on a significant responsibility. The two-story day care center with its spacious outdoor area offers girls and boys from 0 to school age a place to play, romp and learn through play.

Deep attachment on the part of the employees: The fact that these measures meet with a high level of acceptance among the workforce is also demonstrated by the number of visitors at a number of internal company events. Good examples of this are the internal Christmas market as well as the pensioners' and jubilee celebrations or the family days. At the family days, the employees can bring their families and show them their workplace. From grandmother to grandchild, everyone’s on site! Family friendliness at its best!