Attractiveness as an Employer

      Employee survey

      voestalpine generally conducts Group-wide surveys to ascertain employee satisfaction. The most recent employee survey took place in the fall of 2019. The findings were communicated to the individual Group companies so that they could analyze them together with their workforce. The outcome of the two most important action steps that were stipulated for each company was reported at the end of September 2020 using a Group-wide reporting tool (total of 428 measures in 215 companies). Fully 88% of the measures concern continuous actions, most of which relate to the following areas: information and communication, engagement, cooperation between co-workers as well as CPD opportunities.

      The initial plan provided for reducing the interval between employee surveys from three to two years. However, the economic situation and the uncertainty as to the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic have made it necessary to rethink the timeline for voestalpine’s next employee survey. Given that this extensive project requires a lead time of almost one year for the Group-wide project team as well as the Group companies and ties up many resources, the decision was made to stick with a three-year cycle for the time being and to conduct the next survey in the Northern fall of 2022. Until then, the Group companies are free to carry out their own interim surveys (so-called “pulse surveys”).

      Employer branding

      Its positioning as an attractive employer is very important to voestalpine. The Group can drive innovation and compete successfully in the market only if it has committed and professionally competent employees. The regular employee survey serves as a barometer of employee satisfaction and results in the development of pertinent internal measures. Numerous external personnel marketing activities such as collaborations with (primarily technical) universities, participation in job fairs and career expos as well as sponsoring are pursued to further enhance voestalpine’s employer branding. A strong presence in all of the relevant online and social media channels as well as active reporting about the company increase voestalpine’s visibility among the target groups.

      Annual employee performance review

      The annual employee performance review has become a key HR development tool in many voestalpine companies. A structured, annual conversation between supervisor and employee outside of daily routines provides the basis for positive collaboration. Careful preparation, regularity, and documentation among other things distinguish these reviews from other kinds of meetings.

      Annual employee performance reviews of salaried employees are mandatory throughout the Group. A recommendation has been made to introduce suitable instruments of this nature (e.g., team assessment dialogues) for wage employees also, but the binding standards do not provide relevant guidance. While corporate headquarters offers standardized questionnaires and manuals, adjustments specific to companies and countries may be made. In the business year 2020/21, a total of 27,528 annual employee performance reviews were conducted Group-wide.

      Protection of employees during the COVID-19 Pandemic

      To protect the health and safety of its workforce, voestalpine put appropriate measures in place as soon as the first cases of COVID-19 became known in early 2020 and developed recommendations as to possible actions for its employees as well as for its suppliers and partners. All the measures meet current local and national regulations and are reassessed and adjusted on an ongoing basis. voestalpine is in constant, close contact with the authorities and works councils, and monitors the given situation in cooperation with them. COVID-19 (coronavirus) task forces were established at the level of both the divisions and the Group for this purpose. They were tasked with jointly developing and compiling all operational measures and then adopting them in close coordination with the Chairman of voestalpine AG’s Management Board. A broad range of communication measures ensures that comprehensive information is continually provided to the Group’s global workforce.

      To protect employees, remote work was quickly instituted in March 2020 for all employees who can carry out their tasks from home. This rapid change was a major challenge, especially for the IT departments. Furthermore, in-person meetings and business travel were limited to the absolute minimum. Comprehensive hygiene measures were developed for employees tasked with maintaining critical infrastructure, and the given companies made personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection materials available to them. Organizational procedures were re-organized in order to maintain minimum distancing requirements during shift changes.

      Thanks to the engagement and flexibility of all our employees, voestalpine quickly adapted to the new, challenging situation.

      Recruiting in the age of COVID-19

      The COVID-19 measures also posed a challenge for recruiting. Shifting to interviews conducted by phone and video, however, made it possible to maintain the quality of the Group’s interview process and initial follow-up conversations. Personal meetings during the final recruitment phase are held subject to the highest safety precautions, which involve not just mask wearing but also partition walls made of plexiglass sheets for protective purposes.