Continental bets on human capital
Combining your work with some hobby and also sharing family time, travel the world, continue studying, it is not a fantasy anymore, it is a reality in Continental, where more than 2,500 workers in Mexico, from the 20 locations where the German company is present, have enjoy that benefit.
In Jalisco, Continental has two manufacturing plants: Periferico and Tijera; and the Research and Development Center of Santa Anita, where 1,250 collaborators have been benefited with the program.
The policy of “flexible work” from Continental Mexico has almost a year of existence and was developed to retain its employees and to not have excessive personnel turnover.
In interview for Mexico Industry, Marco Galluzzi, vice-president of human relations of Continental Mexico, underlined the company’s dimensions in the country and said that every day more workers use the program and that mainly in Jalisco, it is a trend.
“We have about 26,000 employees in all Mexico, there are about 7,500 workers in Jalisco, and a total of 2,500 workers applied some flexibility measure since its implementation, a year after it was created,” he said.
“In Jalisco 1,250 workers have used the system, for example, some have taken flexible work, we are growing, in an ascendant curve, because personally I imagined that a sabbatical period was not used, but it is something that was good mainly for youngsters,” he said.
The vice-president informed that the program will be permanent and, moreover he underlined the excellent results it has had worldwide in countries such as Brazil and the United States.
“It is important to note that it is a global and permanent initiative, there is no way back, because it will be a joke telling employees that the test period ended, we are hiring people and using that to attract more personnel and it is permanent,” he emphasized.
This program has been implemented in many countries and all stories from mates in the same area are positive: “I have not received any kind of complaint or negative opinion and from employees there have been only positive comments.”
“Flexible work” is divided in three subprograms, according to employees’ needs: mobile work, sabbatical periods and partial time shifts.
“There are different flexibility programs, the possibility of a sabbatical period, if the person wants to study a master’s degree, a long trip of six months and know entire Europe or Latin America, that they can go and continue having their job without risk; we seek a replacement, a support person during the absence of that person, afterwards the worker returns happier and stronger, committed,” said Marco Galluzzi, vice-president of human relations of Continental Mexico.
He added that there is another partial time program: “They do not work all hours with us and the individual can dedicate to a hobby or any other task; for example, he can be a professor at a university and half time work with us, then our culture allow all that, then those are the new ways of the work market.”
Likewise, he announced that there is also a program for those working women who are mothers. For example – he said – if there is a sick child, or any situation, and thanks to technology collaboration can be kept from home.
A CASE OF SUCCESS
Ana Laura Cardozo, communication analyst in Continental Mexico Plant Periferico, currently uses the program, with partial or flexible time, since she is mother of two children: one of fourth grade and a little girl of two years.
Laura was about to resign because her mother, who was taking care of her children, got sick and there was no one that could take care of her children, her boss gave her the option of flexible time, therefore in the morning she goes to the office and in the afternoon she works from home without neglecting her family.
“We decided it could be a good option (flexible time,) it has worked perfectly, in my case I have not neglected work issues, coming in the morning gives me the opportunity of being in contact with people, reviewing which are their needs and in the afternoon I work in things that are administrative and to tell the truth my work is suitable to be done through a cell phone, it is being in contact with suppliers, making calls. That balance was achieved,” said the human resources Continental worker.
This kind of programs considers Cardozo are not reflected in a low performance, on the contrary, the worker is more productive.
“Then you become more productive, generate more sense of belonging and then you have a life – work balance, which at the end is the most important thing,” she said.
“I believe that in order for this be successful, it has to be based 100 % in Continental values, the most important values I could underline here are trust and freedom to act; on the other hand, another beautiful value that is also lived when having this work modality one for the other, at the end you have to trust your teamwork that they will support you.”
Ana Laura invited more mates to be part of the program, since they will feel identified and thankful with Continental.
“That more people get inspired to ask for this flexibility, I believe they do not know that it can work until you live with it, I will invite them to try it, if Continental is giving you the opportunity, take it; because in fact you can manage your life and work, you can combine it and feel successful, fulfilling a task without neglecting the other, it represents balance,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Marco Galluzzi, vice-president of human relations of Continental Mexico, agreed with the worker.
“Company’s values are related, and one of them is trust, the individual working from home, I am certain that will do the best effort and not necessarily has to be at the office,” he said.
HIGHLIGHTING MEXICAN WORKFORCE
Marco Galluzzi, who is originally from Brazil, said that Mexico is the place where more trust, is given to their human capital and even it is reflected in investments of the company.
“We are the country that has most employees in Continental outside Germany and Mexico’s workforce has many qualities, without them there will be no important investment here,” he said.
Finally, he said that the Mexican engineering area is well developed and advanced, we are very happy with them, we have the case of Mexicans around the world, in important positions and were people developed by us in Mexico, in the different positions they are well received,” he ended.