Learning and Development
Success factor for business activities
NORMA Group considers itself a learning organization, and therefore pursues the goal of continuous development. This is important, among other things, because the Company operates in a very dynamic environment with constantly changing requirements. Trends such as digitalization, networking, flexibility and sustainability are particularly relevant.
At the core of NORMA Group’s business model is the ability to adapt quickly and flexibly to changing customer requirements as well as economic and social conditions. The targeted and effective training and development of employees, and the utilization of their creative potential are the decisive keys to innovative strength and corporate success. The aim is also to recruit as many skilled workers as possible from the Company’s own junior staff and thus become more independent of the external labor market.
As a responsible employer, NORMA Group wants to offer its employees a supportive work environment that includes opportunities for further development. At the same time, today’s working world calls for skills that are in line with the changes resulting from global megatrends. Thus, training and development not only serves NORMA Group as a Company, but also the long-term perspectives of its employees.
Ensuring the development of employees through training
In order to meet the requirements for the training and development of its employees, NORMA Group has firmly anchored the topic in its human resources strategy. The strategy is implemented at the regional level by Learning & Development Managers and locally by the HR business partners. The focus of the activities is on designing and offering globally implementable development processes and programs that are aligned with NORMA Group‘s corporate values and growth objectives. In order to specifically promote learning in the workplace and the individual development paths of employees, both direct supervisors and internal mentors as well as external coaches, are available. In addition, various local and regional methods of personnel development have been combined into a global portfolio. This ensures that all NORMA Group employees worldwide have access to the same talent development program.
NORMA Group has set itself the goal of ensuring that all employees receive an average of at least 30 hours of training per year. Training includes both internal and external courses, as well as workshops and focuses not only on task-related (operational) training, but also on general training designed to prepare employees for individual, future challenges. In addition, International Short-Term Assignments are also included in the calculation of training hours. Employees received an average of 29.6 training hours in 2021 (2020: 20.9) (see GRAPHIC G018: ‘Development of trainings hours’).
2021 was also characterized by challenging conditions for training activities. Some plants were affected by lockdowns or physical distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic, which meant that external and internal classroom training courses were partially or completely cancelled. In addition, budgets were restricted as a result of the crisis. Nevertheless, by focusing more on online training and on classroom training in compliance with hygiene and distancing requirements, a significant improvement in the number of training hours was achieved compared to the previous year.
Right now, NORMA Group is increasingly focusing on online training so that there are no gaps in the further training of employees, even in peak phases of mobile working. NORMA Group’s “learning management system” is an important component of this. The objective is to provide employees with an online platform on which standard training courses are offered while enabling employees to receive further training in line with their individual needs. NORMA Group ensures the effectiveness of the training courses through regular internal reporting of participation rates and feedback.
Irrespective of the further course of the pandemic situation, NORMA Group assumes that the trend towards mobile working will not weaken significantly even after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided and will remain an integral part of a modern working environment. It is therefore all the more important to continuously expand the range of modern forms of training such as online training and blended learning. In this context, “goodhabitz,” an external provider of digital learning services, was contracted in the past fiscal year. Following its implementation and integration into the learning management system, a large number of high-quality online courses are now available to the Company’s employees worldwide to ensure that they receive flexible and needs-based training.
In addition, NORMA Group initiated the global management training program “LeadershipCulture@NORMA,” which is specially tailored to the needs of the Company and seeks to promote the creation of a Group-wide network. In addition to teaching the theoretical basics, existing knowledge and social skills will be deepened in order to achieve a uniform understanding of leadership within NORMA Group along the lines of its core values. The global program is intended to allow for all managers to be trained within the next three years. In the period from 2019 to 2021, all plant managers are to undergo global management training. Once the coronavirus pandemic has subsided, the training will be continued in the regions and at the plants.
Targeted acquisition of skills
Employee training is most effective when it aligns with the demands of the working environment. To ensure this, NORMA Group’s approach is principally demand-oriented, based on bottom-up departmental reporting.
In addition, the competency model, which was developed specifically for NORMA Group, defines the skills that are important to the Company, based on numerous workshops and with the participation of employees in all regions. The competency model is integrated systematically into the global and local HR structures (GRAPHIC G019: “Competency model”). For example, managers have been trained in how to further develop their employees using the competency model, and methods have been introduced to ensure that the selection of new employees is carried out along the framework of the skills that are of importance to NORMA Group.
Numerous training opportunities for career starters
In addition to part-time courses of study in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, mechatronics and business administration, NORMA Group also offers internships for students in all departments and regions. In addition, NORMA Group offers apprenticeships for young people in various technical and commercial fields every year.
In a globalized world, and at an international company such as NORMA Group, cross-border exchange, network building and intercultural skills are crucial for success on both a personal level and corporate level. DIVERSITY AND EQUALITY OPPORTUNITIES With its international assignment programs, NORMA Group therefore offers its employees the opportunity to expand their experience and skills abroad. The programs distinguish between “Bubble Assignments” (up to three months) and “long-term assignments” (more than three months). Skilled employees and managers who participate in these initiatives bring with them specialist knowledge and experience from other places while at the same time benefiting from the expertise of their local colleagues. Exchanges can take place within a country or internationally between countries and regions.
These contents are part of the Non-financial Group Report and were subject to a separate limited assurance examination.