PALFINGER has been committed to sustainability since 2004. As a responsible employer, we produce sustainable products in an eco-efficient manner and we stand for fair business activity. In a four-part series, we now wish to introduce the four sustainability fields and how we at PALFINGER live up to them on a daily basis.
Interview in the sustainability field: RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYER
Employees are a material factor of PALFINGER’s success. PALFINGER’s ultimate goal is to be an attractive employer. Therefore, their motivation, qualifications and, first and foremost, their health and safety are given high priority. Nikolinka Koleva, the person responsible for people development in Bulgaria, will now answer some questions on the “responsible employer” sustainability field.
I started working in the company in 2015. As a psychologist, I have always been interested in human beings – their diversity, the various social roles they perform, and the motivational factors that determine their behavior in performing these roles. Understanding the motivation is a key component in the overall process of hiring, retaining, and developing the right people for the company’s purposes. The globalization, the battle for talents, and the lack of sufficiently qualified staff for securing the intense development of Palfinger – Tenevo induced the management to launch a massive investment program in People.
2. What is your daily work routine like?
I would call it “my daily work diversity”. In my position, together with the direct department managers, I deal with the development of people through learning. The main focus is on planning, organizing and conducting trainings by assessing the needs, preparing and following individual training plans, and evaluating their effectiveness after completion. Through this process of continuous development, we invest not only in finding but also in retaining the right people on board.
3. What does sustainability mean to you, and how far has your area come in this respect over the last few years?
People are the driving force of change in our company and the best ambassadors of our culture in society. The targeted investments in their development safeguard the sustainable development of the company and make it a desirable employer in the region. Without hesitation Palfinger – Tenevo can be called a “Teaching employer”. In 2014, on the initiative of Mr. Andreas Strauch, Managing Director of Palfinger – Tenevo, Bulgaria launched the procedure for introducing the dual education form in Bulgaria. After the change in the relevant laws, we now have 52 students in different specialties who are being trained by working. The logical next step towards sustainable development, and the main focus of 2017, was the building of the Learning Center – the heart of PALFINGER’s VALUES in Tenevo. This year our efforts are aimed at promoting another specific form of education for Bulgaria – 3-year-long vocational training of students at the school in the village of Tenevo, combined with practical training at the Training Center – Tenevo.
The future belongs to the generation Z – the students whom we are currently training. The challenge is to prepare for the introduction of this generation of talents, in order to increase its potential, to ease the intergenerational differences, and to create value from the mental diversity in the workplace while maintaining our core values.