Owner, Johannes Messer-Consulting GmbH
Article Series - Part 4 4 Challenges in Aluminum High Pressure Die Casting: Employees
This article series is dedicated to the changes and developments in the aluminum high pressure die casting industry. The fourth chapter deals with the recruitment of new employees and outlines the characteristics of new generations.
According to a study conducted in 2007, the qualification of employees is one of the five most important factors for business success. This enables the company to secure and expand its competitiveness.
Technical process and product innovations take place at shorter intervals. Internationalization is also making great strides. Companies change significantly from one day to the next, e.g. through acquisitions. All these factors mean that the focus on the employee is much stronger than before. There are currently two main fields of activity for the foundry industry:
- Recruit qualified employees and retain them in the long term
- Gain managers with leadership skills to handle today's challenges
The task of employee recruiting has also gained importance in the foundries in recent years. In the past, people applied to the companies, today the companies apply to the employees. In order to retain the employees in the long term, profound changes in the overall working environment and corporate culture are necessary. Creative work tasks, flexible working time management, education and training, health management and appreciation are just some of the topics that have gained new meaning.
In order to successfully implement all the current challenges (internationalization, product portfolio, technologies, employees), the key to success lies in visionary leaders with leadership qualities.
It is often assumed that management is always leadership. This is a mistake. Managers are those executives in the company who have the ability to guide people through established values, beliefs and existing knowledge, following solid processes and rules. However, in the upcoming challenges, the foundries at the top need leaders who are also able to give people a vision and guidance, and to win them over. Or as the austrian economist Prof. Dr. F. Malik says "Total Quality Management is important, but Total Management Quality is ten times more important".
The focus of continuous improvement in recent years has been very strongly oriented towards classic quality management topics. Quality and process improvements were achieved through this approach in the enterprise. The cost structure has been improved.
Given the complexity of the current challenges, this approach is no longer sufficient. It will depend critically on the quality of the management, whether the challenges can be overcome and the opportunities offered can be used.
A completely different problem that the foundry industry may have to contend with is the reduction of personnel requirements. According to a study by the Fraunhofer IAO, this is to be drastically reduced by the electrification of drive trains. But are these results also relevant for the die casting industry and light metal casters?
Companies now need:
- Strengthen education and training, develop talented people.
- Develop and implement attractive working models.
- Improving leadership culture, transferring responsibility, allowing scope for action and decision making.
- Apply respect and trust, involve Employees.
In the long term, only those foundries will succeed that will be headed by people who, with passion, enthusiasm and conviction, will carry their visions and strategies into the company and their employees. Employees must become Follower of the Leaders.