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Communicating with and engaging our employees

People engagement and empowerment have been crucial all along our transformation journey. We empower our teams with responsibility, authority and accountability, and count on the engagement of every Bekaert employee in driving a higher-level performance.

(GRI 102-43 + GRI 102-44)

  • Bekaert’s global excellence programs: BMS (Bekaert Manufacturing System); BCE (Bekaert Customer Excellence); BeCare (Bekaert’s safety excellence program); SCE (Supply Chain Excellence); and the Fit for Growth program, enable our organization with the tools and focus to drive our performance to a higher level. They also bring our people together as an engaged community to always do better.
  • After the extended organization-wide employee engagement survey in 2017, Bekaert conducted a follow-up survey to gauge current employee engagement levels. Purpose was to measure evolution against 2017 and assess the impacts from actions taken in 2018. We want to use these impacts to further improve engagement practices. The topics surveyed include sustainable engagement, collaboration, communication, talent & development, safety & well-being and progress on the actions from the 2017 Your Voice Counts survey. The 2018 results show that sustainable engagement has further improved at Bekaert. Our employees particularly appreciated the efforts made to implement the actions defined after the initial survey. In 2019, too, there will be a company-wide employee survey.  

Team Venezuela – the most engaged worldwide

Teams around the world stepped up their efforts to engage employees following 2017’s employee survey. Among the many initiatives, Bekaert in Venezuela introduced a recognition program and award event for the team to reward value-adding projects developed and implemented at Vicson. 

The results not only spoke to the head but also to the heart. Despite the dire political situation and economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, the pride and engagement of our Vicson team was clearly visible in the 2018 pulse survey results. The exceptionally high engagement score (98%) shows that employees feel respected and listened to. Moreover, they highlight the sense of personal accomplishment they gain from working at Bekaert. In fact, all questions in the survey received top scores, marking out our team in Venezuela as the most engaged of all Bekaert locations worldwide!

  • The Bekaert Intranet is a place where employees can share and obtain knowledge, find relevant information fast, connect with colleagues, collaborate with team members on common development programs, and actively contribute to impactful communications across the company. Moreover, the company’s internal social media platform is an intensively used tool to share best practices, celebrations and ideas.
  • The CEO of Bekaert invites all managers worldwide to participate in the annual International Management Conference and several webcasts. Every quarter, a global internal communication cascade is deployed throughout the organization, so that the information on Bekaert’s performance and actions is being shared with all employees in all locations worldwide.

better together, the movie

How far do your ambitions reach?

At Bekaert, we believe in working together to achieve better performance. With colleagues of 8 nationalities, we produced a video in 2018, showing what better together really means to us. 

Our teams show the way! All actors in the better together video are Bekaert team members of eight nationalities: 

Surfers: Consuelo, Catherine, Luna, Catalina, María José, Javiera, Rocía – Mountain climbers: Jaromil, Robert Constantin, Jozef, Marián, Alisa – Xiangqi players: Jacky, Daniel, Kony, Jimmy – Soccer players: Manuel, German, Dioniso, Pablo, Christian, Richard, Miguel, Gerardo, Federico, Daniel, Carlos, Robert, Carlos, Roberto, Christian, Miguel, Alejandro, Pablo, Miguel – Athletes: Jana, Monika, Zuzana, Petra, Csilla, Silvia – Shoppers: Maggie, Cecile, Tammy, Jenny, Danial, Kony, Hansen – Canoe rowers: Carla-Anamaria, Jana, Miroslav, Tomáš, Andrea – Campfire friends: Rodrigo, Ivonne, Sergio, Yorka, Francisca, Gianfranco, Jorge, Silvana – Mountain bikers: Sergey, Alexandra, Dragomir, Jana, Peter – Students: Tabitha, Kytai, Fleur, Jerre, Sander, Fabian, Mathura, Eline, Bram – Joggers: Hansen, Jenny, Stijn, Catherine.

Trade unions and collective bargaining agreements

We recognize the right of any employee to join or to refrain from joining a trade union. 82% of our employees worldwide are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

Agreements with trade unions are locally concluded and include the following elements:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Right to refuse unsafe work
  • Joint management-employee health and safety committees
  • Participation of worker representatives in health and safety
  • Inspections, audits, and accident investigations
  • Training and education
  • Complaints mechanism
  • Periodic inspections

(GRI 102-41 + GRI 403-4 + GRI 407-1)

Learning and development

We nurture talent through career development and life-long learning. We attach great importance to providing challenging career and personal development opportunities to our employees. Training programs not only include technical and job specific training, but also leadership modules that help our people develop and cooperate in a global business environment.

Team leader of the day in India

Our plant in Ranjangaon (India) has implemented a new program in their campus, called ‘Team leader of the Day’. An operator takes up the role of team leader for one day and handles the entire shift activities; from conducting performance dialogues to managing other operators during the shift. One of the colleagues in Ranjangaon state that 'Team leader of the Day' is the back bone of performance improvement at the shop floor”. 

Team leader India

Prodalam and Inchalam win Chilean industry awards

The Training Management Group (OTIC) of Chile’s Association of Metallurgic and Metalworking Industries (ASIMET) has awarded two of Bekaert’s Chilean entities: Prodalam with the ‘Commitment to Employees’ award and Inchalam with the ‘Commitment to Training’ award. 

Prodalam was given the award for the training initiatives that took place during 2018. They include the creation of training curriculums for each job family and the alliance with one of the most recognized providers of online training in the country. This ensured that all 648 employees distributed along the 4 300 kilometers of Chile have the same opportunity of receiving high quality education to improve their performance and grow within the local organization and within Bekaert. 

Inchalam received the award for its commitment to continuous development through training skills and competencies, completing a total of 22 929 hours of effective training during 2018. This made Inchalam a great reference in relation to people management practices in the region.

In addition to the Commitment to Employees and Training awards, Inchalam won the Best Innovation Management trophy, rewarding the company for its continuous search for excellence through innovation management and the participation of its members in initiatives concerning cultural transformation in innovation.

Bekaert university

Our Bekaert University, established in 2017, offers training tailored to different professional areas. It provides our employees with inspiration, knowhow and peer support from colleagues and leaders in order to turn knowledge into action. In close collaboration with internal experts (both in the business and in the functional domains) and external learning institutes, we continuously evaluate and develop our training portfolio to make sure that we are always equipped to meet the future demands of our customers and employees. During 2018, we launched more academies supporting our transformation programs. We are now hosting several operational academies including Commercial and Manufacturing.

Standardizing our way of working through the Manufacturing Academy

To keep the transformation impact of past BMS implementations sustainable, Bekaert established the Bekaert Manufacturing Academy in 2017. This program enables us to keep building our capabilities and to improve and share our standards and best practices, so that we keep evolving our way of working. In 2018, the Academy’s focus was on increasing plant productivity, standardization and adoption of 5S and in preparing an international group of Bekaert trainers to bring the best practices to the shop floor.

BMS workshop

Average hours of training per employee

On average, each employee received 42 hours of training in 2018. (1)

Learning hours 2018

(1) Excluding BBRG