People & society

Training & professional development

Corporate People Development – people create success

Corporate People Development was established as an independent department at ALPLA and expanded in terms of staff numbers in 2019/20. This clearly illustrates the importance that the company attaches to the structured and systematic development of its employees. The department plays a key part in developing the corporate culture in such a way that the employees’ potential is released and contributes to the success of ALPLA.

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We assume that we already have the talent in-house that we will need for the majority of future requirements. What we need to do is recognise their abilities, enable them to develop and promote their development, and put them to work in the right place so that they are happy to contribute their potential and deliver in the long term.

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‘Our goal is to establish all the parameters for those already working at ALPLA to be able to realise their full potential. Here, it is important to us that everyone knows there are numerous opportunities within the company and that we actively promote individual development.’

Andrea Becker, Head of Corporate People Development

Leadership and development

The Corporate People Development department is therefore currently focusing on the topics of leadership, collaboration and talent development. Leadership at ALPLA is founded on common principles, personal responsibility and strong communication between equals. Our development measures for managers are designed to establish a strong managerial crew which acts in line with our values, encourages performance, recognises the employees’ potential and offers them further personal development.

The management culture we have set our sights on has been explicitly enshrined in the corporate culture with the Leadership Promise. This is founded on the pillars of trust, respect, potential and results and the First Principles of ‘Being reliable’, ‘Solving problems’, ‘Making decisions’ and ‘Communicating effectively’.

The area of talent development is about firstly reconciling the current and future business requirements with the portfolio and potential of the employees. Then, in a second step, we promote this talent’s development with transparent development opportunities.

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Our goal is for …

  • … the people we need in order to achieve success both now and in the future to apply themselves.
  • … what we offer to play a part in shaping the culture needed for this.
  • … us to offer the appropriate structures, prospects and development opportunities.
  • … us to also be able to fill top management and key positions from our own ranks.

 

The department’s services:

  • Employee appraisal processes
  • Structured process of talent identification
  • Talent development on the basis of personal development plans
  • A standardised approach to identifying key positions
  • Career paths at the Technical Center
  • Defining leadership clusters and the corresponding skill profiles
  • Basic logic and measures for management development
  • Management diagnostics to promote self-reflection and development
  • Developing and introducing a Leadership Promise, thereby explicitly describing and focusing on management culture for the first time worldwide
  • Defining the basic skills of managers and employees

 

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By 2022, there will be teaching centres in all the ALPLA regions, with a regional training coordinator and technical trainers at the regional and local levels. Qualified trainers will be able to independently cover a region’s training needs.

ALPLA Academy – centre for learning and training

The employees are a key success factor for ALPLA. It is therefore especially important to us that we strike a balance between the company’s needs and their expectations, strengths and interests. As a professional partner in the areas of learning and training, the ALPLA Academy is therefore there to promote the development of our skilled workers’ personal and professional abilities and skills.

With our global internal network of trainers and experts, we pass on our existing expertise and knowledge and thereby sustainably embed it within the company. Various forms of learning are used such as classroom training and e-learning. These offer an interactive learning environment and strike the right balance between theory and practice.

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‘Historically, our Academy has been technical in nature. The current aim is to offer more non-technical training courses, enabling the employees to gain further qualifications in all kinds of different directions.’

 

Gerhard Geismayr, Director of Corporate HR & Organizational Development

By 2022, the annual training initiatives will be reported to the ALPLA Academy (HQ) according to defined criteria.

To successfully fulfil this mission in the future too, it is essential that the Academy addresses new trends and technologies as well as external requirements on a daily basis. The aim is for what it offers to be continuously expanded and be in keeping with the times.

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Digital added value

The digitalisation trend became even more pronounced during the coronavirus pandemic and resulted in increases in virtual courses and training in many of the ALPLA regions. A total of 29,843 e-learning courses were completed around the world in 2020. This is over 30 per cent more than in the previous year. The 1,876 software tutorials conducted around the world equated to an increase of 780 per cent.

In 2020, the Academy developed 24 new e-learning modules lasting on average around eight minutes and 27 new software tutorials and explanatory videos of around two minutes in length on average. There was additionally translation of training into 19 languages.

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Focus on personal development

‘We develop potential’ is one of the four elements of the ALPLA Leadership Promise. Since the beginning of 2021, there has therefore been a focus on the topics of personal development and work efficiency. As a starter pack, there are e-learning sessions on ‘Making good decisions’, ‘Giving feedback to colleagues’ and ‘Time management’. All the employees can therefore develop their skills at a convenient time and from wherever they like. Employees without direct computer access are afforded such access for the purposes of the training.

‘Taking the step of expanding what the Academy offers beyond technical training is important to me. We want to gradually assist all of our colleagues in improving their soft skills and developing their potential. I am convinced that there will be a great deal of interest in what’s offered throughout the ALPLA world,’ says an optimistic Gerhard Geismayr, Director of Corporate HR & Organizational Development.

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Looking ahead

The eAcademy

In addition to a wide array of e-learning courses, the eAcademy is aiming to further optimise system processes as well as manage classroom training and webinars. This should also make it possible for more and more of the plants to comprehensively log their training activities.

 

eSkill Matrix

The ALPLA Academy offers a software tool called the eSkill Matrix with which technical staff can identify their training needs. In this way, ALPLA ensures that its employees’ development needs and strengths are recorded at the plants in a structured and standardised way and that the appropriate action can then be taken. The eSkill Matrix is currently already in use in 17 ALPLA countries and will continue to be rolled out over the next few years.

 

Digital workplace

The new digital workplace (Microsoft Office 365 Suite) introduced in 2021 makes more productive, time- and location-independent and also mobile work possible. The individual ‘tools’ are compatible with one another, making it easier to search for information and transmit data. It offers the users an optimum and efficient work environment which establishes modern ways of working at ALPLA and makes work and collaboration even more efficient.

 

A MATTER CLOSE TO OUR HEARTS

  • In-house training for technical, specialist and social skills
  • In-house e-learning and e-training development for all areas of expertise
  • In-house trainer training
  • Establishment and further development of regional learning centres
  • Use and further development of the learning management system (eAcademy)
  • Global skill management and identification of the training needs
  • Development of junior employees through trainee programmes
  • Advice on and overseeing of OE projects (OPEX, digital workplace, finance and controlling excellence, etc.)
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Dual training as an export hit

ALPLA has been offering junior employees dual vocational training in a variety of professions since 1960. This concept was first exported to Mexico and China in 2013 and another modern training workshop went into operation in India in 2020.

ALPLA has also been offering dual vocational training in Poland since September 2021. There was more good news in summer 2021 when the management approved the construction of a second Future Corner in Bajío, Mexico. The existing building at the El Bajío plant will be extended, adding a new training workshop. Future plastics moulders and mechatronics technicians are expected to begin their training there in September 2022. The finalised extension is designed for 15 apprentices a year, which equates to the capacity of the Future Corner in Toluca. Preparations for dual training are also in progress in South Africa. The planned start here is 2023.

Dual training quickly became well recognised in these countries in spite of being entirely unfamiliar to them. The option of combining practical training at our training workshops, Technical Centers and production facilities with a general qualification from a vocational school has become very popular among young people and their families.

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The international exchange programme is very popular with our apprentices. Young people who are particularly dedicated are given the opportunity to travel to other ALPLA sites to work there for a few weeks and gather experience.

As well as the curricula, ALPLA apprentices are given additional training, for example at sustainability workshops. In addition to important basic knowledge of environmental issues, the junior employees learn about the goals ALPLA is pursuing in the area of sustainability and what they can do as individuals to contribute to making this a success.

We are anticipating that the number of apprentices around the world will increase further over the next few years. Upon completing their training, they are presented with a graduation certificate from their country as well as a certificate issued by the Institute for Economic Promotion of the Austrian Economic Chambers (WIFI), which is recognised throughout Europe. Ideally, all the graduates are subsequently taken on by ALPLA and remain with us for a long time.

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By 2022, more than 60 apprentices in Mexico and more than 50 in China will complete their training. By 2022, we will also offer apprenticeships in Poland, India and South Africa. 

From 2023, we will also be training apprentices in South Africa. Implementing dual vocational training in Romania is currently under consideration.