Communication with employees: A priority The case of Dr. Schneider

We spoke to the head of HR at Dr. Schneider Spain about the value of holding a two-way communication channel with their employees at their Spanish HeadQuarters in Picassent (Valencia).

“It’s the details that make a difference” is a phrase we often hear. Right? Well, this is often true especially when we talk about the automotive industry, a sector in which many different brands compete to win our attention by offering, not only all kinds of details to make driving more comfortable and safe, but also to make the car interior look good. Frankly, these companies understand we all just love a good car filled with good design details.

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This is exactly what Dr. Franz Schneider is doing. Dr. Franz Schneider is a family business founded in Bavaria, which is now a multinational company with factories in Germany, China, Poland, the United States and Spain, where they manufacture parts for car brand names that surely sound familiar to you such as: Ford, General Motors, Audi, BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Volvo, Jaguar/Land Rover, Lamborghini, Porsche, Rolls-Royce, Renault and FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).

The Spanish headquarters of Dr. Franz Schneider is located in Picassent (Valencia) where the HR team led by Natividad Albert has opted to take the daily pulse of the organization using Happyforce for over 3 years now. 👏🏽 s.

Natividad’s team truly understands that when you have a two-way dialogue with your employees, you can understand how they’re thinking and feeling in the moment — and it means that you will be better placed to take effective action.

How it all began

What motivated Dr. Franz Schneider to uuse our Happyforce app – as Natividad explains – is that, for them improving communication with their people is a top priority in which they have been working on by instilling “activities of all kinds, from launching periodic work climate surveys to continuous information campaigns on all aspects of general interest: prevention and safety, health and welfare, equality, co-responsibility and equal distribution of family tasks, harassment prevention, economic situation of the company and expectations, integration of different generations in the organization, age management policies and a long etcetera”.

“When we were introduced to Happyforce we immediately knew that it was going to be the next step in the company’s direction. This required a very important qualitative step for us”.

At Dr. Schneider, both employees and management participate very actively within the platform, where management tunes in and analyzes employees’ feedback to make better decisions. An example that Natividad explains: “We have taken into consideration the feedback received on many occasions, we have also directly consulted or dealt with various issues through the tool, from topics such as the date of payment of the payroll to safety footwear or the setting of the work schedule for next year”. And does it work for them? “Today we have over 90% of the staff active on Happyforce”.”
That level of participation surely deserves an applause!

On behalf of Happyforce, and from our experience with working with different organizations, we are aware that opening a public and transparent feedback channel implies some challenges for certain companies. So, which has been the biggest challenge for Dr. Schneider? According to Natividad, “The biggest challenge has been to answer promptly and to clarify questions in a quick, sincere and constructive manner to the issues that have generated controversy or doubts within our employees”. She also adds that they have placed great emphasis on the fact that the platform should not be used for personal references or free criticism. “It is a channel for improvement, not a weapon to be thrown around” and indicates that the employees generally make a good and productive use of the comments section.

Apart from using Happyforce everyday, Dr. Schneider also incorporates other measures to ensure a comfortable working environment in which people feel at ease:

“The most important aspect is to put the care for our employees above all, and to be aware of the role we have to achieve it.”

For this reason, Dr. Schneider committed to training both managers and middle managers; in order to raise team awareness regarding respect for the environment by teaching them about energy saving or the correct separation of waste. Dr. Schneider also facilitates the integration of diversity, paying special attention to people with different abilities through their CEE, the implementation of a Family Plan to finance improvements in the quality of life of the children of employees who have disabilities as well as the organization of onboarding days, among other measures.

In addition, there is one aspect that Natividad insists on not overlooking “We like to celebrate together the good results, successes and important dates in the history of our company. Fortunately, there have been good reasons to do so in recent years”.

Dr. Schneider has now 94 years of history! Which is why, we did not want to close this interview without asking Natividad’s advice for other companies found within industrial sector that also want to take the next step into taking cares of their team. So, we asked Natividad “What is the key to taking care of your employees? Her answer was very clear: “The fundamental pillar is mutual trust between the people who give life to the organization”.

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