For Managing Director Peter-Josef Paffen, local apples from Lake Constance, harvested with Fendt tractors, are more than just a healthy snack. "For me, an apple is far better than any communication, poster or lecture about leading a healthy life. With an apple in their hand, people are reminded to consciously do something about their own health. I don't want to dictate to any employee what they should or shouldn't eat, but maybe we can add a little motivation to create more health awareness."
Vitality days at AGCO/Fendt
"We want to reach out to our employees, especially when stress is a likely factor with all these orders coming in. As a responsible company, we want to show that we are aware of the stress levels, and want to take care of the holistic well-being of our employees," explains Peter-Josef Paffen, Chairman of the AGCO/Fendt Management Board.
At the Fendt plants in Marktoberdorf and Asbach-Bäumenheim, the first Health Week was all about conscious and healthy eating. Every day came with its own motto to address all the different aspects involved. As well helpful information, such as nutritional tips to combat the midday blues, staff were shown how they can introduce conscious eating. The canteens offered a vitality menu and specially adapted healthy meals in line with Health Week. There were several apple stations set up at various sites for all employees to enjoy a healthy snack. By the end of Vitality Week, over 5,000 packs of 'brain food' had been given out.
Investing in health management should help develop the workplace culture and show how the company values its staff. "A recent Fendt employee survey showed that there are certain areas that still have potential for improvement," says the Managing Director. "Vitality Week is just the starting point for a more health-conscious future. It's a small step of a wider project that we want to tackle off the back of that survey."
To implement a sustainable health management scheme, a Health Manager will be appointed to develop a holistic and individually tailored concept for promoting health in the workplace. The new role is intended to support and reinforce the integration of existing initiatives and projects into a single concept, so that in future the various institutions can work even better together. The new concept will first be trialled at Marktoberdorf and Asbach-Bäumenheim, possibly expanding to other locations in the future. The company will also continue to communicate and address the subject of health across every department. A second Health Week with a new main focus is already planned for the autumn.
Health and medical care
Multiple health-promoting measures have been put in place in recent years, with Fendt going far beyond its statutory obligations as an employer. The headquarters in Marktoberdorf feature a medical centre to offer first-aid as well as general practice consultations, offering medical advice to all employees. Fendt employees can also have a travel and vaccination consultation, both for private and business trips. Even when it comes to the annual flu vaccination, Fendt wanted to protect its employees beyond the legal requirements and has borne the cost of a four-cover vaccine over the last three years. Employees who want to return to work after a long illness are offered reintegration measures, which the company doctor can also help with.
Asbach-Bäumenheim also has its own medical centre, which offers employees a general medical consultation in addition to acute treatments. A physiotherapist was also on hand to help with valuable tips and practice suggestions.
Since then, employees have been able to do short interim exercises to boost their fitness even during working hours. If there are any problems or concerns, the employees at Asbach-Bäumenheim are supported by an internal counselling service.
For six years, there has also been a dedicated internal working group for health in Marktoberdorf, made up of company doctors, works councils and employees from Occupational Safety, HR and Plant Management, who have already inspired a number of initiatives. In the meantime, Marktoberdorf now has a health room and a massage room, to create some onsite space for health and well-being. The company has also set up an anonymous and discreet addiction advice service. For the benefit of office employees, the company has invested in height-adjustable desks and ergonomic keyboards. And for a while now, the staff canteen has been increasingly focusing on locally-sourced products to create more transparency for employees in terms of their conscious eating habits.
A successful start
A sure sign that the new health scheme is already being well received by the employees, can be seen by all the empty apple crates. The 15,000 apples ordered for Marktoberdorf and Asbach-Bäumenheim had disappeared by Thursday – health makes for a healthy appetite, it seems.