Linde works together with employee representatives and trade unions. In 2012, 53.8 percent of our staff members were employed under collective wage agreements (2011: 53.5 percent). Linde’s system of employee representation in Germany is two-tiered, consisting of works councils in the decentralised units and a central works council for the Group as a whole. In addition, for some years now, Linde has also maintained a European Works Council, currently with 24 members. In 2012, the European Works Council joined a project aimed at improving cross-border cooperation and supported by the European Union.
Honest feedback from employees is crucial to our HR approach. In 2012, the Group conducted a global employee survey for the second time. 86 percent of the workforce took part in this voluntary questionnaire. Compared with the last survey in 2010, there was an improvement in results across the board. 82 percent of employees stated that they were proud to work for Linde. The Group’s commitment to environmental protection and its openness in addressing safety issues were cited as particularly positive characteristics by the staff. Meanwhile, aspects such as communication between managers and their teams and cooperation across different departments were mentioned as areas for improvement. In the wake of the survey, managers have been analysing the results with their staff and developing measures to improve the relevant areas. We currently aim to conduct a follow-up survey by the end of 2014.
1,400ideas submitted by employees to Grass Roots Innovation Development programme in Asia
Additionally, our employees can play an active role by suggesting ways to improve products and processes. In India, for example, Linde Engineering received over 30 staff suggestions within four months in 2012 through a new regional ideas programme, 23 of which the company went on to implement. These include plans to establish an advisory service for customers, helping them to obtain optimum performance from their plants. Also acting on an employee suggestion, Linde Engineering began an initiative in 2012 to enable staff in India to donate their own vacation days for colleagues who would otherwise have to take unpaid leave in urgent situations. In Indonesia, staff submitted over 1,400 ideas to the Grass Roots Innovation Development programme, launched at the start of 2012. There are plans to implement more than 230 of these suggestions.