We want to encourage our employees to use their own initiative and to apply their knowledge and ideas for the benefit of the Group. For that reason, we have already conducted a number of global employee surveys, most recently in 2014. The aim is to analyse employees’ understanding of our corporate objectives and the factors affecting employee commitment as a basis for shared success, and to devise measures for improvement. Again in 2017, we made awards at both regional and global level to employees and teams in many regions who had demonstrated particular commitment to our corporate objectives and values.
In 2017, the second Linde Global Innovation Challenge took place. This involved us calling upon all our employees worldwide to submit their ideas for innovations. The requirements for the challenge were based on our global innovation strategy, and we were looking for applicants to focus on themes such as digitalisation and resource efficiency. In all, we received more than 400 suggestions.
Dialogue with employee representatives
Linde strives to work together with employee representatives and trade unions based on partnership and trust, aiming to reconcile the interests of the Group and the workforce. Linde’s system of employee representation in Germany is two-tiered, consisting of a central works council for the Group as a whole and works councils in the decentralised units. Cross-border issues are dealt with by the European Works Council, which currently has 28 members and protects the rights of employees in Europe to information, consultation and advice. In many other countries, there are regional-level works councils or employee interest groups, with which we work constructively. Linde’s cooperation with the central works council in 2017 focused on the proposed merger with Praxair and on the rounds of negotiations on the reconciliation of interests and the redundancy scheme which forms part of the LIFT efficiency programme. As a result, the works councils also conducted several hundred discussions with employees at both German and international business locations.