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Demographic change as an opportunity - The BMW Group Program "Today for tomorrow"
In years to come, increasing business requirements will have to be met by an on average older team of employees. This will have a number of advantages, as older employees are more experienced and are valuable sources of organisational knowledge and cultural values. A company will be more successful the more it consistently enhances the employability of its staff and their capacity to perform. In the BMW Group the right framework conditions and instruments are being created in the program "Today for tomorrow" which takes a holistic approach. The following shows the program's five fields of activity:
As employees get older, health-care will become increasingly important. In industrialized nations most illnesses could be avoided or shifted to an older age by adopting a healthier lifestyle. In the field of activity of health, a preventive care program which supports associates in dealing responsibly with their own health has been developed.
The work environment field of activity looks at how best to suit the technical and organisational aspects of the work environment to the needs of the ageing employee. It deals especially with the workplace, working times and work structures. With help of these levers a significant contribution can be made to maintaining or extending the employability of all associates. It also aims to make a wider range of employment opportunities available to associates whose performance is restricted for health reasons. For the evaluation of shift schedules according to the results of manpower studies an Excel-based tool has been developed.
The question of work organisation is also constantly reviewed. In production, job rotation would offer a promising solution for avoiding the ill effects of unilateral strain and should help safeguard the physical and mental flexibility of workers of every age.
Training and competences
The "Demographic Development - Opportunities and Challenges" training programme has been developed and has been operating for two years. During this training, managers are informed about the opportunities and challenges of demographic development, prejudices are dispelled and options for action are presented.
Even with increased preventive care, not every employee will want to or be able to work until the new legal retirement age of 67. For this reason, the BMW Group is collaborating with the Works Council to develop new retirement models that will take into account the needs of individual employee.
The aim is that these will take into consideration the life plans of employees and the company?s needs and to be supported by new financing schemes. The financial base for this is already being laid today.
In addition the BMW Group has been supporting personal pensions financing for employees with Personal Provision Capital (PVK) for several years now. An attractive finance model offers associates the opportunity to convert a salary share into provision for old age.
The communication platform "My provision for the future" has been developed in the BMW Group Intranet as a separate medium. "My provision for the future" is the first communication platform which promotes that employees take personal responsibility for themselves and provides comprehensive information and concrete support in training, health, work environment and financial provision.
The BMW Group's internal media are also encouraging associates to make their own personal provision for the future. They offer regular articles dealing with aspects and fields of activity concerning how to make provision for old age.
Michael Pieper, phone: +49-89-382-24935,
Forum for Sustainable Development of German Business e.V.
econsense is an association of leading, globally active companies and organisations of German business specializing in the area of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Founded in 2000 on the initiative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the goal of econsense is to provide a dialogue platform and think tank, with the dual objectives of advancing sustainable development in business and assuming social responsibility.