Growing together: Training, continuing education and health and safety

Hermes values motivated, highly capable employees – and creates conditions that support them. This fact is demonstrated by the loyalty that employees show the company, many of whom have been working at Hermes for many years. Hermes truly puts its principle of “our employees are our greatest asset” into practice, as evidenced by the many external awards and honours that the company has received.

Hermes as an employer

One example is the designation as “Hamburg’s best employer.”The competition to be named best employer starts with scientific surveys of employees and managers. A jury under the leadership of Professor Sarges from Helmut Schmidt University, together with partners at the Hamburg School of Business Administration and the IMWF Institute for Management and Economic Research, then uses them to create individual strength and weakness profiles of human resources work in each company. Criteria from the EFQM Excellence Model are also factored in. The designation is thus based on the trust that employees have in the company and the mutual trust between employees and managers.

At a super-regional level, the Top Employer Institute, a leading independent research company in the field of employer branding, annually awards the “top employer” seal of approval to selected companies. The working conditions and career opportunities at international companies are examined and evaluated in the categories of compensation, work-life-balance, opportunities for development, corporate culture, job security and market leadership. The evaluation is based on comprehensive surveys and interviews of employees at the companies in question. In 2015, Hermes received the honour of being named “top employer” for the seventh time in a row, one of 113 German companies so designated that year.

Hermes as a provider of vocational training

What sets Hermes apart? It starts with qualified vocational training, because vocational qualifications lay the foundation for the career that follows. Hermes currently provides vocational training in fourteen different occupations – with very good chances of being taken on at the company after training is completed. The occupations in which training is offered range from office management and marketing specialists to “spedis” – the company’s own nickname for specialists in shipping and logistics services – to IT and mechatronics specialists.

Here too, Hermes stands out, as one of “Hamburg’s Best Companies Offering Vocational Training” in 2014. This annual competitive honour is also based on a valid scientific model initiated by Professor Werner Sarges from Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg, the IMWF and the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper.The evaluation is based on interviews with trainees and training supervisors. The subjective results of these interviews are complemented by objective criteria that, based on generally recognised standards, represent a good company at which to complete a vocational training programme.

Furthermore, Hermes offers special trainee positions for prospective managers. A diverse array of opportunities are also available to student trainees and students in dual programmes of study that include practical and academic components.

For these kinds of programmes, Hermes received recognition for its career-enhancing and fair trainee programmes from Absolventa, the job exchange for students, graduates and young professionals. Hermes is thus eligible to sign the Charter for Career Enhancement and Fair Trainee Programmes, upon which the quality award is based. The three trainee programmes honoured were developed in-house by Hermes and are offered in the fields of logistics, IT and sales and marketing.

Hermes as a provider of continuing education

At the same time, the completion of a vocational training programme is not the end of the process as far as Hermes is concerned – the company also invests in continuing education and training. A large number of training courses, seminars and developmental programmes to strengthen key competencies are available. They range from those promoting good health to IT and from individualised coaching to “license to lead” training courses. In addition, at the Otto Akademie, Hermes employees have the opportunity to undergo training on subjects such as database tools, conflict management and expanding one’s individual comfort zone. All in all, the company’s employees use about 4,000 workdays a year to take advantage of such continuing education offerings.

Occupational safety and health

It goes without saying that Hermes complies with all occupational safety and accident prevention regulations, for both humanitarian and economic reasons. All employees are given proper instructions and exercises to prepare for possible accidents, such as fires, are regularly conducted during normal work hours. Visitors are also informed of possible dangers and how to respond to them, such as using emergency exits.

In addition to just avoiding accidents by technical means, Hermes also goes further and focuses on comprehensive prevention. This includes equipping workstations with hygienically sound and ergonomically appropriate furniture. To maintain and encourage physical and mental health, all employees have access to examinations by and consultations with an occupational health service. The dining hall also provides employees with varied, vitamin-rich food.

Naturally, many jobs in the logistics business involve lifting and setting down heavy loads. Hermes works with various health insurance companies in the affected departments to prevent fatigue and back pain. This regular, standardised approach to encouraging health, for example in the form of intensive courses on back-healthy work techniques and proper nutrition - is intended to ensure that physical problems do not arise at all and to contribute to the well-being of all employees.

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