Corporate culture as a success factor
We want employees who continually take the initiative and assume responsibility. In return we offer them an appreciative corporate culture in which we jointly learn from our mistakes and reward initiative.
At Tchibo we foster a culture of open and constructive communication and team spirit, promote personal dialogue and create opportunities for participation across all hierarchical levels. We thereby enable our employees to fully support the success of our brand.
Value-oriented action anchored in the Tchibo DNA
“Passionate employees sustain the company” it is stated in our Tchibo DNA. Published in 2011, the Tchibo DNA describes the success factors for the Tchibo brand. Our corporate culture plays an important role. Open and honest treatment of each other is just as important to us as collaboration characterised by clear rules of conduct, guided by high values.
The Tchibo DNA is complemented by our Code of Conduct, which defines the values and mandatory behaviour for the company as a whole and for each individual employee. It formulates our understanding of fairness and ethical business conduct as well as our aspiration to comply with laws and data protection rules, and take responsibility for people and the environment. This also includes a culture of diversity where discrimination has no place. Regardless of age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, physical constitution, or any other personal characteristics, at Tchibo all employees have the same opportunities, because each and every one contributes to the success of the company with their individuality. All employees receive regular training about the Code of Conduct from the time they start their job. And of course our measures fulfil the requirements of the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG), also known as the Anti-Discrimination Act.
Dialogue on an equal footing
Tchibo’s corporate culture as a Hamburg-based family-owned business has traditionally been characterised by open dialogue between equal partners. Although we now operate globally, we want to retain this strength, which is why we deliberately promote exchange across all divisions, departments and hierarchical levels of the company. Wherever possible, we involve employees in the company's development. It is becoming more and more important that communication takes place not only top-down, i.e. from supervisors to their staff, but as a network between colleagues with equal rights. That is why we support the dialogue with modern communication tools on the Tchibo intranet. For example, the ‘Abgeschaut bei’ (Roughly: Here’s how they do it) section on the intranet shows what works well in the departments and how other units can learn from it. At our Hamburg roasting plant and at the logistics centres in Gallin and Neumarkt, where employees have no or only limited access to the intranet, we promote exchange in workshops and at regular roundtable discussions. In addition, all employees in Neumarkt receive a weekly newsletter.
Since 2013, executives at the head office in Hamburg have regularly presented and discussed current projects with employees at the "Tchibo in dialogue” series of events. In Non Food, employees across all hierarchical levels are informed about new developments at ‘town hall meetings’. Tchibo managers regularly meet employees who are selected at random for a conversation. The two-hour meetings provide an opportunity to discuss current topics at Tchibo.
Ideas from practice
Constructive criticism often leads to good ideas – and we welcome and appreciate the practical solutions our employees come up with. Employees can contribute their own suggestions for innovative products or improving internal processes via our ‘Kolibri’ ideas management system, [Kolibri means ‘hummingbird’ in English and stands for ‘Kollegen liefern brillante Ideen’ – colleagues supply brilliant ideas]. This not only benefits Tchibo; the ideas providers themselves are rewarded with bonuses. In 2014, Tchibo employees submitted around 600 proposals – some 300 were ideas for products – of which 30 were rewarded. The Tchibo Ideas Manager manages the evaluation process; the assessment is carried out in the departments and by a supervisory committee.
We plan to give our ideas management further impetus in 2015 by introducing a modern online platform. Innovative formats such as crowdsourcing and community-based idea management enable employees and supervisors to communicate in a more networked way and develop their innovations together in a virtual space.
Stacking high for fuel efficiency, and reports at a click: Top ideas in 2014
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, just make it turn better – as an idea from 2014 shows. In Berlin an employee noticed that pallets for the Hungarian market could be filled higher than before; in-depth testing confirmed this. Now Tchibo saves nearly 30,000 euros by reducing the number of truck journeys.
We give our employees the opportunity to actively shape Tchibo’s development via the statutory codetermination bodies. These include the works council with 35 members – six of them union representatives – as well as the Supervisory Board, whose composition reflects an equal representation by employees and shareholders. The two bodies work together closely. At the company meetings, which take place regularly at the Hamburg headquarters, in 2014 more than 1,000 colleagues were informed about the work of the works council, the development of the business, the results of the employee survey, and the Group’s offers to help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Our employees provide important impetus for the company’s development. To learn even more about how they assess their work situation and what is important to them, in 2014 we cooperated with an external consulting firm to carry out the second Tchibo employee survey. At around 65 percent, the survey participation rate was high compared with the industry average. We received positive feedback regarding the appreciation of employees at Tchibo, as well as the specific tasks at work and our customer focus. However, the engagement rating – i.e. the willingness to be passionately dedicated to the company and work for it long-term – was just under 50 percent, which is merely average. At the same time, many respondents wanted a simpler and more efficient organisation.
Tchibo takes these concerns of its employees seriously. In 2015 we launched a project to improve core processes by making them simpler and more efficient – and more closely aligned to the needs of our customers. At the same time we have set ourselves the goal of further improving the exchange of ideas within the workforce and between the workforce and management. For this purpose, in early 2015 we set up the new Intranet section ‘My question’ among other things. Every Tchibo employee has the opportunity to anonymously contact experts from the relevant business unit with questions and criticisms, and receives a response within three working days.