Demographic change is one of the megatrends of our time. The change in society’s age structure is both a challenge and an opportunity for our company. We are making the most of the potential it offers our company and our customers.
To achieve this goal, we often work in teams that incorporate a range of ages. For Union Investment, all employees are important no matter what stage of their working lives they are at. This allows us to make the most of their knowledge, qualifications, skills and perspectives. As a signatory to the Diversity Charter, we have committed ourselves to creating a culture of respect, appreciation and inclusion, an important factor if we want to unlock the potential inherent in demographic change.
Giving our employees targeted support in their professional and personal development is very important to us. We offer a wide range of training and professional development opportunities based on two key principles: first, we offer our employees support tailored to their current tasks and the company’s needs. Second, we highlight future possibilities as part of our drive to unlock potential.
To better manage demographic change, we have increased our investment in new recruits over the years, whether they have joined via our trainee programme or not. We offer high-quality training in two career paths and a trainee programme for graduates in a variety of areas. Succession planning is an integral element of our talent management approach.
Working in tandem
Our mentoring programme is also part of our talent management, with a manager acting as the mentor to a mentee. The aim is to share knowledge and experience as part of a structured process and to develop both existing and new personal and methodological skills. The programme runs for a year.
Mentor Sandra Kuch, Head of Customer Services, and mentee Barbara Pohlmann, Senior Portfolio Manager, provide an insight into the mentoring programme at Union Investment.
Ms Kuch, what motivated you to become a mentor?
I want to pass on the experience I have gained as a long-time manager to other people who have the potential to progress within the company. I have been putting my all into this task for many years, and I enjoy supporting colleagues who are interested in a management position.
I also find it hugely motivating to be able to promote dialogue across the company, as employees from different areas often come together on the mentoring programme. By maintaining transparency between each unit and learning from one another, we can ensure that the company is well-equipped for the future.
Ms Pohlmann, what is your experience of the programme as a mentee?
By being open and basing our relationship on trust, my mentor Sandra Kuch and I were able to create a good basis for dialogue. Many of our interests overlapped as we were selected on the basis of the development areas we had chosen.
I find the experiences that Sandra has made in her professional career to be invaluable. Although our areas of focus do not overlap, she provides me with excellent tips for preparing my ideas and helps me to expand my network. Comparing notes on the different ways of working in our respective jobs has been very rewarding for us both.
Part-time working models and digitalisation for flexible working arrangements
Union Investment is investing in the expansion of its digital infrastructure. Under company agreements, our employees can work remotely, making it easier to meet professional and personal challenges. Our part-time working models enable employees to continue making their contribution in almost any circumstances.
Our strategic health management aims to have a positive and long-term influence on our employees’ health, and thus their performance and motivation, by encouraging and helping them to take responsibility for it. Union Investment offers numerous measures and tools for prevention, intervention and rehabilitation.
also pay attention to ergonomics when designing our workplaces, and we help employees to set up their work environment accordingly.
Our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offers all employees and their families fast and effective support for everyday issues, serious difficulties or crises, regardless of whether they are of a professional or personal nature. This service is free for employees and completely confidential. Union Investment is not informed of who has used the service and why.
“Increasing professional and personal pressures and longer working lives require us to pay particular attention to our employees’ health.”
Martina Löhr, Health management specialist
Partial retirement scheme
Employees can flexibly arrange the end of their active professional career after a certain age. Our partial retirement scheme offers older employees a phased transition from working life to retirement that promotes a healthy work-life balance. For Union Investment, the scheme presents an opportunity to retain the expertise of older employees for as long as possible. It also enables us to develop young employees and prepare them for future tasks through effective and efficient succession planning.