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2011 Best Employers - International

BMW Group

This automaker built the first assembly plant designed to facilitate healthy aging of the workforce

Ergonomic workplace design: Examples for successful workplace design at BMW include the following:

  • Adjustable lifting equipment for the whole car body or modules (e. g. door, cockpit), or further measures such as seated or standing work positions.
  • Overhead work was reduced via a rotating mechanism that rotates the car body in a sloping position.
  • For a relief of the musculoskeletal system, floor mats, damped safety shoes and chairs are compulsory.

Health Forums: A preventive health care program has been developed. Every participating employee receives an in depth health profile.

Health Seminars: Knowledge about healthy lifestyles is communicated not only in the Health Forums but also in seminars in which participants are shown how to pay more attention to a healthy balanced diet, physical fitness and mental balance both at home and at work.

Dealing With Stress: Workshops, seminars and stress management programs are provided on demand. In Germany, the BMW Group health management organizes a day of mental health once a year. Employees are informed about several issues related to mental health, such as stress, burnout and work-life balance.

Diversity Promotion: Equal opportunities and equal treatment for all employees regardless of individual background like gender, sexual orientation, age or political beliefs are part of the social standards of the BMW Group. These principles are integrated into the training programs for both employees and managers. BMW has a main focus on ensuring working capability of older employees; their physical and mental health as well as know-how and competencies. BMW Group supports mixed-aged project groups.

Recruitment: BMW wants a well-balanced age structure. This allows a continuous change within the labor force and a constant flow of know-how is generated. Because of these positive experiences, a similar approach is now used in the process of bringing employees from temporary employment into permanent positions.

Miscellaneous: As part of the Today for Tomorrow program, BMW evaluated how production systems can holistically be adapted to the requirements of an aging workforce. The company set up a production line with the exact employee age structure which it is predicting for the year 2017 in its biggest plant in Dingolfing. This project demonstrated that if adequate measures (e.g. adjusted shift models, stress and strain-oriented work rotations, etc.) are taken, an older workforce can be just as productive as a younger workforce.

In February 2011, BMW opened a new drive-train gearing assembly hall in the Dingolfing plant featuring the first component assembly in the automotive industry that has been originally designed to facilitate healthy aging of the workforce.

Return to list of 2011 Best Employers - International winners. >>

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