Getting to Climate Neutral: Global Action Day Plus Professional Development
The Schaeffler Group, headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, is a leading global supplier to the automotive and industrial sectors. True to its motto “We pioneer motion,” the company has been driving forward ground-breaking developments in the fields of motion and mobility for more than 75 years.
With innovative technologies, products and services for CO₂-efficient drives, electric mobility, solutions for automotive suspensions, Industry 4.0, digitalisation, and renewable energies, the company is a reliable partner for making motion and mobility more efficient, intelligent and sustainable.
The Schaeffler Group currently has about 84,000 employees spread across some 200 locations in over 50 countries. In 2022, it generated sales of approximately 15.8 billion euros.
90 minutes of climate neutrality brainstorming worldwide
Schaeffler aims to be completely climate neutral by 2040. Its in-house production will be climate neutral by 2030, and its entire supply chain will achieve climate-neutrality by 2040. “That’s a very ambitious goal, certainly, but we are utterly determined to achieve it,” emphasises Nadja Lemke, Schaeffler’s Senior Vice President Global Branding & Marketing.
“But, of course, we will only succeed if everyone gets onboard.” Which is why Schaeffler is seeking to harness its employees’ creativity and expertise. It wants to draw together ideas from all areas of the company worldwide.
This was the thinking behind Schaeffler’s Climate Action Day, a group-wide event staged in June 2022. On that day, all the company’s employees paused their normal work for 90 minutes. For 90 minutes, they jointly focused on the challenges posed for Schaeffler and for society generally by climate change. In over 4,000 workshops worldwide, they developed a wealth of ideas for reducing CO2 emissions in their respective departments.
Climate Action Day was also to be a day of learning. Employees were to improve their knowledge of sustainability and climate neutrality through in-person and online workshops. But how, exactly?
Fully integrated learning – Digital and in-person
An animated, integrated landing page complete with chatbot, curated content and direct interfaces with Microsoft Teams and the existing learning management system. That was the winning solution devised by imc.
imc project manager Melissa Hohmann explains: “It had to be completely learner-centric. All employees worldwide needed to know at a glance how to proceed directly to their learning content. The solution needed to come across as a coherent whole and be inspiring for the learners. The learner experience had to be so engaging that the passion for sustainability felt at Schaeffler headquarters in Herzogenaurach would carry across fully to learners as far away as Mexico, China, and Australia.”
The solution provided by imc took the form of a learning portal. On the big day, the employees logged in and watched video messages from the Board of Managing Directors. These messages demonstrated that the commitment to sustainability came from the highest levels of the company. After watching the videos, the employees were able to click through the portal to various options.
They could work their way through training content or take part in group chats. Or contribute their own ideas in the four categories of Green Products, Green Production, Green Materials and Green Behaviour.
Over 23,000 ideas and documented positive outcomes
“About 23,000 ideas – that was the outcome of Climate Action Day 2022,” says Hanna Peter-Regar, Senior Vice President, Schaeffler-Academy.
“The feedback from colleagues from all around the world was resoundingly positive. We were astonished at the innovative ideas that flowed in from the individual countries. The Teams chat absolutely exploded, and the engagement via social media was massive, too. People were proud to be contributing their ideas. They were excited to be lending their support to our drive for climate neutrality. What’s more, we’ve managed to implement a lot of their ideas since then.”
imc Executive Board member Sven R. Becker is likewise delighted with the results. “We count a project as a success only if the client achieves demonstrable and quantifiable positive outcomes. That’s what drives us. Why? Because the outcomes have to be there in order for learning and professional development to be an integral part of the digital transformation.”
At the cutting edge with
The Hager brand stands for straightforward and safe electrotechnical installations in residential, industrial and commercial buildings. The portfolio covers everything from energy distribution and cable routing through switch and building technology to door communication.
The Hager Group based in the Saarland town of Blieskastel is family-owned, looking back on 50 years of tradition. Thanks to its continuous development, the company now counts 11,400 employees worldwide.
Making role-based knowledge available
at short notice
At Hager, it is a known fact: Role-based knowledge must be available quickly and at short notice. To ensure this while also providing blended learning and gamification elements for independent electrical engineers, Hager was looking for a suitable partner.
When a new meter cabinet system was introduced all the way back in 1997, information had to be shared with customers almost immediately. Even in those days, the company took a step towards e-learning: Computer-based training (CBT) was recorded onto CD-ROMs and supplied with the products. A lot has happened since. CBT has become WBT. Learners are no longer provided with physical, tangible CD-ROMs on which knowledge is stored. Instead, clicking a link gives them access to the virtual training camp where up-to-date knowledge is transferred.
“Very clearly, the trend in e-learning is to quickly provide learners with role-based knowledge at relatively short notice,” explains Martin Zimmer, Online Training Advisor at Hager.
Instant availability, maximum scalability
and lower costs
Hager has been using the SaaS version of the imc Learning Suite learning management system since 2012. The cloud solution facilitates instant availability and enormous scalability while achieving significant cost savings compared to the traditional on-premise variant.
This learning environment provides learners with a lot more than just access to web-based training (WBT): They can also view webinar recordings or utilise interactive operating instructions in the form of smart lessons – anytime and from anywhere.
But why pick one if you can have it all? Hager leverages blended learning to inform independent electrical engineers about the company’s products. For this target group, imc and Hager have already produced four WBTs on topics such as “Lighting control and dimmers” or “Smart metering” – both of which are key content for energy efficiency.
An effort well received by the learners
Always new WBTs, gamification elements and interactive training courses: The online learning opportunities are well-received by the learners. It shows in the high click rates, as well as in the satisfied feedback. “It’s safe to say: The more up-to-date a WBT is, the greater its acceptance,” Zimmer sums up the feedback.
“The training courses are becoming more sophisticated, and we use a range of interactive elements to communicate the learning content,” he continues. “Our efforts are appreciated!”
The latest web-based training develops know-how on modern cable routing and room connection systems in a playful way. Instead of old-fashioned question-and-answer tests, the partners leveraged realistic exercises in an appealing, virtual world. This training course is more like a serious game than a traditional WBT, and allows learners to compete against and challenge each other.
Knowledge sharing with
Exel Composites, a global technology company headquartered in Finland, is the world’s largest manufacturer of pultruded and pull-wound composite solutions. They design and manufacture composite products using carbon fibre, fiberglass and other high-performance materials.
Exel Composites produce a full range of standard and custom sized composite tubes, tool handles, profiles, and laminates. These are used in residential, commercial, and industrial applications. Exel Composites’ global manufacturing, R&D, and sales footprint serves customers across a broad range of industries and applications.
New tools and more knowledge sharing
Over the last two years Exel Composites implemented a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, which was planned to be carried-out in several phases. The project required a lot of staff training and writing of instructions on how to use the new system.
But although comprehensive process instructions had been prepared, some people found it easier to simply ask a more experienced user than read the available instructions.
Additionally, a Product Data Management System was implemented and it was necessary to controll different workflows and processes.
Filtering information with
imc Process Guide
Due to these challenges Exel Composites looked for a solution that would help their business and decided on imc Process Guide, since it allows people to easily find the information they want when they need it. Consulo (imc’s partner in Finland) provided a Process Guide implementation project to all Exel Composites’ Finnish employees, establishing a baseline.
With imc Process Guide, users can much easier find information and instructions, plus, the threshold of accessing instructions is now much lower. Additionally, it allows people to easily find the information they need for their job on demand.
Positive business impact
In general, the feedback across the business has been positive. Kimmo Puoskari, Exel Composites’ R&D Manager, summarised: “We feel that Process Guide is a nice way to document process instructions and have them all in one place, in a central depository. Because Process Guide has been a very easy and straight forward project to get up and running, it required very little IT/infrastructure effort.
Measuring business impact is not so straight forward, however my ‘gut feeling’ is that the business goals of having easier access to instructions and guidelines and getting people to focus on using our systems and processes correctly has had a positive impact.”
Kimmo also points out, that employees’ skill sets have increased, plus their learning curve has reduced. Another positive side effect: Calls for on-site help have reduced, meaning the IT team has more time to focus on more challenging issues and important system development work, instead of basic user assistance.