Sustainability Report 2022

Employee satisfaction

GRI 3-3, 401-1

Growing with Zeppelin – a promise to employees

The long-term success of the company is only ensured if every employee can reach their full potential. This is why the Group’s promise, in its role as an employer, is “Grow with Zeppelin.” The focus is on the promotion and targeted development of employees. Finding talented individuals, nurturing employees, and inspiring them to be part of Zeppelin for the long term – these are the three cornerstones of our HR work. The Zeppelin Group offers its employees short decision-making pathways and an open communication culture that crosses company and national borders. Thanks to the international posting opportunities and numerous training and further education opportunities, which are carried out both internally and externally, a wide range of career opportunities is available for every employee.

Zeppelin as an employer
Zeppelin as an employer

Progress in employee satisfaction

All projects and initiatives aim to make the Zeppelin Group a modern employer with the best employees and efficient HR processes. The current objectives focus in particular on maintaining the voluntary resignation rate at a low level and ensuring a consistently high level of seniority. In order to achieve these goals or to be able to successfully implement projects and initiatives, the HR department is organized in local HR departments at each company, which in turn are bundled via the reporting line in the management holding company.

Progress on objective 1
  • Maintain an average length of service at a level of at least 9.3 years (as of 2022: 9.7 years)

One objective in HR is to maintain the average length of service of at least 9.3 years. Overall, employees are very loyal to the company, which explains the average length of service of 9.7 years (2022).

By ensuring the loyalty of its employees at an early stage and promoting talented and junior managers, Zeppelin wants to maintain and expand its goal of a long length of service in the company.

Average years of service
SBU 2020 2021 2022
Construction Equipment Central Europe SBU 12.3 12.1 12.1
Construction Equipment Nordics SBU 7.3 7.2 7.9
Construction Equipment Eurasia SBU 6.1 6.3 7.1
Rental SBU 7.5 7.6 7.3
Power Systems SBU 10.3 10.3 10.7
Plant Engineering SBU 12.4 12.1 11.2
Zeppelin GmbH 6.0 6.3 6.6
Group 9.6 9.4 9.7
Progress on objective 2
  • Maintain the voluntary resignation rate at a maximum of 5% by 2025 (status as of 2022: 7.4%)

In addition to the crisis situation caused by the war, social and economic trends and challenges have also had lasting influences on the working world. These include demographic change, globalization and digitalization, changing values and lifestyles, and the shortage of skilled workers. These challenges require additional measures to attract and retain employees. One indicator of employee satisfaction is the rate of voluntary resignations. This was 7.4% in 2022, which is higher than in the previous year (5.8%). This shows a heterogeneous picture with great variability across countries, business units, and professional groups. Overall, developments in the Zeppelin Group reflect the long-standing trend towards an employee market with a shortage of skilled workers. In recent years, Zeppelin has introduced a variety of measures to increase employer attractiveness and employee satisfaction in order to achieve the overarching goal.

In addition, the global Z VOICE employee survey will be carried out in 2023 to collect feedback from all Zeppelin employees. The aim is to identify the strengths and potential for improvement in the company and to analyze the influencing factors of employee retention, satisfaction, and motivation in more detail.

Voluntary resignation rate as a percentage
Voluntary resignation rate as a percentage

Measures to promote employee satisfaction

Onboarding process

In 2022, Zeppelin continued the proven concept of offering the “Z Welcome” onboarding program for new employees as a wholly online version. A German-speaking and an English-speaking international event were held so that employees from abroad also had the opportunity to participate in onboarding and receive all the relevant information. The onboarding program ensures that the relevant knowledge about the company and the individual strategic business units is conveyed uniformly. A quiz consolidates employees’ learning. In showrooms, various company initiatives are then presented in an interactive format and networking made possible.

Training, dual study program and trainee program

The Zeppelin Group is currently providing training in 12 different occupations in Germany and Austria. School leavers can get off to an excellent start in their career by training in a commercial, industrial, technical, or IT profession. Every year, three-day Welcome Days are held for all new apprentices and dual-study program students. The participants receive all the important information about the Group. The individual SBUs present their prepared content in groups and put their most pressing questions to company management at the end of the event as part of the “Hot Seat with the Management Board” session.

Zeppelin works together with a range of universities to facilitate a dual study program for its young talent in the areas of mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, business administration, accounting, and electrical engineering. In 2022, 24 dual students learned and worked in various business units of the Zeppelin Group.

To continue to find qualified trainees, Zeppelin undertakes special HR marketing activities, such as participating in trade fairs and school career open days such as Think Big! BAUMA, Vocatium and Nordjob Bau. In addition, Zeppelin expanded its close contacts with schools and had a presence on apprenticeship exchanges.

Number of trainees and dual students
Number of trainees and dual students 2020 2021 2022
Trainees at the Zeppelin Group (FTE) 362 361 376
Dual study program students (FTE)1 30 22 24
1  Applies exclusively to German Group companies, as if December 31, 2022.

Z Starter ensures the best chances of being accepted. Z Starter is a pool of up-and-coming staff that takes in all trainees of the Group (German companies) who cannot be given a full time position at their training location, but who would like to remain and continue their career path at Zeppelin. Z Starter is used throughout Germany and the junior employees receive open offers from all strategic business units.

Zeppelin also offers very good prospects for the target group of young academic career entrants. The Z NEXT trainee program was launched in fall 2019. In 2022, eleven trainees completed the extensive program to start their professional lives. Ten new trainees were hired. They go through a variety of postings within an 18-month period. This also includes time abroad at an international Group company. In addition to training, dual study programs, and the trainee program, Zeppelin also offers the opportunity for several months of practical semesters, Bachelor’s and Master’s positions, and student trainee activities.

Training and qualification

Employees at Zeppelin not only have challenging areas of responsibility and scope for action, but also a Group that shows them a sense of solidarity and secure prospects. In regular conversations, employees receive feedback from their managers on their performance and they discuss professional prospects for development. Various processes to identify potential also assess whether a specialist or management career is available to the employee. This ensures that talented individuals within the Group are identified and that each employee receives sound feedback on their personal development. Specific further development measures are also systematically agreed at these Development Centers. The Zeppelin Development Landscape, which contains four different development programs for specialists and managers, has established the two topics of Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility. In addition, our leadership principles were well implemented in the programs. The global networking of all Zeppelin employees plays an important role in ensuring that we can also provide insights into the business units abroad. For this reason, the respective Zeppelin sites in Germany and abroad are also visited by participants for the in-person modules. In addition to general content on professional development, the management development programs convey Zeppelin’s unique attributes in order to strengthen the Group in the long term through qualified managers.

Mobile working

Maximum flexibility should be maintained, taking into account the activity and operational requirements. This enables the needs-based use of mobile working in connection with on-site work, i.e. in the office or at the customer’s premises. As a result, every employee is able to work remotely within the framework of a team agreement and the customer requirements that need to be met.

Work-life balance

Striking a balance between work and private life is a top priority in the Zeppelin Group. The company offers individual solutions that contribute to a better work-life balance and is guided by the following guiding principle: “We want to enable our employees to have a good work/life balance, and in so doing rely on partnership-based give and take.” Zeppelin GmbH has deliberately opted for a broad concept of what family can mean, with the aim of catering for all employees, regardless of their private life situation, and taking account of people’s changing requirements during the various phases of their life. Zeppelin has been certified by berufundfamilie audit since 2018. In the context of this certificate, there are various measures, such as the Group agreement on remote working, the Z PARENTS program for parents, the Z FIT health initiative, and the collaboration with the famPLUS family service. The Z PARENTS program is specifically designed to support parents before, during and after parental leave with a view to improving work-life balance. With interactive workshops and network meetings on relevant topics such as energy and time management, fitness in everyday life and free advisory services, interested parties can access exchange information based on their needs. The number of employees who have taken parental leave remains at a constant level. Many of them have now joined our Z PARENTS initiative. Almost 120 employees have joined since it was launched.

Number of employees who took parental leave2
Year Unit 2020 2021 2022
Employees who have taken parental leave Headcount 102 110 90
2  Applies exclusively to German and Austrian companies in accordance with statutory regulations.
GRI Index