Good start for even more knowledge

Knaus Tabbert is growing. The order books are full, revenue is rising and so is the number of employees.

A strong increase in personnel has already been presenting the company with ever new challenges since 2015. „In 2018, we hired around 300 people in one year for the first time – that was new for us in the HR department and a lot of work,‟ says Nathalie Monteleone, HR Officer at Knaus Tabbert. „It was therefore clear to us that we wanted to offer the newcomers to the company a standardised start. So that they can find their way around right from the start and quickly integrate into their units.“ Without further delay, it was decided at board level to offer the employees professional onboarding. This was organised by the HR department and supported by other departments and the works council. Onboarding at the Jandelsbrunn and Mottgers sites was born.

Twice a month, new colleagues start at the various Knaus Tabbert plants and are all personally welcomed to the company by the plant manager on their first day of work in the morning. In Jandelsbrunn, the company’s headquarters and largest production site, the up to 25 employees then go to the Knaus Tabbert Academy to get to know each other over pretzels and coffee. „We explain everything that is important at the beginning,‟ says Monteleone.

What is Knaus Tabbert all about? How do I apply for a holiday? What healthcare benefits are there? What do I have to watch out for on the factory premises? These and many other questions are answered in the morning, accompanied by a tour of the factory, a safety briefing and a training session on quality management. At noon, the „newcomers‟ are handed over to their department heads. „But that’s not the end of the learning process,‟ says Jürgen Spannbauer. He accompanies the employees after the onboarding in the morning and supports them in their training for the future workplace. The academy has its own training workshops for this purpose. On the floor panel, side wall or wardrobe, the new hand movements can be explained and practised in detail.

„We are a specialist. That means: for everyone who starts with us, it’s all new. That makes it all the more important to show everything calmly.‟ As an experienced practitioner, Spannbauer not only takes care of the training of the new employees today, as head of the Knaus Tabbert Academy he is responsible for the entire further training programme at the site.

Three questions to Jürgen Spannbauer

Mr Spannbauer, would you have liked an academy at the start of your career at Knaus Tabbert?

„Of course! I started on the production line myself more than 20 years ago. So I was also once the new guy – curious, excited and also a bit of a stranger. And I also know that as a supervisor or group leader you don’t always have time to answer all questions in detail. That’s why the academy is a great place where all colleagues – whether unskilled newcomers or old stagers – can learn away from the daily routines.“

Who do you train at the academy?

Almost every employee visits the academy at least once a year. This is due to our varied programme. Unskilled employees from production, for example, are taught how a cordless screwdriver works or how to read the cycle plan. Colleagues from administration receive Microsoft Office training, and managers go through Team Leader training – online, of course, if required. Then there are the data protection and first‐aid courses, training in driving safety or quality assurance. And soon we will also offer German courses for all our colleagues who come to work with us from other countries.

"We constantly want to get better"

Jürgen Spannbauer, Head of the KNAUS TABBERT Academy

How is the academy programme changing?

We at Knaus Tabbert always want to get better. That is why I am in close exchange with the line and plant managers as well as quality assurance and take their suggestions on board. If, for example, there are repeated problems with a certain station, then we bring the employees to us without further ado to show them how things can be improved. New vehicle models or digital components also bring new requirements. Here at the academy, we train our colleagues on these. Therefore, we constantly check how we can support our colleagues in the best possible way. And we change the programme accordingly.