Ready to Battle Stress
Employees of REWE Group should be able to work in a healthful, safe environment. To create this setting, the company has devised a far-reaching workplace health management system that offers a broad range of programmes – from nutritional advice to exercise courses and checkups. Over the past two years, the company has focused on dealing with the individual and existential issues of stress, addiction and overcoming setbacks in life. REWE Group continues to pursue its goal of cutting accident rates throughout the company. One major challenge faced in all issues involving occupational health and safety is the corporate group's decentral and heterogeneous structure.
Promoting Good Health
To encourage health-conscious behaviour among the company's employees, various projects were carried out during the reporting period. In 2013 and 2014, the health campaign "Du bist wichtig" (You Matter) informed employees about the risks of diabetes and ways to prevent the disease. In 2014, the national campaign "Laufen Sie dem Zucker davon" (Run from Sugar) took the effort one step farther. This programme saw 223 teams with more than 1,700 employees take part. The aim was to search for and find the fittest employees who would join their colleagues to fill 60 days with physical activity to fight diabetes.
The prevention courses offered by Fit.Netz Köln, the company's workplace health management system, also enjoy high levels of participation: In 2013 and 2014, a total of about 1,500 course slots were filled. The issue of workplace ergonomics plays a major role in the company's stores and logistics operations. The repetitive movements that employees perform in these areas as well incorrect ways of lifting, carrying and standing frequently result in pain and missed days at work. For this reason, the ergonomic training courses "lifting and carrying" and "cash register" were conducted in many regions during the reporting period with the aim of promoting the proper arrangement and design of workstations. Special days promoting back health were held as well.
Learning to Cope with Stress
Stress and mental strain are becoming increasingly important issues in employees' working lives. As part of the health promotion day "Mit Stress gelassen umgehen" (Calmly Tackling Stress), DER Touristik provided its employees with in-depth information about the subject. In 2014, it then initiated the management seminar called "GesünDER führen" (Healthier Management) as part of a pilot project. The one-day seminar trained managers of DER Touristik about health issues. It focused in particular on stress and ways to work with affected employees. This was the first time the topic of health was addressed in a mandatory seminar for managers with the requirement they introduce health-promotion programmes in their teams. The result then became an subject covered in annual performance reviews and thus had an impact on bonus payments.
Addiction is also a topic that is becoming more important in the work world. Across Germany, more than 30 employees of REWE Group have been trained as occupational addiction officers. In this role, they can answer questions posed by colleagues and managers as well as hold confidential conversations.
The pilot project "Voll im Leben – Kenn Dein Limit" (In the Middle of Life – Know Your Limit) aims its addiction prevention activities directly at adolescents and young employees. It was conducted for the first time in 2013, and about 350 trainees took part in it. An employer's liability insurance association, the Berufsgenossenschaft für Handel und Warendistribution, presented its prevention award to this "project with role-model character".
Overcoming Life's Challenges
Critical events in life like caring for relatives, divorce or debt can sometimes have a devastating effect on people's employability, motivation and job performance. The opportunity to search for support in information and readily available programmes helps to ease the pain. For this reason, REWE Group adopted and refined structures created as part of a project called “LoS! - Lebensphasenorientierte Selbsthilfekompetenz” (or Life Phase Oriented Self-Help Skills). In 2013 and 2014, colleague-level initial advisers were trained during five courses. As a result, the company now has 98 programme advisers who can serve as points of contact for employees going through difficult phases in their lives.
Risk assessment is essential if the company is to prevent accidents and identify potential problems at an early stage: To improve occupational safety, a risk assessment of specific situations and working conditions is conducted and measures are developed. With the help of tablet computers or store PCs, an electronic checklist of relevant factors is accessed in the process and evaluated in terms of potential risks. During the reporting period, a pilot project was conducted at PENNY and toom Baumarkt DIY stores to prepare for the Germany-wide introduction in 2015 of a Web-based tool called "Gefährdungsbeurteilung online" (online risk assessment) prepared by the employer's liability insurance association. The tool is already being used in nearly all PENNY logistics centres.
To serve as a fundamental instrument for training in REWE and PENNY stores, an e-learning programme on the topic of occupational health and safety was rolled out in all stores in 2012 and attended by employees. Annual reviews are held to ensure that employees remember what they learned. Special topics are discussed on-site with users.
For trainees, an interactive programme was developed as part of initial training activities. The playful approach to conveying information in terms of an "instructional briefing" is designed to provide young people with comprehensible and practical knowledge about the topics of occupational safety and health promotion. This seminar went through a pilot phase as part of the occupational safety support for trainees that was provided in the first training year at PENNY Markt GmbH in autumn 2014. It is scheduled to be continued in 2015.