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Employee satisfaction is a quantifiable success factor at ‘fair company’ erecon AG

Entrepreneurs who balance their business targets with qualitative growth? Who care about employee satisfaction as well as about satisfying their customers? Yes, they do exist. Harald Rossol and his team of erecon AG are already practising concepts that are being increasingly widely discussed, like job satisfaction, wellbeing, employee loyalty and social responsibility. You’ll find all this under one roof at erecon AG’s headquarters in a converted former warehouse in Bremen known as ‘Speicher I’.

‘My primary objective is that, at the end of each day, each month and each year, the company has earned more money than it has spent,’ explains Harald Rossol, managing director of erecon AG, a certified fair company. ‘I can achieve that goal in a number of different ways. I could wear people out, but that’s inhuman. Or I can make sure they feel good.’

Employee loyalty and a pleasant working environment create job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is something of a challenge in the IT sector, where the competition is stiff and it’s essential to meet customers’ expectations around the clock. The employees of erecon AG have a difficult job. ‘We have to keep on top of that,’ says Rossol, ‘but we’ve installed a few valves to release the pressure. Our office is a very friendly place.’

Five staff members at most sit in the large, bright 400 sqm room in a former warehouse. ‘From time to time, we rearrange things. We sit in twos or threes around what we call ‘work islands’. After all, we have the luxury of having more work stations than we have employees’, he continues. For the last 20 years, the trained economist has deliberately maintained a consistent number of staff. That’s because he refuses to expand at any price, preferring instead to base his business on quality, and central to this is that his employees enjoy their work. For him, employee satisfaction and employee loyalty are important aspects of social responsibility

Employee satisfaction is a measurable success factor

With 7.5-metre high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows on the fifth floor, employees can look out on the world and free up their creativity. Green plants, works of art and personal items create a feeling of well being. According to Rossol, employee satisfaction is one of the company’s measurable success factors.

But what is it that ensures his employees are satisfied? ‘For one thing,’ says Rossol, ‘our employee satisfaction derives from the fact that erecon AG is a pioneer of green IT development and provides ecologically sound solutions; that gives us a sense of purpose in our work. But my staff can also be confident they’ll keep their jobs.’

For example, project manager Stephan Gehrmann has been with the company for 16 years. Of course, there is some turnover in staff from time to time, ‘but that’s a process that should only happen every few years,’ says Rossol. Finding the right personality to fit in with the rest of the team is a particular challenge for a small company of this kind. For that reason, Rossol has introduced a six-month probation period. He’s convinced this is ‘the fairest approach for everyone involved.’ When the six months are up, he only ever offers permanent contracts, which he sees as the best way of achieving his ambition – long-term symbiosis between staff, clients and management.

Actions speak louder than words

Employee satisfaction, employee loyalty and performance are all interlinked and, as Rossol points out, ‘these are all measurable success factors.’ They are tangible as well as measurable, too, because at erecon AG actions speak louder than words. ‘That’s why we’re often visited by people interested to see how we do things.’

Read in our community what Harald Rossol, a pragmatist, thinks of the theoretical debate about employee satisfaction.

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Author: Miriam Moser

July 2012

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