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A Bmw production line

In a lot of european countries, the population pyramid is getting old, and in the next year, this phenomenon will be a challenge in many areas, for the retirement pensions payments, but also for the manpower in the business and the industry. Some companies are noticing such trend in the measure of the average age of their manpower. Some of then are really concerned by such problem, and they do not wait it is too late to think about the problem and to find innovative solutions. It is the case of BMW, the german automotive manufacturer.

This company launched a pilot project in her bavarian manufactory of Dingolfing, a project called “Heute für morgen” (today for tomorrow). This project includes a team of 38 fifty-years-olds workers, who are all working in a assembly line of differentials. Following the company, the average age of the workers will increase from 41,4 to 46,4 years old between 2008 and 2018. This ageing population is a real problem for an assembly line where the work is repetitive and painful. In order to prevent the problems which the manufactories will have to face to, BMW made a proposal of setting up a full health statement and to define with person practicing natural medicines, the physical risks linked to each job. The workers were invited too to give their opinions and to make suggestions, even very simple and cheap for the company, but which represented real improvements for the work conditions. For instance, a worker is explaining that the concrete floor was replaced by a wooden floor, and after this change, he had less pains in the legs. The infrastructure was also adapted, the control screens were putted down, and the size of the characters was enlarged, which show a more readable information. Some job shifts were also organized, in order to offer various tasks to the workers during a day. A physiotherapist is coaching the team once a month, by answering to the question and advising each worker. This is a benefit for all the workers, the seniors and the juniors too. The results of such project are positive, as BMW noticed an productivity increase of 7%. A result gained with simple and cheaper adaptations, as the program represented an investment of around 20.000 euros, which is peanuts for such business.

This example of project is an evidence that each worker can find a place and bring real added value in a company. With an innovative and integrated human resources policy, you can improve the condition of each worker, increase his wellness and his motivation, and increase the productivity of your company. This project created a win-win environment, producing positive effects on a long term basis.


Written by Eric Saint-Guillain

May 12, 2010 at 21:23

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