In Himmelkron we have a strong tradition of collaborating with workshops for people with disabilities, and we have been assigning projects to various such workshops for many years now. The number of these projects has steadily increased over the years, and in 2005 we decided to bring some of the teams in to work on site with us – a decision which we haven’t regretted for a second.
The workshops for people with disabilities (WfbM)
We began with a small group of five to seven employees, and we now have thirty employees divided into three teams. They work with us regularly, in collaboration with the workshops for people with disabilities (WfbM). I must say that we have built up a very strong body of workers in the logistics centre. Two of the teams are heavily involved in logistics tasks. Their work revolves primarily around packaging tasks, but they are also involved in quality control. The third team’s responsibilities include cleaning in production and the logistics centre, waste disposal, and waste separation. The employees from the WfbM are also responsible for the upkeep of the grounds, for example mowing the lawns and pruning trees.
Disabled people – Employees just like anyone else
Our projects generate a large amount of interest at the WfbM and we are continually training employees from the workshops, who later come and work with us. We view disabled people as employees just like anyone else. This positive and successful collaboration is very close to my heart. In the canteen, for example, everyone eats their meals together. There are also no barriers at a personal level; the employees share many common interests. On special occasions such as Christmas parties and summer festivals we celebrate together as a team, which serves to strengthen and nurture the connection between the employees from our plant and the workshops.
At the last summer festival, for example, employees raised money for the WfbM. Thanks to this event we were able to present the manager of the Himmelkron WfbM with a donation of EUR 1000 at the Christmas party.
However, the relationship between the employees from workshops for people with disabilities and the MANN+HUMMEL staff goes far beyond these symbolic gestures.