Social responsibility: the stories
From global to local change – we want to improve our positive impact wherever we are around the world. As a company, we believe that our strength lies within our employees who go the extra mile for others. But do not take our words for it. Some of our colleagues share their experiences working for Grundfos. Come and meet them!
Ehab: I am living the dream
From a trainee, to a paralegal and now to strengthen our new digital offerings, Ehab is an asset who keeps on growing. However, he had to go through a rough path before we met him.“Becoming a lawyer was my childhood dream. I was already a Law student at Aleppo University for two years when the war in Syria broke out, and I had to stop. It was heart-breaking,” says Ehab.
Afterwards, he worked as a truck driver and eventually left Syria for Egypt, determined to continue his study. “But, it was extremely tough to find a good job, and I ended up being a truck driver again; this time from Egypt to Iraq. It was the most deadliest route I had ever encountered as I had to pass some posts where the militant group was based. I then decided to seek for asylum in Denmark. I knew in advance that I had to start from zero, but it was my only option.” At that time, Ehab did not speak Danish or English, but now he speaks both fluently.
After seven months at a refugee camp, he moved to Viborg, where the municipality suggested himself and other refugees to join Grundfos’ 13 weeks training programme. “When I joined, I knew that my colleagues were already busy with their tasks, but they still took me under their wings – a trainee with no degree and no knowledge of what I was supposed to do. They gave me notes and rooms to improve; even created some tailor-made courses just for me! And I really did my best to learn. Grundfos extended the training, from 13 weeks to seven months and I became a full-time employee, starting August 2016.”
His fondness in finding solutions to challenges has brought him to his current position. “One thing I enjoy the most about working in Grundfos is its endless possibilities. I got the opportunity to join its newly organisation DCO (Digital Commercial Offerings) where I am part of developing Grundfos new digital offerings, starting August 2017. I am living the dream,” he smiles.
If I had the chance to say something to my manager and my colleagues, I would like to say thank you for everything… literally, thank you for everything.
We provide tailor-made programmes and possibilities of professional and personal skill enhancement for individuals to gain experience in the labour market. We screen suitable candidates and match them with relevant jobs and set individual targets together with the departments and mentees.
Anja: I have the freedom to be independent
At work, Anja prefers to sit in her corner and work by herself. She likes things orderly and finds it difficult to deal with changes and unpredictability. She has what is called Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), “invisible” disorders which almost prevented her from finishing her vocational training scheme for adults as an industrial technician.
“I had many sick leaves. One year before school ended, I reached out Grundfos’ social worker at an open house event. Luckily, there was a shortage of apprentices, so I was signed immediately,” she says. “During my apprenticeship, I was in different departments, but I have been in the flex workshop since,” she continues.
That was then. Anja has been working for more than 11 years, assembling pump strains for spare parts. “The job suits me perfectly because I have the freedom to be independent and to be responsible for what I do. As a matter of fact, I can use my ADHD at work to detect possible errors in products that other employees may not see,” she explains.
“Unpredictable things overthrow me. But here, there is room for me to calm down without anyone questioning me. Because of this opportunity, I do not have a lot of sick days,” she explains. In her spare time, Anja enjoys creative hobby projects. One of her remarkable memories was, “For Niels Due Jensen's 70th birthday, I created stars with our company’s blue colours for him. No one knew the gift was from me. Later on, I discovered that there was a person who was assigned to find out who made these stars because he wanted to give a personal thank you card from Niels Due Jensen, which means a lot to me,” she smiles.
Anja is employed in a job with reduced work capacity more than 50%, where the job requirements are individually tailored to her needs.
The Spare Parts Production is a self-manufacturing factory and our dedicated colleagues in the flexible department contribute to its manual production. The department has its own good receipts and shipments.
Darko: Grundfos has turned a kid into a man
Darko, who works in our flexible department in GMS, Serbia is a true example on how one’s determination and initiatives go a long way.
“January 25, 2012. That was the day I started working at Grundfos, yet I remember that day as if it was today,” says Darko. "I had been listed in National Employment Service (NSZ) for a year, but I only had one interview, until Grundfos offered me one. I was so excited I said I could be there in 15 minutes! It was funny to think about it now. I had the interview the next day and went home fueled with positive energy. Not long after I got home, I received a phone call and was offered a job. I signed the contract on my birthday and I had the greatest gift that I had never dreamed of. From then on, my life has been thriving,” continues Darko, with a big smile on his face.
One thing that sets Darko apart is his remarkable enthusiasm and endless curiosity, which is reflected when he describes his growth in the company and his colleagues. “I started with taping stickers to boxes. I noticed a colleague who was doing a different task than I was, so I approached him and asked if he could teach me. My supervisor noticed that and I was promoted to handle that task. The same thing happened when I learned to operate machinery. Now I oversee a team of four; I have mentored new colleagues, lead some trainings and involved in numerous projects concerning work quality manufacture,” continues Darko, smiling.
“I consider Grundfos as a school where one’s initiative is encouraged. Challenges come and go, and they are part of a job. But when you are supported by an entire staff, solving problems becomes easier. To me, this company has turned a kid into a man. I can only thank Grundfos and wish it stays to be such company forever.”
Do you have a memory that you hold dearly? We ask. After a long silence, we managed to get his answer and it was his trip to Denmark for Grundfos Olympics. "The trip to Denmark for Grundfos Olympics was something I believed would never happen to me. thought I would faint from happiness and excitement!", says Darko.
Ivan: I am up for anything!
“When I was 21 years old, I had a traffic accident. I was hit by a truck. I suffered brain injury and was in a coma for a month,” says Ivan Laursen, an employee at the flex department. Since then, everything went downhill. His relationship ended, and the factory that he worked for was closed-down. He was in a deep depression and had to consume anti-depressant pills to deal with his insufferable condition.
“I needed to find a new job. I went to Grundfos and was hired immediately. At first, I started with the CR pumps, but after more than a year, Grundfos identified that I could not handle general production works. My severe drug consumption made me felt like a zombie. I did not want to interact with my colleagues and withdrawn myself from the society. I isolated myself completely,” he continues.
It was only after a piece of advice to reduce his medicine from a new doctor that Ivan had a whole new perspective towards life. “I was frightened, how can I survive without my pills? But I took his advice and slowly reduced my dosage. The flex workshop is a department for employees with illness and disabilities and we are good at taking care of each other. I received tremendous help from my colleagues. In 2015, I lost both my mother and brother with only two weeks apart. It helped me to go to work, talked to them and eventually got back on my feet again,” he adds.
Ivan has been working for Grundfos for more than 30 years, “After I am drug-free, I can handle more tasks that before. I do not have any primary duties, but I handle different tasks which do not require fine motor skills. These tasks give me different challenges which I thoroughly enjoy. I am up for anything!” he says with a big grin. When being asked about his most memorable moments in Grundfos, he started to reminiscence and smiles, “Yes! I have been singing for many years. When the Flex Department had its 40th anniversary, I ended up on stage singing with Danish pop singer, Birthe Kjær!”
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We have standardised globally the definition of people with reduced work capacity. There are currently 2.2% of employees with reduced work capacity globally and our aim to reach the 3% target in 2020.
Gordana: I beat a terrible disease with the support of my colleagues
“When you find yourself in the position I was in, it is extremely important to feel that you are not alone and I was definitely not alone,” starts Gordana, our product operator at GMS, Serbia, who bravely beat cancer.
“After a surgery in 2013, I took a sick leave for a month and a half. During that period, the company checked on me every day, colleagues dropped by to keep me company. When I came back to work, I could barely walk. I worked for four hours yet I received full salary. I only did tasks that I was capable of and the company provided a transportation to and from home. Colleagues sat with me, making sure I ate enough. They held my hand and helped me to the dressing room. Only a person who has been in the same position knows that such support is necessary to survive a terrible crisis, physically and emotionally,“ remembers Gordana, smiling and considering those moments are now as happy memories.
“To me, it is a life saver that the company organises free medical evaluations, including specialised examinations that might not be affordable to some or one must wait for months due to heavy queue. If I had not visited the doctor in time, I might not have been here today. I am grateful to the whole staff, from the management to the colleagues at the line. They have helped me beat the cancer. They are my heroes,” continues Gordana. “In Grundfos, we can speak your mind, share our challenges and give inputs to solutions. Our voices are considered and to me, it is highly motivating. I have been working for six years, from one small perfect team to a large company. Yet, we keep our good interpersonal relations. We are one soul.”