WIXOM, Mich., Nov. 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees at Kiekert facilities in the United States and Mexico are taking part in a global initiative designed to help shape the company's future.
Kiekert's "Zukunftsmacher" program challenges employees to develop ideas to strengthen the company through community involvement and even stronger networking within teams working at Kiekert's locations around the globe. The company is the global technology leader in the development and manufacture of locking systems for the automotive industry.
Kiekert employees submitted more than 120 ideas to help shape the company's future. Its 6,000 employees then voted on projects to be implemented in 2016. Programs selected included a "golden skills" project suggested by Kiekert workers in Mexico to assist and support employees with disabilities; an employee mentoring program, and an initiative to provide employee breakrooms at Kiekert facilities around the world.
Thorsten Bloemer, the company's head of global marketing and communications, noted that the "golden skills" program from Mexico received more than 1,000 votes, the most for any proposal made last year. Designed to improve working conditions and recruit employees with disabilities, the program today is actively being implemented at Kiekert locations throughout the world.
"Our Zukunftsmacher initiative takes employee involvement to an entirely new level," Bloemer said. "Kiekert has grown substantially in recent years. Teamwork and networking across cultures and hierarchies within the company itself will lead to continued growth in years to come."
Kiekert has more than 1,400 employees at facilities in Wixom, Michigan, and in Puebla, Mexico. The company's global 2016 Zukunftsmacher meeting was held in September in the Detroit area. As a team building exercise during the conference, Kiekert employees assembled and donated wheel chairs for the Detroit-based World Medical Relief organization (www.worldmedicalrelief.org).
Weekly video meetings and annual Zukunftsmacher conferences provide forums for generating and discussing new program ideas. More than one-third of the company's workforce is actively involved in the program and involvement is expected to increase even further in 2017.
Bloemer noted that the Zukunftsmacher initiative already has been nominated for several major awards, including Germany's 2016 Econ Award for Corporate Communications in competition with companies such as Audi, Deutsche Telekom and ZF.
Based in Heiligenhaus, Germany, Kiekert AG was founded in 1857 and is the worldwide market leader in automotive locking systems. With more than 6,000 employees in 10 countries, as well as seven production, six development and two sales centers, Kiekert develops, produces and sells tailor-made customer solutions. Turnover for the 2015 business year was 825 million euros and is expected to rise to more than 860 million euros in 2016.
As the lead engineering and program management center for the NAFTA region, Kiekert's Wixom location and its sister plant in Mexico are responsible for nearly $200 million in annual revenue. Today Kiekert has a market share of 25 percent in the NAFTA region.