Working together for a successful future
by Hans Diederichs
Achern – Kasto’s sustained global success is underpinned by many different contributions – namely from the more than 700 employees who work for the company. It is their commitment and ideas that make the sawing and storage technology specialist the best in its sector. To make sure things stay this way, KASTO invests intensively in the well-being of its workforce – and in the training of the specialist staff of the future.
Founded 175 years ago as a one-man operation, KASTO now has over 700 employees worldwide – and the number is growing. Some 575 people are currently employed at the head office in Achern in Baden-Württemberg alone. Their numbers are swelled by the colleagues working in the sister plant in Schalkau in Thuringia and the international branches. “From Germany and Europe through to North America, China and Singapore: At each one of these locations, the basis for our success is our expert and highly-motivated workforce,” stresses Managing Partner Armin Stolzer. “And because we have so much to thank them for, it is self-evident to us that we have to give something back.”
In practice, this means fascinating, secure jobs and an attractive framework package. Starting with salaries that reflect the employees’ performance and commitment and that are paid promptly, the advantages enjoyed by Kasto’s staff also include flexible working hours, intensive support during ongoing vocational training, as well as the short, uncomplicated communications paths of a family-run, mid-sized company. Employees in Achern also benefit from modern washrooms and changing rooms as well as meals that are prepared fresh each day in the company’s own canteen. In addition, shared celebrations and activities contribute to the positive working atmosphere. Kasto also places value on modern premises. As recently as late 2019, the Kasto Ltd. branch moved into new, modern facilities.
Long-term company loyalty on the part of employees
This high level of commitment can be seen, among other things, in the long periods for which many employees remain with the company. 30, 40 or even more years of service are not at all uncommon at Kasto. Many of these long-standing employees have consistently worked their way up through the company – just like Hans Schneider: After joining the company as an apprentice in 1976, he is now head of Human Resources. Stefan Dolipski, another former Kasto apprentice, has now moved abroad: Today, he is Vice-President and therefore also Co-Head of the North American subsidiary, Kasto, Inc. “For young people in particular, the possibility of gaining international work experience is a powerful argument in favour of Kasto,” explains Dolipski.
It is examples such as these that make clear the importance of recruiting the specialist workers and managers of the future from the company’s own reserves of emerging talent. To make sure that it is in pole position in the ever tougher competition to secure the skilled workers of the future, KASTO has long invested heavily in the ongoing vocational training of its employees. The first apprentice took up his post in the company back in the 1950s – there are now an impressive 75 of them, including eleven in the sister plant in Schalkau. The range of professions catered for has greatly increased over time. In the early days, Kasto mostly trained industrial managers and machine fitters. Now, the company offers training in a total of eight different technical and commercial occupations. In addition, apprentices can benefit from the dual vocational training system offered in tandem with the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe and the StudiumPLUS programme from Offenburg University, which provides participants with a combination of academic and practical training.
Successful training concept to combat the lack of skilled personnel
At twelve percent, the number of apprentices working atKasto is well above the average for Germany. Apprentices who show their commitment and successfully complete their apprenticeship or course of study are generally taken on. In 2019, for example, 15 out of 19 graduates found permanent employment in the company directly after completing their training. “Our apprentices and students know every aspect of the company and so they no longer need any lengthy induction periods,” explains Stolzer. “They know how we work and are immediately ready to take on responsibility. That is what makes them so important for us.” For this reason, newcomers at Kasto can enjoy numerous advantages and benefits – making the company one of the most attractive employers in its home region.
According to the Managing Partner, the Kasto family is also set to grow and thrive in the future. Considerable investments are due to be made in in-house production capabilities in Achern – which will also make the workplaces there even more modern and agreeable. “Our strengths include not only a range of fascinating and varied activities but also a stable, crisis-proof market environment,” explains Stolzer. “Our focus is not on short-term profit but on sustainable, shared success. This also means financial stability for our employees and their families, something that is only possible through continuous investment in training, jobs, product development and the working environment.” Stolzer is convinced that this is the right combination to continue to bring the best employees to Kasto.
Source and photo: Kasto Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG