Companies are shaped by the skills, knowledge and commitment of their employees. KSB is no different – our business performance is driven by the endeavours of more than 15,000 staff employed across the globe.
The KSB Group operates a worldwide network of factories, sales locations and service workshops. The company’s staff are correspondingly diverse and contribute a range of different experiences, cultures, perspectives, ideas and approaches. “We value the individuality of our employees, and their diversity is a real enrichment,” says Martina Szautner, who as Head of Human Resources is responsible for Group-wide personnel issues.
“We seek to engage with every personality in the company,” she adds. “KSB actively supports the professional development of its staff in order to foster their long-term commitment to the company. At the same time, however, our employees’ own initiative is required.” The pump and valve manufacturer therefore sets great store by life-long learning – particularly important in the age of digitalisation. To create professional development opportunities for its employees, KSB addresses their needs at an individual level. Tailored development measures are agreed between staff members and their managers. Flexible support for this approach is provided by the company’s Global Learning Centre, whose programme includes team-based collaborative learning or online training.
KSB’s employees benefit from the advantages of working for an international company. Interested members of staff can apply for internal positions and projects often require transnational cooperation. “An international perspective is part of everyday life at KSB,” says Martina Szautner. “And a shrinking world requires truly global thinking from its companies.”
The Group pays particular attention to the provision of equal opportunities. For example, KSB intends to increase the proportion of women at management level from currently 11 percent to 20 percent by 2025 at the latest.
Like every company, KSB needs high-performing and committed people. The Group attaches great importance to employee satisfaction and seeks to be an attractive employer. Efforts go beyond offering certain extras such as health and sports activities or additional social benefits. KSB also continuously surveys employee satisfaction. By 2025, the aim is to increase employee satisfaction from currently 56 percent to 80 percent. “In order to achieve this we plan to implement even more activities that are directly accessible for our employees,” explains Martina Szautner. “Satisfaction comes when you feel the benefit of positive change directly.”
KSB enables everyone to actively participate in developing the company. Employees worldwide can offer their input in a variety of forums including regular round-table discussions with Managing Directors and information events. They give participants the chance to express their opinions in an informal exchange on a completely free choice of topics. Such interactions often result in real improvements to the working environment.
Bruno Eduardo Pinheiro joined KSB in 2006 and became well acquainted with the details of service business in Brazil as a trainee. One year later he graduated in engineering and gained extensive experience as a service engineer in the maintenance, repair and commissioning of pumps. This knowledge made him the ideal expert for customer projects outside Brazil, leading him to travel the world as a “problem solver”. During his career, he took advantage of numerous international training opportunities offered by his employer. The service expert is now one of the main points of contact throughout South America for customers interested in having their systems analysed to improve energy efficiency. Today, Bruno Eduardo Pinheiro is responsible for a KSB service workshop in the northeast of Brazil and heads a team of nine.
After completing his engineering degree, Thomas Morris started his career with one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies before joining KSB subsidiary GIW Industries in the USA in 2018. As an account manager based at Fort McMurray in Canada, he is responsible for looking after an oil sands facility operator. The mining of this raw material places exacting demands on pumps, as they handle solids-laden fluids and therefore wear out quickly. Demand for spare parts and services is correspondingly high. Dealing with this is all in a day’s work for Thomas Morris. He benefited from his colleagues’ help in acquiring the necessary expertise for his role – they were happy to share their knowledge and experience in this challenging field. Dealing with customers was also new territory for him, and here too he could count on advice and assistance. He quickly found his feet and always goes the extra mile as a reliable contact person for “his” Canadian customers.
Having studied psychology, Yanuar Indah has worked in human resources at KSB Indonesia since the start of 2013, taking care of staff training and development first as a member of the team and then as head of the section. She was initially responsible for all staff training activities in Indonesia. But soon further tasks were added: The mother of two girls regularly organised events for employees such as family days and group excursions. In May 2019, she set her sights on a completely new challenge within the company. Yanuar Indah is now responsible for Integrated Management and ensures that KSB operates according to internationally standardised quality, environmental and occupational health and safety standards in Indonesia. Her key motivation: To help increase productivity in the company.
After graduating as an engineer, Birgit Bitzel worked for various mechanical engineering companies before joining KSB in 2008. In her role as a sales engineer, the mother of two immediately took on responsibility for a large and important project: Her task was to supply a customer with complex power plant components under time pressure, coordinate various production sites and manage assembly and installation with the service specialists. It was a challenge for Birgit Bitzel, but the ambitious sales engineer rose to the challenge and quickly established an internal network. She then received an offer to manage the planning and control of a production plant in Frankenthal with 25 employees. She is now responsible for the same plant’s assembly area incorporating a test facility, as well as piping and painting units – a job that unites people skills, deadlines and technical challenges.
Engineer and quality manager David Herbert Jones worked as an engineering technician at KSB in South Africa from 1981 to 1986. He then gathered experience working outside KSB before returning to the company in 1991. As engineering manager he developed pumps with his team of eight colleagues. In the process, the father of two sons learned to appreciate cooperation with other departments – as engineering and design require real teamwork. Having been promoted to operations manager of pump production in 1996, he oversaw the work of 150 members of staff. 2001 saw David Jones move to Indonesia, where he expanded sales activities as Managing Director until 2003. Since returning home, he has been primarily responsible for regional sales within Sub-Saharan Africa as well as exports to KSB companies. He has been part of the senior management team in South Africa since 1993. He is pleased that KSB is an established company in Africa of which one can be proud.