Social responsibility: the stories
We want to continuously improve our positive impact both globally and locally. As a company, we believe that our strength lies in our employees who walk the extra mile for others. But do not simply take our words for it. Some of our colleagues share their views on working for Grundfos. Come and meet them!
Ehab: I am living the dream
From a trainee to a paralegal and now to strengthening our new digital offerings, Ehab is an asset who keeps on growing. However, he had to go through tough times before we get to meet him. “Being a lawyer was my childhood dream. I had been 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.
He started to work as a truck driver and eventually left Syria for Egypt, determined to continue his study. “It was extremely difficult to find a good job, and I ended up being a truck driver again; this time travelling between Egypt and Iraq. It was the deadliest route I had ever encountered. I had to pass some posts where militant groups were based. Eventually, I 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 nor English. Now he speaks both languages fluently.
After seven months at a refugee camp, he moved to Viborg. Along with other refugees, he was suggested by the municipality to join Grundfos’ 13 weeks training programme. “When I joined, I told myself that my colleagues would be busy doing their tasks, so I was surprised to find out that they took me under their wings anyway – a trainee with no degree and no knowledge of what I was supposed to do. They gave me notes to further develop my skills and room for improvement; they even created tailor-made courses just for me! And I did my best to learn. Grundfos extended the training from 13 weeks to seven months and in August 2016 I became a full-time employee,” says Ehab.
His eager of finding solutions to challenges has brought him to his current position as Associate Assistant at Digital Commercial Offerings (DCO). “The thing I enjoy the most about working at Grundfos is the endless possibilities. I recently got the opportunity to work at the new organisation DCO. Here I will join the development of Grundfos’ new digital offerings, and I will be involved in Future Lab projects. I am living the dream,” he smiles.
"If I had the chance to say something to my manager and my colleagues," says Ehab, "I would like to say thank you for everything. Literally, thank you for everything."
We provide tailor-made programmes as well as professional and personal skill enhancement to individuals in order for them to gain work experience. We screen candidates, match them with relevant jobs and set individual targets in close collaboration with the departments and mentors.
Anja: I have the freedom to be independent
At work, Anja prefers to sit at her desk in the corner, and do her work alone and in silence. She likes things orderly and finds it hard to deal with changes and unpredictability. She is diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which are ‘invisible’ disorders that almost prevented her from finishing her vocational training for adults in industrial engineering.
“I had many sick leaves. One year, before school ended, I reached out to Grundfos’ social worker at an open house event. Luckily, there was a shortage of apprentices at that time, so I was signed immediately,” she says. “During my apprenticeship, I worked in different departments. After finishing my apprenticeship, I was employed in the flex workshop, and this is also where I work today,” she continues.
Anja has now been working for more than 11 years assembling pump strains to be used as spare parts. “The job suits me perfectly, because I have the possibility to organise the tasks myself and take on responsibility. As a matter of fact, I can use my ADHD in my job to detect possible errors in products that other employees may not find,” she explains.
“Unpredictable things overwhelm me, but here I can take a break without anyone questioning me. Because of this opportunity, I do not have a lot of absence due to illness,” she points out.
In her spare time, Anja likes to be creative and she does different hobby projects. One of the things she remembers the best and which has made a big impression on her was when she created Grundfos-blue stars for Niels Due Jensen's 70th birthday. “No one knew the gift was from me. Later, I discovered that a person had been assigned to find out who had made the stars, because Niels wanted to give the designer a personal thank you card. This meant a lot to me,” she smiles.
Anja is employed in a job for persons with reduced work capacity of more than 50%. The job requirements are individually tailored to her needs. She works at the Spare Parts Production, a self-manufacturing plant which has its own goods receipt and shipment. In collaboration with our dedicated colleagues in the flex department, Anja contributes in the manual production.
Darko: Grundfos has turned a kid into a man
Darko, who works in our flexible department in GMS, Serbia is a real example of 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 to receive the call 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 are 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. I currently oversee a team of four; I mentor new colleagues, lead some training and take part 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 colleagues support you, solving problems become 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 was involved in an accident. I was hit by a truck. I suffered a brain injury and was in a coma for a month,” says Ivan Laursen, an employee in the flex department. Since then, everything went downhill. His relationship ended, and the factory that he worked for closed down. Ivan went through a deep depression and had to consume anti-depressant pills to deal with his painful condition.
“I needed to find a new job. I went to Grundfos and was hired immediately. I started in the CR factory, but after more than a year, Grundfos found that I could not do general production work. My severe drug consumption made me feel like a zombie. I did not feel like interacting with my colleagues and withdrew myself from society. I isolated myself completely,” he continues.
It was only after a piece of advice from a new doctor, who suggested Ivan to reduce his use of medicine, that he got a whole new perspective on life. “I was frightened and I thought how can I survive without my pills? But I decided to follow his advice, and slowly reduced my dosage. I started in the flex department, which is a department for employees with different illnesses and disabilities. We are very good at taking care of each other here. I had several periods of illness, but I received tremendous help from my colleagues and now I am fully recovered. When I lost both my mother and brother with only two weeks apart in 2015, It helped me to go to work and talk to my colleagues. Eventually, I got back up on my feet again,” he adds.
Ivan has been working for Grundfos for more than 30 years. “After becoming medicine-free, I am capable of handling more tasks than before. I do not have any primary duties, but I carry out different tasks which do not require fine motor skills. These tasks offer me different challenges which I truly enjoy. I am up for anything!” he says with a big grin. When being asked about his most memorable moments in Grundfos, he smiles. “Well, I have been singing for many years, and when the flex department celebrated its 40th anniversary, I ended up on stage singing with Danish pop singer, Birthe Kjær!”
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We have standardised the definition of people with reduced work capacity globally. 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
“If you should ever find yourself in a situation like the one I had to face, you will soon find out that it is extremely important you do not feel alone, and I was definitely not alone,” starts Gordana, our product operator at GMS, Serbia, who bravely beat cancer.
“After surgery in 2013, I was on sick leave for a month and a half. During that period, Grundfos checked up on me every day, and colleagues dropped by to keep me company. When I came back to work, I could barely walk. I only worked for four hours, yet I received full salary. I only did tasks that I was physically capable of doing, and the company offered me transportation between work and 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 through a similar situation knows how important such support is to survive a terrible crisis both physically and emotionally,“ explains Gordana thankfully while thinking back at what she now considers to be happy memories.
“To me it was a lifesaver that the company organises free medical evaluations, including specialised examinations that might not be affordable to all and to which one must otherwise wait for months to go to due to massive queue. If I had not visited the doctor in time, I might not have been here today. I am grateful to the whole staff; to management and the colleagues at the line. They have helped me beat cancer. They are my heroes,” continues Gordana.
“In Grundfos, we can speak our mind, share our challenges and give input to solutions. Our voices are heard and to me it is highly motivating. I have been working at Grundfos for six years in a small but perfect team in a large company. We value good interpersonal relations. We are one soul.”