Category Archives: Be connected

Prettl connects. Be connected.

Every beginning holds its own magic

That is what Hermann Hesse has already said. But it isn´t only about the beginning by itself, it is also about interpreting existing things in a new way and trying to create a new beginning out of existing  thoughts.  Daniel Stuckert, Global Head of Media & Corporate Communications, depicts in the interview what this has to do with Prettl and what Prettls New Year´s resolution is dealing with.


A new year and new intentions. Unlike the New Year’s resolutions we make to ourselves, companies usually do implement their intentions. From a communications point of view what is the main intention at Prettl?
Our intention for next year revolves around one word: connecting. With our new campaign ‘Prettl connects. Be connected.’ we want to generate a global sense of unity and basically speaking move closer together.

Until now most German’s have only come across the theme of connecting in telecommunications slogans from providers such as Deutsche Telekom and Base. Nowbe-connected_in_Kreis Prettl is saying “be connected.” Is this a good fit?
Yes, very much so! We don’t just connect people and cultures all over the world, but draw connections with our products and help customers connect with theirs – and we do this at a mental level. In the Automotive Division, for instance, we are ensuring greater safety by connecting our cable solutions with important vehicle functions. Thus contributing to problem-free mobility for the customer.

Slogans normally have a special purpose. Where are we going to find the ‘be connected’ slogan?
It will found both in internal communications – that’s all I’m saying for the moment as a number of exiting campaigns are planned for the whole year – and also externally. In the latter, ‘be connected’ is going to be found both on and in our new image brochure, in ads, on promotional material and everything that goes with this.

Promotional material is one thing but, when you think about it, ‘be connected’ is more than just an advertising slogan. Can we therefore look forward to more than just advertising?
With this campaign we want to strengthen out ties with our 9,500 employees across the world and demonstrate to them that we couldn’t reach our goals with their input. We want to promote intellectual exchange and increase networking between employees. Our relationship with our customers and partners should also be strengthened by the campaign.

ThinkGlobal-ActLocal_A4Those are uniting thoughts. Does ‘be connected’ also combine the old with the new or does it displace the current ‘Think global. Act local.’ concept?
No, quite the contrary. The great thing about it is that ‘be connected’ only works when the principle is brought to life at a local level and then expanded globally. Connections or connection attempts are not always successful.

Not all connections last forever. If a connection fails, should you try to reconnect the ties or should you make a clean break and look for new opportunities?
During the course of a lifetime there are always points at which a connection severs. How this is dealt with, however, is up to the individual. You have, no doubt, friends with whom you maintain a very close relationship. You also have acquaintances that you see only rarely and speak to them only when it arises. The connection here, however, is not severed as our recent campaign with former interns from Greenville has shown. We sent a letter and a copy of the last issue of »Prettl intern « to all former interns. We reminded them of their time with us and asked them to stay in touch via our social media channels. The response was excellent. There are, however, connections that should not be formed and should be enjoyed with great caution. Take for instance the current events in Paris. We must do everything with our positive connections to ensure that such fringe groups have no platform. It is therefore important to continually monitor existing connections in order to sever them intentionally or to re-cement them.

be-connected_SchriftzugYou should always make the most of your network, and hence this final question to you as a communications pro. What is the best way for our readers to connect with each other?
In the age of the ‘smombies’ – German youth word of the year for 2015, that no juvenile I’ve asked has heard of – we should try to be a little more personal. Connecting via social media channels, WhatsApp or email is efinitely possible although it is much nicer to speak to each other using good old face-to-face communication.

Diversity: A Contribution To Commercial Success – Expert interview with Michael Stuber

 

Mr. Stuber, when ‘Diversity’ is mentioned, many people primarily think about having more women in management positions. But that's not really the right way to see it, is it?

Whether rightly or wrongly, the perception is understandable. We have, over the years, regularly analyzed the Annual Reports of large corporations. The results show that the focus on gender has remained practically unchanged over the past twenty years. However, the breadth of topics covered has indeed developed, as has dealing with all aspects of diversity.

Initially, gender was an obvious priority, partially because the concept of equal opportunity already existed. Diversity became a broad-platform approach in the 1990s. The aim was to work on multiple aspects of diversity at the same time, in a synergistic way. The thought behind it was simple and ingenious: The challenges in handling differences in gender, age, culture or religion are similar, so they can be dealt with in a consistent way. I call this approach the ‘propelling performance principle’.

The great thing about it is that people rediscover themselves in this concept, because it is all about recognizing individuality. Everyone has a gender, an – ever changing – age, a cultural background, etc. Our work-related diversity, such as collaboration skills, or language skills, mobility or creativity can be more directly linked with business objectives such as productivity or customer focus. That’s important for at the end of the day, in a corporate environment everything has to be aligned with the business.

This coherent and holistic approach to Diversity fell apart when political decisions led to a single-sided focus on women in management a few years ago. Since then, it has been more difficult to convey diversity in a comprehensive, and hence credible way, and to get support for it. Many companies actually exceed the legal requirements when it comes to gender employment ratios. Actually, half of Europe’s top 50 companies cover five or more aspects of diversity, saying clearly: diversity is more than gender.

 

Does that mean that companies don't only involve themselves with diversity because of political regulations? What are the commercial reasons, then?

Our analyses show that there are three distinct business reasons: Firstly, it makes strategic sense. That's because, in an age of globalized business models and rapid change, companies need concepts that promote collaboration and innovation amongst diverse groups of people. Secondly, there is the operational necessity. That's because customers and candidates expect companies to welcome diversity and offer an open, flexible work environment.

Thirdly and finally, there is commercial viability: Companies are increasingly finding, that they cannot afford not to fully utilize existing diversity. Amazingly, that still used to be the case. Our marketing analyses, for example, reveal a clear waste of potential sales due to one-sided advertising. There are also many examples of failures caused by a lack of diverse perspectives in decision-making processes. Diversity also increases individual productivity. That's because we work better, engage more, and work harder, if we feel valued and respected.

 

That sounds like some kind of magical means of production – in fact, a panacea for the economy: is diversity really as simple as that?

Yes and no. Our evidence-based ‘propelling performance principle’ describes the value creation process of diversity and inclusion: according to that model, it takes more than simply deliberately recognizing differences, it is also necessary to be consciously open-minded and to acknowledge the potential of different talent and perspectives. As in so many situations, goodwill alone is not enough. Creating value from diversity also requires involvement. That is true both for processes, which must be equally fair, and work equally effectively, for everyone involved, as well as for people’s behavior. What is involved here is collaboration and leveraging individual strengths for joint success.

To sum up, we have to say: Diversity is neither an end in itself nor a silver bullet for success. Since everyone finds it easier to work with people like us and ignore others, we must overcome our lazy human attitude and break the mold.

 

Which objectives can a company like ours set, to justify this effort?

First and foremost, companies must be clear about the contributions diversity can make to their business – for the company as a whole, and also for its parts. These commercial considerations should then lead to the setting of objectives for diversity. Having more women in management positions can be an indicator that the HR processes and the corporate culture take better account of the available talent pool than before. But having them as an end in itself makes little commercial sense.

Objectives should also be defined for the corporate culture or the company's image, for example, how its customers perceive it. Striving to win awards or prizes can be also be meaningful objectives, as has been shown in other contexts.

 

Can one of the aims of diversity be to create understanding of difference and break down stereotypes? And how would one work to achieve such an objective?

Understanding difference and breaking down stereotypes are core issues when it comes to diversity. They are used to strengthen employee motivation and engagement, increase team performance, and improve the utilization of talent.

In practical terms, this is a Herculean, or Sisyphean, task. It's Herculean because many of our most strongly-held views and opinions were formed many years ago, and companies find it difficult – even if it's only workplace related – to question some of their established values and assumptions that also formed and fostered in the family and social environment. Hence, everyone brings their perceptions of gender roles and cultural dynamics perspectives to the workplace, where they can act as a barrier.

Diversity is also a Sisyphean task, because progress made with great effort can be undone in a moment by unexpected and mostly unwanted events. We can see that happening currently with regard to the integration of minorities in society. Society's view of migrants had improved over the years. Studies showed that migration improved the prosperity of the indigenous population and was a necessity for industrial nations. And yet: since the subject of migrants has been taken up for political purposes, doubt, prejudice and even attacks have increased drastically. Against other minorities too, by the way.

 

And what progress are we making with gender equality? Is this also under threat?

The majority of indicators show that gender equality is on the right track. However, we are far from fully utilizing the huge potential of well-educated young women. Even if they generally do not realize this while they are young. But then, in the rush-hour of life they encounter the same effects as their mothers did: when they become parents, they agree with the father that HE will continue in full-time employment, particularly as companies are much less willing to support the careers of employees who work part time. And here, we can observe a rarely noticed phenomenon in the allegedly hip, Generation Y: it includes several sub-groups some of which have traditional views, which do not promote gender equality.

 

What can Prettl do to promote diversity?

As already said, it is smart for every company to identify the contribution that diversity makes to its commercial success and recognize that first of all. This usually creates the basis for a range of strategies, which should be implemented in a well-coordinated framework, and not as a series of stand-alone initiatives:

  • Increase awareness of difference in many everyday situations, for example, through regular communication and interactions
  • Make adjustments in Human Resources, marketing and sales
  • Form business relations with external partners that expands the current talent pool
  • Continuously work with senior management, who promote diversity awareness through their behavior, give a sense of direction, define expectations and are default role models.

All of this must be carried out on the basis of high standards for openness, meritocratic performance management and fair, transparent processes. In this respect, moments of truth – situations in which you have to practice what you preach– are particularly important: How does the company or a manager react if a customer or employee does something that goes against diversity? If the company gives in, because that person is ‘an important customer’ or ‘a valued employee’, then the diversity house of cards collapses. It is necessary to demonstrate the right attitude, take a stand, adopt an attitude and lead by example. To that end, Diversity is no different from other leadership missions.

 

— End —

Michael Stuber is known as a pioneer regarding the topic "diversity" in Germany and at European level. Learn more about him and his work under http://de.diversitymine.eu/

 

Prettl extends MotoGP sponsoring until the end of 2018

 

With the renewal of the sponsoring contract with the Octo Pramac Racing Team in the MotoGP, Prettl extends its involvement in motorcycle racing.

Pfullingen/Dukestown – The successful partnership between Octo Pramac Racing and Prettl is being extended for another two seasons. The presence of Prettl at the MotoGP started in 2015 and is now affirmed with the main sponsoring of the Octo Pramac Racing Team until the end of 2018.

The brand Prettl is going to be visible on both bikes of the Ducati Factory Team of Danilo Petrucci and Scott Redding as well as on the hospitality tents at all European races and the team clothing.

 

Paolo Campinoti (Team Principal Octo Pramac Racing)

We are extremely pleased to see our team lined up in the 2017 MotoGp season with the Prettl logo on the fairings of our Ducati Desmosedici. It is also thanks to Prettl that Pramac Racing can proudly be one of the oldest teams in the sovereign class of the world motorcycling championship, having celebrated in 2016 the fifteenth consecutive year in MotoGP. I am sure that thanks to the renewed support of the Prettl group, we will achieve even more exciting results in the coming seasons".

 

Daniel Stuckert (Head of Global Media & Corporate Communications of the Prettl group)

"We are very happy to continue the longstanding partnership with our sponsoring of the Pramac Racing Team. As being part of the energising market with Prettl energy, we are proud to support the most powerful form of sport: racing.
This year´s Ducatis of Scott and Danilo are branded with the Prettl logo, which fits perfectly: a strong company group on a strong bike. The sponsoring also gives us the opportunity to invite our customers and partners to Moto GP events throughout the year which helps us to strengthen these relationships because every race is always a great and impressive show.
We are keeping our fingers crossed for the Pramac Racing team to succeed in the 2017 Championship".

— End —

 

About Prettl

Automotive, Appliance solutions, Electronics, Energy and ProSys – these are the 5 business divisions of the multinational Prettl group. Served by the PRETTL Produktions Holding GmbH, the PRETTL Beteiligungs Holding GmbH and the PRETTL Foundation, the individual companies that make up the group, employing in excess of 9500 staff at more than 35 sites in over 25 countries, are run as fully independent enterprises. The secret recipe for these self-sustaining companies is being able to enjoy maximum entrepreneurial freedom and, as a result, being able to determine their own strategies, customers and markets. The individual companies are also united under the Prettl group’s ‘green’ vision. It sets out the basis for the achieved business success and extends to staff and technology levels as well as production levels. This is because it is not only in Prettl’s interest to safeguard the future but to shape the future too.

 

You can download the press release as a PDF-file here

 

Photo material

Pramac_Racing_1

Paramac_Racing_2

Photocredit: Pramac Racing

 

Pressekontakt
Daniel Stuckert

Globale Leitung Medien & Unternehmenskommunikation Prettl Unternehmensgruppe

Tel.: +49 (0) 71 21 707 171

Mob.: +49 (0) 151 440 49 250

daniel.stuckert@prettl.com   

 

„In-house mutual support“ instead of „in-house health management“

Dr. Walter Kromm, a medical expert who holds special consultations for managers,  tells us why companiesshould add „in-house mutual support“ strategies to their „in-house health management“ programs, to help them succeed and grow, and why some of us should learn how to stand back a bit and not be so committed to the job.


Dr. Kromm, when is a company healthy?
A company is healthy if it is strong in its market. Then, its jobs are secure. And that's a healthy thing. However, for a company to remain healthy in the long term, it needs healthy employees, who are ready and willing to be fully committed to their work.

So, who has responsibility for a "healthy" company?
It's the people who work there – it's everyone who's involved in it!

Many companies believe that they can make their company healthier by doing something "healthy." Depending on the size of the company, this can cover everything from providing baskets of fruit to running yoga courses. What do you think to these approaches?
Some of the ideas implemented by "in-house health management teams" can be very good, and important for the staff. However, if employees don't actually get on too well together, even holding the kinds of courses and events you might find at a health resort won't succeed.

Is there a way to quantify how healthy a company's workforce is?
The number of days absent from work can be recorded pretty accurately. An average employee has about 20 days off a year, due to illness. But the quality of their contribution when they're at work often remains hidden. I estimate that only about 20 percent of the workforce has a real emotional attachment to their employer. That's not very much.

A sense of well-being is closely connected with good feelings.

When looked at the other way round, that means that 80 % of employees have either a very slight attachment, or none at all. How can this be created?
A sense of well-being is closely connected with good feelings. Knowing that you're accepted, respected and appreciated creates this. If you interact with someone on equal terms, you show that you respect them. If you take them seriously, you give them a feeling of importance. These are the "good reasons" people need, if you want to motivate them to do something.

What exactly can be achieved with "connectedness"?
If you feel connected to something, you also want to retain that feeling! This means that people see the purpose of striving to achieve a common goal.

What's your advice to companies?
Success is a consequence, and work is a social interaction. I recommend that companies add "in-house connectedness management" to their "in-house health management" strategy.

Why?
If people don't interact well with each other, this will be a major obstacle to success. However, if people do get on well with each other, this sparks off a whole series of interactive processes, which otherwise just wouldn't happen. Here are a few pictures which highlight the most important aspects of these processes. These illustrations come from a recently published book, "Die Kraft der guten Gefühle" ("The power of good feelings).

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What exactly does this depend on?
Working successfully together, and therefore also staying healthy, is the greatest benefit, for everyone! A company should constantly strive to create an environment in which this can happen, because this is where the potential talents, and resources they depend on, lie dormant.

"an employer should also be able to leave things alone."

The keyword is resources – you have said that "an employer should also be able to leave things alone." What exactly did you mean by this?
For many ambitious people, moving with the times actually means not having any time.
In actual fact, we should all be "time millionaires." At least, we should all have more time than we used to have, back in the days before freeways, high-speed trains, e-mail, cellphones and the Internet. But we're faced with a paradox: our lives are getting longer, but our working times are getting shorter. We're saving time everywhere, yet have less and less of it.

What happens to the time we save?
Most people want to save time so they can do more things. It's not that we're short of time, it's just that we want to do too many things in the time we have.
Improving effectiveness is the top priority.
Many of today's high achievers are running hard to stand still. When they're not working, they're either out consuming products and experiences, or playing sport.
They run frantically
• from the office chair to the gym
• from the couples therapy session
• to their evening course
• from business dinners
• to adventure weekends.

How can they break free from this vicious circle?
By calming down and setting limits.

"If you rest, you rust." But we're not made from iron.

What does that mean?
What's the reason that people go away on retreats, to remote mountain cabins or to a monastery? Quite simply, because the number of options for doing things in these places is so strictly curtailed. However, you don't have to run away to the mountains or a monastery to achieve this. Simply doing nothing from time to time is a good idea. As the old saying goes, "If you rest, you rust." But we're not made from iron. It is precisely these performance-oriented people who should not only be determined entrepreneurs, but also be determinedly able to let things go. Our "operating system" needs space to recuperate, and high achievers also need the "ability to relax."

Do you have any tips for our readers about how they can achieve the ability to relax?
Yes, simply go out for a walk with someone you like on a bright, sunny day, and don't worry about missing out on anything else.
This will do more for your health than any medicine in the world.

Do you find "letting things go" easy?
No. But I am starting to learn how.

 

About Dr. Walter Kromm

dr-kromm

Dr. Kromm is a physician with an economically and philosophic education. He knows the medicine for companies to be healthy and successfull. For him it´s for sure: Healthy and motivated employees as well as the long term business success are two sides of the same medal – both are being affected centrally by the determining factors of good leadership.

–    But what is good leadership?
–    How do you lead others and yourself?

In his experience, the management and the course plans of business schools only deal with these questions in a very restrained way. That is what he wants to change with his work. Click here to learn more.

 

 

 

be connected. The new corporate video of the Prettl group is online

Expertise, quality and emotions, visualized in a two minute corporate video: The Prettl group is granting their customers, business partners and suppliers an exclusive look behind the scenes of the diversified group of companies. After more than 60 years of company history, there has now been generated a video, where mostly employees and their brands/products take over the direction.  During 120 seconds the corporate movie leads through the five divisions of the group of companies. “For us the corporate video is an ideal tool to visually illustrate wherefore we stand. Plenty of our customers and potential employees for example have no idea of the wide variety of expertise we have to offer”, says Daniel Stuckert, Head of Communications at the Prettl group.

In cooperation with the visavis film production from Berlin the film was created at various company locations worldwide. Besides sequences from the company headquarter in Pfullingen or the manufacturing of Prettl electronics in Lübeck, the corporate video represents authentically the daily work routine of over 9.500 employees worldwide. As of now the film can be found on the Prettl website, the blog and on YouTube. It is also going to be used for exhibitions and presentations. In addition, the two minute sequence is supposed to convince potential employees of the qualities of the Prettl group as an employer.

 

 

112 – connects

Why do we mention the European day of emergency number? That is easy, because it shows a way of connection.


Thereby we do not talk about the classical phone connection. On 112 you can reach the emergency in all European countries and beyond – for free. The Switzer emergency can be contacted on 112, for example too.
But it is not the connecting feeling of countries, why we pick up this topic, even if we are dealing with international parallels in our daily business as an international operating company.

Endress power generators has a close relation to fire-departments and therefore to the number 112. With its product solutions Endress supports fire departments in different countries.
Just as every single person can rely on help by calling 112, fire departments has to rely on their equipment in action. Endress knows what the fire fighters need and shows this by sponsoring the Conrad-Dietrich-Magirus-Award. Also this year fire departments was honored for their work at the award show in Ulm independently of the country they come from.

European day of emergency number- Prettl as an international group – Endress as partner of fire departments – 112 – that is how the circle is closed.  And it shows that there are connections everywhere. Prettl connects. Be connected.

Social means of communication – blessing or curse?!

„They distort our self-perception“, „They sabotage real interpersonal relationships”, „They’ll have the reputation of the classical journalism on their conscience and will reduce our attention span” – These are just some things which are reproached for the means of communication.


Now you can join the chorus at the world day of social communication, you can oppose it heatedly and get lost in all the debates. Or you look even more closely and begin to differentiate.

Connection instead of dependence
Dependence, one-sided news-streams – this may apply to private individuals. But for us as a company, social media offers brand new internal and external possibilities.

The world of (un)limited possibilities
Prettl is broadly positioned – geographically, culturally and related to industries, customers and partners. Letters, e-mails, exhibitions – with all of those it is possible to stay connected, but with steady limitation. Limitation of a narrow group of people, limitation of temporal and spatial flexibility. However, the social web lets us to be there in rela time, to be there “live”. In Mexico, as well as in Hungary. So we present on Facebook and our corporate blog not only a picture of us to the public, but also let our colleagues in the various divisions know what is currently on-going.

Sensitization instead of monopolization
It will also works with our intern newsletter – but in the social web it can be commented, liked and announced right away. We are getting sensitized for the things that happen abroad, so it is getting easier for us to join the pleasure. And that is certainly one of our strengths.

be-connected_SchriftzugPrettl connects. Be connected. – not without web
Because Prettl relies on connection. Especially with respect to Prettl connects. Be connected.. And where can you get better connected than in the network itself? It has never been so easy for a today’s company not only to be in touch but also be in an direct exchange with customers, partners and employees. If we are honest with ourselves – the time for a comment or a like is rather findable than the one for an e-mail.social med

There is a Jojo-effect even in the social communication
Everyone decides for himself or herself, whether the content is the same. Because of our own actions and intentions, we give importance to the means of social media or take take it away.


For us it is clearly: Nowdays social media is an essential feature. We want the contact and the connection. That’s why we are also still active on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and this blog. We wanr to create connectivity at various levels. Even if Prettl is world market leader, we are still a family-run company und Be connected. is “just” one dimension of Think global. Act local.
 

How to keep your resolutions in two simple steps

It is the time of year when you take stock of the New Year’s resolutions you made twelve months ago and begin to consider new ones. In doing so, many will ascertain that keeping such resolutions has eluded them yet again. So why is this?

One decisive factor to keeping a resolution is ensuring that whatever you take on matches your own values and philosophy. After all, the chances of a non-sporty person, who despises jogging, running a marathon are somewhat unlikely. That doesn’t mean, however, that resolutions attuned to your own character should be easy. It simply means that existing potential should be activated. And that applies to private individuals as well as companies.

And one other thing helps with the perseverance: inform others of your plans.
And that’s exactly what we’re about to do now. We are going to reveal Prettl’s resolution for 2016 – and it is quite simply: to connect. 2016 will be the year that goes under the banner of: Prettl connects. Be connected.

Prettl has been connecting people, technologies, products and the world in which the company is active for years. In 2016, we want to do this in a more conscious way and intensify the connections with our partners, our customers and our employees.
You will gain a first impression of this by browsing through the latest issue – and a further insight from me personally will follow next year.