The ideas submitted by its employees help WACKER to do things better and stay competitive. In 2020, the number of improvement suggestions submitted was down year over year, which is attributable to the coronavirus pandemic. The participation rate (number of submitters per 100 employees) and the total benefit fell as well.
We are using a user-friendly online tool to simplify the processes of submitting and processing suggestions for improvement. We also raise employee awareness of idea management with routine initiatives and a film that can be downloaded from our video portal. During the reporting period, the Employee Suggestion Program launched an ideas campaign calling on employees to recognize water as an important resource and use it sparingly. Some 30 suggestions were submitted, particularly on the topics of cooling water and wastewater; eight of these have already been implemented. In November 2020, the Employee Suggestion Program initiated an ideas competition on the subject of the circular economy. By April 2021, we had received 30 suggestions, but the results of this campaign had not yet been evaluated at the time of publication.
At the 2020 National Congress of Germany’s Idea Management Center (Zentrum Ideenmanagement, or ZI), a team from our Corporate R&D facility in Munich (the Consortium) won first prize in the category of “Best Idea in Occupational Safety and Workplace Health.” The winning submission chosen by the jury was for supports that the team had developed to secure thermal insulation containers. The Idea Management Center (ZI; German-language website only) is an interest group that promotes innovation management in Germany.