Freedom, solidarity, goodwill – not only do we convey those values to the outside world through our various projects, we also live them within the Bertelsmann Stiftung. In doing so, our focus is always on acting responsibly towards our employees.
Every employee at the Bertelsmann Stiftung has the right to be treated with respect and to work in a supportive, nonthreatening environment. Respect and tolerance are key aspects of our work, something reflected in our in-house structures. Employees engage with each other respectfully, appreciatively and courteously, as evidenced by their day-to-day communications and behavior and the way important decisions are made at the foundation. The dignity of each individual is inviolable, and all participants are considered equal during interactions, which take place in an atmosphere of cordiality and mutual respect. Harassment, bullying and other unacceptable behavior directly contravene the Bertelsmann Stiftung's core principles and result unequivocally in corrective action.
The climate at the Bertelsmann Stiftung is one of openness and transparency. Our employees can raise any subject at any time and are free to share suggestions and express concerns. The foundation explicitly encourages its employees to get involved and shape their working environment.
All employees at the Bertelsmann Stiftung are entitled to equal treatment – regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic background, religious affiliation or any other personal characteristic.
We believe achieving a good work-life balance is of critical importance. The Bertelsmann Stiftung's human resources policies are therefore designed to give employees more flexibility in carrying out their professional duties. The tools used include flexible work schedules, sabbaticals and opportunities for working from home and working part-time. In addition, the Bertelsmann Stiftung offers advisory services and other support in the area of short- and long-term child and family care.
Individual recognition and development
The objectives the Bertelsmann Stiftung pursues in its project work also apply within the foundation. We view our employees as individuals with unique skills and needs who play a key role in making our project work successful. Recognizing their potential, developing their skills and considering their needs are therefore of paramount importance to us and among the main responsibilities addressed by the foundation's managers and HR professionals.
Globalization, technological advances and demographic change are requiring people to acquire more and more knowledge in ever shorter periods of time. Lifelong learning is therefore essential. We offer our employees a range of further education options so that they can continue to carry out their daily responsibilities effectively in the future.
Supporting new talent
We use our Junior Professionals program to train employees as project managers with an interdisciplinary and international focus. In addition, university students and recent graduates serve as interns in various areas at the Bertelsmann Stiftung every year.
Health management plays a key role in our HR activities. Together with employee representatives, we have put a framework in place that promotes the health and effectiveness of our staff. This includes preventive measures, precautionary screenings and an extensive sports program.
If people are to work together in a spirit of trust, they must be able to discuss conflicts openly and resolve them fairly. Employees who feel they have been disadvantaged or otherwise impeded by a supervisor or colleague have the right to call attention to the situation at any time. There are no negative consequences if they do so. They can submit a complaint to their own manager, the Human Resources department or one of their employee representatives. In addition, the Bertelsmann Stiftung has appointed an ombudsperson, making it possible for employees to contact a neutral individual outside the foundation.
This means problems and differences of opinion can be acknowledged and discussed at an early stage. When a conflict exists, all Bertelsmann Stiftung employees are therefore encouraged to raise the subject before the situation progresses and work together to find a solution. Solving problems is a key part of the foundation's philanthropic work and therefore of critical importance in all in-house activities.