Some models of society have failed because of an idealised view of human nature or its make-up. From our point of view, there is no perfect employee for the logistics business either. The workers at Rhenus are as varied as our corporate group and the people, customers and sectors that we look after.
The wish to serve customers and acquire the skills necessary for this should be what unites us. Viewing customers as the benchmark for our own actions and understanding them in terms of their requirements means that we must develop the art of listening carefully and the ability to learn new things all the time.
Customers nowadays expect us to draw up solutions for them in networks and then introduce them in specific project procedures. This does not end at the borders of cities, countries or even continents in the globalised world of the 21st century. As a result, we need colleagues with an international background for a variety of tasks – or those who are willing to establish this background by spending time abroad at a college, university or as part of their career or within the Rhenus world.
We therefore rely on employees, who view this as an opportunity to continue developing their careers and expand their horizons – and not as a burden. After all, this motivation is essential for people if they are going to immerse themselves in a different culture, integrate there and meet the professional tasks required of them. One of our most important tasks involves discovering these employees, who have an enquiring mind and aim to meet customer requests, at schools and universities – or providing ongoing development for colleagues already working within the Rhenus Group if they have this outlook. Training for specialist qualifications and coaching to enable a successful intercultural dialogue go hand in hand here. The large number of international projects, which dominate our daily work, are the best preparation for this. It is clear that failing to have an understanding of the history, traditions and customers of any country is just as much a hindrance to business success as not having the right logistics tools.
“We need to adapt to the cultures where Rhenus is operating in just the same way as we have to understand the sectors where we’re working.”
We are encouraging highly promising young talented people both at home and abroad with our apprenticeship and trainee programmes and through the Rhenus Academy. Those who pass the test, receive more responsibility – in projects or in routine work. This enables Rhenus to remain innovative through fresh ideas and establish the foundation in terms of personnel for the coming years and decades.
Alongside our focus on our employees in all parts of the world, we are also launching a four-part series on the subject of digitalisation in this issue. There will not be any standard strategy to cope with this challenge at Rhenus with its locally-based structures. However, the individual units are intensively grappling with customers’ requirements and our solutions in the digital world. I trust that you will enjoy what you read as we launch this series – and the other texts in this spring edition of the magazine.