Lead story 01/18

The Five Rhenus Values

Five common values for one Rhenus world

Rhenus focuses on intrinsic economic value
The Rhenus Group’s annual management meeting in January 2017 proved to be particularly valuable, because it marked the starting point for developing the Rhenus values. The five essential values of the Rhenus Group were worked out and written down at a workshop that involved a large number of employees from very different units, countries or hierarchy and age structures. The values are: customer-focused solutions, employee orientation, entrepreneurship, integrity and continuity.

Rhenus represents more than 100 years of logistics, understanding customers’ needs, cooperation and experience. It is important to repeatedly ask important questions and continue developing in order to prevent coming to a standstill at some stage over such a long period. Who are we? What do we represent? And: where do we want to go in terms of developments? They are questions that link past traditions and the future very closely. About 160 experienced managers and 60 international junior employees from Rhenus came together in January 2017 in order to explore these issues.

Developing the Rhenus values
Rhenus has had values to guide its actions and business at all times – but their essence had not yet been specifically worked out and defined in textual form. Employees from a very wide range of nationalities, business units and hierarchy levels developed ideas in a workshop on how they experience Rhenus on a daily basis, how they themselves leave their mark on the Rhenus culture and which values they wish to pursue with their managers. What has emerged are the five values that best describe the Rhenus Group:

understanding the requirements, offering solutions, shaping the future

give respect, nurture competence, ask for development opportunities

develop ideas, take responsibility, be successful

living out our values, keeping promises, providing security

acting with long-term goals in mind, connecting generations, remaining independent

Claus Eckmann, Head of Human Resources at Rhenus, accompanied the development of the Rhenus values, initially as a workshop leader and later as the chairperson for the complete, ongoing process. “We knew from the outset that if we wanted to define the Rhenus Group’s values, it wouldn’t be enough to just write them down. Values need to be lived out. We therefore launched a communications process to actively involve our employees. We don’t want to communicate any abstract values as a modern and forward-looking company. We want to show our employees how they can use their skills and talents to benefit our customers and the whole Rhenus Group by living out our values.”

"Our employees are our most valuable asset - their knowledge, their skills and their passion for what they do on a daily basis."

(Klemens Rethmann, Rhenus CEO)

Practising values
That is precisely the wish of Klemens Rethmann, the CEO of the Rhenus Group, too. “Our employees are our most valuable asset – their knowledge, their skills and their passion for what they do on a daily basis.” However, it was not enough to just publicise the values. In the end, they need to be communicated via every management level to all the business units, countries, companies and departments and become an integral part of our employees’ everyday lives. “We’ve therefore developed a workshop concept so that each manager is in a position to pass on the content from one level to another. This provides the opportunity for reflection, communication, improvements and tapping into the potential for changes within Rhenus and introducing them very specifically. This is the aspect that makes us believe that we’ll continue to develop within the company,” Claus Eckmann explains.

Customers benefit from our view of ourselves
Dr Stephan Peters, a Rhenus Board Member, emphasises the following. “In the end, everything we do in our daily work at Rhenus is focused on one thing: our customers. We’re not the only ones to appreciate the passion and commitment that is expressed in this way – our customers do too.” Klemens Rethmann adds, “In the end, the goal of the Rhenus values is to show our customers once again who we are and what we represent through actions that benefit them and measures that continue to develop Rhenus.”

"I now realise that our brand is becoming even stronger through these values - from the inside out."

(Verena Schäfers, Head of Marketing & PR)

The broader significance of the Rhenus values
The values are also an opportunity to improve communications regarding the Group’s compliance, in the view of Gilles Delarue, the Group Compliance Officer at Rhenus. “At Rhenus, we abide by the laws and regulations and keep the promises that we give to our customers, partners and employees. Compliance at Rhenus is directly mirrored in the five Rhenus values."

"In the end, everything we do in our daily work at Rhenus is focused on one thing: our customers. We're not the only ones to appreciate the passion and commitment that are expressed in this way - our customers do too."

(Dr. Stephan Peters, a Rhenus Board Member)

more Logistics People
Remaining articles of the same issue
Editorial 01/18

by Klemens Rethmann

Each company, whether it has existed for a long time or is a start-up, needs to tackle the following fundamental questions at least once: “What distinguishes us, who are we and what do we represent?”
Rhenus in brief 01/18

Rhenus Short News

A prominent visitor arrived at Rhenus headquarters in Holzwickede in August 2017 – the North Rhine-Westphalian Economics Minister, Prof. Dr Andreas Pinkwart. He came to discover more about the projects that attracted awards in the Rhevo innovation competition. Four teams of employees presented an automatic reporting system, which is designed to predict customer behaviour, and a neutral web-based broker platform for small and medium-sized enterprises, among other things; the latter can be used to book logistics services.
Interview 01/18

Rhevo Rekindles the Spirit of Innovation

Bright colours, multi-coloured stickers and plenty of speculation. The company-wide employee initiative known as Rhevo was launched in January 2017 with guerrilla marketing. This resulted in more than 170 ideas being submitted from 28 different countries. The most promising teams battled their way through several rounds. The took their cue from the start-up world. Astrid Unverricht spoke to the Rhenus organiser, Henning Wagner, and the jury members, Tobias Bartz and Petra Finke.
In greater detail 01/18

From Cars to Offshore

It was a genuine dream project for Cuxhaven – and now berth 4 is finally available. It perfectly complements the capacity at the Cuxport terminal at the Europakai with its 290 metres of quay wall, 8.5 hectares of handling and storage space and its four heavy-duty blocks. Gwendolyn Dünner spoke about the major project to Holger Banik, Managing Director of Niedersachsen Ports, and Michael Reese, Joint Managing Director at Cuxport.
Report 01/18

Black Gold from the Sea

The Dutch Rhenus subsidiary Copex is well-known for its many years of expertise in the business of transporting live animals. However, it has also been handling the transport, storage and customs clearance for a genuinely luxury product for its customer Crusta since April: live lobsters. They are caught off the Canadian peninsula of Nova Scotia and are transported to Amsterdam by air freight.
Sector 01/18

When the Future Becomes an Everyday Reality - My Colleague the Robot

Gathering data for a search engine in a short time or initiating maintenance work on a date that was set earlier: this is very easy nowadays using so-called bots, automated computer scripts. Robot solutions are increasingly making their way into the digital working world. They have been used at Rhenus Office Systems, one of the Rhenus Group companies, since last year.
City 01/18

From “Cottonopolis” to a Showcase City

Manchester, one of the largest cities in Great Britain, was the birthplace of the industrial revolution, an important centre for the working-class movement and the target of a terror attack that inflicted severe damage on the city centre; Manchester has endured some turbulent times. However, Mancunians, as the city’s inhabitants are known, have never allowed themselves to be deterred by setbacks. The city is now not only the most important business centre in the north-west of England, but is also fiercely proud of its heritage and its two Premier League clubs, Manchester United and Manchester City. The city also boasts a hugely successful music scene and has given birth to well-known bands like Take That, Oasis and Simply Red. Today more than 2.7 million inhabitants live in the catchment area.
Around Rhenus 01/18

after 38 Years of Senior Management Responsibility:

Having reached the age limit, Reinhard Lohmann has retired from the supervisory boards of the RETHMANN group and its divisional companies, REMONDIS, Rhenus and SARIA.
Around Rhenus 01/18

Norbert Rethmann

The Polish employers’ association presented awards to twelve persons and institutions for their outstanding service and major contributions to the Polish economy at this year’s ceremony on 13 January 2018. One of the prize-winners was Norbert Rethmann, a Member and the Honorary Chairman of the RETHMANN Group’s Supervisory Board.