Success for family-conscious corporate culture

From left to right: Councillor Franz Rumpler, Joseph Miedl, Ulrike Grünling (all from Triestingtal business forum), Peter Pichler (CEO Berndorf AG), Petra Herzog (Head of Human Resources, NÖM AG), Jan Ledochowski (Familie & Beruf Management)

Photo credit:
Heinz Musich/Wirtschaftsforum Triestingal

BERNDORF (28 October 2019) Business success is not only the result of innovation and a healthy competitive spirit: it is also determined by many factors related to a company’s location. The most frequently cited factors range from transportation and communication infrastructure, to the level of education of the local populace, to taxation rules. The family friendliness of living and working conditions at a particular location plays an increasingly important role, because it influences people’s preferences concerning where they would like to work.

Balancing work and family life in the region around Berndorf
To discuss the status of the region surrounding the Berndorf AG headquarters in this regard, at the end of October 2019 around 25 business owners took part in a business breakfast in the Berndorf AG canteen, at the invitation of the Triestingtal business forum. Their findings were positive. The Triestingtal area, with Berndorf at its centre, has twice been awarded certification as a “family-friendly region”, making it a pioneer in this field.

From early on, Berndorf Group companies based here have supported the region’s ambition to make work and family life more compatible. Peter Pichler, Berndorf AG Chief Executive Officer and co-host of the business breakfast, emphasised that family friendliness in business is above all a question of putting values into practice in diverse ways.

Examples of family-friendly practices from the Berndorf Group
An example is the “summer bears” technology and creativity summer camp that Berndorf AG has successfully established. For nearly ten years now, Berndorf Group employees have appreciated the opportunity to leave children aged three to 12 in the care of a committed team of supervisors, in cooperation with various Group companies based there, for two weeks of the holidays. Every year between 30 and 50 children take part in this adventure in the Berndorf business park.

The Group’s family friendliness is also evident in day-to-day operations, not only during the holidays. Companies like Berndorf Sondermaschinenbau, which offers young adults a chance to try out their apprenticeship workshop, or Berndorf Bäderbau with its new initiative called “Fathers Bring Their Daughters, Mothers Their Sons – And Vice Versa” have been able to break down barriers and lack of understanding between the worlds of work and family.

A family-conscious corporate culture has developed in the Berndorf Group, which returned to private ownership over 30 years ago, and in which employees and management hold shares. Peter Pichler commented: “Although we aren’t a traditional family business, each of our Group companies embodies a sense of family. This means, in keeping with our 176-year history, we believe in applying cross-generational thinking to how we deal with technology, the environment, and above all with people. Berndorf AG has been the professional home of many families over generations, and we would like that to continue into the future.”