Dec 6, 2017 | Gross-Gerau
For the past eight years, colleagues with disabilities have been working alongside other employees at the Groß-Gerau Technology and Service Center. This integration project is being run by CHG-MERIDIAN in cooperation with the Rhine-Main Workshops for Disabled People and one of their subsidiary workshops, Solvere gGmbH, and receives positive feedback from all those involved.
CHG-MERIDIAN, a specialist in non-captive technology management and financing, operates a state-of-the-art Technology and Service Center in Groß-Gerau, where IT equipment is refurbished at the end of its leasing cycle. This involves using certified processes to securely erase data before the equipment is prepared for remarketing. While CHG-MERIDIAN’s customers benefit by way of receiving extra revenue from disposals, the continued use of the equipment also benefits the environment, as the extension of the assets’ useful life avoids large amounts of potentially hazardous electronic waste.
In Groß-Gerau, the workforce is as diverse as the daily challenges facing it, with technology experts working hand-in-hand with skilled and semi-skilled employees. For the past few years, people with disabilities have also been part of the team. In cooperation with the Rhine-Main Workshops for Disabled People and one of their subsidiary workshops, Solvere gGmbH in nearby Rüsselsheim, CHG-MERIDIAN is making an active contribution to the integration of disabled people into the world of work.
The slightly unusual approach of this project is that CHG-MERIDIAN doesn’t just pass on the work to an external workshop, but instead offers colleagues with disabilities workplaces within the company. “We started this project in 2009 as a pilot with one disabled employee,” says Csaba Kallai, Head of Logistics and Production at the Technology and Service Center. These days we have 13 employees with disabilities who are well integrated with their other colleagues.
Depending on their specific abilities, they perform simple or more demanding tasks, such as matching laptops with the appropriate power supply units. In close coordination with the relevant workshops, the individual employees’ tasks are chosen with a focus on each person and their particular abilities. The employees with disabilities form a separate team, but they can help out in other areas if required. “This organizational structure is the best way of enabling us to address special requirements, such as flexible working times,” Kallai explains.
Everyone involved benefits from the project. At CHG-MERIDIAN, there is not only a positive effect in terms of the perception by others, but also within the company itself. “With integration being part of everyday life, the interaction within all departments is characterized by mutual respect. The employees with disabilities are able to submit their own ideas and improvement suggestions, just like any other employees, which has already stimulated a number of enhancements to company processes,” says Diana Leiherr, Head of Human Resources at CHG-MERIDIAN.
Working for the company, and the associated social contact, enriches the daily life of our colleagues with disabilities. They are always invited to any special events, such as Christmas and summer parties. The result of the employee satisfaction survey which is conducted every two years shows how they perceive their acceptance within the company. According to Kallai: “We regularly get the best ratings from among our employees with disabilities.”