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Hello, my name is Nathalie Buchhierl and since March 2016 I have been in charge of the Health Management of Continental’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems business unit. Before joining Continental, I worked as a physiotherapist, completed a bachelor’s and master’s degree in health sciences, and worked as a freelance Health Management consultant in the industry.
Now some of you may ask yourself the question: Why does Continental employ health managers? If you read about a healthy company, it usually means the economic situation. But corporate success is impossible without healthy, committed and motivated employees. A permanently high ability to work, which is significantly influenced by the health and well-being of the employees, is a requirement for the performance of a company. Health and safety are therefore an important component of sustainable corporate management at Continental. In May 2010, Continental signed the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the European Union, which lays down the principles for Workplace Health Promotion. Two years later, the guideline “Workplace Health Management at Continental AG” were adopted. It comprises the goals and guiding principles of a sustainable and systematic Health Management.
What does a health manager’s day-to-day work look like? Firstly, I work with many different departments and people. These include the human resources department, work safety, infrastructure, the company doctor, our works council, the management and leaders, employees, external service providers and health insurance companies as well as our central Corporate Safety & Health department. In various working groups, we analyze the health opportunities and risks of our working environment, the state of health and the well-being of our employees. The Continental Health Index, developed by Corporate Health, is one of the tools we use to measure these risks. Based on the survey results, we can develop and implement target group-specific measures. These include workshops on “healthy leadership”, “stress management” and health campaigns such as flu vaccinations and sports courses. An overarching goal of all measures is the prevention of physical and mental illnesses. After the implementation of the offers these are evaluated, and the effectiveness is examined. Among others, our holistic and systematic approach convinced the jury of the Deutschen Personalwirtschaftspreis (German Personnel Management Award) 2019. I am very proud that our Health Management department has won the second place in the category “Workplace Health Management”.
Another topic that I enjoy a lot is the consulting and coaching of employees and leaders. The focus here is on support in personal and organizational change processes. Based on our Continental values #Trust, #For One Another, #Passion To Win and #Freedom To Act, we work together daily on a healthy corporate culture.
The work as a health manager is very diverse and often reminds me of my work as a physiotherapist: You deal with a person (organization) who has different symptoms (for example high sick rate, high fluctuation…). Now it is important to find out which part of the body (departments, work processes, workflows…) is the cause of the symptoms and to treat them with measures. Here, too, the principle applies: “Prevention is better than cure”, which can also be found in our Continental Guidelines.