20th September 2005 – The KÜRT Co. received the ‘Family Friendly Workplace Prize 2005’ in the medium sized enterprises category. The prize was presented to the winners by Ms. Kinga Göncz MD Minister of Youth, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities, and by Gábor Csizmár , Minister of Employment and Labour, during results ceremony in Cupola Hall, the great vaulted hall of the MTA (Hungarian Academy of Sciences). KÜRT Co’s prize was received by József Kmetty, Managing Director.
The ’Family Friendly Workplace 2005’ application has been awarded for the 6th time. During the past years nearly 400 applicants have competed, in the small and medium sized enterprises, as well as in the financial company categories. The winners of the competition (announced by the Public Employment Service and the Ministry of Youth, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities on behalf of the Ministry of Employment and Labour) were those companies and organisations, whose provisions took into consideration the employees’ work and family commitments that significantly contributed to their professional success.
Following on from last year, when KÜRT Co won the “Healthy Workplace AmCham Prize” of the American Chamber of Commerce, they have now won first place in the medium sized enterprise category for keeping the employees’ good working conditions and family considerations to the fore.
The jury in awarding the prize, took into consideration such issues as what working time model the employees can choose from, are they smoothing the way for the women to return to work after childbirth, whether the employees receive differential allowances and recognition, attention to health and welfare and also if they have regular company events and activities organised for the family.
The success of the health and family policies at KÜRT Co are demonstrated in many different ways, for example, it is compulsory for all employees to take 10 days of holiday every year in one go so that families can share quality time together.
Another example of employee appreciation are the recently established KÜRT prizes: “The Strongest Link” and the “KÜRTfairy”, which are awarded based on the votes of all company employees. First prize is a weeks holiday for two, the second and third are cash prizes.
The family friendly approach of the company was further improved following the birth of more and more “KÜRT-babies”. This resulted in the management of KÜRT establishing a child day care centre for staff. By eliminating the problems of accommodation and supervision of the children, they can provide further help, helping to support a more balanced and stress-free work environment.
“People are our most valuable resource. It is the knowledge and experience of our colleagues that our company is profiting from every day. Our largest cost is labour, thus their welfare and well being, the maintenance of their mental and physical health play an important role in our personnel management. For KÜRT this is the most important area to maintain” said József Kmetty, Managing Director of KÜRT Co., than adding: “A family friendly approach at a work place, looking at it from a business point of view, is not charity, but a well grasped and understood mutual interest.”
SOME KEY POINTS OF THE FAMILY FRIENDLY POLICIES OF KÜRT Co.
Work time models:
The KÜRT philosophy is that the different working time options have to support the balance between work and private life, in order to allow employees to organise more effectively their time spent at work. Therefore the employees can choose between several options, for example flexitime, part-time (4day week), Job Share, as well as Teleworking or working from home. Based on experience, the alternative working time systems help to keep absenteeism at a low level and at the same time, exponentially increases the quality of work and internal satisfaction.
KÜRT treats its mothers-to-be or employees with a young family with special care
The average age within the company is 33.5 years, and it is (at least in today’s terms) the “peak time” for starting a family. For this reason the mother-to-be gets time-off for all the medical check-ups and preparatory events well before the baby is born, and during pregnancy she is able to organise her work time flexibly.
Following the birth of the child the company provides additional financial assistance -for the birth of a boy, HUF100.000 and at the birth of a girl HUF100.000+1 forint – irrelevant whether it is the father or mother who is working at KÜRT. Depending on demand they also provide tele- project or part-time work opportunities for the mothers at home, in order to contribute to the prosperity of the new families.
“Investment into the grey matter is one of the best investments”
In the knowledge intensive industries in order to keep a competitive edge, continuous development and training is essential, as the rate at which acquired knowledge becomes obsolete is accelerating. This is why KÜRT is providing training opportunities to HE levels in language, professional and IT courses, it is also financing personal development training as well as coaching and mentoring for managers. If the area of further study is not in KÜRT’s profile, the organisation only funds a certain percentage of the costs, but professional training enjoys 100% support both in time and financially.
Health-preservation strategy á la KÜRT
In Hungary ministerial decree (89/1995) compels the employee to organise the employment-health service, and that they provide this type of service for their workers. At KÜRT these expand primarily to preliminary and periodic “fit for the field of work medical assessments”, to work safety, accident and emergency examinations and different screenings (taking over GP tasks, appointment without waiting time and specialist screenings/check-ups according to need). Since the foundation of KÜRT (1989), it has focused on healthy living, for example, for all those who successfully give up smoking – it covers the full cost of the KÜRT funded program (in 2004 three colleagues were able to “throw cigarettes away for good”). In order to reduce the harmful effects originating from physical, chemical or biological conditions, all colleagues are using low radiation and high frequency monitors, LCD panels and precision mouse pads for their daily work and to prevent locomotor problems, they are sitting in ergonomically designed revolving chairs.
The company has its own swimming pool and sauna, ladies receive a monthly aerobic or yoga season ticket, while men play football, the cost of which is covered by KÜRT.
Recognition is a must!
This year they have created new internal prizes in the “Strongest Link” and the “KÜRTfairy” categories. The power of the prizes lies in the fact, that after the votes of all of the employees, a single colleague wins the prize in each category. The first prize winner gets a one week trip for two people (300.000Ft all inclusive), which comes together with the days off during the trip. In addition this prize also carries a huge moral recognition, as it is won based on the opinion of the whole staff. (This year the winning prize was for the Turkish Riviera).
The “open” culture of KÜRT is characterised not only through the organisation of common leisure activities within the organisation, giving an opportunities for family members to join in, but more widely a family centred approach throughout. In addition to the sporting opportunities they organise during the year, there are several other programs that also include family members.
For the pass 16 years family members and their partners have regularly had the opportunity to spend long weekends in one of the Hungarian Hotels. Every annual celebration (Christmas, New Year, Santa Claus, birthdays etc.) is also celebrated with their colleagues and their children.