The German domestic appliances company, Miele, knows how to make staff feel at home. In fact, over half of Miele’s 19,500 employees have been with the company for over 10 years.
“We have colleagues who have worked with the company for up to 40 or 50 years,” says Director for Corporate Quality Management, Dr. Dirk Jeschke. “Miele has always attached great significance to its relationships with employees, and the fluctuation is very low.”
Miele still follows its guiding principles set in 1899 when the company was established: Forever Better. This not only applies to making better products, but also to taking good care of employees.
About ten years ago, Miele started looking for a third-party social certification standard that would help project the company’s high level of social performance. The first Miele factories were certified to SA8000 in 2008. By 2018, all of Miele’s 14 factories—in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, and China—were certified.
“We often get questions from consumers, reporters, and buyers about what we’re doing to ensure corporate social responsibility with respect to social standards. It sounds convincing to be able to say that we have an official third-party certificate,” Jeschke explains.
“We chose to certify our factories to SA8000 because the Standard is short and easy to understand. Still today I am convinced that SA8000 is a very good standard. Thanks to the scope and depth of SA8000 as an independent third-party auditing system, we have been able to reduce the total number of audits in our facilities.”
Applying for an SA8000-certification was not a problem for Miele, which had been complying with the Standard’s requirements for many years. In case any issues arise in Miele’s factories or its suppliers, the company is prepared to respond: they now require that all their suppliers fulfill the same requirements.
“With SA8000, we already have a toolbox on how to respond and continuously improve our social performance,” says Jeschke. “Before entering into a business relationship with a new supplier, we insist that the company operates in accordance with SA8000.”
To learn more about Miele’s CSR strategy, check out the company’s 2017 Sustainability Report.