Success Factor Employee Retention

How does a firm operating internationally and manufacturing exclusively in Germany manage to be successful in the textile market despite stiff competition? MP participants from Egypt found the answer to this question during a visit to TRIGEMA, an enterprise owned by the Grupp family. Founded in 1919, TRIGEMA is today one of the largest manufacturers of sportswear in Germany. The firm, which has 1,200 employees, manufactures its products entirely in Germany and supplies high-quality sportswear and casual clothing. TRIGEMA considers safeguarding local production sites and thus increasing the prosperity of the community as a duty.

The enterprise has not experienced redundancy or short-time work since 1969. TRIGEMA provides vocational training in the areas of production, administration and sales for 40-50 young people each year. The firm guarantees its employees’ children a vocational training place or job when they finish school. TRIGEMA has been producing high-quality and at the same time biodegradable textiles since 2006 with its “Trigema Change” range.

The initial contact between Managing Director Wolfgang Grupp and a few Egyptian MP participants already took place in 2016 and left a lasting and positive impression. The thread was picked up again in 2018, when the executives had a look at the production and storage buildings in Burladingen. A short film on the company’s history was followed with a guided tour of the plant, which lasted approx. two hours and provided sufficient opportunity to ask detailed questions regarding production processes, for example on the fabric production or dyeing of the fabric. Thanks to the excellent technical equipment with microphones and individual headsets, each participant was always able to take part in the communication despite the loud machinery. They not only gained insights into the production and processing of fabric, but also into the central logistics and administration. After the tour, there was a brief question and answer session with Managing Director Wolfgang Grupp, arranged specially for the Egyptian managers. Grupp provided an impressive and very personal presentation of his enterprise and answered all types of questions. He described, for instance, how a family-friendly work-life balance enables employees to always produce high quality and still spend enough time with their families. He was also very interested in the Programme and the backgrounds of the individual Egyptian company representatives. As most of the Egyptian entrepreneurs come from family-owned enterprises in diverse generations, they were surprised that Grupp as the managing director works in an open-space office and is always available for his employees’ questions and concerns. Grupp considers a trustful and respectful relationship with employees to be at the core of successful and sustainable corporate management. Family succession in corporate management is also an important topic for the future for the Egyptian executives.

The visit to TRIGEMA showed the Egyptian managers a sound and sustainable approach to the planning, application and supervision of a family-friendly way of working. Hence, the corporate management within the family-owned firm TRIGEMA encouraged the MP participants to ask numerous questions far beyond the textile industry.

For some of the executives, the visit to TRIGEMA was a lasting source of inspiration, and they intend to implement the open-space character with its short and efficient means of communication in their own enterprises. The managers also assessed the family-friendly attitude among the staff as very valuable.