Much more important to us than the machines we deal with are the people we work with. First and foremost, these are our valued employees!
Even though ultra-modern CNC technology is fascinating, we humans are more enthusiastic than computers, robots and artificial intelligence.
We strive for the well-being of our employees, for beneficial working conditions, close cooperation, mutual understanding as well as compensation, relief and assistance.
The following three pages reveal how we achieve this.
An important part of the recruitment process at Höchsmann is our exceptional applicant questionnaire. Here are some sample questions, answered by employees:
Managing Director Stefan Höchsmann
You walk along a narrow, asphalted dirt road and watch a car approaching you. Seemingly without noticing you, the driver rushes past you with a forward glance and unbraked at 50 km/h. You feel the breeze. What do you think about the driver?
"The driver is probably very focused on his destination, so that he hardly notices his fellow human beings. When someone puts me in danger, outrage is one of my reaction patterns. But I shouldn′t be too critical in such situations, because I too have often overlooked the people around me because of my focus on my goal. I am aware that my drive towards my goals is very helpful in business, but it can also cause damage in relationships. In this regard, the advice "And why do you take note of the grain of dust in your brother′s eye, but take no note of the bit of wood which is in your eye?"* has changed my thinking. In everyday business life, where there is enough conflict, it is good for a working atmosphere if you first analyse your own weaknesses and mistakes before rebuking others.
*The bible: Matthew 7,3"
Regional Manager Robert Tissen
How do you protect yourself from getting burnout?
"In recent years, we have heard more and more about cases where friends, acquaintances, business partners etc. are affected by burnout. It was simply all "too much".
Not infrequently, this is accompanied by negative long-term consequences.
In my perception, it is mainly the 30 to 50-year-olds who are challenged and at the same time want to give 100% in their job, family, relationships, voluntary work etc. In fact, this period seems to me to be the most intensive so far. (Of course, I cannot yet say what challenges are still to come).
But I make the observation that not only those are affected who simply have a lot on their plate, but rather those who take their tasks very seriously, who want to please everyone, who have high expectations of themselves and who collapse under a variety of pressures.
I would like to limit myself to just one thing that helps me not to collapse under the challenges of life and my very extensive responsibilities: Prioritizing.
I must admit that I have advantages from my personality structure over people who are very factual and detail-oriented. I am usually very superficial and only go into detail when I really have to. There are people who are by nature accurate and thorough and only go into "bird′s eye view" when it is necessary. These people usually find it harder to prioritize.
In my area of responsibility, prioritization plays a very important role in being successful. What is on the agenda now, what can wait, and what has to be done now in a very precise and detailed way? If I go by the book and work things off without prioritizing them, I will be left with tasks that may be more important at this moment.
Tasks will accumulate if I don′t learn to do things only roughly and superficially that don′t need intensive attention.
At the same time, I have to work on prioritizing tasks not "pleasure-oriented" but "fact/goal-oriented" - this is a big challenge for me."
Product Manager Titus Polei
How do you deal with crises or disagreements with superiors?
"Since 2003 I have been working at Höchsmann GmbH with a short interruption. At that time the team consisted of 35 employees, who worked in Klipphausen except for the managing director. In the years that followed, the company grew in every respect, which is also reflected in the number of employees, now around 100, a large proportion of whom now work from outside. Such growth processes are not without tension and I have sometimes wondered what kept me in the company even in times of crisis - in contrast to many a colleague who left.
For a long time I worked as an assistant in the active purchasing department and in the negotiations I was often between our buyer and the customer who offered us his machine(s). Since I thought I was able to empathize very well with the customer, it was sometimes not easy for me to represent the point of view of my colleagues. How to deal with this? Here and in other situations the observation of my superiors helped me: What is their basic attitude? What is the result of their actions? As a result, I learned to better understand an emotionally stressful situation.
My own two years of experience as a self-employed person and employer also helped me to better understand some of their decisions. They earned me respect for the entrepreneurial skills of our managers and the responsibility they bear for this company and its employees. And here, too, I made the experience that whenever I could not deviate from my opinion and expressed it objectively, it was heard and taken into account.
Today, I can say that the circumstances that were felt to be unpleasant at the moment were precisely those that both brought about positive changes in me and have brought us as a company ever further forward. Sometimes you have to be humbled by the fact that you are dependent on your counterpart. Accepting help and giving unsolicited help creates an atmosphere of trust that releases strength. I am very happy to work in this company with such diverse and precious people."
Manager & Authorized Officer Mathias Tempel
Why do you like going to work?
"Others can sell better than me. I′ve never been much of a linguist.
I just didn′t want to do paperwork. Bad prerequisites for working for an internationally active machine dealer, isn′t it?
Nevertheless, my gifts and strengths are in demand in the Höchsmann community because they are excellently complemented by like-minded people - for example
... because we have been able to win over many young people and career changers for proactive cooperation. They go their own way in a goal-oriented manner, build up expert knowledge and expand our opportunities. Some of them manage departments and bear a lot of responsibility. That impresses me.
... because we have a strong technics department. As a trained engine mechanic, I like technology and machines, the unique sounds and situations that arise when workpiece, tool and machine interact. And now I can see every day what our service team dares to tackle, what challenges they master. That motivates me.
... because there are colleagues who have built up unique experiences, always have an open ear, can quickly think their way into new tasks and argue constructively and well-founded. They are one reason why I often go home with the feeling that I have achieved something for the common good of the company. That fulfils me.
... because we employ programmers to whom we owe such ingenious things as our websites, by far the best used machinery marketing system on the market, the ingenious machine evaluation WOOD TEC VALUE and many problem solutions in IT emergencies. That fascinates me.
... because I think the company ′Höchsmann′ is in top shape. In uncertain times, we looked for alternatives early on. When things were going well, we invested in employees, in exhibition space, ... in our future. We diligently gathered specialist knowledge, saw complaints as an opportunity for improvement, constantly analysed our environment - the customers, the competition, the market, the machines, the potential of the employees.
And this always resulted in new impulses - often clearly presented by Stefan, my boss, who once called me neighbour in his book ′Gegen den Strom der Gestressten′, who trusted me; whom I trust.
Which brings me to the heart of the matter: Trust in employees.
As I have learned in 25 years of working for the company, Höchsmann GmbH has never been perfect. But it offered freedom for personal development, it pushed for necessary change, it made unusual decisions, it never stood still, it made itself small rather than too big and has been very successful in doing so. That′s what drives me on.
And that′s why I like to go back to work and like to contribute with my skills."
Office Manager Maximilian Suchoff
Skim the 12 Höchsmann values of
Corporate culture with the corresponding explanations. What do you notice? What do you think about it?
"Values before profit? In the modern, money- and power-oriented business world, this sounds strange, disconcerting, for some perhaps risky or even provocative.
Of course, this does not mean that the Höchsmann company is a charitable institution. We live from the profits we generate with our business. But that is not our ultimate goal - to always have more, and more, and more of it, no matter what the cost. And that′s probably what I value most about my employer.
In contrast, my former employer did not allow me to live out such values as honesty or justice consistently. An example I have in mind: unjustified discounts on supplier invoices on the grounds that "they depend on our orders; they won′t get in touch anyway". And as the last decisive reason: "Do you know how much money it is if you add up all the discounts we would not deduct?" There′s profit before and above all else.
The Höchsmann company has chosen a different path. We want to grow, yes, grow economically, but we have written right at the top of our corporate philosophy: "Economic stability through solid values". I am happy and consider it a privilege to work for a value-based company."