The Berlin-based company makes sure its employees are well looked after, providing support for employees and their families, especially throughout the difficult times of the pandemic.
KNAUER was officially recognized as the family friendliest company in Berlin that has more than 100 employees – a great reward for the company’s efforts! This coveted award was given in a prize ceremony at the Haus der Wirtschaft as part of the State competition "Unternehmen für Familie. Berlin 2021" (Businesses for Family, Berlin).
KNAUER was founded almost 60 years ago and has always been a family business.
“Children are our future. Now, in these unsure times the stress and demands of raising a family are especially strong. The balancing act between work, home-schooling and caring for children deserves our respect and our support”, Alexandra Knauer und Carsten Losch – Joint CEOs of KNAUER
For this reason, KNAUER has been making its business as family-friendly for its employees as it can, including extra effort during the pandemic years of 2020/2021 to recognise how hard these times have been for many families.
since 2018 employees have had a holiday home in Ahlbeck on the German island of Usedom just a stones thrown north from Berlin, at their disposal. The apartment is right on the beach, child-safe, and available for booking at highly reduced rates – meaning employees can always have a holiday without breaking the bank. To make sure employees with children get some relief they have booking priority over the school holidays.
The pandemic has hit children especially hard, with them having to bear many of the consequences. Unfortunately, since the outbreak of the pandemic the KNAUER Discovery Club, where groups of school children were introduced to experiments, has had to be put on hold.
With schools and indoor museums closed over most of the pandemic KNAUER thought hard about how they could provide some joy for the children of their employees. The answer was, of course, the Zoo! KNAUER gave every family in the company (45 in total), as an International Children’s Day gift, a year-ticket for the Berlin Zoo, spending 4,660 EUR in total. Whilst providing a happy surprise to many families this also helped support the Berliner Zoo over the course of a difficult lockdown. The tickets were well received with many families visiting the zoo the weekend after receiving them and many happy thanks were given! The company were happy to bring an unlimited number of zoo visits to their employee’s families and hopefully alongside it unlimited joy too! KNAUER hopes parents got to enjoy the zoo too – they too deserv to be rewarded for handling the double demand of months of homeschooling and homeofficing. To try and make this balancing act easier KNAUER eliminated core working hours in 2020.
KNAUER are not running out of ideas to make its business even more family friendly either. Other initiatives that have taken place over the past few years include the introduction of a family bonus of 315 EUR for those welcoming a new child into the world and a colourful baby romper! Later, when the kids are starting school, they receive a school goodie bag to celebrate their first day. Speaking of schools, during the pandemic when schools were running low on disinfectants KNAUER’s lab team produced their own and donated it to schools and nurseries in the neighbourhood and when students were sent home KNAUER donated 5,800 EUR to “Student Aid Berlin” to make sure students had access to laptops.
Employees were protected from corona virus by more than just home office. In 2021 coronavirus vaccinations were offered to employees and their families on-site by their business doctor.
In addition, for more than 10 years KNAUER has provided a “sunshine” room which is full of toys for children to play with. The room is available for any workers who suddenly find they need to look after the kids that day allowing them to still come to work with the childcare provided free of charge and offered by colleagues.
This is just scratching the surface, there are many more small details that show the spirt at KNAUER and that make it a great company for its employees. Due to current growth into new business areas the company currently has positions to fill. Since 1998, KNAUER has also been training apprentices in the technical and commercial fields.