Gira and sustainability
Report 2020

Reducing stress and improving working conditions Health and safety at work is not just about the physical stresses and strains that employees are exposed to. Nowadays the focus is just as much on their mental health. A survey carried out by the German Federal Statistical Office in 2013 showed that more than one fifth of employees in Germany have suffered from mental health problems at work. As part of its Occupational Safety and Health Management programme, Gira is also increasingly investigating psychological stress in the workplace, as Benjamin Ackermann from the Safety and Environment department explains.






Steering Committee [Works Council, HR, Health and Safety, Sustainability Management, company doctor]

Anonymous pilot survey of around 200 employees in compliance with the BAAM procedure

Analysis and development of measures and solutions

Completed by all employees

What are the main causes of stress in the workplace?
Benjamin Ackermann: The content of an employee's job, the work environment and organisation, leadership, social relationships in the workplace, objectives, the bonus system and also the corporate culture and any changes that are being introduced can all have an influence on an employee's mental state. In addition, physical complaints can lead to increased mental stress.

What approach is Gira taking in this area?
Benjamin Ackermann: Gira has set up a steering committee consisting of representatives from the works council, HR, health and safety and sustainability management and our company doctor. Together we have selected a procedure for assessing stress in the workplace at Gira, as specified by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, looked for a service provider with experience in this area and identified the Berufsforschungs- und Beratungsinstitut für interdisziplinäre Technikgestaltung e.V. (BIT e.V.). At the end of 2016, we ran a pilot project which involved an anonymous survey of 220 employees from the customer centre and the development and assembly departments on the subject of stress in the workplace and its impact on the employees' own jobs. The aim of the project was to gain initial experience of the survey method. Employees from the individual departments then took part in workshops to analyse the results and to come up with ideas about how the difficulties that had been identified could be reduced. Together with the relevant managers, we are currently in the process of evaluating the employees' proposals so that we can put in place specific measures and inform the employees about what we are doing.


Benjamin Ackermann, Lutz
Faßbender, Christine
Kaminski, Gerrit Lotz, Dr.
Annemarie Schneider, Dr.
Kay Diana Schröder,
Ricarda Soyck-Lockner

Berufsforschung- und
Beratungsinstituts für
Technikgestaltung e.V. (BIT

"Changes in the world of work have led to significant increases in psychological stress at the workplace in Germany in recent years. At Gira, we are taking an in-depth approach to this subject with the aim of improving occupational health and safety management."

Benjamin Ackermann, safety and environment department

What did the steering committee learn from the pilot survey?
Benjamin Ackermann: The steering committee was impressed by the procedure and the collaboration with the consultants worked well. We have modified the questionnaires so that we can record information about the different types of stress in each department. There is no specific method available for evaluating the employees' potential solutions, because the types of work at Gira are too complex. However, there are ways in which we can make the survey more efficient in future.

What was the response from the employees?
Benjamin Ackermann: We will only be able to say once we have finished evaluating the potential solutions, identified the necessary measures and informed the employees about them, but a significant proportion of the employees took part in the survey and in the workshops. However, we are not yet certain whether simply evaluating mental stress at work will help to reduce it in practice. We are counteracting this potential problem by ensuring that our communication is transparent.


of employees in
Germany state
that they have experienced psychological stress

at the workplace.




Gira and sustainability
Report 2020