Manufacturing success but not babies!
Germany is the envy of Europe. Love them or hate them they seem to be doing better than most at a lot of stuff. Bayern Munich are dominating the football world, German export levels are the envy of the rest of Europe and its unemployment rate is half that of neighbouring France.
There is one thing they cannot do it seems and that is make babies. Germany’s fertility rate dropped to about 1.4 children per woman in the late 1970’s and has pretty much stayed there, far below the rate of 2.1 children that keeps a population stable. If this continues then their population will shrink by 20% by 2060. Perhaps my fellow partner David Mitchell will get a special advisory assignment, as a father of four young kids, he has certainly done his bit to keep up the Dales population numbers!
On a more serious note they have spent huge sums ($265 billion a year on family subsidies) to try to reverse this trend. The solution lies in remaking values, customs and attitudes but this ultimately is driven by the culture and cannot be changed overnight. Our advisory team does a lot of work helping companies to grow and make the most of the opportunities they have. Whilst all their clients will be different, their challenges often boil down to the same things and one of the biggest is making sure they have a culture which leads to employee engagement.
Employee engagement can drive a company’s performance forward more than any other change you may make. Whilst engagement cannot be bought, we can all create an environment in which it should flourish. That does not mean we should all have soft lighting and throws in our offices and factories but it does mean we should spend some time getting it right.