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BSH Belong: I am because we are. The inclusive initiative by BSH Australia

BSH Belong: I am because we are. The inclusive initiative by BSH Australia

Reading time for this article: 6 minutes

The Australian BSH Team successfully implemented new formats for a better work environment with a clear focus on both personal and communal benefits. The improvements that their initiatives showed so far can serve as a huge inspiration for other BSH locations – read more about them.

New challenges call for new initiatives

BSH Australia pioneered with “BSH Belong” a collaborative project that proved to be a best practice for bottom-up initiatives to strengthen the commitment and enjoyment within professional teams. The purpose and the vision of this endeavor were clear from the very beginning: Different perspectives, ideas and opinions are supposed to get even more room through inclusion and collaboration, to improve corporate culture, organizational performance, and results.

From launch at Diversity Day to new work during a pandemic

The concept “BSH Belong” had its kick-off at BSH Australia at the company-wide Diversity Day in July 2019. It was launched at the Diversity, Inclusion, Collaboration Committee, November 2019, and showed its full potential during the challenges that COVID posed on the BSH team during 2020 when human connection was fundamental to maintain the much-needed support of the colleagues.

Community centered Ubuntu philosophy as a core value

The slogan for BSH Belong “I am because we are.” was derived from the Ubuntu culture in Africa, that distances itself from competitive and ego-centric thinking and instead proposes an approach for everyone to benefit from. 

BSH Belong was born out of this attitude and the wish thereby to spread happiness in a professional environment via human connections. With the full support of the management and the HR department, a committed group of colleagues developed different ways how to incorporate this philosophy into the daily business.

From fun activities to addressing main concerns – BSH Belong provides the platform for both

The concept from BSH Australia encompasses many ideas to foster an inclusive and productive environment with a focus on the community, like fun activities such as a BSH Pub Quiz. A big request for the BSH Belong team was also to provide safe spaces for presenting new ideas, how the team could change the things that caused concerns. They organized a space to develop new ways of working together and strengthen the regional BSH culture. The concrete pitches can lead a long way: Implemented ideas include new dialog formats like “Coffee Connections” and “Toastmasters”, flexible working arrangements, and monthly birthday cake celebrations. Even the smaller gestures of respect and acknowledgment can better the culture of validation and appreciation. 

Physical and mental health & Transparent communication 

Remote work and the challenging situation in 2020 proved to be particularly hard for mental health. An initiative by colleagues aims to better the mental health conditions through regular joint physical exercises. Pilates classes were offered to relieve stress, reduce the risk of injury (especially important for home office situations), boost energy levels and improve health from the inside out.

Interstate initiatives across the whole continent of Australia were enabled through remote communication that was sped up by the necessity to connect digitally due to the pandemic. Ways to keep in touch and communicate transparently despite remote work featured a virtual Q & A with the teams’ Directors. It is an open, casual format to ask any questions, connect with the directors, divided by departments or in mixed sessions to get to know the topics in other departments. 

BSH all over the world.

BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, with a total turnover of some EUR 15.6 billion and 62,000 employees in 2022, is a global leader in the home appliance industry. The company’s brand portfolio includes eleven well-known appliance brands like Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau and Neff as well as the ecosystem brand Home Connect and service brands like Kitchen Stories. BSH produces at 40 factories and is represented in some 50 countries. BSH is a Bosch Group company.