In 2012, STIHL Qingdao launched a very special project: planting trees on the plant premises. It serves as a visible sign of respect and appreciation that STIHL shows to its employees. The project also aims to enhance awareness of environment protection.
The idea of looking for “tree sponsors” amongst the staff was suggested by employees. Since the tree sponsorship project first began, 167 trees have been planted in Qingdao.
Lisa Song and her tree
There were 696 employees on average working at STIHL in Qingdao, China in 2014. Lisa Song joined STIHL in March 2006, making her one of the employees who has been at the Qingdao location since it opened. “People remain with STIHL longer than they do at other companies. The rate of turnover amongst salaried employees is only half that of the regional average. In my opinion, the respect and appreciation that the company shows us play an important role in this regard,” she says.
Long-standing employees, such as Lisa Song, have the right to plant a tree on the factory premises. “When the project started, we were all very excited. In China, a tree sponsorship like this is a special sign of a shared bond. People who choose to plant a tree demonstrate in doing so that they are ‘rooted’ with STIHL.”
Lisa Song has now planted two trees in her life. The first one she planted with a fellow student in middle school as a sign of their friendship. The second tree she planted on the STIHL premises in Qingdao. “I have grown with the company. When I started, I only had a few years of professional experience to my name and was not married at the time. We were working temporarily in a container, since the plant had not been built yet. Now I have a husband and a son − and our STIHL plant is not only finished, but it has already been expanded.”
Lisa Song has grown in terms of her career as well. She began as an accountant in 2006 and, after just one year, she became head of the accounting department. After that, she switched to controlling and later seized the opportunity to take a posting at the German headquarters in Waiblingen. Lisa Song is now in charge of finance, controlling and IT at the Chinese plant. “You can see the company grow every day. We all work hard to ensure that it continues. I’m happy to do everything I can here. It gives me great joy to look at the personal success I’ve achieved.”
Lisa Song planted a crape myrtle in Qingdao. “My tree is a visible sign of respect and appreciation that STIHL shows to its employees,” she says.