CHG, the family firm
The CHG story began in the laundry room of the Gelf household, where Jürgen Gelf would go after he came home from work to make telephone calls and send telexes. He dictated contracts to his wife and she typed up her shorthand notes the next day on an IBM golf-ball typewriter. Business was good and after a few years the qualified telecommunications technician was able to give up his day job and devote himself full-time to the new company.
When the first employees were hired, Gelf moved the office into another apartment in the same building. It made for a homely atmosphere. And that remained the case as the company grew and a total of 15 staff occupied three of the four apartments in the building. CHG bought a building plot nearby and at the end of 1986 the company was able to move into its brand-new office block in Berg.
The spur-of-the-moment sailing trips of the 1980s are still talked about today. The boss loved to take his staff out on Lake Constance. "For Jürgen Gelf it was always important to make sure that his staff were happy," says Michael Weiß, who has been at CHG since 1984. The company has preserved this spirit. CHG‑MERIDIAN shows that it values its employees in a variety of ways: providing good catering, offering company crèche places for small children, supporting team events, and arranging various cultural activities, to name but a few.
In 2012 CHG-MERIDIAN was awarded TOP Employer in the TOP JOB competition. The commendation highlighted the excellent communication, the team spirit, and the culture of collaborative problem-solving. The company still practices an open-door policy, relations between staff are courteous without being overly formal (people use the more formal 'Sie' form but address each other by their first names), and cross-organizational events are held where staff from the different sites can get to know one another.
CHG-MERIDIAN's commitment to its roots in the Upper Swabia region is reflected in its corporate citizenship. Since the 2003/2004 season, it has been the primary sponsor of the Ravensburg Towerstars ice hockey team, which plays in the DEL2, the second tier of the German league. In addition to professional sport, CHG‑MERIDIAN also supports young athletes and sports teams in Ravensburg and at other locations.
In 2011 the company won the 'SME prize for civic engagement in Baden-Württemberg'. The award mentioned the long-standing support for a retreat in Reute that allows people to take time out away from the stresses of their everyday lives. CHG‑MERIDIAN is involved in a wide range of social responsibility activities. In 2013, for example, it spent a total of €310,000 funding various initiatives. Since 2014 the staff have also been involved in CSR activities, in the form of the CARE initiative. They can nominate social projects within their region that they then organize and CHG‑MERIDIAN supports with funding and other resources.
Read more about the technoloy of CHG-MERIDIAN here