Operational exercise

Does the operational exercise make sense for your company? Get to know the legal aspects, discover advantages and disadvantages, and boost employee loyalty.

Motiviere Dein Team & unterstütze Deine Region!
Mit unser Regional Hero Card als regionale Sachbezugskarte ist das möglich.
No items found.

In a constantly changing, fast-paced world, it is more important than ever for companies to retain and motivate employees in the long term. It is precisely at this point that operational exercises can play a key role. As partly formal, partly informal promises and habits that regulate certain aspects of the employment relationship, they have a significant influence on the working environment and employee satisfaction. But what exactly are operational exercises and how can they be implemented efficiently? Which legal aspects need to be considered? And what risks could arise from their use? In this informative guide, we would like to address these questions in depth and provide you with valuable knowledge regarding operational exercises. Whether you want to strengthen your company or retain good employees to your team in the long term, the responsible use of operational exercises can make a valuable contribution to this.

1. Introduction to the principle of operational practice

Operational practice is a term of great importance among plant managers and HR experts. But what exactly is behind this concept? Operational exercise, an operational instrument in German employment law, refers to benefits provided by the employer that go beyond those contractually agreed and have become an integral part of the employment relationship due to a certain regularity.

How is an operational exercise created?

An operational exercise is considered to be an action by the company that is carried out regularly and consistently over a certain period of time, without a formal agreement or legal claim. These can include a variety of services, such as recurring bonus payments, additional vacation days or special discounts.

A company exercise therefore results from the repetition of certain voluntary benefits provided by the employer, which then become a habit for employees. It is the regularity of performance that the workforce can rely on that is decisive here.

Why is the principle of operational practice important?

The principle of operational practice is important insofar as employees develop legitimate trust over time that they will receive certain benefits from the company regularly and consistently. This is often associated with a feeling of appreciation and commitment to the company.

As this guide continues, you will learn more about the legal aspects of the operational exercise, its advantages and disadvantages for companies, and implementation strategies. In addition, the role of operational practice as a tool for employee motivation and retention, as well as its potential effects and risks, are discussed.

2. The legal basis and interpretation of the operational exercise

Operational practice is an important concept in employment law that has developed over time and whose legal basis can be found in various sources of law. It originates in case law and is mentioned in the Collective Agreement Act, in the Employment Contract Regulations and in the Works Agreement, but there is no individual law that defines exactly what is meant by a company exercise.

An operational exercise occurs when an employer repeatedly provides a specific service that goes beyond the contractually agreed framework without expressly confirming a specific legal claim. This could be, for example, the Christmas bonus, an additional day of vacation or the payment of contributions to private pension plans. If the employer provides these benefits over a longer period of time and without reservation, they may become an operational exercise for employees. This then has the same legal status as a contractual agreement.

The interpretation of the operational exercise is based both on the behavior of the employer and on that of the employees. For example, if employees receive a specific benefit, such as the Christmas bonus, over a period of years and rely on this benefit to continue to be provided in the future, this can be regarded as a tacit agreement or even as an operational exercise.

Silence as consent

An important point in the interpretation of operational practice is so-called silence. When an employer repeatedly delivers a benefit and employees accept that benefit without objection, this is often interpreted as tacit consent. This means that employees can continue to be entitled to the benefit in the future through their tacit consent.

The reservation of withdrawal

However, an employer can also express a reservation at any time and make it clear that the service provided repeatedly is not based on a contractual agreement and can be withdrawn at any time. However, this reservation must be formulated clearly and comprehensibly and must not disadvantage employees.

There are many subtleties and individual decisions in operational practice law. It is a complex field that offers many opportunities for both employers and employees, but also presents some stumbling blocks. It helps to consult an expert to determine the best and legally secure course of action with regard to operational exercises.

Nachhaltigkeit trifft Mitarbeiterzufriedenheit. Entdecke die Regional Hero Card.

Vereine regionales Engagement mit steuerfreien Arbeitgeberzuschüssen und schaffe einzigartige Mitarbeiter-Benefits.

3. Advantages and disadvantages of operational exercise for companies

As a company, there is always the challenge of creating attractive benefits for employees in order to retain and motivate them in the long term. One way to achieve this goal is through the so-called operational exercise. These are recurring benefits or conduct by the employer that lead to expectations among employees and can therefore be legally binding.

Benefits of operational exercise

The introduction of operational exercises offers many advantages. A first and significant positive aspect is that you can use it to strengthen employee loyalty. Through regular performance appreciated by employees, you create an additional incentive that improves the working atmosphere and can increase team satisfaction. Operational exercises can range from bonuses such as Christmas bonuses to flexible working hours and free food.

Operational exercises also serve to increase productivity and motivation within the work group. And finally, through operational exercises, you can also have a positive effect on the outside world and position your company as an attractive employer.

Disadvantages and risks of operational exercises

Despite the many advantages, operational exercises can also have disadvantages and risks. On the one hand, they can create legal liabilities for the company. If a benefit is granted by the employer over a longer period of time, it can become an operational exercise and therefore be legally binding. Unilateral changes are then only possible under certain conditions and often only with the consent of employees.

Furthermore, every additional offer increases the financial risk for the company. It is important that you always keep an eye on the costs that arise from operational exercises and ensure that they are sustainable in the long term.

Ultimately, the challenge lies in finding the right amount of operational exercises and managing them well. This is the only way they can fully exploit their benefits without burdening the company financially or legally. How this is achieved can depend both on internal factors such as the size of the company and on external influences such as the market situation. It is therefore advisable to obtain detailed information and advice in advance.

4. Strategies for implementing operational exercises

The introduction of operational exercises is an important step for any company that wants to improve its corporate culture and employee-oriented practices. However, this can be a challenge. So how can an operational exercise be successfully implemented?

Define the objectives of the operational exercise

First, it's important to define your company's goals and needs. Ask yourself which area should the operational exercise focus on. Should it be used, for example, to improve employee loyalty, promote team spirit or increase productivity in everyday working life? Such goals should be clearly defined and communicated so that all employees are informed about the purpose of the operational exercise.

Develop a concrete concept

Once the goals have been clearly defined, the next step is to develop a concrete concept. The operational exercise should be practicable and feasible. A good approach can be, for example, to use existing operational exercises from other companies as inspiration and to adapt them to your own company situation.

Communication and involvement of all stakeholders

Successful implementation of operational exercises requires open and transparent communication. It is important to involve everyone involved — from management to employees — in the process. This not only increases understanding of operational practice, but also strengthens acceptance among employees.

Continuous review and adjustment

Finally, the operational exercise should not be considered static. It is important to review them continuously and adjust them if necessary. Feedback from employees can be a valuable help in this regard. This allows your company to remain flexible and adapt to changing conditions.

With the right strategy, implementing operational exercises can make a significant contribution to improving corporate culture and employee retention. It is therefore important to take enough time to plan and implement.

Nachhaltigkeit trifft Mitarbeiterzufriedenheit. Entdecke die Regional Hero Card.

Vereine regionales Engagement mit steuerfreien Arbeitgeberzuschüssen und schaffe einzigartige Mitarbeiter-Benefits.

5. Operational exercise as a tool for employee motivation and retention

Operational practice can offer much more than just legal security — it can be a decisive tool for motivating and retaining employees. Used correctly, operational exercises can not only increase satisfaction in the work environment, but also strengthen employee loyalty to the company. There are various approaches to using operational exercises to motivate and retain employees.

Establishment of participation models

Operational exercises can form the basis for various participation models and thus promote participation in entrepreneurial goals. Whether bonus payments, profit sharing or employee shares — they can all be regarded as operational exercises and contribute to employee motivation.

Fostering team spirit

Joint activities and traditions, which are established as operational exercises, strengthen team spirit and a sense of belonging. Whether it's an annual summer party, regular team events, joint continuing education or other activities, they can all have a positive impact on employee retention.

Tax-free employer subsidies

Another, often underrated approach to employee retention is tax-free employer subsidies. They represent an additional financial benefit, but can be awarded as part of a company exercise. Such grants are particularly effective because they appeal to employees not only financially but also on an emotional level by showing the company's appreciation.

Strengthening the regional economy

Commitment to the local economy can also be introduced as a corporate exercise and has a motivating effect on employees. They see that their employer not only strives for economic profit, but also social benefits, which strengthens the sense of identification with the company.

By using operational exercises as a tool for employee motivation and retention, you create a sustainable and future-proof commitment of your employees to your company. Therefore, regard operational exercises not only as a legal construct, but as an important component of your corporate culture and personnel strategy.

6. Effects and potential risks of operational exercise

Operational exercises can have both positive and negative effects. In order for you to implement the concept correctly and achieve the desired results, a profound understanding of the potential effects and risks, both legally and economically, is crucial.

Effects on motivation and employee retention

Using operational exercises can significantly improve employee motivation and retention. By offering your employees additional benefits and perks, you show them that you value their achievements and recognize their loyalty. In the long term, this approach can result in higher satisfaction scores, lower staff changes and greater commitment.

Positive effects on corporate culture and worker morale

Operational exercises can also help establish a strong and positive corporate culture. They convey values such as fairness, respect and appreciation, which can positively influence worker morale and increase job satisfaction.

Legal Implications and Risks

Despite the many positive aspects, legal effects and risks also accompany the implementation of operational exercises. These exercises can become legally binding and oblige the company to provide ongoing services. For example, if a company pays out a Christmas bonus once a year, it may be legally bound to continue this in the coming years. It is therefore important that you know and comply with the regulations in detail to avoid potential legal risks.

Business risks

From a business perspective, considerable costs can arise, especially if the operational exercises include generous benefits. It is therefore essential that you consider the cost-benefit calculation when designing operational exercises so as not to fall into a cost trap.

In summary, operational exercises offer both numerous benefits and risks. Whether the positive aspects outweigh the potential disadvantages depends to a large extent on careful planning and implementation.

Any more questions?

Everything you want to know — simply explained.

What is a cash benefit card?

A benefit card in kind is a tool with which companies can provide their employees with tax-free benefits in kind. The Regional Hero Card is a special benefit card that aims to promote the local economy. The card works like a prepaid credit card and can be used at all acceptance points that accept Mastercard. Employers can conveniently top up the cards with tax-free benefits in kind, which employees can then use in shops and services in their region. The Regional Hero Card provides a convenient way to provide employees with tax-free benefits while supporting and strengthening the local economy. It promotes employee loyalty to the company and contributes to the attractiveness of the workplace. The card can be used both online and offline and is supported by a user-friendly app that helps employees discover local offers and keep an eye on their available amount.

How do companies and employees benefit from a benefits card?

Companies and employees benefit from a benefit card in kind, such as the Regional Hero Card, in various ways. Companies can pass on tax-free benefits in kind to their employees and thus increase employee motivation and retention. By supporting the local economy, they also improve their corporate image and contribute to the sustainable development of the region. Employees benefit from tax-free benefits that increase their disposable income and have the opportunity to support local businesses and services. The Regional Hero Card helps them discover the diversity of their region and promotes awareness of the importance of the local economy. Overall, the card therefore creates added value for everyone involved.

What tax-free benefits in kind can companies offer with a benefits card?

With a benefit card such as the Regional Hero Card, companies can offer their employees various tax-free benefits in kind. In Germany, for example, benefits in kind of up to 600€ per year and employee are tax-free, in addition, 180€ per year and employee can be granted for personal events such as birthdays or anniversaries. The tax-free benefits in kind include meal vouchers, vouchers for local shops, leisure facilities or cultural events. The Regional Hero Card allows companies to easily and conveniently pass on these tax-free benefits to their employees while supporting the local economy.

How can I order and activate the Regional Hero Card?

To order the Regional Hero Card for your company, please use the contact field on our website to make an appointment with us. In an online meeting, we will discuss the requirements and the desired number of cards for your employees. As soon as the cards have been ordered, your employees will receive the physical card by post or the digital card via email. The Regional Hero Card is activated via the corresponding app. Your employees must download the app on their smartphone and log in with their personal details. They then enter the activation code that they received with the card. After successful activation, the card is ready for use and the credit can be used at participating stores and service providers. The app also provides an overview of the current balance and the option to view transactions.

How does the Regional Hero Card contribute to sustainability and strengthening the local economy?

The Regional Hero Card contributes to the sustainability and strengthening of the local economy by allowing employees to spend their tax-free credit with regional businesses and service providers. In this way, the money flows directly into the local economy, which helps to secure jobs, support local companies and strengthen purchasing power in the region. By specifically promoting the local economy, sustainability is improved as transport routes are shorter and local resources are used. This results in a reduction in the ecological footprint. In addition, the Regional Hero Card promotes awareness of the importance of the local economy and the benefits of shopping with regional suppliers. By combining tax-free benefits for employees and supporting regional companies, the Regional Hero Card helps create a sustainable and economically strong community.

Exclusive insights, inspiring offers and good stories. From Regional Hero for you.

Stay informed
(and engaged).