Preparing the workforce for change
The far-reaching structural adjustments and changes to our processes are crucial to the company's future viability. At the same time, however, they also pose a considerable challenge to our employees in terms of their willingness to embrace change. As part of this, they are having to adjust to such changes as new duties, roles, and processes. We have introduced appropriate training measures to support this transformation to ensure that they are equipped with the necessary skills.
In the reporting period, we again concentrated on educational initiatives in the fields of software and services, with a particular focus on sales-related training. Thanks to centrally organized product training, we also further enhanced our employees' skills in relation to our portfolio and products.
One aspect that was expanded during the reporting year were courses on the topic of "leadership." We consider it as one of our foremost tasks to set up concrete programs and targeted leadership training in order to promote a business culture based on values such as motivation, creativity, expertise, and teamwork.
By providing internal training on project management and seminars on the theme of "managing from a distance," we further developed the skills of our technical managers. In this way, we are giving them the tools to take charge of multidisciplinary projects and tasks.
Applying modern learning methods
We have successfully continued implementing our international Learning Management System. This has enabled our staff to acquire, under their own auspices, the skills and knowledge they need for their ongoing professional development. In the period under review, our employees participated in just over 19,000 days of training via the Learning Management System. This corresponds to an average rate of 2.08 (fiscal 2014/15: 1.63) days of training per employee.
A key focus of such activities involves modern forms of learning such as e-learning and blended learning, which combines traditional classroom-based activities with current e-learning techniques. We also plan to use video-based training to a larger extent.
We are enhancing the skills of our large pool of in-house trainers by means of an innovative and up-to-date "train the trainer" model. This incorporates a systematic training approach in which experts pass on their skills to the experts of the future. In the interest of both sides, where appropriate we test and certify internal training courses to ensure transparency with regard to our employees' skills and to support the transfer of learning.
In order to equip our employees as successfully as possible to deal with the particular tasks they face, we actively encourage the sharing of expertise and experience at an international level. Thus, colleagues from different countries meet in virtual meetings, conduct conferences and training sessions together, and hence share their expertise and relevant information in a prompt and efficient manner.
Staff development interviews
The success of our company hinges on the development and training of our workforce. All supervisors / line managers are expected to conduct an appraisal with each employee at least once a year. During this appraisal, supervisors / line managers should assess and comment on the quality of the employee’s work over the preceding year. They should also give their team members an opportunity to comment on their role and achievements, the working environment, and the performance of their line managers. The employee and manager should then agree on appropriate professional development activities.