Siemens AG, Germany: Training and development
Siemens AG is one of Germany’s leading technology companies. It operates in the fields of information and communications, automation and control, power, transportation, medical solutions and lighting. The company employs a total of 460,800 people worldwide, including 124,000 women, who represent about 27% of its global workforce. Some 165,000 employees work for Siemens in Germany. With its continuing reputation as an attractive employer, it appeals to qualified young professionals.
Siemens is very active in the training of young people and in developing its staff competencies. Some 158,300 employees (corresponding to ...view middle of the document...
Special introductory and support courses with a focus on business economics and personality development for employees aged between 30 and 40 years were available to facilitate their efforts. After an introductory phase in research and development, these younger employees were expected to move on to a job in management. Thus, the researchers were not only supposed to carry out research but were also to become acquainted with the operational side of the business and its clients.
It soon became apparent that older staff members – those who were aged above 40 years – in these departments were annoyed that they had not been made a comparable offer by management. They often felt trapped in a career dead-end despite the fact that most of them were highly qualified.
Indeed, there was a widespread perception that the company’s overall personnel development processes primarily focused on younger staff members. An employee survey of the 2,000 employees in the central technology department in Munich and Erlangen substantiated this perception, indicating that the over 40s age group was most dissatisfied with their situation because of limited development opportunities and insufficient regard for individual capabilities.
This situation represented a problem in financial terms for the company due to employees’ lack of motivation and the less than optimal deployment of older employees. Consequently, the company developed the ‘compass process’ in partnership with the consulting firm Compass Team Consulting. This personnel development measure primarily aims to motivate employees and foster their continuing commitment to work for 20 more years, as the company seeks to better utilise the resources of its well-paid and highly qualified employees.
The compass process offers older employees an opportunity for further education, based on a workshop and professional orientation. After four months, the workshop is followed by a seminar that aims to identify and assess the employee’s goals. The overall objectives are to make the employee the ‘driver of his/her own development’, to establish the individual competence profile, to define concrete implementation steps for the individual’s professional future and to give the employee more responsibility for organising his/her work tasks. These objectives result in a range of targets or projects for staff members, including: individual competence development; undertaking new tasks in their previous fields of activity; a change of job within the company or outside; or even changes in their private life circumstances.
In detail, the compass process consists of the following modules:
The process begins with an introductory phase, in which the participants reflect on their life and professional biography and get a ‘360°-feedback’ on their personal strengths and weaknesses from colleagues, executives and clients. A...