HR Round Table at CBS: Three insights into the HR World

All Categories, Inside CBS   -  16. August 2018

About 50 human resources specialists, people interested in HR, lecturers and students came to the HR Round Table 2018. Since the event was initiated by Prof. Dr. med. Irene López and Thomas Buck (HR Information Systems) they had invited HR experts as speakers with exciting insights into the HR World to the Cologne Business School. The presentations concentrated on the issues feedback culture, AI-assisted recruiting and the importance of internal relationship maintenance after an insolvency.

How to give feedback effectively

Eike Reinhardt and Daniel Goetz, Managing Directors of Agateno Organisationsberatung (Agateno Organizational Consulting) held the first presentation on “How to give my employees the right feedback”. They particularly recommended to formulate praise and criticism in a way that it is well perceived by the employee. Both speakers gave helpful advice to the audience on how to conduct feedback talks: The employee has to be involved in the conversation right from the start. He could be asked, for example, to evaluate his own work performance. HR managers should also develop a sense of nonverbal communication. Especially for future CBS graduates with ambition to quickly move up in leading position feedback culture is an issue with high relevance.

Candidates go on job shopping tour

Nico Wittig, HR Consultant of Talents Connect, focused in his speech on the changing expectations of candidates and new opportunities for HR departments resulting from this change.

In times with great demand for well-educated employees hardly any company can afford to lose good candidates due to complicated or lengthy processes. Application processes will be carried out as digital as possible in the future. Where do HR managers nowadays get inspiration for optimizing their processes from? Nico Wittig’s answer: From ecommerce!

Talents Connect’s approach is to use their ecommerce learnings for process efficiency and job matching. This approach aims at turning job application into an experience with high user satisfaction: Job offers have to match accurately with the candidates’ profiles and responses must be given very fast through user-oriented processes. In a nutshell, a candidate no longer seeks for a job, but he finds it. Even the recruiter benefits from these optimized processes: He only contacts relevant candidates and thus, saves a lot time for selecting the best candidate.

How does insolvency have an adverse effect on employee motivation?

Iris Wagner, Head of Human Resources of Nicko Cruises River Reisen GmbH, answered this justified question at the HR round table. In her experience there is often too little talk about the staff motivation in the course of acquisitions and insolvencies. The managing director is usually focussing on the question of how many jobs can be retained. However, the relationship between the employees and the company would often be barely noticed in such situations. This can be a disaster for a company, said Iris Wagner. She continued that a survey conducted among the employees of Nicko Cruises confirmed that there is relation between insolvency and employee motivation. After Nicko Cruises had been taken over by Swiss investment company Capvis Equity Partners, the management realized that the relationship between the employees and the companies has been compromised for a long time. The situation was indeed critical, so that the HR department wondered to what extent HR work can influence insolvency.

As a first measure, the HR department carried out a classic employee survey. Iris Wagner emphasized that it is particularly important to have results followed by deeds. Otherwise you can save yourself the effort or even more: “To carry out a survey without considering its results genuinely is a slap in the employees’ faces,” as pointed out by Iris Wagner. According to the survey results the low motivation could be traced back to the dwindling confidence in the company’s management. The identified issues were subsequently resolved with traditional HR tools including consolidation of employment contracts, frequent employee talks at eye level, incentives for the employees or free fruit bowls. The result: The employees have been more focussed at work which has influenced positively on their performance. The number of employees has risen steadily and there have been hardly any dismissals.

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