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Personnel development is not rocket science

What can companies do to have the right employees in the right place at the right time? We asked two experts.

Employees are the most important success factor for a successful future. But how should this resource be managed? We spoke with Claudio Marchioro and Leyla Kolcu, responsible for company-wide talent management and training at Interroll.

What’s the secret of successful talent management?

Claudio Marchioro: You need to have a clear idea of your company’s medium- and long-term business goals. Otherwise, you’ll stumble blindfolded through the personnel development process and find yourself reacting, more or less in panic, to a sudden need for change. That’s why it’s important to focus on clear, strategic goals and portfolio analyses. Where are we now? Where do we want to go? Companies that can answer these questions know when and where they need to develop specific competencies. Here’s where talent management plays an important role in a company’s success, but it is certainly not rocket science.

Does this new diversity only affect the thematic level?

Leyla Kolcu: Nein. No. This applies just as much to the didactic approach. As a business psychologist, of course, I’m particularly intrigued by this topic. With our "blended learning" approach, we combine vastly different educational formats according to our needs and target groups, from interactive e-learning and on-site training to coaching. In this way, we can perfectly mix the respective advantages of each method to ensure a successful learning process.

Do intercultural aspects also need to be considered in this line of work?

Claudio Marchioro: Absolutely. Take, for example, the individual feedback process. It’s not simply a matter of providing affirmation and recognition, but also of pointing out potential for optimization and opportunities for personal development. There are, however, significant cultural differences in this area that managers must bear in mind. It’s no secret that many talented recruits, who are initially attracted to a company by its brand, end up leaving because of its management culture. A good reputation is not good for much if it can’t deliver on its promises.

Would you agree that change can only be managed through openness and willingness to learn?

Leyla Kolcu: That’s right. Viewing yourself and the world as unchangeable is a guaranteed path to failure. The same goes for companies. Learning means being able to deal with both success and the risk of failure. Anyone who approaches the world with openness and confidence sees criticism as an opportunity. Nothing ever stays exactly the same. Fostering this openness is the foundation on which a company’s training and advanced education programs should be built.

What is the role of managers in this process?

Claudio Marchioro: Companies need to simply recognize that, ultimately, managers are talent managers, too. They know their employees’ potential better than anyone else.

And tapping this potential through training or advanced education is your focus, Ms. Kolcu?

Leyla Kolcu: Yes, the talent promotion and training teams have to work hand in hand. It’s no longer simply a matter of relaying the required expert knowledge, such as the performance, functionality and technical characteristics of new products. It’s just as important from day one to design training programs with multiple perspectives in mind, taking the views of both customers and users of products into account.

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