By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

THE MAKED TEAM receives certification as “BVMW-approved consultant for medium-sized companies”

THE MAKED TEAM receives certification as “BVMW-approved consultant for medium-sized companies”


We are very happy about the award!

THE MAKED TEAM has been certified by the BVMW Bundesverband der mittelständischen Wirtschaft “BVMW-approved consultant for medium-sized companies”. By entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs!

We stand for the targeted further development of small and medium-sized companies. With the triad of Management – Development – Learning we set up our expert focus:
– Corporate Development,
– Finance & Controlling,
– Human Resources & Corporate Learning,
– Sales & Marketing.

We are familiar with almost all requirements, situations and occasions that occur in an entrepreneurial and business life. Our working methods follow an established procedure to realise the individual requirements for medium-sized companies in a targeted manner.

THE MAKED TEAM is registered since 2016 at the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) for subsidized consulting and meets the required quality standards.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

What does “digital competences” mean for your organization?


What does “digital competences” mean for your organization?


Everyone is talking about companies having to develop the skills of their employees for the future. This also means the development of digital competences. But what is behind it? Digital competencies can look differently in every company – depending on the industry and the use of systems. For all of them, however, it is true that on the one hand, cross-occupational digital competences are involved and, on the other hand, occupation-specific digital competences.

The cross-occupational ones are composed as follows:

  • Fundamentals of digitisation: a basic understanding of digitisation and its impact on the world of work, society and communication.
  • Learning and Working in the Digital World: Learning with Digital Media, Digitally Controlled Knowledge Management and Knowledge Transfer
  • ICT skills: Implementation and application of hardware and software as well as understanding of interrelationships and architecture
  • Data handling: Data security, data protection, data analysis and evaluation
  • Systems and processes: digital work processes, value creation and inter-company networking.

The job-specific digital competencies are related to the position and the respective tasks of the employee and must be determined individually.

Now is the right time to expand your company’s competency model in terms of digitization competencies. In this way, the personnel development measures of your employees can be set in motion step by step over the next months and years and the competencies can be anchored in your company.

THE MAKED TEAM sets up simple and standardized competence models for companies and maps them with HR systems. The introduction of regular feedback meetings, the definition of objectives and the evaluation of performance can also be linked to this.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

THE MAKED TEAM presents itself at LEARNTEC 2020

Also this time THE MAKED TEAM presents itself at the LEARNTEC 2020 in Karlsruhe and thus at the biggest and most important fair for topics around personnel development and operational learning.

Companies and HR managers are in the midst of a huge range of different product solutions and methods on these topics. And so it is difficult to get an overview and keep it that way.

We invite you to meet us at our booth at LEARNTEC and discuss human resources development and corporate learning with us! Come and talk to us,

  • if you would like to hear an external opinion on your learning plans and strategies.
  • if you want to discuss your challenges in the area of personnel development and corporate learning.
  • if you would like us to provide you with orientation and structure in the many systems and methods for the HR areas.
  • if you would like to discuss a specific question with us.
  • if you need a few hacks for conception and implementation.
  • and of course if you are just curious about what we do and who THE MAKED TEAM is.

We would like to ask you to make an appointment with us so that we have time for you and your topics.



We are medium-sized enterprise experts and implementation consultants. As such, we accompany medium-sized companies in the development of their personnel development strategy and the appropriate learning culture. Both are necessary to make companies fit for the future.

Successful implementation includes the appropriate digital tools, a state-of-the-art learning experience for the targeted development of competencies, an efficient implementation roadmap, fact-based learning controls to ensure success, and efficient personnel development controlling.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Welcome on Board!

Welcome on Board!

Project Insights: Conception and implementation of an international onboarding program for new employees


Many people still know the good old induction plan from their own start in a company – and this was probably especially the case in a company, that had already reached a certain size as a medium-sized company.

This induction plan is now an important part of a new employee’s onboarding process. Onboarding is the period of hiring and taking on a new employee into the company. To this end, various measures are used to achieve a rapid and smooth integration in the new working environment. Onboarding already begins with the signing of the contract and it ends at the earliest after the trial period – if you do it seriously and sustainably, it ends after the firm integration in a defined position. The goal of onboarding is to familiarize new employees quickly and specifically with the organization, its processes, structures and products as well as the respective work area with its working methods and specifics. The faster an employee is well trained, the faster he can become productive and efficient in an organization and contribute to the company’s goals.

It is not only important in the onboarding process to provide the employee with the necessary information and skills for his workplace. It is far more important to inspire him from the very first minute for the company, his tasks and his environment and thus to strengthen commitment, motivation and trust. A clear structure in the onboarding phases, the support and feedback of the manager and colleagues are regarded as success factors and give the new employee orientation.

THE MAK’ED TEAM divides the onboarding process into three stages:

  1. Onboarding phase for preparation
  2. Onboarding phase for orientation
  3. Onboarding phase for integration

The scope of the individual phases in terms of time and content depends on the company, its size and complexity as well as the position to be filled. The onboarding structure is the same for all employees in the company.

Successful onboarding can be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Anchoring in the personnel strategy and in personnel development.
  2. Clear responsibilities for implementation in the unit and in the human resources management.
  3. Automation of the onboarding process through digital tools: The training takes place faster and the employee retention is measurably higher than with conventional methods.
  4. Standardization of the onboarding process and permanent further development of the content and procedures within the process.
  5. Positive feedback culture towards the company and controlling of the measures.


THE MAK’ED TEAM designed and subsequently implemented a cross-divisional and cross-location onboarding program for a medium-sized international production company.

The clear requirement for the project was a smooth onboarding of new employees, which had to be standardized, fast and target-oriented compared to the previous approach.

Special attention was paid to the motivation and the immediate and interdepartmental networking of the new employees with their new colleagues. This required a clear definition of the onboarding process, roles and responsibilities.

Contents of the project were thus:

  • Setting up a stringent process for onboarding.
  • Definition of the responsibilities and tasks, that the various actors in the process take on.
  • Conception of a 2-day cross-departmental presence program as part of the orientation phase in the company: this involved the conceptual implementation with various methods and actors in the company. The regular implementation of the program should be supported by the main areas of the company. The content of the program was a mixture of topics related to the company with its values, strategy, working methods, structures and products.
  • Introduction of an accompanying digital onboarding tool: this tool accompanied the employees throughout the entire onboarding process on the one hand to network with each other, to share information and to maintain motivation.
  • Development of a competence matrix, which had to be fulfilled for each role in the induction phase.

The onboarding program was a success for the company. Inside, the clear and motivating concept radiated to the employees, who wanted to become more and more part of this event. Externally, it was used as part of the employer branding activities, for attracting skilled workers and in all measures to increase the company’s attractiveness.

The clearly structured process relieves management and colleagues and creates measurable added value. The responsible HR department and in particular the personnel development has gained clear visibility and recognition through its establishment – and makes a noticeable contribution to the success of the company.


THE MAK’ED TEAM for solution development and implementation for challenges in Management & Development & Learning in medium-sized businesses and institutions. THE MAK’ED TEAM works in corporate, organizational, personnel and business development with a strong focus on finance, HR and sales and marketing. Among other things THE MAK’ED TEAM develops strategies and concepts for a target-oriented, efficient induction of new employees and onboarding programs in medium-sized companies and accompanies them through to implementation.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Are you already learning or still waiting?

Are you already learning or still waiting?

Processes, structures, competencies, knowledge – everything in a company is currently in a continuous process of change – everything is put to the test. Influences of digitization and internationalization are fueling these changes to an undreamt-of degree. Change means for each individual employee above all changing oneself.

Just a few years ago, employees waited as a matter of course for their company to develop them further. As an employee, you came to the company with your skills from training, studies or professional experience. Further developments were the responsibility of employers and managers. Over the decades, further development was carried out by watering can: all employees get everything or “too much rather than too little”. Knowledge and competences have been accumulated long before, regardless of whether they were actually needed or not. Problem- and solution-related learning was virtually non-existent. The training was mainly conducted in class, in modern organizations at best by assigned eLearning.

But the requirements of each individual for further development and for learning as a whole have changed: individual, solution-oriented and accessible for employees. Anyone who nowadays as an employee does not take his learning into his own hands and learns continuously depends on himself. The responsibility for further development and continuous learning no longer lies solely with the company and its managers, but above all with each individual employee. Development measures and learning topics are selected or assigned individually for each employee and role on the basis of competencies. “Learning on demand”, the problem- or solution-related learning, is in the foreground.

If an employee has to solve a task and lacks knowledge about it, then he wants to find a solution quickly and easily and the required knowledge about it, no matter when and where! Therefore knowledge must be available virtually everywhere, i. e. accessible via the Internet or mobile phones. Short training courses, often via video or webinar, are the focus. In the case of larger development themes, learning paths over a certain period of time are at the forefront. On this learning path the developer is assigned several online and offline methods (e. g. literature, classroom seminar, webinar, elearning, video). He must work these out. The individual learning units must be short, attractive and motivating.

For a company, a change in the learning culture within the company towards agile learning primarily means establishing the development of employees, knowledge management and continuous learning as an integral part of the corporate culture. The importance can only be transferred to the organization if all management levels including top management, which also lives the agile learning culture, are supported and actively demanded by all stakeholders to find their way there. Only an organization that changes and continuously learns will be a successful organization in the future also. And what applies to an organization naturally applies to each individual employee as well.


THE MAK’ED TEAM for solution development and implementation for challenges in Management & Development & Learning in medium-sized businesses and institutions. THE MAK’ED TEAM works in corporate, organizational, personnel and business development with a strong focus on finance, HR and sales and marketing. Among other things, THE MAK’ED TEAM develops concepts for changing the learning culture in medium-sized companies and accompanies this change from a classical to an agile learning culture. This includes blended learning concepts, learning experience platforms as well as an active design of the learning culture in connection with internal communication and employee engagement.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Already developed for the future today? – Sustainability in employee development

Already developed for the future today? – Sustainability in employee development

Personnel development – some entrepreneurs don’t like to hear this word. In most cases, it is closely linked to expensive seminars, training courses and further education. And these expensive measures haven’t brought the success that the company expected, often.

“No wonder”, the expert thinks, and we show what personnel development means and why personnel development is more important than ever for the success and growth of companies.

What many people are not aware of is, that personnel development begins with the first day of an employee with the company. And personnel development ends when the employee leaves the company.

From the first day, means that a regular comparison of the competencies and qualifications of an employee must be made. One compares, what an employee can do with what he should be able to do in order to cope with the assigned tasks. The basis for this comparison is the job description for the position that the employee occupies. The second basis is the employee’s objectives, which are directly linked to the company’s strategy and thus to his area of work.

If, for example, a medium-sized company has anchored a change in its product portfolio towards more digital products in its corporate strategy, this means that the company needs personnel with the appropriate qualifications. What sounds like platitude is in fact a serious challenge for many companies. By when do these competences have to be built up in the company? What objectives has the company set itself for the development of competencies? Can these competencies be developed internally? Do you need additional external human resources that bring these competencies with you, in whole or in part? And which time sequences have to be taken into account?

In times of rapid change to which companies are increasingly exposed, the continuous development of employees and the structured and sustainable planning of this personnel development plays an even greater role than ever before. Ever faster changing requirements mean continuous further development of the competences and qualifications of the employees.

What does personnel development mean in the result? Personnel development means lifelong learning – lifelong learning both for the organization and for each individual employee. Lifelong learning means remaining competitive – both as an organization and as an employee.

Personnel development measures are not to be equated with external seminars. The elements of personnel development are manifold, from reading a trade journal, attending events, participating in webinars to discussing with colleagues from other areas of the company. Personnel development measures are intended to promote technical skills and soft skills. In addition, much of the learning and professional development of employees now takes place in the workplace – informal learning is now much more part of human resources development. Here, knowledge is primarily sought and directly applied according to situation and need. This takes place through the exchange with colleagues, trying out new things, the use of the internet or challenging tasks. In addition, social networking in forums with colleagues and experts is playing an increasingly important role in informal learning.

An essential success factor is that the right measures for the development of the respective competence or qualification are defined together with the employee, these are implemented in a structured and consistent manner and the success is measured afterwards. This is where the entrepreneurial responsibility of personnel development comes in. The 70:20:10 model, in which personnel development measures should be put together in this way, certainly helps to put together the right measures:

  • 70 % difficult tasks and professional challenges (on the job measures)
  • 20 % by their professional environment and mainly by their superiors (near the job measures)
  • 10 % through traditional training, such as seminars, reading books and articles or teaching learning content in other learning formats (off-the-job measures).

At the same time, it is the task of personnel development to ensure that the newly acquired knowledge is successfully transferred and implemented in all areas of the company by providing specialist input.

Personnel development will be successful and sustainable, if it has a direct link to the corporate strategy. Company-wide, structured and standardized planning is an effective instrument for this purpose. Planning should be consistently carried out and tracked using an established process. The human resources department is required, on the one hand, to define the framework and the processes and, on the other hand, to accompany and support the employees on their way. The results must be measured regularly in order to make progress transparent.

Managers are challenged to take personnel development seriously. The processes specified by the organization must be carried out with the regular comparison of the targeted/actual status of competencies and qualifications in the team.

All this will bring the desired success for medium-sized companies, if personnel development is seen by the management and top management as part of corporate development and this importance is anchored in all areas of the company as a strategic element. Personnel development means securing the future of the company and its ability to innovate.



By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Sustainability in Training and Coaching – only marketing or really lived?

Sustainability in Training and Coaching – only marketing or really lived?


Sustainability is used more and more as an effective advertising slogan in marketing by trainers and coaches. We read more and more often: “I work sustainably”; “We anchor our knowledge in your company sustainably “.

But you have to check carefully whether the way it is done can actually be sustainable. Sustainability does not mean to hand out a questionnaire to the participants at the end of a training course you and to ask them, what the training was like. Sustainability begins with a clear objective. What is to be achieved with the training measure for the participants and what is to be achieved with the training measure for the organization in which the participants work. Sustainability is achieved by accompanying the participants or even the organization, where the effectiveness of the training or personnel development measure can be evaluated. The scope depends on the objective. For many objectives, but also additional supporting measures should be planned and implemented in good time. Above all, sustainability means anchoring knowledge in the organization and in the individual and enabling both to take care of themselves.

Individual training measures do not support sustainability sufficiently. There are serious studies which show that up to 80% of what has been learned has been forgotten after only 2-3 weeks. Therefore, it is all the more important to transfer learned knowledge and competences directly into everyday work.

The effectiveness of the success of a training measure can therefore not be measured directly at the  end of the training. This can take place at the earliest three months after implementation. Has the newly learnt knowledge and the newly acquired competence become anchored in everyday working life? Has this made the organization more efficient or has it been able to achieve its goals better? These are questions that an external trainer can answer rarely. He is not involved in measuring success and seldom he accompanies his clients over many years.

From the very beginning, THE MAK’ED TEAM has therefore been committed to systematically anchoring sustainability in our work for our customers. On the one hand, this means that we offer “personnel development” service for SMEs as continuous external support and thus cover the entire process chain for the sustainable achievement of the defined goals.

This also means that in countries where we see many trainers flying in and out, we have established our own local training institutions with local trainers and local employees. They accompany local companies and organizations in their development in the long term. We advise our clients comprehensively on the requirements of effective training measures and support the definition of objectives. For our company, this means not only anchoring processes and standards, but above all continuous training and coaching of local trainers and employees. Only in this way can we guarantee their competence.

And above all, it also means supporting local institutions and companies. We recommend questioning critically, whether the desired sustainability goals can be achieved with international consultants and trainers, who can neither adapt the knowledge to the country-specific context nor know the local circumstances. Many of these consultants, trainers and coaches are not even interested in accompanying their clients in the medium or long-term. A training “often out of the box”; only helps the trainer or coach, not his customers – at least not under the aspect of sustainable development of employees.

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Education – the basics of everything

Education – the basics of everything

Since 2013, I have been working in Haiti in the field of further education and the development of personnel and organizations – in 2016, I started my own local business in Port-au-Prince. Two days ago, widespread violence broke out – with road barricades, looting and shooting throughout the country.

It is only a certain part of the population that is so destructive and violent, acting with great brutality. It’s real anger, it’s frustration causing this violence. Frustration about not seeing any opportunities for oneself in this country, not feeling any change. This is what makes me angry.

And furious with the rioters. They are venting their anger on the private companies that have stayed in the country for years, investing and creating the few jobs that Haiti now has to offer. But I’m also angry with the government, which is not doing enough in the field of education. It is necessary to introduce free education for all people up to the age of 16. It is necessary that teachers be trained so that they can offer students all-embracing education which includes critical thinking, development of self-confidence and hands-on approaches (helping the student become a “mover and shaker”) Education allows children to develop, to go their own way and reach their aims.

For many years now, our Haitian company has been helping young people and adults to grow, to learn and update their skills so that they can share their knowledge and contribute to economic growth, rather than migrating to other countries or destroying the existing economy. The last few days have shown us that we must continue with our work. We have only just begun.


@Ann-Katrin Hardenberg (THE MAK’ED TEAM)

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies

Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies

One of our new projects started on September 1! Actually, it is a project that is very close to our hearts. In recent months, we have put a lot of time and effort into the preparation of this project.

But what’s behind it?

We have developed a franchise product, namely a standardized ‘Training Academy’ business, which is designed for markets in less industrialized countries. As a franchise partner, you can run this type of academy under the name ‘CAR’ED – Center for Education and Development’. You will then receive a package of training programs, a corporate structure, templates, logos, and sales and marketing concepts developed by us. On September 1, the first pilot started in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where the first CAR’ED Center was opened, offering seminars and qualifications aimed at young people, and people in regional areas as well as in production and sales. This also includes individual coaching sessions or group trainings designed to support people and organizations in reaching their long-term goals.

Due to the existing structure, the products and knowledge of the market and customers, the Haiti-based center has rapidly gained momentum. Special customer training courses have already started. The center posted a course calendar with all training course dates and new instructors joined the pool of CAR’ED certified trainers. The center is becoming more and more popular throughout Haiti. Close support of the franchise partners, especially in the early stages of the implementation, ensures high quality in terms of customer service as well as trainers and seminars. We can’t wait to see how the whole thing is going to evolve over the coming months!

It is planned to open further centers with franchise partners in the coming year. We are already in touch with a number of potential franchisees interested in setting up training academies in their countries (e.g. in Ghana, Kenya and Peru).

Every single project is the perfect combination of heart, soul and passion. What is so special about this concept is the fact that it is one of our own projects which pools the expertise of our entire team. Be it the cooperation with our franchise partners or the seminars that we conduct – the response has been overwhelmingly positive since project kick-off. It is great to see how quickly skills and potentials can be developed – the passion of each seminar attendee for learning fuels the passion for our work.


Author: THE MAK’ED TEAM Germany

By Ann-Katrin Hardenberg

Does chaos stand for flexibility?

Does chaos stand for flexibility?

Again and again, one reads that institutions, their managers and employees need to be able to react flexibly to today’s rapidly changing environment in order to remain competitive. And this is actually what flexibility is all about. It’s the ability to move quickly and easily. The better you know yourself, the easier it is to be flexible. For companies, this means that they must be able to react to and deal with unforeseen events quickly –  if this seems necessary or is deliberately wanted.

However, some of the managing directors or managers, that I work with, often tell me on the first day of our common project that I will have to show a high level of flexibility when working with them. By the way, I think that you won’t have to ask someone who has worked for a longer period of time in less developed countries to demonstrate a certain degree of flexibility. In these countries, you will always create several alternative plans in order to be able to react to unforeseen events quickly and easily. But let’s come back to the managers who need a very flexible environment… After a few hours or days of working with them, I have the impression that they tend to use the term “flexibility” instead of “chaos” in order to present something in a more positive way or to their own benefit. Chaos refers to a state of complete disorder and confusion. It is thus almost the opposite of flexibility. Managers who are chaotic are neither capable of managing their time and resources, nor willing or able to work on the basis of processes or structures. A chaotic management style means that managers allocate tasks to their team members at short notice, they don’t know much about efficiency and the workflows within their teams are never the same. So, I would like to take this opportunity to urge those so-called “flexible” managers to start working on themselves in order to avoid further destruction! Because the chaos they create has nothing to do with flexibility. Their chaos will definitely harm the organization: Unsatisfied staff, inefficient processes, low productivity and introvert communication are caused by a lack of processes and structures that are either missing or are simply not applied – through this inward-looking focus the company will lose touch with the outside world and major unforeseen changes. Changes that you will only be able to cope with when you’re flexible.

I always compare this to a huge cruise ship: the ship and its crew will not be able to react to unforeseen incidents without the perfect interplay between planning, processes, structures and the observance of all rules and directions by the crew that also has to carry out the required tasks. In the case of an unforeseen event (e.g. a massive iceberg along the route), everything must run like clockwork.  That’s the only way how a huge cruise ship can avoid a collision and prevent sinking. So, flexibility does not mean chaos. On the contrary, chaos prevents flexibility. And it thus also prevents organizations from operating in today’s increasingly uncertain and fast-changing environments in a fast, agile and focused manner.


Author: Ann-Katrin Hardenberg, THE MAK’ED TEAM

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What does “digital competences” mean for your organization?
THE MAKED TEAM presents itself at LEARNTEC 2020
Welcome on Board!
Are you already learning or still waiting?
Already developed for the future today? – Sustainability in employee development
Sustainability in Training and Coaching – only marketing or really lived?
Education – the basics of everything
Project insights: Development of a franchise system for further education academies
Does chaos stand for flexibility?