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The decision to bring an external managing director into your own company requires a change in the owner’s leadership behavior.

In one of our client’ companies, this decision was made some time ago – with the best of intentions and a disastrous outcome!

The owner of a medium-sized company hired a managing director for a new subsidiary for the first time and renounced the usual board position himself.  He had decided to do so for a variety of reasons and postulated that competence and responsibility were inseparable. The newcomer could and must manage his area of responsibility independently.

This sounded interesting to the “new guy”. He had gained second-tier experience with a larger competitor and now wanted to have overall responsibility.

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The implementation of the EU Whistleblower Directive is on the agenda of many small and medium-sized companies. Managing directors and compliance officers immediately think of lawyers and software, but it takes a lot more to implement the guideline not only in a legally secure way, but also in a motivating and profitable way.

Our expert Karin Scherer puts it in a nutshell: “Many managing directors would like to receive information from the staff when the company is damaged, whether negligently or intentionally, internally by employees or by external persons. Our experiences range from reaching into the till, theft of goods to sexual harassment at the workplace. All incidents in which those in the know or affected did not know how to act, looked a way as a precaution – and in which the management would have liked to have been informed at an early stage, to protect the employees affected and the company.”

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Most small and medium-sized companies feel it clearly: the necessary employees are harder to find than ever before! In certain sectors or regions, the shortage of skilled workers has been painfully noticeable for some time, but finding and retaining well-qualified candidates is now a real art. It is not the employer, but the potential employee who holds the scepter. This paradigm shift in the labor market is one of the great changes of our time. Consequently, so-called employer branding, i.e. the development of an attractive employer brand and its marketing to the outside world, is increasingly coming into focus. No matter what size company and what budget it has available: If it wants to secure its own future, it must adapt to the requirements of potential employees with suitable marketing and recruiting strategies.

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Whether it’s a small family business or a globally active company: Finding the right staff is becoming increasingly challenging for every HR department. The shortage of skilled workers has become the bottleneck in German SMEs – and good staff has become a critical resource for success. New, good team players are rare. The constant development of the existing team, making it fit for the future and keeping it in the company, is a real challenge. Through professional and strategically anchored personnel work, medium-sized companies can improve their position to meet these challenges.

How to create a good basis for strategically operating human resources work

Not every company needs a whole HR department to effectively manage the human resources and the corporate culture. Sometimes, only one HR officer is enough. This depends on many individual factors of the company, such as size, industry, complexity or planned orientation.

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It is always good to look back and see how far we have come, especially at the beginning of the year. But above all it is a good time to set goals for the year ahead. And here it is not about New Year’s resolutions like “I’d like to eat less chocolate or exercise more”! This is about specific and measurable targets. How far do you want to come?  What actually do you want to develop, improve or change this year? What does it need to achieve these goals?

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Within the last months we had the possibility getting an insight into various enterprises: from start-up companies up to international groups – every size was included. What we have noticed: there are still companies very hierarchically organized. And there it doesn’t play any role whether it is a small start-up company with five employees or an internationally operating one.

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