TÜV Rheinland Akademie_XT Technologien_DigitalLearning

How XR boosts technical competence

So-called XR technologies are enjoying great popularity in education. After all, Extended Reality (XR) can be used to convey a wide variety of learning content in an extremely practice-oriented way. But how does this actually work? An overview.

Try it. It’s about studying: That’s why flight simulators have been around for almost as long as the aircraft itself. The first were built more than a hundred years ago and consisted of mobile platforms that could be used to simulate the most important flight movements. A seat, a joystick, a few ball joints: these were the beginnings of pilot training.

Immerse yourself in virtual learning worlds
Today, on the other hand, the first dry runs for young pilots feel much more realistic – not least because airlines are increasingly relying on so-called XR technologies for pilot training. XR stands for Extended Reality and combines different virtual technologies under one roof. In modern flight simulators, for example, virtual reality tools play a major role. This allows challenging situations such as storms or engine failures to be simulated realistically. The advantage: Those who have already familiarized themselves with the imponderables of airspace in a flight simulator will be much more familiar with the first real cross-country flights. To make such realistic experiences possible on the ground, you only need two things: VR glasses and a computer program that generates the desired environment. When the user puts on the VR glasses, he can immerse himself in this artificially generated environment and move freely in it virtually. In contrast to a film or video game, it is no longer an observer, but part of the scenery.

Augmented Reality (AR): adding information to the real world
While VR technologies enable immersion in virtual worlds, augmented reality (AR) enriches reality with artificial elements. In concrete terms, this means that users remain in the real world, where they can perceive not only real information, but also computer-generated information or content. In other words: VR technologies put the user in a virtual environment. AR, on the other hand, brings virtual objects into the real world.

TÜV Rheinland Akademie_XT Technologien_DigitalLearning

AR technologies are also used for training purposes. For example, trainees with special glasses can safely work on virtual welding objects, as it is already the case with the training at TÜV Rheinland Academy. With the help of TÜV Rheinland, RWE Power has also simplified training for maintenance work on bucket wheel excavators and other heavy equipment using XR technologies – and can thus relieve operators of large equipment. To this end, maintenance personnel are trained via data goggles so that they can perform their tasks safely for people and the environment and effectively – even if their last assignment was a few months ago. Different levers and switches are visualized through the glasses in the form of holograms, functions of the switching elements in the driver’s cab are explained in detail, work processes are explained step by step. The application is not faded in statically in the image field, but blends seamlessly into the real environment. In the case of RWE, this means that the training of maintenance personnel not only takes place in the “classroom”, but also on the heavy equipment itself. The application, developed by TÜV Rheinland’s Digital Learning team, detects the shovel excavator’s driver’s cab and positions the hologram of each control element exactly where it should be. This enables maintenance personnel to find all the necessary levers and switches in no time at all and to apply the practical knowledge acquired by AR in practice without any problems.

XR – an important trend in the teaching of technical skills
It is not for nothing that XR technologies are regarded as an important future trend in the education sector. They pave the way for location-independent and thus cost-effective training courses, are much more fun than conventional training courses and – most importantly – ensure that the practical transfer of theoretical learning content is successful. Accordingly, TÜV Rheinland Academy is currently consistently expanding its range of XR training solutions, for example in the area of forklift driving licenses or in the area of mobility and engineering. As the Chinese philosopher Confucius says: “Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand

CTA_TÜVRheinlandAcademy_tr-academy.com

TÜVRheinland_Resiliencecheck_OccupationalHealth

In 48 hours to more employee health

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), stress is one of the greatest health threats of the 21st century. It can hit anyone and cause massive mental and physical problems. For this reason alone, employers should find the right way to deal with stress in the workplace early on and consistently, and support employees as needed. Find out how well this works.

Psychological stress at the workplace is increasing. As a result, the health insurance funds in Germany alone have been recording a steady increase in stress-related sick leave for years. Of about 15 days of absence per capita and year, an average of 2.5 days are currently spent on psychological complaints. According to a recent survey, one in five workers across Europe is under stress every day and one in three is thinking about moving to a less stressful job.

Stress costs the economy billions

Mental illnesses also cost the economy dearly. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the economic costs of mental illness in the European Union (EU) alone amount to around 600 billion Euros annually. Especially since many countries now even prescribe the risk assessment of psychological stress at the workplace by law. Workplace health management therefore pays off for companies in every respect. But not every professional requirement is detrimental to health. Thus, stress in moderation can also encourage higher performance, promote personal development and give positive impulses for the quality of life and work. It is therefore crucial for companies to recognize at an early stage what strains have negative impacts on the workforce and its motivation.

Facts decide

But how can well-founded insights be gained beyond the subjective statements of employees? With the Resilience Check, TÜV Rheinland for the first time offers a program that objectifies the subjectively felt physical and mental stress of employees on the basis of reliable measured values – from heart health to sleep quality and recovery to general fitness. The resilience check provides companies with an instrument for realistically assessing the physical effects of stress on the workforce – and initiating long-term, needs-based preventive measures. This makes it a useful addition to risk assessment and becomes a valuable element of occupational health and safety and health management.

Determine individual stress factors

On the one hand, the individual employee benefits. After the online questionnaire on the physical condition (e.g. high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, sleep quality) and psychological condition (work-related behavior and experience pattern) in the context of their work has been completed, a chest strap measurement is carried out. On two ideal working days, different vital data on heart health, sleep quality, stress and physical activity are measured using a sensor that is attached to the skin like a plaster under the breast. A personal health report is automatically delivered at the end of the measurement. On the other hand, the company receives an anonymous company report for the targeted planning of company prevention measures: With simple anonymized comparison values across e.g. departments or locations, focal points for action are prioritized.

A classic win-win situation: employees learn which stress factors particularly motivate or burden them, employers get a holistic picture of the state of health of their own workforce – and can then focus on health prevention. For example, by realigning work processes, planning additional resources or designing offers for occupational health prevention in a target-group-specific manner, whether health advice, planning measures or introducing a holistic occupational health management system. Learn more about how you can optimize your workplace health management:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/1667794604145327885 (German only)

 

CTA_TÜVRheinlandAcademy_tr-academy.com

MDR Transition Period – All Clear at Half Time?

Slowly but surely, the end of the transition period for the EU Medical Device Regulation (MDR) of 25 May 2020 is approaching. In the meantime, half of the three-year transition period has elapsed and it is foreseeable that implementation of the MDR in companies in the medical device industry will only progress slowly and that pressure will increase.

This is underlined by the results of a recent survey conducted by RAPS and KPMG. Many of the medical device manufacturers surveyed lack long-term planning to meet the requirements of the new MDR. Only 22% of the respondents confirm a comprehensive understanding and strategy for the MDR impact; 41% have little to no knowledge of the regulations. It is very critical that almost 80% of the respondents currently lack the necessary knowledge and understanding of MDR. Nevertheless, technical experts and the industry associations recommend continuing to work at full speed on the rapid implementation of the MDR requirements. All stakeholders are waiting for detailed information that will make the implementation of the MDR livable. In the meantime, the European Commission has issued a step-by-step guide and a fact sheet for the implementation of the Medical Devices Ordinance. In 2018, the MDCG (Medical Device Coordination Group) also published the first MDR guidelines. But there are still too many ambiguities, such as the term “sufficient clinical data”.

The 4th Spring update Medical Device Conference of TÜV Rheinland Akademie addresses questions and problems in the interpretation and implementation of Medical Device Regulation. The conference also provides a platform for information and exchange on current focal topics for medical device manufacturers. The conference program and registration information can be found at:

https://akademie.tuv.com/shop/product/4-spring-update-medizinproduktekonferenz-2019-5865

Classroom training – still far from out of fashion

As part of the digital transformation and dynamic advances in technology, companies and institutions must reckon much more seriously than before with the question: Are our teams still up-to-date? Do they have the skills required for handling the coming challenges? Do we have all the skills internally that we need to achieve our goals? Technical topics and related applications, services and devices are evolving rapidly during this time, so companies should start competence building with dynamic sources such as seminars, training and courses and with instructors who follow this dynamic development also in the real world. The learner should always be in focus, so as a company it makes sense to deal with different learning formats. According to the scientist Hermann Ebbinghaus, the retention and recall by skilled workers depends on the type of material to be learned. Classic face-to-face seminars play an important role in the range of analog and digital learning formats. The advantages: immediate communication, promotion of personal learning and practice in a quiet, safe place where the learner can concentrate fully on the learning process and content. Learning is intensified through group interaction, where participants learn from each other and from the trainer.

Do you want to learn more about learning strategies and formats? Detailed information about classic and innovative learning concepts for increasing your operational excellence can be found here:

CTA_TÜVRheinlandAcademy_tr-academy.com

International Career with Steel and Anti-Corrosion-Protection-Training in Poland

We encounter steel constructions everywhere. Steel is one of the most versatile building materials and enables wide-stretched, slender and transparent creations in an almost unlimited variety of shapes. Also the size of the object is practically endless. However, steel must be cared with diligence and regularly maintained to ensure its longevity. TÜV Rheinland has set up appropriate Anti-Corrosion-Training courses in response to the market requirements for corrosion protection in Poland. Anna Konewecka, Local Stream Manager at TÜV Rheinland Poland, gives an insight.

Building constructions such as houses, towers, bridges, but also cars are made of steel, on which in turn a lot of welding work is carried out. Also, steel structures are painted. But what many don’t know: Painting is used not only for aesthetic reasons, but also to protect the steel from corrosion. Anti-corrosion coatings are a necessity, not only because of normative or customer requirements, but also because they ensure the quality and safety of the use of constructions and building objects.

Insufficient quality of buildings and steel structures is almost synonymous with inadequate safety. The quality and safety of buildings, objects and structures depend not only on their performance, but also on correct design and material solutions and proper use. Quality also depends on the awareness and qualifications of the personnel. Given growing demands for standards in the construction industry and an increasing need for employee skills, particularly in the area of corrosion protection, TÜV Rheinland Poland took advantage of this opportunity and began expanding its corrosion protection training as early as 2012.

Lack of knowledge in steel factories

“We had recognized that workers in steel factories had previously lacked expertise in the field of corrosion protection. Whether painters, quality controllers or corrosion protection inspectors: the requirements placed on those involved vary depending on the activity. Customers need someone who knows what kind of paint to use for a particular steel structure, who knows how to use it and who can also test the paint finish,” explains Anna Konewecka, Local Stream Manager at TÜV Rheinland Poland. “Unfortunately, there was no qualification for quality control in the field of corrosion protection on the market. We have noticed that the Polish market is very interested in corrosion protection and the market needs are constant. So we’ve developed a training program that meets the needs of the market.”

The target group for the training includes all manufacturing companies active in industry and dealing with steel, including the automotive industry. The division trains around 100 quality controller of paint protective coatings every year since 2013. Corrosion protection training is one of the most sought-after courses offered by TÜV Rheinland Poland. “Our unique selling point is that we combine the training program with the accredited program for personnel certification according to ISO 17024, the standardized standard for personnel certification,” explains Anna Konewecka. This means that all corrosion protection controllers and inspectors qualified by TÜV Rheinland Academy are recognized throughout Europe – which is additional benefit to the participants. “Our qualification for Inspector of paint protective coatings, for example, is relevant for the worldwide known qualification “FROSIO Inspector”. We are the second accredited personnel certification body in Europe to offer this qualification level.”

Cooperation with companies and universities

The anti-corrosion training for quality controllers includes 30 hours, for inspectors it’s 72 hours and one day exam after each training. The examination is divided into a theoretical and a practical part. In the practical test, for example, the participants receive a sample of a paint finish and have to check the parameters and technical features, among other things.

TÜV Rheinland Poland does not only cooperate with the commercial market. “We also see an opportunity in cooperation with universities. One of our partners is the Silesian Technical University in Gliwice. We have been working together in various areas for 19 years,” says the Local Stream Manager. The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Silesian Technical University has decided to introduce a specialization for corrosion protection qualification. TÜV Rheinland promoted this specialization and was actively involved in the programme design. The first four students have already been successfully certified in the accredited TÜV Rheinland procedure.

 

CTA_TÜVRheinlandAcademy_tr-academy.com

Blog_TÜV_Rheinland_Academy_learning

9 Tips on how learning to learn!

“Not for school, for life we learn.” The Roman philosopher Seneca already knew that. The logical consequence of this realization is lifelong learning. We will show you how to stay on the ball with the right learning strategy.

App developers, data scientists, Artificial Intelligence experts: Digitization is already creating numerous new job profiles. According to estimates by the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children attending primary school today will end up in occupations that do not yet exist. On the other hand, traditional craft trades, for example, will increasingly disappear from the scene.

Anyone who wants to gain a foothold in the professional world of tomorrow has to be flexible and open to new ideas. One thing’s for sure: At a time when employees are constantly confronted with changing conditions and requirements, it is important to learn. And not only in studies and training. It’s best to do it for life. Whether education courses, e-learning, webinars, coaching, training or certifications – the offer of possibilities is vast.

Nevertheless, only every second person makes use of it. Some shy away from the effort, others fear to fail because of the learning material. No wonder, after all, it has been several years since many employees last went to school. And some people already had a hard time learning back then. This makes it all the more important to relearn or re-learn the targeted (intentional) or incidental (implicit) acquisition of new skills. With the right learning strategy, nothing can stop the learning success, even for adults. You should consider the following points:

  • Set schedule
    Unstructured and unorganized learning rarely leads to success. Instead, you should define fixed learning times for yourself. It is better to learn an hour every day than to spend the whole weekend studying. Tip: An organizer helps you to prioritize tasks and process them in a targeted manner.
  • Define milestones
    Intermediate goals ensure that the motivation to learn does not diminish over time. So set different sub-goals right from the start – and reward yourself if one of them is achieved. The advantage is that you can easily keep an eye on both the path you have already reached and the path ahead of you.
  • Determine personal learning style
    While some people expand their knowledge through the consumption of specialist books, others learn better through listening, watching or trying out. Find out whether you are a visual, auditory, motor or communicative learner. You can then put together the best learning techniques for yourself.
  • Use suitable tools
    There are a number of different methods for internalizing the teaching material: from the classic index card system, to notes, mind maps and learning posters, to practical experiments and learning groups, help to anchor numbers, data and facts permanently in the brain.
  • Learning with all senses
    The more sensory channels are involved in the learning process, the better what has been learned is internalized. Who only listens during learning, keeps 20 percent of the teaching material, who uses eye and ear, already 50 percent remain in the memory. It is best to bundle visual, auditory, motor and communicative tools. Because then the memory rate even rises up to 90 percent.
  • Creating (free) spaces for learning
    Just insert a short learning unit on the sofa during the TV commercial break? Forget it! Learning requires concentration. The prerequisites for this are a calm atmosphere, a fixed learning location and regular breaks in which the brain can process the information it has acquired.
  • Bringing in a horizon of experience
    Children usually learn faster, while adults benefit from a wealth of knowledge acquired over the years. Use this so-called “crystalline intelligence” and link the subject matter with your personal experiences and insights. This improves your learning success.
  • Keep moving
    Movement activates the motor centers of your brain that are involved in the processing and storage of information. In other words, content is easier to internalize if you move while learning. So when you’re learning, get up from time to time and take a few steps.
  • Practice, practice, practice!
    Practice makes it perfect: regular training enables what has been learned to be permanently anchored in the brain. Never rest on your laurels, but also repeat knowledge that you have already mastered.

 

CTA_TÜVRheinlandAcademy_tr-academy.com

Blog_TÜV_Rheinland_Academy_Traum

Don’t stop dreaming! 

Astronaut, professional soccer player, princess: Do you still remember what you once wanted to become? Not all childhood dreams come true. But sometimes the dream job is still only a stone’s throw away. Let yourself be inspired – by success stories around the globe.

Times are changing. Career desires hardly do: For decades, little boys have dreamed of becoming police officers or pilots, girls usually want a professional career as (veterinary) doctors or teachers. However, Sophia was different: She liked to tinker with technology, even at an early age. Pin toys, Lego robots, computers – she wasn’t satisfied until she knew exactly how something worked. Later, she dreamed of running her own IT company. A dream she realized: Together with two friends, Sophia founded her own Start Up. ” To keep my business growing, I have to keep up with the latest technology,” she says. The instructors at TÜV Rheinland Academy are there to help her. They themselves have practical experience and are dedicated to you with innovations and digitization.

> In this video you can get to know the whole story of Sophia.

Happiness makes you productive

TÜV Rheinland Academy is specialized in training and further education in technical professions and offers companies, graduates and professionals a wide range of opportunities to develop their personal potential. Mohammed from India has also benefited from it. Initially, he wanted to be a racing driver. Today, he works as a mechatronics engineer for an international automotive group. Not least because with the Vocational Training of TÜV Rheinland Academy he experienced exactly the dual vocational training based on the German model, which is the basis for getting an opportunity for a job interview with global players. He made it, although he came from a modest background and lacked the money for education. “The education was financially supported and was outstanding. That’s why I can live my dream today,” he says. Good for his employer! After all, studies show that happy employees are about 20 percent more productive than their dissatisfied colleagues.

> In this video you can get to know the whole story of Mohammed.

There could be more people like Sophia or Mohammed worldwide. According to the Gallup Engagement Index in the USA, just one in three employees (33 percent) still feels emotionally committed to his job. And that is already the world’s top value. In the European Union, only one in ten employees (11 percent) is happy with his or her job, while one in four (25 percent) has already mentally resigned.

Why is that? On the one hand, many companies concentrate exclusively on their day-to-day business and thereby lose sight of employee development. On the other hand, even employees do not pursue their career goals consistently enough. John’s example shows that things can be different: Already as a child, he was very ambitious. Today, he works in his dream job and moves heavy construction frames as a crane operator. It wasn’t always easy to get there. “I started at the bottom, but I always kept an eye on my goal,” John remembers. Then his employer financed his training as a crane operator, and he passed the examination at PersCert TÜV. For him, personnel certification is not just a degree, but a kickoff for a successful international career that offers him many opportunities.

> In this video you can get to know the whole story of John.

Tailor-made e-learning offers for individual careers

So it’s not always the direct route that leads to the dream job, but that’s exactly what you should expect and inform yourself accordingly. Especially the increasing digitalization and automation offers exciting, sometimes undreamed of development possibilities. Today, for example, it is no longer necessary to study computer science to protect companies from hackers, viruses and other threats. Jane can prove this: she decided not to study and instead took tailor-made e-learning courses at TÜV Rheinland Academy. Today, she works as an IT expert and continues to focus on digital training. “Together with TÜV Rheinland Academy, for example, we have developed a customized course on cybersecurity for our company,” she says. “It is working out really well!”

> In this video you can get to know the whole story of Jane.

Paul also opted for a training course at TÜV Rheinland Academy as part of his continuing education program and was very enthusiastic about the practice-oriented courses. Without hesitation, he applied to be a trainer. With success. Today, he shares his expertise with young professionals and executives around the world. “I used to be a great electrical engineer at home. Today, I’m creating new ideas worldwide,” he proudly states. “It’s nice that I can share my dream with so many people and pass on my knowledge myself – so that others may also realize their dream.”

> In this video you can get to know the whole story of Paul.

We hope you haven’t given up dreaming either! Find out more about how the services offered by TÜV Rheinland Academy have supported Sophia, Mohammed, John, Jane and Paul on their career paths, or find out for yourself what opportunities are available to you worldwide through training and further education at TÜV Rheinland Academy. Find out more on www.tuv.com/academy.

myths of leadership_svengrote_tüvrheinland

7 Myths of leadership – that you should forget

In the context of digital transformation, how can and how should managers and executives ensure with qualified leadership that teams and individual employees remain healthy, qualified and motivated – despite the stress brought on them by change and dynamic working conditions? For example, first of all be self-critical: After all, if things don’t run smoothly in the company, productivity and innovation rates fall short of expectations and the company falls steadily behind in the market, this can be caused by the coexistence of traditional and modern management models. Some executives like to cling to outdated models of staff management – and at the same time hope to somehow manage to survive the change. Dr. Sven Grote, who also talked about the TÜV Rheinland dialog “Human and health”, addresses the most important management myths.Read More

Prevention_TÜV-Rheinland_tr-academycom.jpg

How does the culture of prevention succeed?

Today, VUCA shapes the modern working world: it is subject to volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, that is what we today call digital transformation and the associated disruption. In times of VUCA, what does that mean for the health of workers and the competitiveness of the company?  This central question goes to Prof. Dr. med. Joachim E. Fischer in an interview with tr-academy.com. The Director of the Mannheim Institute for Public Health at the Medical Faculty Mannheim of the University of Heidelberg sees in the “FreuSinn” – joy at work – a central factor for a healthy and motivating Leadership 4.0. In his opinion, the thesis that prevention is better than cure – is more relevant than ever.

In your opinion, how can one reconcile protecting employee health and the competitiveness of a company?

Traditionally, the culture of prevention has been meant: We protected employee health with technical measures designed to reduce exposure to risk. We have achieved an exemplary high standard in this regard. Today, digitalization has taken over the workplace and has increased the amount of knowledge work employees do. The demand for flexible, individualized solutions is increasing, especially in industrial settings. This is changing the kinds of health protection we need to provide. Averting physical risks is taking a back seat and it’s becoming more important to strengthen employees’ ability to cope with challenges. Adding to the complexity is an increasing unpredictability and uncertainty, often even contradictions, which are not exactly diminished by current political upheavals, whether it’s Brexit or American tariffs.

But people need sufficient security in order to tap their potential. The culture of prevention in the sense of using conventional health campaigns such as veggie day in the staff cafeteria, health awareness days, or healthy back training is far too short-sighted. By taking the opportunity to find out what will help employees develop their potential and thus increase the company’s competitiveness is often good for their overall mental health. The aim here is to find the best possible intersections: this is at the heart of the new “culture of prevention.”

You see having a sense of joy (“FreuSinn”) as a central factor of the culture of prevention in the sense of a healthy and motivating Leadership 4.0. What exactly do you mean by this?

Originally, it was out of pure scientific curiosity that we asked more than 20,000 people whether they look forward to going to work in the morning when they wake up and whether their work helps them see their lives as meaningful. We were quite surprised when those employees who could fully agree with both statements were healthier, even down to biological markers, and described themselves as more effective. We decided to name this phenomenon “FreuSinn.” Obviously it is joy, not fun, and experiencing the job as meaningful is vital to these people. It is close to what others have described as “flow.” And we know from neurobiological research that the frontal lobe of the brain is particularly active when these conditions are active. It is in the frontal lobe where we think, decide, invent, judge, plan. In other words, exactly those things today’s knowledge-based economy and society need.

If a company’s ability to create value increasingly depends on employees’ using the frontal lobes of their brains and not shutting that aspect of their humanity down when they cross the entrance gates, then it is up to managers at all levels of the hierarchy to create the conditions for more joy and meaningfulness at work. This does not necessarily make the management task any easier, because there are no simple formulas to follow. Sometimes it might involve simplifying disruptive processes. It might be allowing certain people to work from home or it might involve firing people that are disrupting the team with their poisonous attitudes. An important task in this regard is to cushion the ubiquitous uncertainty credibly, whether it is uncertainty caused by fixed-term contracts (like we have in research) or the uncertainty caused by turbulent markets. And because many people react more irritably under stress and with increasing exhaustion, taking care of the workplace atmosphere day in, day out becomes all the more important.

We recently evaluated data from a representative study conducted by the German Labor Ministry, which included both an internationally used scale for mental well-being and a scale for measuring enthusiasm, commitment, and passion for work. The results showed that 40% of employees are both committed and engaged in their work and also mentally healthy. So a job that keeps you healthy has long been a real possibility. Empirical data from several studies even agree that people who voluntarily work longer and feel useful have longer lives. Managers must therefore ask themselves how they can increase the sense of joy and meaningfulness at work both today and in the future tomorrow from their own strength without extensive training. Whether it’s city cleaning, nursing care for the elderly, working the assembly line, or in an architecture firm. We know companies in every industry that can do this. They have low absenteeism rates, and they generate great added value with their work. Almost nothing has a more lasting effect than genuine sincere recognition for good performance. And not in the form of a bonus payment at the end of the year, but with a grateful handshake immediately.

We have collected our own data to compare the effects of convention health campaigns with that of creating a sense of joy and meaningfulness at work. While 10% healthier behaviors only contribute 1% to employee health and just over half a percent to productivity, 10% more joy and a sense of meaning bring about 5% more productivity. It’s no wonder why SAP’s Business Health Culture Index, where half the questions measure the quality of leadership and support, has become a significant internal key performance indicator for SAP. PWC calculated on SAP’s behalf that a 1% improvement in the Business Health Culture Index translates into €65-75 million more profit. This is no secret; it has been published online in SAP’s annual report. Anyone who thinks conventional health campaigns will be enough will, in the long run, not be able to exploit the full potential of holistic health management.

What opportunities do you see in bargaining agreements that can’t be solved by the healthcare system?

The healthcare system is excellent when it comes to treating acute illnesses with clear medical causes and treatment options. However, the healthcare system is not at all equipped to maintain employees’ ability to work and create value. If, for example, employees are so mentally restricted that, although they still function day-to-day and aren’t in need to psychiatric hospitalization, they will no longer be able to work in a way that creates value. We have to define a new culture of prevention. Our healthcare system only offers waiting times and no solutions. So there is a gap between conventional, technical health protection measures and the healthcare system which is yearning for healthcare that includes psycho social aspects. This applies to a wide range of potential offerings aimed at the individual, such as family assistance in problem situations such as caring for relatives, early intervention in cases of pain or psychological complaints, and meaningful attempts at making working hours or locations more flexible.

But this affects especially how we design work, that is, the conditions under which people work. Whereas the focus was once on emissions, noise, dangers, and lighting, it’s the psycho social impact and mental noise that we now need to get under control. What gets forgotten in all these risk assessments is that the mind also benefits from resources that will help it to overcome challenges. So it’s not just a question of reducing burdens and averting dangers. Unlike the technical prevention of risks, the most important thing for the mind is that which strengthens it. You can’t avert the cancer risk from asbestos through your mood. But you can solve a big task together as a team and what remain are the sense of achievement and the certainty and confidence of being able to solve the next problem together again, too.

When I was a child, Esso gas stations used to advertise with the “tiger in the tank.” The “tiger in the tank” for value creation is increasing the experience of joy and meaningfulness at work. The cover story of the current issue of Harvard Business Review is: “When work has meaning: how to turn purpose into performance.”

Professor Fischer, thank you for speaking with us.

Automation_TÜV_Rheinland_Academy

The Skills Revolution – Hello Automation, Goodbye Workers?

What does the future hold for automation? One thing is certain: We’ll have to learn new skills. Skills to deal with change, for jobs we don’t even have an idea about today. The Manpower Group, the world’s largest employment services provider, asked 18,000 employers in 43 countries from 6 industrial sectors what these skills could be, what activities we would have to perform and what the working world could look like in the near future. This means that the current technology can automate up to 45 percent of the tasks for which people are paid every day. At the same time, we have long since adapted to this development in the job market – chatbots, automatic customer service on the phone, word processing programs and even personal assistants are nothing new. The difference now is that the life cycle of skills is shorter than ever and changes are taking place on an unprecedented scale. The impact may be hyperinflated today, but as the cost and complexity of implementing technology decreases, the speed will continue to accelerate.

And yet: New technologies can be expensive and require people with expertise. Employers are therefore reluctant to say “hello automation, goodbye workers” with full vigor. Most employers expect a net gain for employees through automation and adaptation to digitization. 83 percent intend to maintain or increase their headcount and train their employees over the next two years. Only 12 percent of employers plan to reduce the number of employees due to automation. What does this look like in your company? Do you rely more on new technologies or on loyal employees who are willing to take further training?

Employability = willingness to learn new things

We can assume that the value we place on different abilities will soon change. Digitization and the growth of skilled labor offer opportunities as long as organizations and individuals are prepared to embrace this change in values. New technologies will replace both cognitive and manual routine tasks, allowing people to assume more fulfilling roles and leave routine tasks to an algorithm. Creativity, emotional intelligence and cognitive flexibility are skills that harness human potential and enable humans to complement rather than be replaced by robots. People will increasingly realize that they need to move into new areas and diversify. Openness for skill acquisition, flexibility and the ability to learn will be decisive.

For people, employability – the ability to get and keep a desired job – no longer depends on what they can already do, but on their willingness to learn new things they don’t yet know about. The companies that can combine the right combination of people, skills and technology are the ones that will persevere and win. Take a look at your corporate structure: Who can do what and to what extent have you implemented new technical solutions? Is there potential for improvement in one or the other area?

Know-how transfer from person to person

The future of work requires different skills and employers need to focus more than ever on retraining and education to cope with the current talent shortage and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. Almost three quarters invest in internal training to keep their qualifications up to date. 44 percent hire additional skilled workers instead of replacing them, and more than a third persuade third parties or contractors to transfer expertise to their own employees. We should not underestimate the value of the human connection. The transformation of work in the age of machines does not have to be a struggle between man and robot.

Which talents do you promote in your company?

The Manpower Group has proclaimed the “Skills Revolution”. It requires a new mindset both for employers who are trying to develop a workforce with the right skills and for people who want to advance their careers. Educational initiatives to strengthen the talent pipeline are important, but not the only answer and may take many years to bear fruit. Companies must play a role to improve people’s lives and be an important part of the solution. Now is the time for managers and individuals to become aware of their responsibilities and be responsive. Find out about the opportunities to promote talent and develop new skills in your company. TÜV Rheinland Academy, for example, can help you with this. We support you with tried and tested solutions for people in the workplace and in their professional environment. Contact us and we will discuss together which forms and methods can best be used in your company.

More information is available at: https://www.tuv.com/