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So far Klaudia Kelleh has created 44 blog entries.

27/10/2020 | Business Etiquette: Not Just Polite but Also Essential – Social Distancing

By |2020-09-28T22:32:08+02:00October 27th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Current cases demonstrate that even people who are not categorized as being in a corona risk group can still fall ill, possibly suffering with long-term health issues as a result. Even if we aren’t always aware of this, respect and warm-heartedness can ensure that we show consideration for people who are at greater risk of becoming sick.

In such a situation, good manners are not only polite but also necessary to ensure the well-being of others. Social distancing is therefore also a sign of consideration. Employers have implemented measures such as working from home, virtual meetings, telephone calls, and emails to comply with the required distance rules. When working at the company it is important to stay at the prescribed 2 meters distance and not to shake hands.

We can also use language and writing to express respect and acceptance. Instead of the standard “Yours faithfully” you could write “Stay healthy”, “Take care of yourself”, or “All the best” to demonstrate a degree of empathy that can only exist if we pay attention to what is happening around us.

The current situation requires everyone to be highly flexible and adjust quickly to new circumstances. So showing solidarity and working together to find solutions can only benefit all of us. Appreciation, understanding, and friendliness will win the loyalty of partners and employees. This is the only option that companies have to continue growing in the corona era.

20/10/2020 | Do We Need Diversity Training?

By |2020-09-28T22:27:16+02:00October 20th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

“So, where are you from?” At first glance the question seems to be harmless and show interest. In contrast, the question “Yes, but where are you really from?” is almost always inappropriate because it is generally directed at individuals who aren’t considered to look “German”. “Questions of this kind imply that the individual doesn’t belong,” explains expert Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision.

What are the best ways to combat conscious or unconscious discrimination in the workplace?
“Diversity training is a very efficient tool,” recommends Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). It not only helps companies to improve communicative structures and relationships among employees, but also to exploit the full potential of teams and to develop a diverse recruiting strategy. In addition to this, such newly acquired competences also promote the company’s external image, thus winning new target groups for products and services.

Discrimination is, however, not limited solely to workers’ origins. Gender, age, physical disabilities, or sexual orientation can also result in disadvantages or marginalization. The so-called “DiversityParcours” method can be a good way to raise awareness of these issues. It shows employees what groups they themselves could theoretically be assigned to. This in turn encourages them to reconsider pigeonholing or entrenched perceptions.

“For diversity training to be efficient it is crucial that participation is voluntary. Otherwise employees may feel that they have been forced into it, which could be counterproductive,” explains Susanne Mueller, Global DiVision’s North America partner. “Language is another crucial element,” she continues. Asking what designations are discriminatory or what hidden messages we communicate is enormously important since our thoughts are not only the basis for words, but also vice versa – our language also influences our thoughts.

Most important of all is that companies implement cultures of diversity. The first step can be to sign guidelines or to introduce diversity competence in job profiles – both strong signals that discrimination is not tolerated.

13/10/2020 | Management or Leadership – The Small but Important Difference

By |2020-09-28T22:21:23+02:00October 13th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Sooner or later artificial intelligence (AI) will become part of our working world. The key question is what areas it will affect. AI can solve, control, and analyze definable problems. In the long term, managers whose positions are based on these skills could become superfluous. Leadership, in contrast, cannot be automated. Employees whose work is not limited solely to management and administration will continue to be irreplaceable in the future. Because AI cannot handle unpredictability. So how should managers respond to this challenge?

“Future leadership” will no longer be based on fixed solutions or rigid schemes and structures. Instead the focus will be on increasing the volume of work and density of relationships within teams; improving communications in specific areas; and channeling knowledge and ideas. In addition to this, managers will be responsible for putting the right people in the right jobs and giving them tasks that are a perfect match.

Let’s assume that employees who have been with a company for 15 or 20 years are tasked with accompanying this process. They can often find it difficult to implement the change from performing tasks to autonomous, creative work. So it is important to prepare staff to handle this transformation. Asking the following questions can help with this:

• Are my people skills focused on promoting employees’ responsibility, independence, and self-initiative?
• Can I invite others to work with me to develop ideas?
• Can I motivate them to keep going despite setbacks?
• Can I inspire them to surpass themselves?
• Can I inspire them to think the impossible?

Many of us will answer these questions with a “No”. Managers can, however, change this by participating in training courses, thus ensuring that they are equipped to survive in the digital world of the future.

06/10/2020 | Recruiting in the COVID-19 Era

By |2020-09-28T22:15:42+02:00October 6th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Companies that present themselves to young workers as reliable and safe employers despite the corona virus are ensuring the survival of the talent pool beyond 2020. But how can such recruiting goals be reconciled with budget cuts and hiring freezes? And how are companies handling such conflicts of interest?

“HR strategy has changed on a number of levels. Firstly, employers are focusing more on employer branding. This makes sense when you take into account that career starters have been hit particularly hard by the current situation. Secondly, many companies have digitized their recruiting,” reports Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, based on experience with her clients.

HR teams are primarily working from home, using online-based recruiting measures, while personnel selection and onboarding are being carried out by telephone or video. The most popular measures are currently online events, webinars, and digital image advertising. “The corona crisis will have a long-term impact on the recruiting process,” continues Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.).

Overall and based on current conditions, HR departments are optimistic about 2021 . Over 50 percent believe that the corona crisis will not impact their recruiting strategy for the coming year and that hiring freezes will come to an end. Corona has merely delayed hiring, not put an end to it. It is thus definitely realistic to assume that there will also be increased catch up demand.

29/09/2020 | Business Etiquette – Communication and Video Calls

By |2020-09-07T15:56:48+02:00September 29th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Computer on; browser or app up and running; and you’re ready for business! This is what many of us think before beginning a video call. There are, however, a number of things you need to take into account to ensure that virtual meetings go smoothly.

Firstly you must choose a location without background noise and no distracting pictures or situations. Failure to do so can give the impression that you don’t consider the meeting important. In addition to this, it is essential that you are also familiar with the software that is being used. And if you also remember the following four aspects of digital meetings, then there is no reason why your meeting shouldn’t be successful:

1. Vision
To avoid unpleasant or confusing situations it is worthwhile testing the preview features before making your video call. How do you activate and deactivate these features? Knowing how to do so allows you to decide when the call begins. In order to make a good impression, wherever possible your appearance should be the same as in the office.

2. Listening
The same applies here – familiarize yourself with the corresponding features beforehand and check your headphones and microphone before you get started. Where calls include several participants, you can improve the acoustics by turning off microphones because then the person who is speaking can’t be heard on external channels. Avoid disruptive noises in the room and, wherever possible, tell the other participants before beginning any simultaneous communications such as cell phone calls.

3. Working situation
If, despite all this, there could be visual or audio disruptions caused by your working environment, then inform all participants accordingly in advance and tell them again when the call begins.

4. Monitor
Splitting the screen so that you can see yourself and the other person/s is practical and often necessary. Here the same applies – familiarize yourself with all the monitor features beforehand and ensure that any background images that can be seen by other participants are acceptable. A corporate identity motif or operating system wallpaper are both good options.

22/09/2020 | Don’t Be Afraid of Losing Control!

By |2020-09-07T04:07:30+02:00September 22nd, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Since corona, home offices and remote working have become an involuntary reality for many companies and could soon even become normality. Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, forecasts that in five years’ time at the latest companies that are not offering working from home as a standard will have difficulties finding employees.

As is so often the case, managers are key to the success of such working practices. Many of them, however, experience extreme anxiety in this context, worrying that they will lose the overview of employees’ activities if they work from home. It can help to remind ourselves that fear of losing control is totally normal. Talking to managers who have experience with home offices or decision-makers who are in a similar situation is thus highly recommended. Communicate openly with your team, telling them that this is a new situation for you but that you are also looking forward to this new form of cooperation.

Establishing a new culture of cooperation that is taken seriously by company management is crucial to the success of such ventures. This means that managers must become less involved in operational business in order to better fulfil their roles.

A team code of conduct or guidelines for working from home can help standardize expectations regarding how long it takes to complete what task because this is something that can deviate significantly from one employee to another. It must also be clarified whether work can be carried out independently of location or time. Is it ok to go to the store in the afternoon when it is less busy and then work on a presentation in the evening or is it important for the team that everyone is online at the same time?

Weekly video calls by managers with individual team members and team calls are a must and can help to stop managers feeling that they have lost control. In addition to work meetings, social get-togethers such as virtual celebrations when new employees join the company or existing employees leave or have a birthday are important to foster team spirit. And, with the required sensitivity, conflict situations can also be resolved virtually.

Last but not least, you should give your employees time to adjust to the new situation, offering them help and support to do so. As a matter of principle it is advantageous to always develop structures and processes in advance, regardless of whether working from home is planned to be temporary or become a permanent practice.

15/09/2020 | Why Breaks Are So Valuable

By |2020-09-07T04:06:19+02:00September 15th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

As the ancient Roman poet Ovid already knew, “What is without periods of rest will not endure.” Nevertheless, in our working world – and in Germany in particular – taking a break is an issue that always provokes heated debate. The reality is that breaks are essential to maintain the ability to work. Employees who fail to take breaks are likely to make more mistakes; lose concentration; and impact their ability to regenerate.

Were employers to take scientific findings into consideration, then they would actually have to praise their staff for taking a power nap. Employees who take a break on the job recharge their batteries and are then more focused. In some occupations, such as truck driving, there is general agreement that breaks must be taken. So why do people in other professions have such a problem recognizing that more frequent breaks would result in better, more efficient work?

Psychologists claim to have identified the way in which high performers work. “When it comes to such individuals it is not about how much they work but how they allocate their time,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. These employees start work in the morning, when their brains are still rested, and take approximately 15-minute breaks every 90 minutes. Longer breaks will, however, reduce the recuperative effect.

A positive side effect is that a relaxed brain generates alpha waves, that are in turn responsible for the unexpected creative ideas that are suppressed when the brain is under pressure.

08/09/2020 | Why Travel Long Distances?

By |2020-09-07T16:24:02+02:00September 8th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Up until a few months ago making a journey that was hundreds of kilometers long for one single meeting was not uncommon in our working world. Today it is also possible to handle almost every issue that is important for successful working via Zoom, Skype, or teams – as was already the case pre-corona.

“The high level of willingness and acceptance regarding mobile working has automatically resulted in companies calling the necessity of business travel at all levels into question, no matter whether to visit co-workers, customers, or service providers. The pandemic has functioned as a catalyst in this regard, further driving the trend to virtual cooperation,” explains Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision. In most cases the changes have not impacted outcomes; even trips abroad have been replaced by virtual meetings.

The advantages are clear – reduced expenditure and, most importantly, saving time that can be used more efficiently than for waiting at airports or railroad stations. In addition to this, employees are available for meetings at shorter notice and, as an extra bonus, also contribute to protecting the environment.

Not every meeting can be held in a virtual space. It is important to assess this on a case-by-case basis and, where required, to implement a mix of real-world and virtual meetings. At the end of the day, making a long journey is a sign of respect for the individuals you are visiting. It seems, however, that corona has accelerated a fundamental change of attitude that views protecting the environment as being just as valid as travelling a long distance to demonstrate personal regard.

A current study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Organization found that just under 90 percent of the 500 German companies that were interviewed plan to at least consider business travel more critically in future.

01/09/2020 | Balancing Job and Family

By |2020-09-01T09:52:13+02:00September 1st, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Some phases of our lives are particularly challenging. It isn’t always easy to achieve a good balance between job, career, relationship, and having a family.

Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.), CEO of Global DiVision, knows that many women would like to work more hours, while men would prefer to spend less time in the office. Mothers are often hesitant with regard to this issue because they are worried about being less time flexible while fathers want to avoid financial losses. “Reconcilability based on partnership is an interaction that depends on factors relating to corporate structures and cultures. Offering flexible working models is not enough in itself; this flexibility must also be anchored in the corporate culture.”

The challenge is to overcome deep-rooted practices. “We need to get organizations to breathe,” continues Dr. Monika V. Kronbügel (PhD.). “To achieve meaningful development it is, for example, key that companies focus more strongly on fathers, actively supporting them to achieve a good balance between work and family. One option can be that top management places its trust in the advice given by the HR department, that itself is often a proponent of changes in working culture.”

25/08/2020 | Business Etiquette – Business Meals

By |2020-08-25T08:51:42+02:00August 25th, 2020|Newsletter ENG|

Inviting customers to dinner seems the most normal thing in the world. But what are the key factors to ensure the event is a success?

Unlike many other situations, this is one where the host should be dominant. When you arrive at the restaurant, you should go ahead so that you can hold the door for your customers. Once inside you should also take the initiative, asking staff where your table is and inviting your customers to take a seat when you arrive at it. Pulling out chairs for them is, however, an absolute no-go. What matters more is making sure that you order for your guest first and then yourself. If you need to visit the bathroom, a brief “Excuse me” or “Sorry” followed by the explanation that you would like to “freshen up” is sufficient.

When the meal is finished you should, wherever possible, pay the bill as discreetly as possible and not in front of your customers. Don’t try to help male guests into their coats – healthy men are capable of doing this alone. Ask women politely if they would like you to help them into their coats. Doing so without asking could result in a rebuff that is embarrassing for both parties.

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