"The knowledge of Gira employees should be cemented. This is why we find it important to actively encourage our staff members in their development," explains Kerstin Höninger, Head of Commercial Training and consultant for personnel development at Gira. With the Gira Campus, the company offers a comprehensive programme of training that is tailored to the requirements of employees.
The focus is on collaboration and responsibility. In accordance with this, the choice of continuing education courses is agreed upon by employees and managers alike, and are based on the specific needs of each individual. The courses are led by expert trainers, and the content is carefully compiled to ensure that it suits the company and the individual participants. In order to guarantee an effective learning environment, class sizes are kept deliberately low, with just four to six participants. Courses are carried out during working hours. "Lectures are held on Gira's premises, while training courses take place at various conference hotels nearby. This is because we want to take employees out of their everyday working environment to enable them to concentrate better on the new subjects," explains Höninger. Alongside the expansion of specialist and methodological expertise, the training courses also aim to enhance the social skills of Gira's staff. For instance, courses are offered on topics like conflict management, dealing with change and rhetoric.
In order to determine which courses are desired and relevant, annual meetings are held with every employee. "In these meetings, managers and employees discuss which topics might be interesting, where there is a need for development and what targets they want to achieve," reports Kerstin Höninger. Before the course begins, the employees outline their expectations and desires, and afterwards, objectives are compared with achievements to ensure sustainable results.
Participation in external courses is also organised by Personnel Development, which provides advice and support for employees when making their selection. If specific subjects are frequently requested, efforts are always made to arrange in-house training events. This enables the training to be even more closely aligned with employee requirements. The course "From Colleague to Manager", for instance, went from being an external course to an internal Gira event. To complement the training courses, the Gira Campus also offers lectures. Plans are under way to expand the services offered in order to provide employees with food for thought through bundled information, whilst raising awareness of current issues like intercultural skills, social media, and lean management.
As an internationally active company, the promotion of language skills also represents one of the Personnel Development's central tasks. English classes are always offered, and language stays abroad are organised for employees, managers, and trainees. "We train people to become leaders. This is why we set the course for the professional success of our employees even during training," explains Höninger. Accordingly, Gira also offers organisational and financial support to continuing education measures like part-time degrees, professional qualifications, and master classes if they are relevant to the company and the tasks of the specific employee.