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The silver bullet for avoiding the shortage of skilled workers

Even as the economy slows, the demographic trap remains a challenge for the German economy: Despite downsizing in some sectors, many companies and institutions still suffer from a shortage of qualified personnel.
E-3 Magazine
April 1, 2013
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

The German government notes that SMEs have built up a large workforce in recent years and now have more vacancies. The Federal Employment Agency shows that the shortage of skilled workers has spread to other occupational groups compared to the previous year.

According to a survey by the DIHK, the shortage of skilled workers is still noticeable, particularly in SMEs. Even the supposed easing of the situation as a result of the weaker economy should not obscure the fact that qualified staff is and will remain in short supply in the SME sector.

In an earlier article in this magazine, we showed how process optimization can be used to manage the consequences of demographic change so that it does not become a demographic trap:

  • Employees have more time for value-adding activities
  • Less qualified employees can handle sub-processes
  • Managers have more time for their leadership tasks
  • Higher motivation
  • the performance of older employees increases
  • New employees become productive more quickly
  • Work-life balance is improved

If long-term aspects are also taken into account when optimizing processes and workplaces, task content and performance requirements are designed appropriately, physical and psychological damage can be contained.

A company therefore has a double benefit: It exploits the potential of its employees and is attractive to existing and potential employees. Achieving these benefits efficiently and sustainably places high demands on process optimization.

To differentiate it from common practice, this is referred to as "comprehensive process optimization" and is characterized by the following aspects:

While the previous objectives were cost reduction, time reduction and quality improvement, the optimal utilization of employee potential and the high attractiveness of the company have now been added.

Whereas organizational and IT experts used to work independently of each other, they are now closely interlinked. This is necessary for optimization, as not all process parts can be mapped in one IT system, especially in the complex corporate world.

Furthermore, a balance must be found between standard IT processes and the necessary flexibility of the respective company.

Lifelong Learning

Processes are trained holistically through employee training, meaning that employees learn about the entire process in addition to the IT system. As part of major change projects, training is preceded by organizational process improvement, unlike in the past.

Only when employees have become accustomed to the new standardizations will the processes be mapped in the ERP system. This is the basis for continuous improvement, in which bottle-necks are eliminated one by one with regard to the customer-to-customer process.

Pikon graphics
In addition to cost, quality and time optimization, comprehensive process optimization also focuses on the potential of employees.
E-3 Magazine

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