Customer-Centric Innovations in SMEs –“Recruiting the Young Generation Workforce: Innovative HR Management” (REGROW)

Project NO 2020-1-DE02-KA202-007396
Programme: PROGRAMME Erasmus +
Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices

Duration: 01-09-2020 – 28.02.2023: 30 months

Lead partner:

  • Hanse Parlament e.V., Hamburg (Germany)
  • Berufsakademie Hamburg gGmbH, Hamburg (Germany)
  • Arbeit und Zukunft e.V., Hamburg (Germany)
  • Izba Rzemieślnicza w Opolu (Handwerkskammer Opole), Poland
  • Wielkopolskiej Izby Rzemieślniczej w Poznaniu (Handwerkskammer Poznan), Poland
  • Kodasema OÜ, Tallin (Estonia)
  • International Business College (IBC), Kolding (Denmark)

In many EU countries there is a severe shortage of young skilled workers, especially in SMEs. This has a negative impact on the growth prospects and competitiveness of SMEs. Even countries such as Germany, with its dual vocational training system, which has traditional strengths in attracting young talents, are having increasing difficulties in meeting the shortage of young skilled workers.

At the same time, many SMEs also have problems integrating the new recruits they have acquired into the company properly and building a relationship based on mutual satisfaction. The fact that this is increasingly not achieved on both sides is shown by both surveys on employee and employer satisfaction. The high prevalence of mental illness, such as burnout and depression among young people, which is the reason for 50% of all dismissals in Millennials and 75% in Generation Z, is also worrying.

The overall aim of this project is to improve the situation described above, taking into account both the employer and the employee side. Instruments, best practices and digital models for human resource management as well as various training programmes with different measures for SME managers lead to the implementation of a modern human resource management in SMEs. The toolbox to identify competencies, skills and life aspirations will help to ensure that employees‘ concerns are recognised and adequately addressed. It will also make it possible to compare personal ideas with company goals.

A train the trainer programme, which is continuously carried out by colleges and universities, ensures that the digital models and the toolbox are used properly and that SMEs receive high-quality training and advice. With a further training programme, SME managers acquire all the necessary skills. While learning on the job, modern human resources management in SMEs is simultaneously realised by using all models and the toolbox. The mentoring programme is particularly intended to work towards better understanding between employees of different age groups. With the project contents compiled in this way, the aim is to achieve a holistic, forward-looking human resources management and to offer SMEs all the instruments, qualifications, advice and support they need to implement the programme from a single source.

The seven partners of this project from Denmark, Germany, Estonia and Poland were selected according to their special skills in developing concepts, designing teaching materials and programmes, individual implementation and dissemination skills and project management knowledge. The result is an experienced, transnational consortium of qualified research and vocational training institutions. The partners are characterised by their broad catalogue of skills, competences and experience. Personnel expertise as well as management capacities are available to a sufficient extent.

A comprehensive project management concept ensures that all objectives are achieved on time. The communication between the partners is supported by a communication concept. The content work is carried out according to the highest academic standards. Sophisticated work is carried out by proven experts. The meticulous development, testing, evaluation and improvement of the project results ensure validated and transferable intellectual outputs. These methodologies ensure a favourable cost-benefit ratio when implementing the project.

The composition of the partner structure is important for estimating the potential longer-term benefits. The direct implementation of the project results with individual project partners ensures the emergence of positive implementation examples. These lead to high adaptation rates. From the beginning of the project, 68 associated partners from 13 countries will be involved in all project activities. They receive all project results and comprehensive advice, so that a very large number of SMEs are addressed and the project results can be used on a broad regional basis. Further dissemination of the project and its results, for example on websites, through press releases, social media channels, etc., is also very important and is explicitly addressed in the dissemination concept. International dissemination and use in as many regions and countries as possible plays a major role at the beginning of the project, as all digital models, best practices, toolboxes, concepts and curricula are designed for international use in order to promote transfer and implementation in other countries.

General Objectives and Tasks

  1. Develop and promote a digitisation concept and a human resources toolbox in SMEs
  2. Include personal competencies and ideas about life of the employees and applicants and set them in context with company goals, thereby
  3. Support a holistic personnel management SMEs, strengthening the position of SMEs and young applicants on the job market
  4. Develop high-quality train the trainer, manager and employee trainings

Tasks of Arbeit und Zukunft e.V.

  • Active Participation at 6 Workshops and 1 Conference
  • Deliver Drafts and Reports, Publications, Presentations, Transfer Activities etc.
  • Analysis and preparation of best practices for modern personnel management
  • Development of a concept for SME-friendly digitisation in general and in human resources management in particular
  • Development of a concept as well as drafts for curriculum and teaching materials for a Train the Trainer/Consultants Programme
  • Trial of the Train the Trainer/Consultants programme
  • Evaluation of the trials [HR-Management] and on the basis of the evaluation results completion of the further training and coaching programme with all documents
  • Develop application notes and usage recommendations for the further education and coaching programme and for conducting examinations

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