An key goal of the Personnel Development 4.0 concept is to provide targeted services to prepare employees and managers for the challenges they will face in the working world of the future. The educational program, which is available to all employees, is strongly focused on strengthening their skills in using methods and platforms. In particular, this applies to collaboration and interaction in everyday working life and the use of new digital technologies.

The Energie AG Future Lab was newly developed and rolled out for the first time in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. This one-year programme was specially created for Austrian managers and highly talented younger staff (PowerTalents) and focused on learning from others and being exposed to new working methods. At the same time, the participants came up with ideas for Energie AG’s future development. After the Future Lab was concluded, these were implemented within the scope of various projects.

Additional upskilling events are also aimed at managers and highly talented younger staff. These aim to provide an outward-looking perspective by bringing in various keynote speakers. The talk held in the 2018/2019 fiscal year covered start-ups and success factors for collaboration between established companies and newly launched ventures. Skill-building events also provide a welcome opportunity for managers and star employees to have conversations and share their thoughts with one another.

A new round of the “Leadership Experience Discussion Circle” was launched for team and group leaders in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. These thrice-a-year get-togethers involve participants discussing leadership-related topics in small groups, accompanied by a coach. The group is intended to help attendees solve problems that arise in their day-to-day leadership roles, as well as encouraging these supervisory staff to be open to bouncing ideas off each other.

In the 2018/2019 fiscal year, talented younger staff members received feedback on their skills during the course of the PowerTalent Programme, after which they went on to create development plans agreed with their supervisors. One of the development opportunities available was the chance to take part in the Energie AG Management Advanced Programme, which lasts for two years and focuses on vital topics for the future such as innovation and change.

Protecting the lives and physical and mental health of employees is an integral part of every employer’s duty of care. With regard to mental health in particular, Energie AG is planning to establish a conflict management system designed in line with recognised standards for Groups. An internal team worked together with an external conflict management expert to develop a structured model, which lays out a recommended pathway to conflict resolution. The aim should generally be to resolve conflicts in-house. However, if a solution cannot be mutually agreed upon with the involvement of the relevant points of contact (both outside and inside the hierarchy), it will be possible in future in to call in an external liaison service for conflicts, which was set up on 1 April 2019. To accompany the conflict management system’s roll-out, managers and employees received training in various event formats on how to suitably deal with conflicts.

In addition, extensive information on the subject of conflict management can be found on the Group’s Intranet and on an app specially created for this purpose.

To assure the company is capable of proactively mastering future challenges, it is important for its employees to have the relevant skills at their disposal and for diversity to be embraced not only in recruiting, but also internally (for example, when filling management positions).

The FORWARD Programme, which has been running in Austria since October 2017, gives younger female staff within the company support and development opportunities through a combination of mentoring and discussions about management topics. Since the programme was launched, four of its graduates have been promoted to leadership positions.

In the Czech Republic segment, the percentage of women in the workforce fell in 2018/2019 due to an increased turnover rate, which also led to a slight drop in the percentage of women in management positions. In addition to the turnover rate, restructuring measures resulting in a higher employee headcount had an impact on the decrease in the performance review involvement rate.