Lisa-Sophie Schmidt has been responsible for Talent Management and personnel development at Kiwigrid for a year now. Her job is to understand and address the needs of employees in a holistic way. We asked Lisa-Sophie about the challenges she faces on a daily basis and the added value her work brings to her colleagues, which gave us a deeper insight into her day-to-day work.
How do you understand talent management and personnel development?
Lisa-Sophie: For me, it's all about taking a holistic approach to the needs of employees. Personnel development and talent management are closely intertwined. We want to provide our employees with professional and methodological training, and also support their personal development. The overriding goal is to secure the company's future together with a balanced and motivated workforce.
In addition to individual topics, I also consider team development to be an important area of responsibility. This topic has become particularly important as a result of the pandemic. It is about how teams can find their way back to each other after such a long period of social distancing and how they can best adapt to circumstances such as remote working.
What specific tasks does your job involve?
Lisa-Sophie: A large part of my work revolves around preparing personnel and development reviews with employees and conducting them together with managers. I also provide advice and support to managers. Together, we work to make the best possible use of employees' potential and to align their tasks with their strengths and interests. The demands of a leadership role are very diverse, which is why we regularly hold leadership coaching sessions, for which I take on the planning and organization in collaboration with external coaches.
Another important area of responsibility is competence management within the company. To this end, I'm working on a skills catalog that lists who has what potential at Kiwigrid. Such a catalog helps us to keep track of the skills and abilities of our company's employees. This means we can rely more on existing skills and are less dependent on external help. To promote the internal transfer of knowledge, I also organize in-house training courses, for example, and I am also the contact person for specialist training courses, language courses and further education. This means that I always have an overview of the entire range of courses on offer and can advise colleagues on what makes the most sense for them.
Just a few weeks ago, as part of team development, I held a workshop on the topic of communication culture. Working in a team is about much more than just functioning, and communication is the key to this. In the workshop, we reflected together on what has changed in the way we work together and how to make our collaboration effective and based on trust.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
Lisa-Sophie: There is actually no such thing as a typical working day for me, because every day is really different. However, I have to remain very flexible in my daily planning because it can always occur that someone spontaneously needs my help. For example, it may happen that a manager or an employee needs to talk to me after a staff meeting. Such spontaneous requests always have priority for me.
What made you decide to become a talent manager?
Lisa-Sophie: It has been clear to me since my school days that I would like to work in human resources. Over the years, I have gained experience and impressions in various areas of HR and have increasingly specialized in personnel development - this is something I am very passionate about. I worked as a recruiter and HR manager for many years, but I missed the holistic approach that personnel development offers. As a talent manager, I have the opportunity to advise, support and advance employees and managers systemically. The position at Kiwigrid was a real stroke of luck for me, because it covers exactly the topics I wanted to specialize in.
What are the biggest challenges for you in your job?
Lisa-Sophie: The fact that my job is so varied also means that there are many unexpected situations that I have to face every day. That's exciting and thrilling, but it also means that my daily schedule often changes unexpectedly.
Taking on the role of mediator requires a high degree of diplomacy. Often, great communication skills are needed to mediate between two sides. My job is particularly intense in times of increased staff turnover and restructuring, because these create all kinds of special situations that need to be resolved. That's exactly what I value, because such situations create opportunities for further development, and that's very important to me.
What makes your job special for you?
Lisa-Sophie: One of the central points for me is the establishment of measures to support and train our employees. I want to give them the tools they need to successfully carry out their daily tasks. At the same time, I try to ensure that there is a certain amount of room for self-realization and personal development. It fulfills me to support people and create satisfaction.
What I particularly appreciate about my position at Kiwigrid is that I'm given a free hand and that even some crazy ideas are accepted and encouraged. This makes my job wonderfully varied and versatile. It fulfills my need as a creative person to create something myself and to realize my own ideas. Even though we sometimes encounter obstacles in our work, in the end everyone at Kiwigrid always pulls together. I really appreciate this professional and familiar cooperation.
I'm also very grateful for how quickly and naturally I was accepted in my role as a link between management and employees. I appreciate the great working atmosphere and felt completely at home after just a few weeks.