Future-directed companies face structural transformation

Future-directed companies face structural transformation

EU project SWOPS presents counseling model for human resource managers

Berlin, 03. August 2016. Companies that want to be prepared for the future must actively face up to the structural transformation. The practical EU project SWOPS (the term stands for structural change-oriented personnel strategy) has developed key areas for action and provides a hands-on advice tool for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Europe in German and English. The tool acts like a compass through a process of change and enables a successful structural change-, gender and future-oriented personnel strategy. A central aspect of SWOPS was the study of equal opportunities in decision-making positions. Especially for SMEs this will be crucial since they faced with the consequences of demographic change and the crisis in human resources to a greater extent than larger companies or corporations.

Over two years SWOPS accompanied CEOs and leaders of 15 small and medium enterprises in France, Sweden, Austria and Germany. The project was initiated by BPW (Business and Professional Women) Club Berlin e.V., funded by the EU and under the auspices of the Berlin Senator for Labour, Integration and Women, Dilek Kolat.


“SWOPS has shown that personnel policies in SMEs are mostly not shared and supported by the employees, since the personnel planning often runs alongside and is planned seldom strategically” as Cornelia F. Kramer, 1st Chairman of BPW Club Berlin e.V., says. “But exactly that may decide the future of a company. The program herewith submitted SWOPS HR advice tool developed for personnel in the human resources includes therefore explicitly modules that show how an effective strategy can be developed. The open consultation model is unique in its form in which concentration and wealth of information and recommendations offered to CEOs, personell officers and consultants equally with valuable assistance in change processes.”


Nine key areas for action and measures for a successful HR strategy

The elaborated areas of action and measures for the structural change and gender-oriented human resources strategy focused on a human resources management, which is based in addition on the immediate economic interests of the different circumstances of employees.

The central areas of action are:


1) Corporate culture – it substantially affects the meaningfulness of work and the extent to which employees identify with the company,


2) Employer Branding – a favorable response employer brand to build and maintain a positive employer image both internally and externally


3) Guidance – measures to early trigger the attention of potential candidates,


4) Recruitment – an appropriate selection process ensures a successful recruitment,


5) Reconciliation of work and private life – equal opportunities depend to a large extent, under what conditions work-life balance can be agreed, necessity of working time models, which are based on different phases of life,


6) Vocational education and training – a high-quality education and training plays a crucial role in addressing the structural changes


7) Career Planning – binding of women as highly skilled professionals to the company,


8) Performance Management & Compensation – besides monetary incentives, employees see essential motivators for their performance especially in the type of work and the corporate culture, and


9) Workplace health Management (WHP) – due to multidimensional and partly novel health stressors must WHP be an integral part of modern personnel management.


According to the findings of SWOPS it is not necessary to consider all measures individually, but rather to develop a holistic view of the company custom solutions for different market conditions and the life phase-oriented needs of their employees.


Strategy development processes often fail already at the very beginning of the practical implementation

SMEs that recognize their own shortcomings in human resources and actively want to trigger a process of change, often fail because with the concrete practice of the counseling process. In many stages of the process, they feel helpless, whether in the first formulation of their needs, their needs and their goals, whether in the search and selection of a suitable consultant, in carrying out the consultation process itself, in the evaluation of the results or the subsequent application in the enterprise. The HR consulting models SWOPS therefore provides advice and guidance on how SMEs can address the process of strategy development and implementation, and how to select suitable personnel development and process consultants. SWOPS also gives input on the qualifications and quality of consultants, since generic competences are difficult to measure.


SWOPS as a compass in change processes

The SWOPS HR consultancy tool can be used as a compass in the change process of a company: contract clarification, preparation of change concepts, implementation planning and subsequent implementation work with the management and the team are described in detail and guided. The tool provides a wealth of information that does not yet exist as a one-stop date: legitimation for equality and arguments for the consideration of equal opportunities as an economic factor (order clarification for the forthcoming structural change), methodological suggestions / Sources, proposals for concrete change measures address weaknesses in the system (focus on implementation, practical application).

Consultants may submit their applications in counseling based on the modules and the modules execute – depending on where the company is being advised. The modules are content designed so that the views of the consultant is almost automatically directed to the whole company. Thus an inventory and resulting determination of areas of action of the holistic view of the company and the identification of weaknesses in the whole system is ensured.


Download: SWOPS HR Consultancy-Tool 2016 (Englisch)

>> SWOPS HR-Consultancy Tool 2016 (pdf)


Moreover, a good practices catalog was created with recommendations for the implementation of the structure-oriented human resources strategy as well as a comparative country analysis:

Download from: swops.eu/en/downloads/project-results/


About swops
The central concern of BPW Club Berlin e.V. as initiator of the EU project SWOPS is to achieve with the introduction of a structural change oriented personnel strategy and more equal opportunities in decision-making positions. – www.swops.eu


About the BPW Club Berlin e.V.
The Business and Professional Women (BPW) is one of the most influential international networks of professional women. In Germany, the BPW Germany is committed to equal opportunities for women and men in all areas. Among the 44 BPW clubs in Germany, the Berlin Club is one of the largest. – www.bpw-berlin.de