Already during the selection process, Uzbek executives from SMEs stressed how important it was to them to learn modern methods of personnel management in Germany. The German Management Academy of Lower Saxony (DMAN) therefore organised the Programme with particular attention to this topic. The 22 Uzbek participants assessed methods for analysing potential, strategies for conducting talks with employees and measures for increasing motivation from a personnel management training programme as having a practical orientation and being very suitable for their companies at home. The knowledge gained was consolidated through visits to German companies.
Celle. After numerous visits to German companies, Uzbek participants summarised that recognition from superiors was the most important motivating factor for German employees − large salaries were rather of secondary importance. Moreover, the employees were proud of the quality of the products and identified with the company’s values. The Uzbek executives also observed that German superiors often “rolled up their sleeves” and had a good knowledge of the technology, too. The managers saw this style of leadership at Nerak GmbH and Schreiber+Weinert GmbH, among others, and described it as “democratic”. “In contrast to this, we have a very hierarchical structure, and top executives seldom speak with employees in the production area”, Awazbek Karimow explained. The response to the question of whether the style of leadership they had seen in Germany could be applied in Uzbekistan varied within the group. Some top executives said that they already consulted employees when taking decisions and knew the employees in the production area personally. Other group members, again, believed that superiors lost their assertiveness through this “democratic” leadership style.
The Uzbek managers also gained new insights regarding work organisation and logistics. They found information boards at many of the production sites they visited, which informed all employees about the company indicators and the correct operation of machinery, and markings on the floor that prevent accidents. The participants also took a look at the systems for recording working time and at the staff rooms in German companies. “These measures don’t cost much and are easy to introduce in our companies; at the same time, they contribute largely to a pleasant working atmosphere”, Timur Negmatow concluded.
The visit to the fully automatic spare-parts centre at Jungheinrich AG in Kaltenkirchen was definitely a highlight of the programme. Some of the participants were already familiar with the company. “It’s like being in a fairy tale or in a futuristic film”, joked Yulduz Waliewa, head of the marketing department at an Uzbek producer of heavy industrial textiles. “Even very heavy goods can be stored in Kaltenkirchen. This would be very helpful with our textile roles”, she said.