MAN Diesel & Turbo’s global careers development

uses a unique talent programme from CfL

CfL’s advanced Career Clarification Programme stood out from the competition when the German group chose the consultancy for assessing and developing executive candidates.

Executive candidates at MAN Diesel & Turbo’s departments in Europe, North and South America as well as Asia are all being invited to participate in the group’s MDT Career Clarification Programme, which has been developed and led by CfL’s consultants.

The careers development has so far benefited more than 130 executive candidates who have broadly learned: Who am I? What am I like? What is good for me and my career? Martina Zimmermann was behind the headline. She heads the HR Development World Wide department at MAN Diesel & Turbo from her office in Augsburg in Germany.

Most advanced development programme

“When I joined the group in 2008, we had to find a way of developing young potential executive candidates in the organisation, and we decided to use CfL’s development programme.”

“I think the CfL concept is highly advanced. It is both results-oriented and very high-end as a concept. I have worked with HR development in German companies since 1993, and I have never encountered such a modern and future-oriented approach. We looked for similar development programmes among German consultancy firms, but no one else was in a position to supply such a sophisticated development programme,” says Martina Zimmermann.

”When I joined the company in 2008 we had to find a solution how to foster young potential candidates in the organization and we found that we would use the CfL programme.”

”I think the concept is very sophisticated. On the one side it is a very output oriented concept on the other side a high-end solution. I have worked with HRD for German organizations since 1993 and I have never had such a modern and forward-thinking approach. We looked for a similar help among German consultancies but no one could deliver a solution at the same level so far.”

Collaborating with CfL started back in 2006, when the then MAN Diesel in Denmark needed to retain talented employees at a time with a thriving economy and considerable mobility. CfL successfully supplied a special Leadership Training programme, which was then replaced by the programme for careers development, which has today become the merged MAN Diesel & Turbo’s (MDT) preferred tool for talent and careers development.

Careers development in all cultures

“CfL looks at leadership and careers development in a universal or international context, which makes it possible for us to have executive candidates from Germany, Denmark, France, India, Asia etc. in the career development programme. The international level – where the focus is on synergies and basic human values – benefits all our candidates,” says Martina Zimmermann.

”CfL look upon leadership and development in a universal way or should I say at a international level which means that we have potential candidates from Germany, Denmark, France, Asia, India, Argentina, U.S. and so joining the programme. The international og universal level, which means concentrating on synergies and basic human values, is a benefit for all of our candidates.”

MDT has approx. 13,000 employees, with about 10,000 in Europe and about 3,000 in the global part of the company – in China, South Korea, India, the Middle East, USA, Canada and South America.

Benefits the candidates and the business

The career development programme is not just a big opportunity for young executive talents to clarify which direction their career is taking. It also benefits the group as a whole, which acquires valuable knowledge about its executive talents and the chance to match the right men and women with the right jobs.

“The HRD department has fantastic insight into the candidates’ personalities, strengths and development opportunities as well as knowing what motivates them. Moreover, the programme ends with a recommendation of which development possibilities or career programme would be best for the person in question.”

“The programme focuses to a great extent on self-reflection. Another very important factor is that the candidates are much more open vis-à-vis their personal career development and feedback than they were at the outset. The programme actually changes how the candidates approach their own development, shifting responsibility for development from HR to the candidates themselves,” says Martina Zimmermann.

”From the HRD side we get a very good insight in the personalities, the strentghs end development areas of the potential candidates and their motivation. Outcome of the programme is a recommendation which devleopment or career steps might be the best for the person.

The program focuses very much on self-reflection. Therefore the second major effect is that the candidates at the end of the programme are much more open to their personal development and feedback than they were at the beginning. I think the programme changes the approach of growing and developing, shifts it from HR responsibility towards self-responsibility.

And for the HR its also very important to get this information because we have to work along with people, to foster them and to respect them as an individual and unique being. We will also have to know if someone is able and willing to go for a leadership career or a project management career.”

She emphasises that this knowledge about the candidates is important for HR in relation to how the department supports and collaborates with the candidates and to showing them the right respect as individuals. The knowledge also helps to clarify who has the skills and determination to pursue, for example, an executive career or a career as a project manager.

Long-term development programme

Much of the success can be attributed to the fact that CfL uses internationally validated tools which enable the consultants and the HR staff to get so close to the participants that it is possible to prepare very precise and high-quality profiles of the candidates and their potential.

Career Clarification has been a part of MDT’s career programme for three years, and this will continue for some years yet according to Martina Zimmermann until the effect of the programme is rooted throughout the organisation.