Martin Seiler, Board Member Human Resources & Legal Affairs at Deutsche Bahn AG , at Distinguished Guest Online at the Entrepreneurial School®.
Last year, the Corona crisis changed the world of work overnight. "Corona acted as a fire accelerator under difficult conditions as far as competencies and qualifications are concerned," Martin Seiler is convinced. As the Board Member for Human Resources & Legal Affairs delegating 320,000 employees, he should know.
Now the question is how we deal with it and what the working world of tomorrow will look like. "We know now, that we can do both - digital and personal," Seiler emphasizes. At the same time, Seiler also sees clear advantages in the digitized working world. Managers can get in touch with each other more quickly. When holding Team Talks or similar, Seiler reaches up to 1,000 employees within a very short time.
But Seiler also misses personal contact with colleagues and employees. For managers, this means that they have to learn how to deal with the fact that the team is not directly on site and how to measure their performance. Since the demands on managers changed even before Corona, new demands on managers have been addressed in Deutsche Bahn's Future Lab for some time.
Seiler explains, "Last year, we digitized the recruiting process within 14 days. Per month, 6000 job interviews are conducted digitally." Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a major role for Seiler in this context. In HR marketing, advertised job profiles and applications are reviewed with the help of AI. After that, however, people come into play. After all, employees are the company's business cards, and it is important to be able to present oneself as well as the company during the interview process.
At the same time, Seiler believes it is important to keep employees in the company for the long term. Here it becomes clear that it is important for employees to be able to influence the way they form their workplace. For employers, Seiler sees great potential here to create the necessary framework conditions. According to Seiler, there are three key factors in retaining employees in a company:
Do my tasks make sense?Am I given responsibility?Can I shape my workplace - not just in terms of content, but in the working environment?
Corona is not the only thing putting Deutsche Bahn's human resources management to the test. The German Republic has committed to supporting Deutsche Bahn in the current mobility transformation over the next ten years. For Seiler, questions about how to get the 'strong rail strategy' through the the current economic crisis, or how to protect the health of employees and customers while driving these long-term investments, can present a contradiction for leadership.
Good leadership skills can help navigate stressful times. Seiler defines a good leadership style by the characteristics of wanting to take on responsibility and being happy to do so, as well as straightforwardness and reliability.
Martin Seiler, born in 1964, held various HR positions at DeutscheTelekom before joining DB. His most recent position, as of June 2015, was Managing Director Human Resources and Labor Director for 70,000 employees at Telekom Deutschland, as well as Management Spokesman for Telekom Training, with Group-wide responsibility for all trainees and dual students.
Seiler began his career in 1980 at Deutsche Post in Baden-Baden. After holding positions at Deutsche Postgewerkschaft, where he was a member of the European Commission's Social Dialogue, and ver.di, among others, Seiler took on various management functions at Deutsche Post in Bonn from 2003.
Among other things, he was responsible for the integration of the HR work of the DHL companies in Germany as HR Managing Director of the Express and Logistics division from 2004. As a member of the divisional HR board of Express Germany, Martin Seiler conducted numerous social partner-relevant negotiations for the company. From 2009, he was also responsible for the HR work of all DHL companies in Switzerland and Austria.
In 2010, he moved to Deutsche Telekom as Managing Director Human Resources and Labor Director of Deutsche Telekom Kundenservice GmbH.