This was the case at the Copetri 2022 Convention in Offenbach – human resource management

“It’s not the technologies that change the world, but the way we humans use them,” said Sascha Lobo. “Successful transformation comes from within.” He repeatedly emphasized that the emphasis is on people: “We say that we are in a traffic jam, but we are in a traffic jam.” This image also applies to transformation: “You are not experiencing this transformation, no, you are transformation.”

With such statements, the author, blogger and digital expert was of course well received at the Copetri Convention, conferences and fairs for HR managers, new employees and many others who are interested in the subject of HR people, transformation and innovation. It was the first time this week. Around 2,500 visitors came to the old industrial plant in Fredenhagen in Offenbach am Main.

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His discussion partner, Vera Demary, head of the Digitization of the Competence Field, Structural Change and Competition at the German Economic Institute in Cologne, also agreed with Lobo’s statements: “We are all here because networking is important, but companies are still very slow.” . The impatience of users who do not take advantage of “immediacy”, as Lobo called it. The third contributor, Stephan Fischer, professor of human resource management and organizational consulting at the University of Pforzheim, gave a possible reason for this: Transformation cannot only come from employees, we have to look at it at three levels: “There is a micro and meso – and a macro level: workers they are dealing with transformation; we experience transformation at the company level, for example with New Work; and companies have to change and adapt to the environment ”.

We feel

The transformation and digitization of remote work is very tangible and affects every employee. How the organizers shorten the event was also widely discussed at CoCon22. After the coronavirus blockades, in which, of course, almost all employees worked from home, they did not want to go back to the old model, said Tobias Salzmann, managing director of the medical group Büdingen. Today, most employees can therefore work from home for up to three days – although in five companies belonging to a group with five different corporate cultures, one principle does not make sense for everyone, even within one company: “In IT, maybe one rule makes sense, in accounting it’s different, ”says Salzmann.

Teresa Hertwig, founder of the specialist consulting company GetRemote and the author, agreed. The distant rules are a cultural issue and should not be decided top-down. Of course, it is important to foster a sense of community, which is difficult or impossible to do remotely. But even companies that no longer have a central office can do something like this through off-sites or workworks, added Tandemploy founder Anna Kaiser, who briefly sat on the podium with Hertwig, Salzmann and moderator Marcus Merheim. Three hours of dancing alone on the first night of the convention would go a long way in integrating Tandemploy’s employees into the new parent company, Phenom.

Insights and sun loungers

In general, in addition to panels and lectures and stands of service providers and companies, the main goal of the event was exchange and networking. In the best of weather, some sat on sun loungers or on a beer bench and talked to all the people they had only seen through Teams and Skype in the past two years. What the exhibitors and speakers sometimes feel sorry for, was for many participants the highlight of the event – something that can be heard quite often at the moment.

Many exhibitors booked a booth in the hall - and suffered a bit from the good weather outside.  (Photo: Matthias Schmidt-Stein)
Many exhibitors booked a booth in the hall – and suffered a bit from the good weather outside. (Photo: Matthias Schmidt-Stein)

Those who dared to attend lectures or discussions called “Deep Diving” regularly received interesting insights. For example, about sustainable development, the main topic of the present Human Resource Management. Professor Torsten Weber of BS International Business School, for example, advocated using the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a guide. Rupert Felder, head of human resources at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, said the ESG criteria made sense as a guide. Sustainable development must be approached holistically, even if HR can make the greatest contribution to the “social” aspect. Miriam Schilling, head of human resources and organization at Vaude Sport, added that all employees must be involved in order for the company to operate more sustainably. In the case of HR, this would mean, among other things, building the right skills among employees, combining benefits with sustainable development goals, intensifying dialogue with employees and, of course, ensuring the sustainability of jobs. Critical questions came from the audience. Visitors to the event wanted to know: How to convince colleagues, and above all management, to change? “Because otherwise they won’t survive as a business in the long run,” was Felder’s reply.

Linkedin stars on the site

There were also celebrities from Linkedin, such as Cawa Younosi, Global Head of People Experience at SAP. He actually discussed social media with Katharina Krentz, the founder and influencer moderated by Reiner Straub, publisher of the personal magazine. Younosi explained who he wants to reach with social media: “My main target is current employees,” he said. “Use the media to inform them. If they are happy the news travels to the outside market. ” Krentz also uses social media to strengthen the employer’s brand: “Social media can be used to visualize your own work, show what you do and how we do it, and from the perspective of those who do it. It is worth its weight in gold for the presentation of the company, for Employer Branding. “

But they both see the limitations of communication on social networks: “I only post things that I really have something to say about because I want to start a dialogue with people,” said Krentz. “When I post on other topics, it quickly gets out of my mind because there are people who can do it better.” Younosi advised to be critical: “A critical eye is appropriate. If I only pay attention to the number of clicks, I devalue the experts.”

Rounds presenting the results of the so-called Copetri circles. Various experts gathered there beforehand to reflect on the topic of New Job – and make it understandable based on 15 dimensions, one of which also included the possibility of remote work. But also “Persoblogger” Stefan Scheller, Renate Sommer and Philipp Wichert, who presented some dimensions, emphasized that it is not good or important that every company is so far to the right in the continuum between “old job” and “new job” to be able to classify. They preferred to discriminate impartially, such as mistreating employees who have nothing directly to do with the New Job. “The solution to a toxic work environment is a non-toxic work environment,” said Wichert consultant. “Non-toxic new work environment.”


He manages the online human resources department and deals with, inter alia, thematic planning of the website. He mainly writes texts on labor law, digitization and medium-sized companies.

As editor, Kirstin Gründerel is responsible for the Total Rewards portal and the personal journal of the FAZ.

He is the editor of the Human Resources department. It focuses mainly on the topics of diversity, equality and work-life balance.

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