HHLA to prepare its employees for the challenges of the digital transformation

HHLA to prepare its employees for the challenges of the digital transformation

“Thinking, acting and leading digitally.” Under this principle, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) has launched a qualification programme with the goal of purposefully training staff members for the challenges of the digital transformation.

The “pilots for the future” will gain the abilities to successfully manage projects and processes and to lead staff members. The training campaign will be promoted as part of the German government’s law for qualification opportunities and implemented by the Federal Employment Agency’s Hamburg office.

HHLA’s Chief Human Resources Officer Torben Seebold at the presentation of the programme said:

“The ‘pilots for the future’ will act at important interfaces within the Group to safeguard HHLA’s successful digital transformation and sustainable development.”

As the engine of digital change at the Port of Hamburg, HHLA wants to actively contribute to shaping the processes associated with digitalisation. This should include more than investing in innovative technologies and in the future highly promising sectors.

Torben Seebold added:

“At the same time, we must also prepare our employees for the forthcoming changes. The digital transformation is changing jobs and creating new ones. We will only be able to face the ever-more complex challenges in a prompt and flexible manner with the help of qualified staff members who are open to new ideas and complete their tasks with courage and a sense of responsibility.”

The qualification of HHLA specialists and managers as certified “pilots for the future” has been taking place since December. At the core of the measures is the expansion of agile methodological competences, modern innovation processes, collaboration in complex systems and the transition to a project and network-oriented organisation. In order to deal responsibly with the fears and defensive reactions triggered by digitalisation, social skill sets and empathic leadership are also part of the programme. 18 staff members from a broad range of areas within HHLA will participate in the first round of this qualification measure. They represent the three container terminals in Hamburg as well as Unikai, Hamburger Container- und Chassis-Reparatur-Gesellschaft (HCCR), HPC Hamburg Port Consulting and the holding company.
HHLA’s Chief Human Resources Officer Torben Seebold emphasised that training and education measures are the backbone of the company’s strategic personnel development. In 2018, the Group invested € 4.6 million in the training and education of its employees in Hamburg alone. He also thanked Sönke Fock, Chairman of the Board at the Federal Employment Agency’s Hamburg office, for the support and promotion of the “pilots for the future” qualification measure.
The Federal Employment Agency covers or subsidises the costs for the courses and the payment of salaries during the training period. Sönke Fock keeps a close eye on the changing labour market:

“Companies based in Hamburg must also constantly prove their competitiveness in a market that is becoming more and more global. At the same time, employees must face new challenges in the work process.”

He thanks HHLA for its smart and far-sighted decision to allow its own staff to take part in the transformation and to help shape it:

“Operations, administration and work processes, and therefore almost all employees, will have to face digital changes in ever-shorter intervals. Career profiles will not disappear but will change considerably. Therefore, professional training during active employment is the decisive key for the successful implementation of the structural change. Accordingly, the Federal Employment Agency in Hamburg supports local companies.”