Engineering the future world of work

February 4, 2019

Dr. Sebastian Hubert, senior HR business partner for Siemens in the UK, talks about his new role and how the company is upskilling its staff

Taking on the role of senior HR business partner in the UK and moving to the North East has been a great opportunity for me and I’ve certainly received a very warm welcome. It’s a departure from my former consultancy and head of strategy and technology talent acquisition roles where I worked across the globe in countries including Singapore and Germany, but I’m hoping I can bring some of that experience to the role. One of my key responsibilities is leading the change required to establish an agile and adaptive organisational culture and to help teams deliver their full potential.

At Siemens, we believe that learning and development is key in both individuals’ success and that of the organisation as a whole. We provide opportunities for all our employees to grow and develop, working with them to identify support required while encouraging them to take ownership of their own development.

An extensive range of training covering many different areas is offered through the organisation’s ‘learning campus’. It is here employees can identify, book and complete the right courses for them. We also have skills and competency frameworks in place so employees can continuously learn and record new skills and qualifications.

Beyond that, it’s great to see how staff at Siemens proactively share knowledge and expertise to support colleagues on a day-to-day basis.

Siemens operates in 190 countries and we know that the best performing teams are those that are diverse. Diversity and inclusion is a key priority for the business and making it a reality can be challenging – especially with some of our engineering roles. Ensuring that our recruitment is focused on finding the right person and advertising our roles across lots of different platforms is a priority.

Entry-level talent is the life-blood of our business, which includes apprentices, internships and graduates. Currently, we have more than 500 apprentices at Siemens across the UK and we have been actively working with the government to drive up apprenticeship standards. Last year, we recruited 80 graduates, 88 internships and 103 summer placements. We also have strategic partnerships with universities including Newcastle University, where pioneering projects such as the MindSphere lab have been launched. The lab is an open, cloud-based operating system that enables individuals to gather and analyse data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) with advanced analytics helping students, researchers and businesses make better use of data to drive learning and innovation.

Digitalisation is an enabler to facilitate efficiency, improve operations and help businesses move faster. We recognise that this is both an opportunity and challenge for our existing workforce, so a key focus is developing courses and opportunities to support learning around digital products and solutions through our ‘learning campus’ portal, knowledge exchange programmes like reverse mentoring, and digital ambassador groups.

Key challenges for the future workforce are how to adapt company culture, introduce agile ways of working and continue to shape the future in our digitalised world. At Siemens, we are exploring employee-led flexibility, continuous up-skilling and re-skilling to prepare employees for the future.

We have a strategic workstream looking at diversity and inclusion and the future of work co-created with our employees, partners and customers.