Change is constant in life

"The only constant is change"

The competitive pressure on the markets can now be felt at every desk. Companies expect a lot from their employees - for example, willingness to be flexible, work in changing roles, support change. In addition, learning takes place in new formats. The old model of completing an apprenticeship before starting work and then hardly learning any more has had its day. Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, Chief Human Resources Officer at Deutsche Bank, with Axel Gloger.

The world: generalist, entrepreneur, expert - what type of employee will the bank of tomorrow need?

Tessen von Heydebreck: We're not looking for a unit type, we don't believe in cloned characters. The strength lies in the diversity of its employees, especially in a service company like ours. After all, we want to deal successfully with customers all over the world: Our company reflects the differences in cultures through the diversity of its employees; People from 120 countries work at Deutsche Bank, which corresponds to our global self-image.

Welt: Still: Is there a kind of DNA, i.e. characteristics that the bank attaches particular importance to in its employees?

von Heydebreck: Sure. We rely on a catalog of five core values ​​that guide our work. Here, performance plays a central role, more precisely we say: 'Performance determines our actions'. We are looking for employees who are performance-oriented, eager to learn and flexible. You should be able to deal with change and cope with a world that is characterized by constant change.

Welt: What does this mean for the career paths in the bank?

von Heydebreck: The same applies here: The only constant is change. More than before, employees achieve their goals in changing roles. Depending on the phase of life, needs and career stage, there are different positions - sometimes as a team member, sometimes as a superior, sometimes as an employee, sometimes as a project manager.

World: Young academics are pouring into business. There have never been so many business administration students and graduates as there are today, and an end to this boom is not yet in sight. How does your HR work react to the dominance of this degree program?

von Heydebreck: The bank certainly doesn't need a business economist monopoly. Nevertheless, financial and financial knowledge make up a large proportion of the skills that are used in our business. Knowledge of the economy is therefore particularly important; This results in an above-average need for business and economically oriented graduates, but the business also needs many other professions such as lawyers and mathematicians.

Welt: But the motto of your bank, 'A passion for performance', also requires a certain attitude about which a leaving certificate from a university alone does not provide any information.

von Heydebreck: Yes, the personality of the future employee is a very important characteristic for us, which we look at closely. Ultimately, it is important that when dealing with customers, their needs are recognized and implemented in the right solutions. That is why, in the end, it is personality that is decisive for us in recruiting, not the course of study. That is why natural scientists and humanities scholars can be very successful in our business.

Welt: Are these the lateral thinkers that many companies are so keen on, at least in their rhetoric?

von Heydebreck: Please allow me to brake a little here. Of course, lateral thinkers are important. But an organization that is only staffed with lateral thinkers would not work. Deutsche Bank needs and appreciates lateral thinkers without, of course, specifically looking for them. Augurs are already seeing a new war for talent arise as the supply of young talent is dwindling in the developed world.

World: What demographic situation are you preparing for the future?

von Heydebreck: We see the picture from a global perspective. In Asia there will not be any acute problems for the time being; the number of applicants here will certainly be sufficient in the coming years. The situation there will only change in a few years, when the consequences of China's one-child policy become apparent.

World: What about the Old World?

von Heydebreck: Here we are already preparing for the changes, because we don't want to react only when the need arises. Lifelong learning will gain significantly in importance. We are also preparing the company so that age diversity will increase. We will have more older employees again; in the years 2003 to 2005 alone, the number of people over 54 in the bank increased by ten percent.

Welt: What are the consequences for employees' careers?

von Heydebreck: If career paths get longer, a long-established way of thinking will have to change - in the future, employees will no longer necessarily leave working life at the highest point in their careers. So far it has largely been the case: there has been an upward trend over the decades, and at the end of the journey you leave working life with the highest career level and the highest salary level.

World: What is the alternative to retiring at the point of professional zenith?

von Heydebreck: Where exactly the employee is deployed instead determines their performance. As people get older, their performance decreases. This is a normal process, it is determined by biology. It affects one more, the other less. But that's why you shouldn't just turn a blind eye to the topic, but focus your job profiles on it. There is little point in letting employees go home who are no longer suitable for their previous position due to their age - think about it, for example our dealer rooms . We'd rather give them another job within the bank in which they can bring in as much of the knowledge they have gained from experience as possible. Here, the HR department is given another challenging task.

Welt: So far, the amount of pension and company pension depends on the last salary earned. What is going to change here?

von Heydebreck: We have already changed the company pension. To put it simply: throughout the entire career, the employee collects pensionable capital components year after year. The amount of the individual module is derived from the respective annual earnings. The sum of the capital accumulated over all years of employment determines the amount of the monthly check in retirement - no longer the amount of the last salary. We would like the public pension system to replicate this move. It's overdue.