“To offer quality products and services, a company must not only retain its employees, it must motivate them as well.”

Melanie Kreis
Member of the Board of Management Finance and HR

Interview with Melanie Kreis

“A holistic approach is the basis for everything I do.”

As the Board Member for Finance and HR, what would you say were the key developments in these departments in the course of 2016?

I’d say 2016 was a good year for Deutsche Post DHL Group. Not because of any specific events or results, but because of the outcome for the year as a whole. Our business divisions continue to benefit not only from our growing e-commerce business, but from the quality of our services and from new business wins. The past year was also a good year thanks to the excellent HR work done in dialogue with our social partners, both nationally and internationally. One of the key issues in 2016 involved the development of new, future-focused leadership attributes for managers across the Group. Another equally important HR task was to improve employee engagement. The outcome of our efforts can be seen in the two percentage point rise in the results for the respective Employee Opinion Survey KPI. And as we forged ahead with our Refugee Aid Initiative, we expanded our program of activities and gave hundreds of refugees a new perspective, either by offering them an internship or hiring them into a job.

Despite the financial challenges faced, Deutsche Post DHL Group plans to create up to 100,000 new jobs. Which markets would you say offer the greatest opportunities for growth?

We will continue to exploit the growth seen in our e-commerce business and grow organically as a result. I’d say the greatest growth potential lies in Asia and Europe. We will also continue to rely on innovation, at national and international level. With digitization playing an increasingly important role, we want to chart a meaningful course for the Group.

The transport sector is in a state of constant flux. Using innovative technologies and expanding the service portfolio calls for specialist skills, a willingness to learn and the ability to adapt. This increases the need for training and gives rise to new types of jobs. How does Deutsche Post DHL Group use its training programs to respond to these growing needs?

The Group has extremely broad-based training offerings which our employees can access in a variety of ways. In addition to traditional, job-oriented training, we also offer online seminars and personal coaching. These are continually developed and enhanced by our HR experts, who also adapt them to current needs. Our Group-wide Certified initiative, which we introduced more than a year ago, is designed to promote employee engagement and improve service quality. More than 230,000 employees have completed the program so far.  

An adaptable, multinational workforce plays a prominent role at Deutsche Post DHL Group. People from many different origins, cultures and professions work within a culture of common values and interests to achieve the company’s strategic goals. Has diversity become a matter of routine?

Yes, it has. In a globally active company like ours, employees from many different countries and cultures work closely together on complex business processes to meet high quality demands. It is part of our policy to promote employee mobility between our functions and regions. In our parcel and mail centers, which have long been microcosms of our globalized world, colleagues from countries like Afghanistan, Turkey and Spain testify to the diversity that runs across Deutsche Post DHL Group. This multinational approach is embedded in our Code of Conduct. We want to promote a corporate culture built on the principles of tolerance and respect.

What does “Seeing the Bigger Picture”, the title of this report, require you to focus on in 2017?

A holistic approach is the basis for everything I do. I’m often asked if my two departments, Finance and Personnel, are not a contradiction in terms. You have figures and finance on the one hand, and people and soft skills on the other. But for me, this assumed conflict of interests is simply the wrong approach. The key to sustainable business management is not to see finance and personnel in opposition, but as a collective task. To offer quality products and services, a company must not only retain its employees, it must motivate them as well. That is the only way to secure long-term financial success.