International Education offensive of the ProSiebenSat.1 Group
More than 95 per cent of all German households have at least one television. The range of programmes for this target group is dominated by three provider groups in Germany, which together comprise over 90 per cent of ratings and advertising shares. The ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG is one of them. In contrast to the public service broadcasters the commercial ones have to feature a great flexibility in the competition for ratings and marketing of advertising times. At the same time, the basic conditions constantly develop further through new technologies, transmission technologies and digitalisation. The internet and the cross-media utilisation of TV formats pose an additional challenge but are also a great opportunity for the company’s success. Thus a group, such as ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, has to lay the foundations internally in order to be optimally prepared for all these requirements. Under the slogan “Unfold your potential”, the P7S1 Academy has been offering in cooperation with Integrata AG all employees at the head office in Unterföhring the opportunity to implement these requirements by means of high quality training offers since June 2010.
The second largest European Broadcasting Group
The ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG was formed in October 2000 by merger of the two broadcasters Sat.1 and ProSieben. Through the merger with the pan-European SBS Broadcasting Group in July 2001, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group became the second largest European Broadcasting Group. Since Thomas Ebeling assumed office as CEO in 2009, the business figures have developed positively. In 2009 the ProSiebenSat.1 Group increased all results and reached a recurring EBITDA of EUR 696.5 million at a turnover of EUR 2.76 billion and a net income after minority interest of EUR 144.5 million. For comparison: in the financial year 2008 the turnover amounted to EUR 2.92 billion, the recurring EBITDA to EUR 656.8 million and the net income after minority interest to minus EUR 119.1 million. The Broadcasting Group faced and still faces the challenge to unfold the market potential of its individual channels and apply it to the digital markets. That is why ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG is active at all stages of the TV value creation chain from production and distribution activities to marketing (advertising times, multimedia, merchandising). The company’s strategy comprises three fields of activity: firstly, expansion of the core business free TV financed through advertising. Secondly, further development of the classic diversification segment, and thirdly, increase of efficiency through outstanding implementation, amongst others, also within the framework of a systematic personnel development process. To create prerequisites for the focus on core skills as well as for expansion plans, the company is constantly restructured.
The concept of the P7S1 Academy
In the course of these continuous measures, internal training has become of great importance. After internal advanced training measures had been previously cut back for a while due to financial reasons, the topic gained high significance again under the new CEO Thomas Ebeling and the new personnel manager Heidi Stoppler. That is how the plan originated to offer the employees modern and high-calibre business learning with an entirely new designed advanced training offer. For this purpose the P7S1 Academy was initiated within about ten weeks.
Bettina Hörmann, responsible for the Academy Project as Head of Human Resources Training of ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, explains the concept: “With the P7S1 Academy a completely new education offensive has been initialised within the corporate group which consolidates all training modules and also the necessary knowledge under one roof. The demands on the project are great. Among other things, it should make a contribution to the implementation of the business strategy, support mutual understanding and cooperation, open up new prospects for the employees and have a motivating effect. Part of the planned training is provided exclusively internally by the employees to enable an optimal transfer of the knowledge which is available within the company. During lunch break, ‘Lunch and Learn’ events are held in which departments report about their current business topics. In ‘Media Training Courses’, employees train employees in current media topics. In the module ‘Guest Speaker’, well-known personalities or trendsetters give a lecture in the evening to sharpen the perception of not being restricted in one’s thinking.
Full service by Integrata
For the external training modules, we were looking for advanced training partners who fulfil our high quality standards. Integrata AG convinced us in the course of the tender process with its concept, its full service portfolio through which we receive a significant part of the planned training from a single source and with its flexibility to implement our requirements very quickly.”
The tender phase, indeed, only took two and the start-up phase only four weeks – a very short period for such an ambitious project which comprises altogether three internal and two external implemented training modules with the partner’s support. It includes the module “Basic Training” whose goal is the acquisition and further development of job-relevant competencies and skills. The module “Basic Training” consists of three pillars:
• User training SAP
• Language training by the provider accelingua
• Training courses by Integrata
Together with Integrata a customised training catalogue for basis qualifications was composed of about 50 seminar topics from which all employees and executives can choose the appropriate seminar on their own initiative or by joint agreement. About 800 participants are expected in this module for the start-up phase 2010 who can, for example, qualify for the topics: communication and social competence, personal development, project management, leadership or also information technology.
While the training rooms in Unterföhring were extended, equipped with state-of-the-art media technique and redesigned by an interior designer into “Academy Home Base” for the internal training modules, the soft skill seminars were conducted in the modern training centre of Integrata in the centrally located Munich “Elisenhof” - therefore, minimising the time-consuming journey for the participants. IT training courses can also be booked in one of the twelve Integrata locations throughout Germany.
Within four weeks the range of Integrata topics for the module “Basic Training” was implemented into a seminar portal, which was individually developed for the P7S1 Academy and integrated into the ProSiebenSat.1 intranet. So every employee of the corporation can book the appropriate training course with the approval of the respective superior by oneself via corporate intranet.
“Our full service offer does not only comprise a wide spectrum of topics that we impart in open and in-house seminars or also within the framework of training projects. With our managed training services we can provide all services of the value creation chain ‘training’ as individual modules or as all-in-one solution for our customers. This also includes the implemented installation and integration of a customised seminar portal (KISP) into our customers’ intranet as well as the handling of the entire seminar logistics from the registration process to implementation to controlling and accounting. We are very proud of the trust that ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG places in our competence and service quality concerning its education offensive. Despite the relatively short lead time, we succeeded, together with the partners from ProSiebenSat.1, to accomplish the project in time. We wish all involved the necessary approval for the brilliant concept of the P7S1 Academy,” says Ingmar J. Rath, CEO of Integrata AG.
Do good and talk about it
To ensure the mentioned approval and to make the Academy known internally, the project team of Bettina Hörmann already obtained backing by the internal communication department at an early stage. Thus there were advance notices in form of internal notifications to everybody as well as e-mails and presentations for the executives whose task it will be in future to inform their teams and departments and determine learning targets in the training and development plan with the individual employees. The specially designed logo and the Academy’s guiding principle, “Unfold your potential”, were made visible and attainable with particularly creative ideas within the framework of the communication campaign. For example, tray mats were printed on which, apart from the slogan, logo, short text and the link to the Academy website, instructions on how to make a paper dart with the keynote “Instructions for a high-flyer” were shown. Furthermore, an anti-wrinkle cream was handed out on which its package illustrated the Academy logo with the slogan “Verbesserter Schutz gegen Falten”. (Explanation: The German translation would be “Improved protection against wrinkles”. The slogan is a word pun in German as the word “Falten” means both “wrinkles” and “fold”). Within the framework of the campaign, posters were printed as a further medium on which the famous fictional character from “Star Wars” Joda was folded as an origami figure who says: “Unfold your potential.”
From concept to success
The campaign was topped off through the integration of the logo of the Academy and the logo designed for each training module on the intranet in order to create a high visibility and recognition value and to embed the slogan and the Academy sustainably in the minds of all employees.
“The project received great support through the cooperation of many departments within the ProSiebenSat.1 Group. The positive feedback shows that the professional and the communicative implementation are well received and fulfil the goal to initiate a real education offensive for the ProSiebenSat.1 Group with training and knowledge under one roof. Bookings were slightly restrained at first. But we were aware that such a project would need a bit of time. Therefore we are absolutely satisfied with the launch and the effect of our measures. The customised seminar portal of Integrata is well received and we are planning further expansion of the range of topics. Thanks to the professional preparation by the HR team, the support of the executive board and all managers as well as the great cooperation with our partner Integrata, we are convinced that the P7S1 Academy will establish itself as a solid part of the corporation, and in the true sense of the word ‘unfold’ its effect permanently through the associated increase of know-how,” Bettina Hörmann concludes from the education offensive of ProSiebenSat.1 Group, which was launched in June 2010.