As a creative solution provider for various high-tech industries, ARTS currently employs 500 interesting personalities in the areas of engineering, HR services and consulting. We contribute our expertise in different areas. In our series of interviews, we want to know how the individual employees came to ARTS, what makes their work special and what they find exciting but also challenging in their daily work. Since July 2019 Tammy Kresin complements our HR Consulting Team in Hamburg. Her path led her via a large aerospace company and a small start-up in Hamburg straight to us.
You originally studied political and administrative science. When did you realise that you wanted to work in human resources?
During my studies I completed a compulsory practical semester at the University of St. Gallen. I worked in a research institute in human resources management there. This enabled me to gain my first experience in the field of HR research and applied research for personnel management. At that time, the trend topic from the USA - psychological capital of companies - was just coming to us in Europe. In the course of my work I became more and more involved with the topic and realised that I was incredibly interested in it.
After that you worked in a start-up company in Hamburg, how can you benefit from this for your current position?
My work there was good practice. I was responsible for the entire HR department, but also for corporate customer service. That was a very exciting stage in my professional life because I jumped right in after university. Since I was able to manage the entire HR department on my own responsibility, I learned a lot of things which I am now able to apply in HR Consulting.
How did you come to ARTS then?
Actually I had applied for an external position at ARTS working for a client. But then I got a call from Dresden that they would rather hire me for an internal position. The phone call was immediately very open-minded and we were able to clarify many details about the position. Shortly afterwards I went to ARTS for the interview and during the interview I got positive feedback immediately, so that a week later everything was already dry and I could start. So it went very quickly and without complications, which of course made the application process very pleasant.
How does the classic day of an HR consultant look like?
I can't give a general answer to this question, because the classic day is not part of my job. Of course, a large part of my daily work consists of employee support and the tasks that arise from this direct cooperation. I work together with our colleagues from the moment they join ARTS. At the beginning, contracts have to be drawn up, various documents have to be exchanged and everything has to be prepared for the new employee's job start. But other requests from our colleagues also cross my desk and I am there to help them with advice and support if they have questions about their payroll, the collective agreement or their holiday entitlement, for example. Even when someone falls ill, many questions often arise with which I can provide support.
Our aim is to talk to every colleague from the staff, i.e. about 60 to 65 colleagues per consultant, once a month, preferably in person, but if that's not possible, then also by telephone to keep in touch with each individual. In this way we can recognise the potential of our employees at an early stage and support them personally in their development. My tasks and activities are therefore very diverse and varied, as topics often come in ad hoc, which then have priority and need to be clarified quickly. So it is not a "9 to 5" job, but quite often spontaneous.
In the future you will be part of our team of HR generalists working for various clients. What is it about this job that appeals to you?
The best thing about HR work is the variety of tasks. To go into 360° consulting and support is a great opportunity for me to live this diversity in my daily work. HR work is not black or white, every decision is influenced by various factors, which in turn are always individual. This is extremely appealing to me, as I can combine my intuition and expertise both with our clients and with ARTS internally. I believe we can achieve great results if we make use of synergies and consider the entire employee life cycle. Our internal procedures are already highly professionalised and the processes have been sharpened. At client companies, I can fully immerse myself in their everyday work and still maintain a view from above in order to discover potential where necessary. This is extremely appealing, as it enables me to act strategically and provide operational support at the same time. Often there are great results when someone "strangers" come to a company first, but at the same time it is their job to be very close to the employees. This applies to both managers and other employees. It is possible to interact with all stakeholders in a completely different way and to approach existing processes with an open mind. It is this combination of generalist activities and strategic vision that makes the added value for me.
You are also in charge of your own project at ARTS, can you tell us something about it?
I am currently studying part-time and am doing my Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA). As part of my final thesis, I am working on the development of an evidence-based continuing education programme for ARTS. The aim of the measure is to reinforce the employee's strengths and not just to compensate for the respective weaknesses. This contributes to employees being more motivated because they do exactly what they are good at and, of course, it is easier and more fun for them. Available research results show that employees can be well trained in this respect and that positive results in the areas of employee commitment and performance can be demonstrated immediately after the measure.
At the beginning, I determined an actual status of our ARTS employees in the offices. I did this by means of an online survey. In the next step, I then developed concrete further training measures for ARTS using various existing models. I have already carried out my results with a "test group" in Dresden and now a second survey is due after the training to see if there have already been any changes or if there were any at all.
What have been or still are the biggest challenges in your project?
I currently see the evaluation of the data as a challenge. The statistics are very extensive, I have never done this before and therefore I think that the analysis and evaluation of the results will challenge me. In the beginning I had great respect for the conception of the coaching measure, but I realised relatively quickly that I enjoyed it and therefore it went without any major problems. I am confident that this will be similar with the statistical calculations.
The trainings I organised in Dresden were very exciting for me, not only in the preparation but also in the implementation. All the participants were very responsive to the situation and enjoyed taking part. Even if we sometimes talked about negative experiences - which was perhaps not so pleasant for some - nobody blocked themselves. This is not a real challenge of my project, but it surprised me positively, because I did not expect such a positive feedback at all and I am really very satisfied with the outcome of the project. At this point I would like to thank our great team in Dresden, who made the coaching such a success for me.
You've already written your Bachelor's thesis in a large aerospace company, what fascinates you about the industry?
Back then, I had the opportunity to go through all the production lines. So in one hall, I could see how a basic material was repeatedly laid on top of each other, and in the next hall, a finished component for an aircraft was created from it. I also conducted an employee survey in my bachelor thesis and was able to learn a lot about the industry through the exchange with all working shifts. That simply fascinated me and I wanted to be a part of it. Even if you don't have the technical understanding of, for example, aircraft design, it is still possible to make a significant contribution to the success of the company in HR - by hiring employees and keeping them in the company through motivational tools that make the difference with precisely this know-how.
What do you appreciate about ARTS as an employer?
I came to ARTS from a very agile startup and then had to get used to the structures of a medium-sized company. But that was made very easy for me by my colleagues. What I really appreciate is the simple, uncomplicated way it is lived. Even across departments I always find an open ear when I need support. In addition, we have an open error culture and all work on an equal footing, so if something goes wrong, it is simply addressed and next time you have the opportunity to get it right yourself.