14 Sep Long term relationship: case study
– Es ist uns wichting, langfristige Beziehung aufzubauen. – It was also important for them to make sure that they do not commit a serious mistake by going out of the headquarters in Germany to look for local suppliers in Poland and the neighboring countries. – Are these people cultured at all? – the HR Manager’s eyes seemed to ask, as she watched me entering the room.
Some cultural knowledge helped. This could be one of our most prestigious Clients, since we were just starting the consulting business in the free market. We had prepared everything and had even more documentation for the meeting, printed it all carefully in color, and had an extensive PowerPoint presentation on hand, just in case. Some welcoming words in German helped. Speaking German was building our credibility.
It was not an easy decision for them to get out of the safe world of trusted suppliers in Germany. – We have been long considering it – the HR Manager told me. – But now it has become a necessity. It is hard to find people who speak fluent German in these countries here, and the language should never be the only criterion for hiring a manager-to-be. We noticed the international staff was very quiet in the trainings at headquarters. It is very probable that the language barrier was too big. There was no need for her to say that all trainings in Germany were delivered in German. This was a German company.
They took the big leap of faith: they trusted us. And it was a good choice. Surprised, they discovered that we can talk about bridging competence gaps, design curriculum, and advise on appraisal systems. We designed and ran a three-level development program for the management staff and practical sessions on running appraisal interviews. The programs in Poland were so highly appreciated by the participants that the company invited us to support them also in other countries. We could not be happier about the long term relationship we have developed.