Employee development

Employee development is a major priority at the DFG Head Office. Our aim is to strengthen and continuously adapt employees’ skills with regard to their current and future work assignments. In doing so, we rely on a portfolio of initial training and professional development programmes that meet all requirements. In this way, employees are ideally prepared for their work assignments and are able to build their career prospects.

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The DFG Head Office provides a vocational training programme in the state-recognised occupation of office communications assistant, following a call for applications and a selection procedure.
Details of the requirements and application documents are provided in the call for applications, which is usually published on our website at the beginning of each year.

Engaging in dialogue with the media and the public at large and providing information about the DFG’s funding work and funded projects are becoming more and more important and taking on increasingly diverse forms. The DFG’s Press and Public Relations Office offers an internship which contributes to the training of accomplished science journalists and communicators. The intern is introduced to all areas of science communication over a period of 18 months. In addition to a university degree, those interested should particularly be able to demonstrate previous experience of journalism, a good feel for language and foreign language skills.

The aim of the diverse professional development programmes held at the DFG Head Office itself and those conducted externally is to stimulate employees’ skills and motivation in terms of their current and future work assignments and also develop their career perspectives for the future.

Our professional development programme covers the following subjects:

  • Introduction/induction/work shadowing
  • Subject-specific professional development
  • Qualification of special target groups
  • Project management
  • Methodological and social skills
  • Foreign languages
  • IT applications

Leadership development and training have an important role to play at the DFG. The leadership workshop series Führungsprofession is a modular training programme that serves to develop a solution-oriented, cooperative culture of leadership and communication at the Head Office. Designed to be emphatically practice-oriented, this comprehensive programme includes elements such as personality tests, case studies, peer counselling, feedback from superiors, coaching units and supervision.

In addition to traditional seminars, we also offer individual coaching. Here, employees can focus on precisely those topics that are currently important to their own personal development with regard to a professional work assignment. External coaches provide targeted support for our managers and employees, for example in phases of change, when new requirements arise or in dealing with current conflicts.

We attach great importance to a healthy feedback culture: after all, employees are only motivated to go about their work if they feel understood, recognised and above all valued.

For this reason, the annual appraisal interview forms an integral part of personnel management at the Head Office. Once a year, managers engage in dialogue with their employees about the working relationship, discussing past and future work assignments as well as expectations and perspectives over the course of the year. The aim of the regular annual appraisal interview is to advise, support and encourage DFG employees with regard to their individual further development.

In order to be able to respond appropriately to concerns, develop programmes and remain in touch with employees’ needs, we carried out an employee survey for the second time in 2009. The focus was on issues such as the workplace, working hours, work-life balance, health management, work assignments and activities, working relationships with superiors and colleagues, and the DFG as an organisation. Around 74 percent of employees participated in the current survey.

The results are mostly at a high to very high level, which means that participants rate the work atmosphere very positively overall. The results of the survey are to be used to develop proposals for improvement and relevant measures where necessary, and to implement these together with employees.