26 April 2017

The future of work: 5 questions to HR Director Dr Elke Eller

Dr Elke Eller talks about upcoming changes in the field of HR and what they mean for TUI

The digital transformation is changing the way we live, travel and work. We spoke to Dr Elke Eller, who is responsible for Human Resources on the TUI Group's Management Board, about the upcoming changes - and what they means for TUI.

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Digital transformation is a very abstract concept. Which technologies are there that will change our work?

Artificial intelligence, robotics or machine-to-machine communication will have a profound effect on economic processes in the future - with far-reaching consequences for work. The new working world will be characterized by new digital tools, new digital processes and new job descriptions, which will depend much more fundamentally than ever on digital competences.

Will there still be any need at all for people, when technology takes over?

History shows us that a fundamental transformation must not necessarily mean the end of the work. But every change in the conditions of work will change the requirements in terms of its quantity and quality. We only have to think of the job of the chimney sweep. Over many decades, his task was primarily to clean chimneys. Today, he is more of an environmental or energy engineer, examining systems or providing tips for better energy efficiency.

What are the most important aspects of the future of work?

In my opinion, there are two: flexibility and the importance of lifelong learning. Here at TUI, too, we need a culture of flexibility. I am totaly convinced that all our employees will benefit when we combine the flexibility of our processes with the flexibility of our team. The life-long learning process will be decisive in order to have the right employees with the relevant competences on board in the various stages of the company's development.

What is TUI already doing today in order to be prepared for the future of work?

In some areas of the TUI Group, for example at TUI Nordics, we are closer to the future of work than we are in Germany, for example. Our objective must be to be prepared for the future throughout the TUI Group. At Group level, we are working on a single learning platform on SMILE, Learning @ TUI, so that our employees can always find relevant learning content in one place. From the last TUIgether employee survey, we have taken the issue of collaboration and cooperation between departments as a key focus area in which we want to become better. For this purpose there are a number of projects on site.

How can each individual employee help to shape digital transformation?

For me, it is an important concern that the employees are part of the digital transformation, are able to contribute and play a part in shaping it. And I think that in this connection we should all retain our curiosity about what is new and an openness to the opportunities offered by digitization.

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