Sustainable corporate culture: focussing on the individual

Dear Visitor  

The transformation of the working world goes far beyond what we understand by the catchword “Industry 4.0”. People are interacting with technology in completely new ways; data is being collected and used. The working individual is allowed more leeway and new kinds of dependency are evolving. The 9 to 5 working model is being increasingly replaced by completely different structures. This is good if it meets the needs of both company and employees. Yet it is still often the case that the opportunities created by digital technology are used solely to benefit the company. It is time to involve the employees in what is being referred to as “digital ROI”.  

I believe the focus of a sustainable corporate culture should be on the individual and his or her needs. This needs to be the linchpin when the company is searching for new working concepts. Adopting an individual approach to human resources, focussing on flexible work organisation and respecting multiple corporate values are just some of the concepts that are particularly important to me in this connection. We need to strike a fair balance between the company’s needs for the greatest possible flexibility and the employees’ needs for more self-determination and for the opportunity to shape their own lives, but also for security. If we want to ensure that the work of the future is good work, we need to make compromises on flexibility.  

But what are the specific requirements of good work for both employers and employees in this digital age? We tried to find some answers by launching the intensive dialogue process “Work 4.0”. We presented our findings to the public in November 2016 in the white paper “Work 4.0”. Every human resources professional will find it useful to take a look at this paper ( to discover how we can work together to open up space for new ideas and create a sustainable corporate culture.   

New answers to the digital challenge cannot be dictated from just one source, neither can they just come from politics.  They call for a culture of testing and learning. The New Quality of Work Initiative (INQA) supported by my Ministry is addressing this issue. It creates a platform for the presentation of innovative solutions from business projects.  And also promotes new ideas as they emerge and mature. I warmly invite you to visit the INQA theme days at this year’s “Zukunft Personal” exhibition. Take part in the discussions and use the broad range of services offered by INQA including action guidelines, self-checks and also the many consulting and networking opportunities.  

I would also like to mention the HR Innovation Award again this year. It places the focus on innovative products and services for human resource management. I wish everyone applying for this award success and look forward to seeing your pioneering contributions and solutions.

With my very best wishes for a successful exhibition!

Andrea Nahles, Member of the Federal Parliament
Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

To find out more, please see:



keynotes 2017

More than 450 high-quality presentations


Stay up to date by subscribing to our newsletter.

Register now
Media Partners