Trai­ning men­tal well­be­ing or lea­der­ship skills

the Sav­vi app offers digi­tal trai­ning on the job

Pro­fes­sio­nal life doesn’t stand still and the demand for fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on is gre­at. A recent stu­dy on fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on by the digi­tal asso­cia­ti­on Bit­kom shows that 31 per cent of respond­ents inves­ted more of their working time into fur­ther trai­ning sin­ce the begin­ning of the pan­de­mic in March 2020.

The majo­ri­ty of tho­se sur­vey­ed said that in the coming years they would like to be able to orga­ni­se their own fur­ther trai­ning (75 per­cent). 63 per­cent want both pri­va­te and pro­fes­sio­nal trai­ning to be part of modern life. Soft skills are par­ti­cu­lar­ly in demand along­side spe­cia­list know­ledge. And the pan­de­mic brought new chal­lenges for com­pa­nies: exe­cu­ti­ves, for exam­p­le, had to address the ques­ti­on of how to mana­ge a team effec­tively and over­see pro­jects from the home office.

Juli­an Forn­off, co-foun­der of the Media­Tech Hub Acce­le­ra­tor start­up Sav­vi, is a psy­cho­lo­gist and has work­ed exten­si­ve­ly in the fields of HR and con­sul­ting in his pro­fes­sio­nal care­er. What he always missed when it came to the pro­fes­sio­nal deve­lo­p­ment of employees was an app-based trai­ning pro­gram­me that also focu­sed on soft skills. Tog­e­ther with his co-foun­der Colin Weit­mann, he deve­lo­ped Sav­vi which is an app offe­ring pro­fes­sio­nal deve­lo­p­ment trai­ning cour­ses for mana­gers as well as such sub­jects as men­tal health or resi­li­ence. Das Team star­ted their idea withStart­up Ser­vice der Uni­ver­si­tät Pots­dam and recei­ved the start-up scho­lar­ship EXIST.

“Men­tal health, lea­der­ship, hybrid lea­der­ship from the home office, trai­ning for young pro­fes­sio­nals, pro­duc­ti­vi­ty, agi­le manage­ment - we curr­ent­ly have a basic set of pro­gram­mes on offer,” Forn­off says.

Indi­vi­du­al micro­trai­nings thanks to per­so­na­li­ty test

The Sav­vi team is con­ti­nu­al­ly expan­ding the pro­gram­me. The app’s offer is direct­ly tar­ge­ted at com­pa­nies who purcha­se licen­ses for their employees. Tho­se who train with Sav­vi down­load the app and com­ple­te a per­so­na­li­ty ques­ti­on­n­aire based on skills. Detail­ed ques­ti­ons such as “Am I good at accep­ting feed­back?” or “Am I good at plan­ning and mee­ting dead­lines?” iden­ti­fy key com­pe­ten­ces, deve­lo­p­ment poten­ti­al and also vali­da­te the respond­ents’ weak­ne­s­ses in the pro­fes­sio­nal field.

Based on the com­pre­hen­si­ve ques­ti­on­n­aire, the app crea­tes a per­so­nal “skill pro­fi­le” and sug­gests indi­vi­du­al trai­ning ses­si­ons to the users that can be easi­ly inte­gra­ted into the dai­ly work rou­ti­ne with ses­si­ons las­ting around half an hour seve­ral times each week. Tho­se mana­gers who don’t feel com­for­ta­ble with feed­back con­ver­sa­ti­ons and would like to do bet­ter in the future can , for exam­p­le, recei­ve a per­so­na­li­sed offer in the form of dai­ly 30-minu­te “lear­ning nug­gets”. Short vide­os show­ing how to be suc­cessful in con­duc­ting such con­ver­sa­ti­ons and appli­ca­ti­on-rela­ted tasks for pre­pa­ra­ti­on are then on the agen­da. The who­le thing is sup­ple­men­ted by gami­fied ele­ments such as quiz­zes or small dai­ly chal­lenges that keep employees actively invol­ved in the topic. Tho­se who opt for a pro­gram­me about men­tal well­be­ing, for exam­p­le, are intro­du­ced to asso­cia­ted topics with dif­fe­rent focu­ses, such as a video cont­ra­ting per­fec­tion­ism and prag­ma­tism and pro­vi­ding valuable tips for the dai­ly working envi­ron­ment. In addi­ti­on, the­re are small tasks whe­re one for­mu­la­tes one’s own goals or has to ques­ti­on beha­viou­ral patterns.

“You dive through such mini-impul­ses vir­tual­ly on a dai­ly basis. Our cla­im is to func­tion only via the app. But we col­la­bo­ra­te in dif­fe­rent ways depen­ding on the cli­ent. For exam­p­le, if the­re are clas­sic all-day trai­ning pro­gram­mes, we then look at how we can use the app to con­ti­nue the inter­nal trai­ning after this initi­al peri­od. We also work with some of them holi­sti­cal­ly, which means that we pro­vi­de trai­ners on site. It depends on the par­ti­cu­lar situa­ti­on,” foun­der Juli­an Forn­off explains.

The digi­tal trai­ning plan is based on an algo­rithm that CTO Colin Weit­mann is con­ti­nuous­ly deve­lo­ping. The team eit­her deve­lo­ps the con­tent its­elf and reli­es on inter­nal exper­ti­se or works clo­se­ly with trai­ning insti­tu­tes. That means that they are well ver­sed in such are­as as resi­li­ence and lea­der­ship and coope­ra­te with sales trai­ners for sales training.

E-lear­ning offers a very exci­ting pro­s­pect for the B2B sector

The mar­ket for pro­fes­sio­nal trai­ning is vast - on-site trai­ning, coa­ching, work­shops, web­i­nars. That’s important for employees, but it also offers many advan­ta­ges for the com­pa­nies. Qua­li­fied employees are a mar­ket advan­ta­ge, and, given the cur­rent skills shorta­ge, one then also binds them more clo­se­ly to the com­pa­ny and makes ones­elf attrac­ti­ve as an employer.

At the same time, lear­ning for­mats will be shorter in the future and are less often being held in per­son - this is also pre­dic­ted by Bitkom’s 2022 stu­dy for the next five years.

Sav­vi is aimed spe­ci­fi­cal­ly at com­pa­nies with bet­ween 300 and 7,000 employees. The­se are places whe­re the­re are often many young pro­fes­sio­nals and sand­wich stu­dents who typi­cal­ly have lear­ning needs. And the youn­ger tar­get group is also more app-sav­vy, says Forn­off. App­ren­ti­ces are an inte­res­t­ing tar­get group in medi­um-sized com­pa­nies, and pro­gram­mes dedi­ca­ted to young talent are on offer for lar­ger com­pa­nies. “We look for com­pa­nies whe­re the­re is a cer­tain lear­ning cul­tu­re. Some con­cerns have their own apps and a dozen e-lear­ning pro­vi­ders. That’s not some­whe­re we’re going to be acti­ve. We are more likely to be working with com­pa­nies that are offe­ring fur­ther edu­ca­ti­on in the clas­si­cal sen­se and would now like to expand their ser­vices to include a digi­tal lear­ning manage­ment sys­tem or are loo­king for inno­va­ti­ve sti­mu­li for youn­ger employees.”

Sin­ce the launch of the Media­Tech Hub start-up’s app on the mar­ket, they have alre­a­dy attrac­ted such well-known com­pa­nies as Goril­las, MLP and Com­merz­bank as cli­ents. It is par­ti­cu­lar­ly important for Sav­vi in this respect to con­ti­nue explo­ring the app’s poten­ti­al with case stu­dies and feed­back dis­cus­sions and to make an eva­lua­ti­on using the app’s ana­ly­tics: on which pages do employees spend the most time, which but­tons do they click? In addi­ti­on, Savvi’s UX desi­gners con­duct in-depth inter­views with the users and obser­ve them as they use the app.

As with any start-up, they are curr­ent­ly ope­ra­ting bet­ween pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment and cus­to­mer feed­back and sales. This is chal­len­ging, but also important for future deve­lo­p­ment. Whe­re can I dis­tri­bu­te my pro­duct effi­ci­ent­ly bey­ond my net­work? As a start-up, one shouldn’t unde­re­sti­ma­te this issue , sin­ce what good is it to have the most beau­tiful pro­duct if you can’t find any customers?

So, how effec­ti­ve is app-based working? “Such a lear­ning method via anapp makes sen­se if it’s a sub­ject whe­re there’s alre­a­dy an awa­re­ness. Howe­ver, if you’re still at the very begin­ning of the pro­cess, I’d sug­gest having the con­cept explai­ned in a face-to-face mee­ting, recom­mend on-site trai­ning or book a trai­ner to accom­pa­ny you,” Forn­off suggests.

The fact that the app can be used any­whe­re and any­when and con­ti­nues pro­vi­ding gui­dance through the cho­sen topic each day with litt­le sti­mu­li, means that the lear­ning method is sus­tainable and helps you work on yours­elf on a dai­ly basis. You can achie­ve a lot with habits, Forn­off says.

Lea­der­ship can be trai­ned in the same way others do with their muscles.

About MTH Blog

The media technologies of the future are already being used today – not only in the entertainment sector, but also in a wide variety of industries. Christine Lentz meets up with tech enthusiasts, established companies and researchers for our monthly MediaTech Hub Potsdam blog to tell the stories behind the innovative business models.