Training by employees for employees
In 2008, Union Investment launched the SIM ACADEMY – an internal professional development programme that employees can complete alongside their work. The programme aimed to communicate and enhance knowledge relevant to various areas of the Real Estate segment and help employees to see the bigger picture. In addition, another key focus was – and still is – fostering contact between colleagues and promoting cross-departmental Teamwork.
“In particular, the programme seeks to ensure effective knowledge transfer within the Real Estate segment, to boost collaboration between departments and promote a wider understanding of complex fund and asset management issues,” says Jörn Stobbe, a member of the Management Board at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, outlining the objectives. The SIM ACADEMY is designed around conveying hands-on expertise. During the ACADEMY programme, specialist employees and managers from different departments within the segment share their knowledge and experience with the experts of the future.
Internal professional training programme popular with employees
Every year since the programme was established, up to 12 employees from the Real Estate segment have completed the SIM ACADEMY’s tailored schedule of 16 evening lectures. “We have been encouraged by the excellent participant feedback received over the years. Nevertheless, the programme is very challenging for everyone because 16 weeks is a relatively short space of time to get through the course content, case studies and project work,” explains Jörn Stobbe. A key element of the concept is that each year’s participants are recruited from almost every department in the Real Estate segment – reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the programme.
Topics covered in the programme include segment strategy, real estate project management, investor-focused project development, real estate fund products, research and many more. The 16 evening classes are organised into two modules of eight sessions each. At the end of each module, participants are tested in a written examination on the knowledge acquired, and receive a certificate on completion of the programme. After the 16 weeks, participants present the results of a team project developed during the SIM ACADEMY programme, thereby helping to reinforce the relevance of the course to their daily work.
The SIM ACADEMY is an internal professional training programme developed by employees for employees. As such, it represents a huge amount of commitment and an important milestone for the many Union Investment colleagues who have completed it.