Three questions for Klaus Merg
Klaus Merg is the managing director of management consultancy Merg & More Consultants GmbH in Switzerland. Together with his team, he offers training, seminars, and further education in areas such as intercultural competence, sales, soft skills, and leadership.
Which key qualifications or competences characterize the employee of the future?
Merg: There are many. It depends on the area in which he or she is active and at what level. The trend is leaning away from the specialist toward the generalist. Because employees are the biggest cost factor of a company and you can’t afford an employee for every activity, people who are familiar with several areas are in demand. This means that you have to build up competencies in order to at least partially replace colleagues who are on vacation or sick leave, for example.
Which characteristics are helpful to master a crisis situation as a manager or employee of a company?
Merg: I believe the crisis we are currently experiencing is a unique one. It entails restrictions in every area of our society and economy. So dealing with it mentally is crucial. One approach is to say: Okay, it’s an extraordinary situation, so there is no ready-made concept that I can follow. I need a high degree of flexibility to tackle it and make the best of it.
Does this mean that emotional intelligence, especially in times of crisis and beyond, could prove to be a key qualification?
Merg: I’ve included this topic in my trainings and coaching sessions since 1995. At that time, it wasn’t at all interesting for many managers. Today, however, it’s more about having not only professional or technical competence, but also an emotional one. The managers who manage to fill this role authentically in crises, i.e. who are able to deal with the needs, fears, and questions of employees, are also the ones who are currently successful. In doing so, they also lay a good foundation for everything that comes after this crisis.