The "Human resources: a valuable asset" (unternehmensWert: Mensch) programme seeks to assist small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in devising viable, employee-focussed HR policies. It is based on a tripartite, holistic approach which has been developed as part of the New Quality of Work Initiative. Rather than being geared toward individual measures, this approach aims to set in motion lasting processes of change in organisational development in central central fields of activity of HR policy that are key to the future viability of business enterprises (HR management, equality of opportunity & diversity, health, skills & knowledge). In collaboration with the competent state ministries, "Human resources: a valuable asset" complements programmes and initiatives at state level.

What does the consultation process entail?

The programme includes a three-stage, participative consultation process that is specifically aligned with the needs of the participating businesses:

The initial consultation centres (ICC) are the central liaison offices in the programme. They provide initial consultation services and discuss the results of the consultation process with the businesses in a follow-up meeting. In addition, they support SMEs in the application procedure and accounting, are responsible for PR activities, point businesses toward other regional services for SMEs and assist the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in authorising process consultants.

  • Stage 1: Initial consultation

    The initial consultation is neutral and standardised nationwide. During this stage, the consultant clarifies whether a business is eligible for funding and sits down with the business to identify specific need for change in the enterprise along the four fields of acttivity of HR policy which have been identified in the programme (HR management, equality of opportunity & diversity, health, skills & knowledge). Depending on the needs identified, the ICC can issue a consultation voucher, which includes the consultation services and a recommendation for focal points of action, or can refer the business to another regional service.

  • Stage 2: Process consultation
    The consultation voucher allows businesses and their employees to avail of in-depth process consultation for a maximum of 10 consultation days. The process consultation service is provided directly on-premise by the process consultant(s) authorised for the programme and with the participation of empoyees and their representatives (if existing). It involves an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the business and the development of goals for action and measures. These are then recorded in a binding company action plan. The change processes are then initiated and closely monitored.
  • Stage 3: Discussion of results
    Six months after the process consultation process, the initial consultation centreeluate the measures implemented with the participation of individual employees and their representatives (if existing). at this point the ICC accesses whether additional consultation and advisory services are necessary, and in case, whether the business could be referred to regional support services (e.g. the funds, the chambers, the New Quality of Work Initiative or other initiatives at state level) in oder to further implement individual measures.

Profile of the programme

Target group
  • Enterprises
Number of projects


  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Thematic objective

A: Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility

Additional Information

web­site of pro­gramme


Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales

Referat DA 1 - Zukunftsgerechte Gestaltung der Arbeitswelt und Arbeitskräftesicherung


Wilhelmstrasse  49
10117 Berlin