Many companies in Saxony are looking for support to meet the staffing challenges arising from (digital) structural change. Questions which are increasingly coming up include:

  • How can a company successfully fill vacancies and find trainees?
  • How can a company improve its employer branding and raise staff satisfaction?
  • Are there ways to lastingly retain employees?
  • Parenting, care, on-the job CPD: are there solutions to help employees with these questions and problems?
  • How can older employees’ expertise be put to better use for younger staff?
  • How can employees be kept healthy and motivated in the long term?


The good news is that there are programmes providing tips and support with all these questions, enabling SMEs to find HR management solutions. In-company advice and coaching sessions offer rapid assistance. 

The SMWA’s SME Directive

The Saxon SME Directive provides support for business consultancy and coaching services on questions of business management. Examples include strategies for filling vacancies and finding apprentices, internal knowledge transfer or employee health promotion. The aim of the measure always lies in becoming more attractive as an employer and thus lastingly improving staff retention.

SMWA's SME Directive (Mittelstandsrichtlinie)

Human resources: a valuable asset

Run by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the campaign “Unternehmenswert: Mensch” (“Human resources: a valuable asset”) helps companies employing fewer than 250 staff with their HR management and the transition to the digital age. The schemes are divided into four fields of practice: HRM, equal opportunities/diversity, health, and knowledge/skills. 
A combination of "HRM and communication" and "knowledge and skills" is in particular demand. Through this ESF-funded programme, the BMAS offers individual in-company consulting on business processes. Above all, that means helping companies help themselves. This is the only way to lastingly activate the resources and potential already found in their systems. The many successful projects show that this approach works well, e.g. to improve workplace communication, strengthen managers’ role, hone organisational structures or guide companies through generation changes in their leadership.

Every company receives a free initial consulting session, including analysis. Advice is then given on business processes on the company premises. Saxony's first-stop consulting centres also offer guidance on other schemes and point businesses to the support structures available for modern, staff-driven HR management.

Small and medium-sized enterprises wanting to launch business change processes have until 31 October 2019 to apply for a consulting "cheque". When this has been issued, one of the roughly 2,000 authorised quality-tested business process consultants can immediately start to make the company fit for the future.

Consulting centres

  • Chemnitz’s first-stop consulting centre: ATB Arbeit, Technik und Bildung gemeinnützige GmbH, Prof. Dr. Michael Uhlmann, Neefestr. 76, 09119 Chemnitz (Tel.: 0371 3695813, E-Mail:
  • Dresden’s first-stop consulting centre:: RKW Sachsen GmbH Dienstleistung und Beratung, Alexander Voigt, Freiberger Straße 35, 01067 Dresden (Tel.: 0170 2227764, E-Mail:
  • Leipzig’s first-stop consulting centre: Arbeit und Leben Sachsen e. V., Dr. Petra Gärtner, Löhrstraße 17, 04105 Leipzig (Tel. Tel.: 0341 71005-20, E-Mail:

European Structural Funds in Saxony

The European Union’s Structural Funds help offset regional economic differences within the EU. The Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Social Fund (ESF) both provide funding in Saxony. The ERDF focuses on promoting research, technological development and innovation. The goal is to make SMEs more competitive, support investment in energy efficiency and environmentally friendly modes of transport in an effort to mitigate climate change, fund flood control measures and sustainably develop disadvantaged city districts. This benefits Saxony’s companies, municipalities, research institutions, schools and institutes of higher education. ESF funding concentrates on education, VET, high-quality long-term employment, social inclusion and fighting poverty and discrimination.

The BAFA ESF programme

The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (BAFA) awards grants to SMEs for all questions related to business management. The funding is intended to give such companies a greater competitive edge and improve their performance, simultaneously safeguarding jobs in the region. Funding is available for all general advice on all business management issues relating to economics, finances, staffing and organisation. 

At the same time, special sessions are provided on how to deal with structural inequality, manage an age-diverse workforce, better juggle family life and a career, integrate international employees and/or adapt the workplace for employees with disabilities.