People are the alpha and the omega
Leaders and their teams form ŠKODA AUTO’s corporate culture even in difficult times
ur corporate culture is undergoing a stress test, the private and professional lives of our employees have been turned upside down, and accumulated stress can sometimes come to the fore during teamwork. Therefore, the department heads focus even more on supporting the colleagues in their teams who are facing difficult conditions to manage everything better together. To do this, they use methods from the Role Model Programme (RMP). Since 2019, it has supported greater openness among employees, led to the elimination of differences in the company hierarchy and improved mutual trust and cooperation (see the Top 10 activities column). In addition, the past year has shown that most RMP activities can be implemented online.
Last year, the leaders placed more emphasis on the human side of cooperation and networking with colleagues. Meetings as part of the Open Doors and the Book the Boss events have been added. More often than not, you may have come across the tried-and-tested On a Good Wave Meeting approach, which promotes a good atmosphere by having a joint team meeting start with someone sharing what is going well. An interesting approach was the so-called Crashtest. Its benefit came from the team looking at the problem from a different perspective, outside of the well-established tracks, which better reveals blind spots. The team chooses the approach of what is the worst that can happen to us and put us under the greatest pressure. It then tries to prevent these situations. Jan Umlauf from PF1 – Car Production MBI, Lubor Pokorný from GMP-2 – Change Management and Christian Bleiel from PK – Component Production have already successfully tested this method with their teams. Each of them embraced it a little differently, but it benefitted all of them. “Using the Crashtest method, we tested our most important project – the installation of MEB batteries. We deliberately ‘drove it to ground’ and gave the team a whole new experience. In addition, we’ve discovered our weaknesses, and now we know what we need to focus on”, says Bleiel about the Crashtest.
We stick together
The RMP also supports its own initiative, and the large number of “wild cards” from 2020 proves that leaders still have enough ideas. Across different areas, they agree that the most important thing today is to take interest in others, ask for their opinions and listen to them. Although everyone was sometimes restricted in communication because of a face mask or because colleagues had not seen each other for several months and had no idea what the situation was on the other side, many of them were able to manage many challenges.
Together for others
During the pandemic, many of these challenges were faced by teams that were helping on their own initiative, despite the difficult situation, even more so than in the past. For example, colleagues from several departments organised the production of protective masks for local hospitals. Elsewhere, they held a benefit concert or took part in an event to help disabled children or colleagues. In some teams, they decided to raise funds by selling their own products or volunteering for the very first time. All this was done to help the local hospitals, schools, orphanages, zoos and shelters. Alena Petráčková
Top 10 activities
Book your boss
You can have an open discussion with your manager for a full hour.
Do you swear by activities that the RMP doesn’t offer? Are you excited about a different department’s solution? Implement them at your workplace, too.
Encourage a good team attitude by starting every meeting with a brief look back at something that went well.
Culture for breakfast
A good shared breakfast serves as a platform to discuss promising opinions and ideas. All this is held in a relaxed atmosphere and without hierarchical barriers.
Meet regularly with a wider range of colleagues and promote open communication and connections across hierarchies.
The open up game
From Open Doors to a shared calendar – how far will you go in your openness?
Your colleagues have this much time to talk openly about a selected topic, such as new ideas.
One hour for culture
During breakfast or lunch or over a cup of coffee, even online, you can discuss everything related to the corporate culture that doesn’t fall within your usual scope.
Set aside time during the meetings to solve team problems. These are always raised by one of the colleagues, so everyone can take a turn.
Sitting next to…
When you have lunch with members of your immediate team, other colleagues may lack the courage to join you. Tear down this barrier.
An overview of all the RMP activities is available on the team’s Web page, which you will find on ŠKODA Space.