What actually makes a job good? Is it just a fair wage and human working hours? Or is there more to it? One factor that is often called for by employment experts but is only rarely implemented by companies is staff not only being able to shape their work but also the way of working themselves in future. However, at EDAG the will to shape is not a question of the spirit of the time but a permanent integral part of the corporate culture. As anyone developing the future must also have the freedom to be able to develop themselves. And it's precisely this freedom that makes work enjoyable.
"At EDAG they showed confidence in me right from the start," says Stefanie Lurz. The 33-year old energy electrician and industrial engineer is Team Leader for Process and Product Data Management and works with 20 employees on the information and data flow that is needed to develop and produce cars.
The fact that development is often about making something possible that initially seemed impossible is one thing. However, the great challenge is definitely also the heart and soul, passion and time that you have to invest in this. A challenge that has particularly in the past led to people often having to choose between a stable family situation at home and their career. However, in a time when values and sustainability are becoming more and more important and relevant, the question arises as to whether this kind of black and white thinking still fits into modern society and its ideal of a more human, meaningful working world.
Stefanie Lurz looks back on her own experience at EDAG: "I can really understand the argument that you have to choose between family or a management position because the two just don't work together. But this doesn't apply here. Because as developers we focus on freedom, personal responsibility and above all our own potential. Those kinds of traditional prejudices don't fit with this. So when it's said that a family and career don't work together you can only cancel this out by making it easy. And that's where EDAG is an ideal employer with its culture of confidence. You can develop freely here and shape your job so that it's enjoyable. As long as you make use of this freedom, don't hesitate and above all are courageous enough to want to change things. Your way of working does not reinvent itself on its own."
Lurz does not really see the challenge in the job so much as reconciling family and career but more in developing the professional skills that you did not learn during your training or studies. Key word "leadership". "The smallest hurdle is bringing skilled trades to the job. However, reconciling the many different personalities, achieving the best together with customers and employees and responding to individual needs as a manager, that's not a skill that you can learn from books." It's not a new discovery that most careers in management positions mainly fail due to human weaknesses. It is therefore even more amazing that interpersonal components are barely taken into account at all at universities and in education and training. Unless it is a permanent integral part of the corporate culture. "At EDAG I had a manager by my side right from the start, who took me by the hand and supported me when I came across problems that could not be solved with technical expertise. I believe this is the most important thing when you are aiming for a management position: that you have a mentor by your side who helps you to understand the human dynamics in management, who explains what makes people tick," says Lurz.
The knowledge that mentoring in particular is a crucial factor for developing managers, has led to a separate support programme now being developed from a "hidden process" at EDAG "We are just working on aninterdisciplinary mentoring programme. Because we have established that supporting managers can only work if it's not all about pen and paper but taking young people, whether male or female, by the hand and leading them through the special features of our very agile corporate culture. It's about confidence, tolerating the mistakes that everyone makes at the start, the lessons that you learn from these and then immediately implementing them. And above all about the time that you deliberately take to focus on leadership.
It is not just coincidence that the subject of leadership is given such a high priority at EDAG. It's more a logical consequence that an open corporate culture with emphasis on freedom brings with it. As anyone who recognises freedom as a success factor also has to be able to permit and manage it, otherwise there is a threat of chaos. "The fact that we do things like this is definitely unusual for the technology industry. But we rely on our employees' creativity. And you can't delegate creativity. You have to encourage it. And anyone who wants to encourage people not only needs technical but also interpersonal expertise. You learn that here."