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Insight with Stephanie Schmitz, Head of HR Germany at Siegwerk

Q:  You took over your new position in October 2019. How do you like your new position and responsibility as Head of HR Germany?  

A: I was really looking forward to this new task and the challenges it posed to me. Being now in the position for more than half a year I’m excited to work especially together with my great team. 

Within my new position it is important to me to take the opportunity to support our employees and managers to achieve our vision “New Horizons 2025” in becoming a circular and digital packaging solutions company.

Q: You recently became a mother. And all mothers know how exhausting it is to combine work and child. How do you manage being back in the job and being a mom at the same time?

A: My husband and I both work part-time - so this is our family concept of combining work and child. In addition with the support of our families, we have a kind of concept that is balanced for both of us and in which each of us participates and supports each other in equal parts.

I currently work part-time at 80%. Due to COVID-19, our child will go to the day care centre later than planned and that is why we receive support from our parents and parents-in-law if necessary. In addition, of course, our employers also give us the flexibility to plan our everyday life with children. 

Q:  What are your future goals in your position?

A: New Horizons 2025 provides us all with the framework for the coming years - keyword personnel: I am convinced that we all need lifelong learning, regardless of the phase of life each of us is currently in. 

That's why it's an essential task to support our employees and managers in promoting this kind of culture and creating this framework. In addition, I see one of the most important future goals in my position as improving and shaping the working environment by creating sensitivity for all our employees so that we can guarantee committed and motivated employees.

As we have recently learned, some parameters can always change and to react to them and to promote a willingness to accept changes and to create an agility among employees is one of my further future goals. 

Q: How did you perceive the changes in your working environment due to Covid-19?

A: At first I found this time challenging because it was a completely new situation for all of us. However, within the team it was comparatively relaxed, as everyone adapted their working methods excellently and we use a rotation system in the office. This helped to reduce the contact to other employees to a minimum.

The digital meeting facilities were of course an advantage and we were able to stick to all our planned meetings, just in a virtual space, via Microsoft Teams. 
Apart from that, the general acceptance of working from home has also grown during this time and it has even become quite normal. The only thing that is missing after such a long period of time and despite digital meetings, is the social and personal contact.