Collenda is also focusing on growth in difficult times. Since the beginning of the pandemic, our company has hired 33 new colleagues. CEO Hartmut Wagner explains the strategy behind this and why employees are the “most valuable asset” for a software company like Collenda.
Collenda is growing on an almost daily basis. Will this trend continue?
Hartmut Wagner As a cloud-company, our employees are our most valuable asset. They are our DNA and the closer we work together, the more successful Collenda will be as a company. Therefore, our goal is to both retain employees, but also to hire new ones. As we are a growing company, I currently expect that we will continue to hire. And we will do so both in our home markets and in the growth markets we are pushing into in the future.
What is Collenda doing for employee satisfaction?
Hartmut Wagner We have set up various programs to motivate the team. It is important to us that our employees enjoy going to work and interacting with their colleagues. At the same time, of course, it is also important to hire new employees, because fresh talent brings new perspectives to the company. They help us to continuously improve and challenge the status quo.
Is there such a thing as the typical DNA of Collenda employees?
Hartmut Wagner I firmly believe in the philosophy of Core Values. I see various focal points here, such as transparency, openness and commitment. We want our employees to say what they mean and mean what they say. Sharing opinions and experiences within the team is essential. This also includes listening carefully. At the same time, we encourage our employees to discover synergies in order to offer our customers the best possible services and solutions. But we also want our employees to challenge us as a leadership team, to critically question why we are going in which direction.
Everyone must be able to understand strategy and planning?
Hartmut Wagner Exactly, this is key for everyone to make their contribution to our success. We don’t have a traditional top-down culture. I want to be a leader, not only a manager. I have been firmly convinced of this philosophy since I started my career. In my view, this is the only way we can be successful in the long term. And it’s not about me as a person, but always about the team. To achieve this, we rely on instruments such as coaching and the COLLENDAcademy, which enables the transfer of know-how for our employees and external partners and ensures service excellence.
The Corona crisis has been going on for a year now. How is Collenda dealing with it?
Hartmut Wagner When we were confronted with Corona a year ago, it took us a while to understand what situation we were in and how to deal with it. Fortunately, we made the right decisions very quickly. For example, we came to an agreement that we needed to be ready for the home office as soon as possible. Our IT department did an incredible job. Within about 3-4 weeks, 90% of our employees were equipped for the home office situation. The Leadership team had a daily corona call during this time. There we discussed all new developments. That was in April 2020, and since then the number of employees working in the home office has risen to at least 95%.
How long did it take for a little normality to return?
Hartmut Wagner After two months we had the situation very well under control. In June, we defined a small core team to take care of logistical needs, the mail, logistics, that the office is running …. We haven’t had to adjust our strategy since then, despite all the changes that have been decided from the government side. Also, fortunately, we have not had any health incidents, all employees are doing well. We have done a number of things for this. We have taken safety measures and provide our employees with FFP2 masks. Twice a week, we also offer the possibility of fast Corona-tests.