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“Silo-free work at eye level” – HASPA relies on networking

Dr. Elisabeth Keßeböhmer & Nicole Vogler

The world is becoming more complex every day, and organizations are facing the challenge of responding smartly. In particular, the banking industry is strongly affected by change and urgently needs to reorient and innovate. While many banks in Germany appear uncertain and are on the decline, Hamburger Sparkasse relies on good networking and is thus definitely one of the pioneers in the banking industry. With the introduction of the internal Tandemploy software as an internal networking platform (christened “FlexWorkz”), they show how flexibilization and networking can look in a modern working environment. They use Tandemploy software to better network all employees and pave the way for new modes of working. Within HASPA, employees can now easily find job sharing, knowledge sharing (expert knowledge and career tips), reverse mentoring and lunch dating. We talked with Dr. Elisabeth Keßeböhmer (Head of Human Resources) and Nicole Vogler (HR Manager & Project Manager for Tandemploy SaaS at HASPA) about the great importance of networking in the context of digital transformation, their tool “FlexWorkz,” and their first success stories.

You proactively and consciously provide your staff with a (virtual) space by networking with colleagues and sharing knowledge. Getting away from silos and the me-first mentality. Why is that so important from your point of view?

The digital age calls for new and different forms of networking and knowledge transfer to become more innovative and successful. Banks especially are facing major transformations and need – for changing business models as well – the innovative potential that already lies dormant in the company. There is so much knowledge – you just have to network it and involve the employees in the transformation process.

In a concrete way, your employees can log in to the software – called FlexWorkz – create a profile and, depending on their skills and interests, find colleagues with whom they can implement new forms of work and share their knowledge and experience. Which areas do you use the tool for?

We use the software for various networking topics; job sharing, for example. The flexible working model is as interesting to returning parents as it is to employees who want a streamlined generational shift or want to study part-time and fill a vacancy together.

With our “Know-how 2 share” module, we also want to actively promote knowledge transfer. Employees have the opportunity to offer their own expertise as experts, future coaches or for reverse mentoring; or to search specifically for expert knowledge and exchange on specific topics.

With our “Never Lunch Alone” feature, colleagues can also arrange a non-binding lunch – at their own or another location. So, not only do you not have to eat alone, you get to know new colleagues, automatically share knowledge and, who knows what can come of it all – new joint projects and ideas, better communication (including cross-departmental) and the expansion of your own network.

Do you need a “bottom-up movement,” “top-down signals,” or both?

Certainly, “top-down” signals are important; for example, to ensure that job sharing is possible in basically all functions. However, the need for new forms of work that perfectly match life models comes just as much from a “bottom-up” movement. Taking advantage of the opportunities presented by job sharing is based on the individual employee. Allowing and accepting a tandem proposal also depends on the attitude of the managers. Clearly, there must be a space for participation, because we want to shape these changes together.

You had a really high return and great registration rates in the first weeks. How did you manage that? How did you communicate the software implementation internally?

Thank you! We are very pleased that we have such curious and open employees. It was certainly helpful that, in addition to information sent to all directors, we also implemented 4 test divisions. In each of these four areas, we offered a face-to-face session to introduce FlexWorkz and its purpose. Participation was voluntary, and the response was great. The testers gave us their impressions. Things that did not work out could then be adapted/revised overall before they were introduced. Another key to success: good and transparent communication – that was very important to us. That’s why we also introduced a teaser on the intranet.

Have you had any success stories and matches that you can share with us?

Yes, actually, there are some. The module “Never Lunch Alone” already has several employees who have arranged to eat together. Some of them have become regular lunches. I also heard that two colleagues who had lost track of each other were able to get back in touch through the software.

The Know-how 2 Share module is about constantly increasing our offerings. The more employees offer their expertise (for example, for the topic “future coach”), the more interesting it becomes for everyone.

It’s still a bit early for a job-sharing success story. Experience shows that it takes a bit to find a suitable partner for sharing a job. But we already have several employees who have expressed interest in job sharing and are looking for a partner.

If you had a wish for the future nature of (collaborative) work at Haspa, what would that be?

Silo-free and collaborative work at eye level – across the entire organization – with the common goal of making Haspa ready for the future and the most highly recommended financial partner.

Thank you for the interview and the exciting insights!

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