Leading into the New Normal

Early in the pandemic, Siemens established mobile working as a core component of its “new normal” and made it a permanent standard, both during the global pandemic and beyond. The aim is to enable employees worldwide to work on a mobile basis for an average of two or three days a week, whenever reasonable and feasible. Worldwide surveys of Siemens’ employees confirmed their desire for greater flexibility and for personalized solutions when it comes to deciding where they work.

Work from anywhere

Employees are to choose the work locations where they’re most productive. As a result, the hybrid working model specifically includes working environments such as coworking spaces. Work in person at the office is to supplement mobile working as appropriate.  This new normal Working Model applies to more than 140,000 of the company’s employees at over 125 locations in 43 countries.

Trust and Empowerment 

“We trust our employees and empower them to shape their work themselves so that they can achieve the best possible results. With the new way of working, we’re motivating our employees while improving the company’s performance capabilities and sharpening Siemens’ profile as a flexible and attractive employer,” explained Roland Busch, President and CEO of Siemens AG (more information here)

The new normal is redefining leadership

Siemens always had mobile working, but now the company is taking it a step further. The basis for this forward-looking working model is to further develop our corporate culture. These changes will also be associated with a different leadership style, one that focuses on outcomes rather than on time spent at the office.  

Communication is in the front seat to support and enable this culture change across the organization, along with People & Organization teams, and the top management.

An event customized for leaders to support this cultural transformation

In Switzerland, in January 2021, the communication team organized a learning booster for 700 leaders in the country, so they could:  

  • exchange and connect
  • share their challenges  
  • understand our new working model
  • test tools to lead virtual teams
  • learn more about mental health
  • embrace a growth mindset and become lifelong learners 

The 4-day fully virtual experience, called “Leading into the New Normal” included:

  • Joint check-in sessions
  • A menu of sessions of maximum one hour that participants could choose from, based on personal interest
  • An online learning curriculum which is now part of My learning world, our online learning platform which offers over 60,000 on-demand learning modules (find out more here
  • Preparations for each session, and a follow-up  
  • An innovative buddy networking session

Here are some KPIs:

  • A total of 43 sessions were offered, in German and in English
  • Representing 70 hours of live program  
  • 700 active participants, all leaders from Siemens Switzerland, attended an average of 5 sessions
  • Total of 2,055 hours of learning conducted

This made-in-Switzerland edition of the leadership event inspired colleagues across the organization to develop similar formats.  

“Culture change is a journey. Activating our multipliers to ensure we touch every single aspect of the organization, being mindful of cultures, while leaving no one behind, is essential for our long-term success. The virtual experience offered to our leaders with “Leading into the New Normal” was great, but it is only a step in our journey. Scalable and repeatable formats to empower our leaders and to include everyone in the organization are needed,” said Gerd Scheller, Country CEO for Siemens Switzerland. 

What’s next? Leaving no one behind

In November 2021 the communication team launches an original format for our 5,300 colleagues in Switzerland, not only dedicated to leaders. This 3-days fully virtual experience is called Team Siemens Switzerland Camp. It includes sessions on how to live and implement the new normal individually and in various teams, our priorities for 2022, and how to boost teamwork. An entertainment night is part of the program. We are launching many new solutions for networking and matchmaking!