„Employees become entrepreneurs with us“

Chiara is 22 and responsible for the internal crowdsourcing at Viessmann. She ensures that employees’ ideas become innovations.

Chiara Euler never has to work in a fast-food restaurant in the university vacation as many of her friends do. She already has a multifaceted, well-paid job as part of her course – at Viessmann in Allendorf. “I wanted to earn money from the very beginning. Independence is very important to me”, she said. “And I wanted to know what makes a company tick.” This practical focus is part of the ‘Studium Plus’ plan, the dual study programme at the Mittelhessen University of Applied Sciences. So Chiara did not apply for a degree course when she was 17, she applied for a position at Viessmann. The degree course in business administration was a kind of additional extra. “It felt really great to be accepted into a company straight away”, she said.

“Employees are the focus here”

Chiara has studied business administration, specialising in the management of medium-sized companies. The course was quite an exclusive one. There were only five fellow students in her semester. She completed the practical phases at Viessmann. In the process, she got to know many areas of the company and developed her own network. “It was clear for me that I wanted to work in a technology-focused company, which would be a good extension to my studies in business administration”, she explained. She felt totally won over to Viessmann even in her interview. “The HR manager gave me the feeling that he had been waiting all day for me”, she remembered. “Employees are at the centre of things here.” She found that appealing. “What totally fascinates me with Viessmann is that I don’t know of any other company that transforms itself so quickly and responds so fast to the challenges of the environment”, she said. “Everyone here understands why digitisation and cultural transformation is so important for us.” She spoke about how Max Viessmann had managed to carry his people with him and set the course for the future.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life so far.”

Chiara completed five different internships during her studies at Viessmann. One of them was in market research, where she had the opportunity to go to China for three months. That was where she supervised the first customer satisfaction study that Viessmann had ever carried out in the People’s Republic. “I always wanted to go abroad since the beginning of my course, and preferably to China. It was one of the best experiences of my life so far.”

Chiara is now in the Innovation Management Team, which came into existence on the initiative of the Digital Transformation Task Force. “It’s great to be working on the issue of digitisation”, said Chiara. That is why she stayed in the team and wrote her bachelor dissertation on innovation management. She has now become a fixed member of the team since receiving her degree in 2017. Collaboration with start-up companies and observing markets and trends: “those are my areas, that’s exactly what interests me.” She is responsible for internal crowdsourcing in the team. On the Creative platform, where employees collectively share their ideas about new products, business models and services. Chiara ensures that innovations come from these ideas.

She supports colleagues in the process of becoming entrepreneurs.

She also looks after the internal entrepreneurship and accelerator programme,which supports employees in founding their own start-up companies. “Each employee can become an entrepreneur within the company. We make methods and tools available to do this – how to draw up a business plan, for example. Above all, we give people a stage from which they can get their ideas to the top management relatively quickly.” It is quite clear what happens in the innovation platform. Everyone in the company can see what happens there and comment on any project. Chiara stresses that “hierarchies have no role to play on this platform. Our objective is to ensure the success of Viessmann well into the future.”

And Chiara wants to carry on working toward this objective. She has been nominated for the Company Leadership Programme by her team manager. “This includes the employees who are seen to have great potential for becoming managers”, said Chiara. They are given training, workshops and tools here so they can soon lead a team themselves. Perhaps even in China.

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Chiara Euler in the Viessmann headquarters

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