New Work at abat - What is it?
The philosophy of New Work has been at the heart of our way of working since the company was founded in 1998. But it was developed and tested in a pilot held at the beginning of 2016. The idea is responsible cooperation, and it sprang from the experiences
of the 4 founders of abat AG. Drawing from the experiences and lesson learned prior to founding abat, it taught them that rigid structures and rules can adversely limit the innovation and creativity of each employee.
Self-responsible action in the interests of the company
In order to promote innovation and creativity the abat AG team governs itself to empower employees and entitle them to make decisions on their own. Only a few rules are installed as "guardrails". These act as guidelines in the sense of: "In this area you can move. But please always think what makes the most sense". For example, consultants are encouraged to use "common sense" when organizing business trips.
Each employee decides themselves which type of travel will be most appropriate: company car, train or flight. Because the value-adding work of the company takes place in the projects, the consultant must consider the cost or the travel as well as the time involved. Here it is important for us and our customers that each team member can optimally focus on value-adding tasks. And everyone decides for themselves, what helps to promote the achievement.
Self-responsible action in the interests of the customer
In the early years of the company's history, members of the executive board were selected as project managers. This automatically led to decisions being made within the projects efficiently and decisively. Today, though, members of management rarely work directly on the project, team members must adhere to the philosophy of New Work, To always be responsive in the interests of our customers, a basic prerequisite of project work is for team members must be self-responsible and act in a entrepreneurial manner.
Every abat employee is therefore the contact person for our customers and can make decisions that bring the project to a successful conclusion quickly and successfully.
The story of the orange Beetle
This Beetle was the company car of one of our consultants.
There are company cars in almost every company, but usually there is also an associated company car regulation that allows or excludes certain models.
For our experienced founders, however, rules were a red rag when the four of them set up their own business in 1998. At the time, they vowed: "We don't want to bureaucratize ourselves!" So it was with the company vehicles.
So there's no restriction on us, just a guardrail: we drive the cars of the manufacturers we work for.
Well, and then it came as it had to: A new colleague mercilessly exploited the freedom that the lack of rules offered her: She wanted to drive an orange VW Beetle convertible! At first, however, there were many questions on the part of those responsible: What does this look like? Does the company really want to invest in such a fancy car? Is that sensible?
Her HR manager tried to convince her with arguments: "Hey, think about it: Maybe you'd like to leave us before the end of the three-year leasing period and move to another company. The car will then stay here. And no one else is likely to want to drive this car, in this color to boot." But she had a mind of her own: "I'm sticking to our guardrail after all. Besides, I'm not going to change companies." So she got the orange Beetle - only to quit six months later and leave it behind.
Oh my! There it was in the parking lot, nobody wanted it: the orange Beetle. We had a problem: the orange Beetle.
Had our unconventional approach without company car regulations worked out? Let's be fair, it hadn't here. After this experience, wouldn't the founders now have to enact a rule like the ones that exist in every other company, simply because that's how it's proven to be elsewhere? For example: In the future, there will only be dark cars, sedans or station wagons, C-Class for consultants, E-Class for bosses! But that would mean breaking the oath. So what have we done?
At that time, we did not issue a regulation restricting the choice of model! Not until today. We remained true to ourselves and stick to our rule aversion.
And the Beetle story even plays into our hands: When someone new starts with us, the question is often asked, "So, have you picked out a car yet?" - And even before an answer comes, the sto-ry is told: "We once had a consultant who had picked out an orange Beetle." And at that moment, a mental process is set in motion in the other person. That's why there is still no rule. The responsibility for thinking lies with oneself and is not delegated to a rule.
It is through this power of stories that we have managed, from the time of our founding to the present day, to get by with extremely few rules not only for company cars, but also in all other fields of work, and yet - or precisely because of this - to be very successful. We resist all temptations to bureaucratize, which always become tempting when something doesn't work and someone gets upset. Rules, after all, are always born out of outrage. But not with us. With us, stories emerge. And that actually works surprisingly well.
The story also had a happy ending for the orange Beetle: A colleague spontaneously fell in love with the car and took it over until the end of the lease.
Successful New Work at abat
An illustrative example of this, working in alignment with the New Work philosophy, is a project at an automotive supplier from Upper Franconia with core competence in "Mechatronic systems for doors, seats and electric motors". A group of abat consultants and developers initiated all processes, everything from acquisitions, purchasing negotiations,
contract conclusion, project execution, go-live and support negotiations, all on their own. The customer recognized the benefits of abat working in this fashion and the success of the project, so much so, that they reference the project as a true success story.
You want to know immediately which jobs are currently open, then discover them in our job portal!
I like working at abat because there is a very pleasant, appreciative working atmosphere here with a lot of freedom. There is a lot of trust, so you also have the freedom to try out something new - but if it doesn't work out, there is also the necessary support. That's how I've learned so much! In addition, if you have problems while working in the home office, you can often quickly find colleagues who are happy to help you out via teams.
Senior SAP Developer
At abat, thanks to the great variety of projects, I have the opportunity to constantly expand my horizons and thus always be prepared for upcoming challenges.
Through abat, I have been able to develop personally and get to know the practice better. I always have the opportunity to learn new and exciting things, through which I constantly grow beyond myself.
WORK-LIFE-BALANCE is very important at abat. Thanks to flexible working hours and a great team, you can combine work and university very well.
Despite the professionalism that abat AG displays to the outside world, it became clear to me during my first few days that this does not have to be a contradiction to fun, friendliness and relaxed interaction among colleagues. The flat hierarchies ensured that I felt comfortable as an intern and like a full member of the team right from the start.