More knowledge, please
Behind the scenes

More knowledge, please

Pictures: Thomas Kunz
Translation: Octavia Hurst

All Digitec Galaxus employees have the benefit of 2,000 Swiss francs or 2,000 minutes per year for further training. Team leader Robin Wegener tells us how colleagues in logistics use their budget.

In online retail, if you don't go forward, you go backwards. That’s why Digitec Galaxus offers so-called EDU points: a non-bureaucratic system that allows everyone to expand their expertise. All employees receive a yearly budget of 2,000 francs or 2,000 minutes for educational purposes such as non-fiction books, theatre courses or leadership training. The only condition: the training needs to be beneficial for the employees and the company.

What are EDU points used for? We spoke to Robin Wegener. He’s a team leader at our distribution centre in Wohlen, Aargau. He uses the EDU points himself, advises and supports his employees and is part of the logistics «task force development». To put it in a nutshell: Robin is an absolute EDU specialist!

Robin, what do you use your points for?
Robin: I completed my advanced training as a logistics specialist last year. I made use of the EDU points in the form of time so I could study for the exams. Currently, I’m using the points to read non-fiction books; most recently, I read a book on process design. Thanks to EDU points, I’m able to read during working hours and am always informed about the newest topics.

How will the acquired knowledge benefit you in your daily work at Digitec Galaxus?
I’m working with colleagues on a new concept for workplace safety. In the process, I benefit enormously from both the methodological and the technical know-how I’ve acquired. I feel more confident analysing dangers and come up with better solutions. It’s satisfying and I enjoy doing it. I didn’t do the further training solely for the degree, but rather to apply the knowledge and do a better job.

What is your role as a leader when it comes to developing your employees?
I motivate my employees and make them aware of the offer. I give feedback and present development opportunities to my team. Employees often need ideas and inspiration. But I don’t force the issue on anyone – the motivation ultimately has to come from the employees. I want to give good advice and support those who want to learn more – that’s important to me.

What further training is particularly popular in logistics?
Our most popular courses are German and forklift driving courses, but also workplace safety or expanding IT skills. These are all important courses. It’s a win-win situation: we have better and more jobs we can hand over to employees, and they expand their profile. Especially with German courses, they benefit in all areas of life – I sense great gratitude from many of them.

How often are EDU Points used in your logistics team?
In my team, about a third make use of this offer. After the introduction last summer, logistics had used over 50,000 EDU points by the end of the year. This year, the figure is already around 90,000 points after just five months. Both EDU options (time and money) are used roughly the same number of times. 45,000 EDU points in time correspond to 750 hours or 31 days – that adds up to quite a bit of knowledge.

How has the new system established itself? Has the word got out? Do people know how it works? And how is it received?
At the beginning, it took a while until it took off. Although the system is very simple, team leaders had to first understand how to handle the details. After the first courses were attended, it quickly made the rounds. By now, most people know it exists and how it works. People are extremely happy with it. They’re aware that it can’t be taken for granted. I also observe an impact on motivation and satisfaction among those who continue their education with our EDU points.

Development seems to be very close to your heart. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Whew, that’s a tough one. I honestly don’t plan that far ahead – the world is spinning extremely fast for us. I’m very satisfied at the moment. I would like to continue applying my knowledge and grow with my tasks. I don’t think in terms of positions, but in terms of topics and challenges. And they will come: there’s never a dull moment at Digitec Galaxus.

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Powder snow and Baileys coffee make me happy. As a small business punk, I make sure that work is fun and that employees can develop. My work includes piratical maneuvers towards more personal responsibility and creative new ways of thinking. Keeping me fit and alert are our well-stocked team snacks drawer, risky Nerf gun battles with team members, and various shopping adventures at Galaxus after work. 

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