Changing places

I’ll do your job, you do mine: DMK’s “job rotation” program enables people to gain a new perspective within the company. Two employees describe how it was for them.

You both have jobs in different parts of DMK. What made you swap for three months?

Maike Müller: I wanted to develop, personally and professionally. I have been working in administration in transport logistics for the past ten years. My focus is on invoicing transport services for finished goods. Getting to know another area of the company, like raw milk collection, was exactly the right challenge for me, enabling me to learn more about the business and expand my network. I was also able to gain insights at the plant in Erfurt, where vegan food is produced. My colleagues there took a lot of time to show me things. I also find new tasks exciting and I appreciate the variety.


Maria Bredehöft: It was a great chance to broaden my horizons. I have been at DMK for ten years. For the past 7.5 years, I’ve been working in raw milk collection and have been involved in price negotiations with service providers. That’s what made it so interesting to do Maike’s job. How do other areas facing fluctuating diesel prices handle it? I wanted to build expertise and get to know some more colleagues. Everyone at the Erfurt plant took lots of time to show how the milk is processed, from when the milk is collected through production to the warehouse and the loading of the trucks. The visit to the dairy farm was a further highlight. We had an interesting exchange about what we do at DMK and, above all, what the farmers are currently concerned about. For example, the challenge of finding personnel or the very high cost of feed, energy and fertilizer. It’s great to get to know the people working on a farm. Behind our raw materials are people and animals, you always have to remember that.

“My most important task is to challenge employees and the job rotation is a great way to do that. It offers employees like Maria the chance to gain knowledge beyond recording milk collection details, which ideally we can then use in our area of work."

Stefan Haar, Head of Raw Milk Collection Logistics, DMK

You deliberately left your comfort zone to embrace a new workflow. How did you find that?

Maike Müller: AIn the beginning it was a bit like my first day of training. It was as though I practically had to start from scratch, which isn’t a familiar feeling. For example, there are a lot of calculations when you record the milk and I have not done that much in the past. But my colleagues were very patient and open to all my questions. Getting familiarized with all this while working from home also worked out well. During the first few weeks, I was pretty exhausted after work but I soon got used to it.


Maria Bredehöft: I also found it was like the early days of my career. I had to relearn entire processes because transport logistics involves much more work with SAP software and several special applications. It was challenging, but a lot of fun, also because my colleagues were so helpful.

“I think it is important for every employee to look beyond their immediate surroundings in order to gain fresh insights and incorporate them into their workflow.”

Ron Geerds, Head of Transport Logistics, DMK

What did you take away from your experience of the job rotation? Would you recommend the program to others?

Maike Müller: People asked me about it a lot, as everyone was interested in what it was like to suddenly do a different job. I think it makes sense, because so much knowledge and experience gets passed from one employee to the next. That creates new energy, ideas and suggestions for improvement, which in turn has an impact on the entire corporate culture.


Maria Bredehöft: I really challenged myself in terms of how quickly I could learn things while also integrating myself into a new team at the same time. We were able to show each other a few tricks in Excel, for example. Overall, it was a very good experience that I can only recommend to everyone.

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