Football with Colleagues: The Game Returns to Poland
This post was originally published in 2012. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
After a visit from our dtw-colleagues to Niestetal, an SMA delegation was to travel to Poland. Loaded into two small buses, football shoes packed, 12 SMA employees and I made the 830 km journey to Zabierzów, home of dtw.
“We are making renewable energy for everyone so we work to improve our chokes, inductors and transformers every day,” said Karol Dwornicki, an internal trainer at dtw. Darius Oliwa, employee in Quality Management at SMA, interprets the comments into German for me and the 12 colleagues traveling with us. We were invited by dtw to see their production center in Zabierzow, Poland and to take part in the dtw football tournament. Dtw Sp.z o.o. has been a subsidiary of SMA’s since August 2011, and is a global center of excellence for electromagnetic parts.
SMA employees toured the dtw production facilities in Zabierzów with great interest.
The similarities are obvious: 5 S, lean production, office containers on the company premises, brand-new buildings, an open working environment and highly-motivated employees. Cost awareness is also an issue being addressed. Processes are being optimized and waste reduced. “We stage a 5S audit at least every two weeks,” Karol continued. A 5S leader plaque is hung over the workstation of employees who have best implemented the 5S method. “We want to increase reliability and efficiency, so we introduced LEAN Management and 5S to better integrate our employees into the production process and thus create more interest and motivation,” explains Krzysztof Kolasinski, financial director at dtw.
“dtw, SMA, dtw, SMA…!” – The Integration is Palpable
The next day, the SMA football team laced up its shoes. We were impressed by the stadium and the packed the seats. Many dtw employees and their family members were there to cheer: “dtw, SMA, dtw, SMA…!” A taste of the European Football Championship is in the air. The teams are giving nothing away on the field. The SMA team, still feeling the hours-long tour through Krakow from the day before, fought its way into the semifinals without a single goal against them. There they played the team from dtw, last year’s third-place finisher in Niestetal. A close game with dtw winning 1:0, with perhaps a little help from the referee. After a round of penalty kicks in the game for third place, the award for best goalie and best goal defense was given. Then the founder of dtw, Stefan Domagala, presented the SMA team with medals and trophies for third place. A rewarding end.
My conclusion: We got to know many of our kind and welcoming colleagues in Poland. Satisfied, and with many lasting impressions, we made our way home. The time with our dtw colleagues was a rewarding experience for all involved and an important step in building personal relationships between Niestetal and Zabierzów.