This post was originally published in 2013. The tips and techniques explained may be outdated.
The contacts that you make at the beginning will last you a lifetime. There's no more crucial time to fully understand a company’s processes, organizational structures, and project management strategies than when you first join that company. In fact, this is just as important as getting to know co-workers from different departments and establishing a good network from the get-go.
That’s the whole idea behind the SMA Engineering workshop, which the team at SMA Knowledge Management has been organizing since 2006.
We send staff members from Development and Product Management who have been with the company for six months to two years to an exciting, enriching, and intensive workshop where they are able to become familiar with all of the company’s facets.
At the workshop, participants are asked to form interdisciplinary teams and complete activities such as developing an imaginary new product and getting to know more about each other’s work.
Germerode—Away from your daily routine
The entire experience starts with everyone going to Germerode, located south-east of Kassel, where the SMA Engineering workshop is held. Once everyone is there, it’s down to business at a cozy lodge: exercises, networking, and teams. Does that sound intensive? That’s because it is: The workshop is full of exciting new experiences, new knowledge, new contacts, and fascinating discussions.
Networking easily with SMA engineering
Fireside chats—Management gives the inside story
A stimulating day and an outstanding dinner are followed by the highlight of the SMA Engineering workshop: the fireside chat. This is where the guest of honor, one of the company’s managers, will give participants the inside scoop and the opportunity to ask any questions they might have in a relaxed atmosphere. The evening will then be wrapped up with a nice get-together.
Next day, the workshop will continue for half a day, allowing participants to present and discuss the results of their exercises. Once done, it’s back home for everyone.
“Incredible location, amazing food, an enjoyable atmosphere, great people, a lot of insights into other departments/ways of working, etc., and the ‘right’ special guest”
“Interdisciplinary events with other departments have become more important than ever before, not to mention they are tons of fun”
“Perfect balance between work (exercises) and fun (breaks, dinner), which really gives everyone an opportunity to get to know each other better”
“Getting to know other people in a relaxed atmosphere so that you can work with them later on if the occasion presents itself is an excellent idea that pays for itself, especially nowadays…”