Networking can be difficult in a large, global company with more than 3,000 employees in Germany alone. It takes a lot of time to get to know at least a few other people, even if you are only a short stroll apart. The pandemic has not made this any easier – on the contrary, the distance between colleagues has become even greater. Personal exchanges are few and far between. And that despite the fact that new colleagues or apprentices are just a click away.

MANY PEOPLE ARE DELIGHTED WITH THIS CONCEPT BECAUSE IT’S ALWAYS A MYSTERY AS TO WHICH DEPARTMENT THEY WILL NETWORK WITH ON THE DAY.

It’s as simple as it is ingenious: Mystery Coffee. Behind this name is a new opportunity to network within the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding corporate groups. The particular highlight is that employees get to meet different colleagues from all over the world.

It couldn’t be any simpler: After signing in, the system randomly picks a colleague who you can then meet for a virtual coffee or, if possible, in person. The process is rather reminiscent of a blind date – except not with a potential partner, but with colleagues from different divisions, locations, and Group companies.

This not only allows participants to refresh their language skills, but also to learn about other cultures and ways of working that exist within the Group. Employees of B.PRO GmbH in Oberderdingen exchange ideas with colleagues from E.G.O. Nihon Co. Ltd., Kobe, in Japan, get insights into the daily work there, and learn more about the jobs, roles, and tasks of the different departments.

Employees around the world are enthusiastic about Mystery Coffee, and feedback has been consistently positive. Many people are delighted with this concept because it’s always a mystery as to which department they will network with on the day.

It certainly brings the large BLANC & FISCHER family even closer together. A strong network is important, especially in times when colleagues cannot meet face-to-face every day to talk. Thinking outside the box is also important to better understand internal processes and decisions. So, when will you meet a colleague for a (virtual) coffee break?

Mitarbeiterin beim Mystery Coffee
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TAKE PART IN MYSTERY COFFEE, YOU CAN REGISTER IN JUST A FEW CLICKS. SIMPLY STATE YOUR NAME AND COMPANY, AND CHOOSE WHETHER YOU WANT TO BE PAIRED UP WITH COLLEAGUES WITHIN OR OUTSIDE YOUR OWN GROUP. FINALLY, CHOOSE YOUR PREFERRED LANGUAGE AND TIME PERIOD, AND HOW OFTEN YOU WANT TO MEET UP FOR A COFFEE. WHEN A SUITABLE PARTNER HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED AND MEET FOR A (DIGITAL) CHAT.

What’s the employees’ take?

“Participating in the Mystery Coffee Sessions gives me the opportunity to meet a diverse group of people within the organization that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. During every coffee break, we get to know each other and talk about our interests as well as work-related topics. We quickly realized that although we come from different countries and business areas, many of us share common interests and goals.”
Heide Ash, BLANCO America Inc

HEIDE ASH,
BLANCO America Inc., Lumberton, USA

Klaudia Oettinger, Blanc und Fischer Corporate Services GmbH & Co. KG
KLAUDIA OETTINGER,
Blanc und Fischer Corporate Services GmbH & Co. KG,
Oberderdingen, Germany
“I enjoy chatting with colleagues I might not otherwise get to meet. Even if you have a busy schedule and are immersed in your work, a quick break does wonders, and a nice conversation will leave you with new impressions. I think those 15 minutes every two or four weeks are a great thing that everyone should make time for. The conversations I’ve had with our wonderful colleagues in Turkey were particularly memorable!”

“Mystery Coffee is a great way to grow your network in the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding. Our Group of companies is present in 24 countries and has around 9,000 employees – in other words, a large family in three different time zones. This is a very useful, safe, and simple tool for staying in touch within this family. I’ve often been drawn for random Mystery Coffees and have been able to meet employees from E.G.O. locations, BLANCO Canada Inc., Toronto, and BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services. It’s an inspiring platform for all of us, and I can only recommend it!”

Erdem Bulut, E.G.O. Elektrikli Aletler Sanayi A.S.

ERDEM BULUT,
E.G.O. Elektrikli Aletler Sanayi A.S.,
Ergene, Turkey

Rüdiger Kögel, BLANCO GmbH + Co KG

RÜDIGER KÖGEL,
BLANCO GmbH + Co KG,
Sulzfeld, Germany

“Mystery Coffee is a wonderful platform for meeting great people and learning about their jobs or hobbies – and across the whole Group. I remember one Mystery Coffee, in particular, where I chatted with a colleague from Oberderdingen. We ended up talking about events and had the same idea that a little Christmas market could be created around neXus for all employees of the BLANC & FISCHER Family Holding to enjoy.”

“Mystery Coffee couldn’t be more apt at the moment! It enables personal exchanges with colleagues from a wide range of divisions or other Group companies without the need for business interfaces. This offers a good opportunity to network within the entire family holding and make new contacts – a great modern networking tool!”

Isabell Huber, E.G.O. Elektro-Gerätebau GmbH

ISABELL HUBER,
E.G.O. Elektro-Gerätebau GmbH,
Oberderdingen, Germany

Bernd Schütz, Blanc und Fischer IT Services GmbH

BERND SCHÜTZ,
Blanc und Fischer IT Services GmbH,
Oberderdingen, Germany

“No matter how much the opportunity for virtual collaboration helps us to make the most of the current situation, social contacts and interpersonal exchanges are just as lost as the many scheduled content-related appointments we usually attend. Mystery Coffee offers a deliberate way to counter this trend. It’s a great opportunity to consciously take time to get to know people. This will also make it easier for us to work together again later on in a business context. True to the adage ‘Trust reduces complexity’. Thanks to Mystery Coffee, I’ve already been able to meet some colleagues with different backgrounds – and thus get to know them better. I was very pleased about every conversation and exchange. I’ve been part of this initiative from the very beginning, and I’m still excited to discover who I can meet at the next session.”

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