Jummpstarting the connection : Training for DSV’s European Works Council
The last two years of working through a pandemic and lockdowns has disrupted the flow that existed in work environments. It has changed the way we interact and work together as colleagues. Challenges brought on about this situation also affected the way the European Works Council at DSV worked.
“After 2 years of lockdowns and pandemic affected workplaces, we didn’t know how to connect or work together clearly. What the training from MZ services did, was help us get kickstarted”
Jeroen Hendrix, Business Support Specialist, Road NL (Chairman European Works Council, DSV)
DSV is a global player in the logistics market and consists of three divisions; Air & Sea, Road and Solutions. They employ about 75.000 people in more than 90 countries. The European Works Council of DSV has been trained annually by MZ Services for 10 years. They trust the trainers, as they understand the company and its culture. Understandably for a gap of two years, no such trainings could be organized.
Finally in November 2021, the most recent training was held in Denmark, home to DSV headquarters. Didi Verhagen & Walter Gouw from MZ Services trained 20 European works council members during a course of four days. Starting from 9 in the morning to 4 in the evening.
Initially the Works council members found it strange and difficult to connect with each other. “We hadn’t seen each other for two years. In the beginning we were kind of lost and did not recognize our purpose. Why we were EWC, which direction we had to take? We were wondering what we were doing in Denmark, in the first place.”
The training started with a small exercise to get acquainted (again). Everyone was asked about their expectations and concerns for the next few days. The trainers had a conversation with everyone and went through some theoretical concepts together. After this, followed other exercises and activities. “We noticed that with each next exercise, our ideas were becoming a little more focused. We were funneled a little more in the same direction. After two days, we were at the same point in the funnel and heading in the same direction. The trainers gave us all the space to explore our own ideas.”
From our experiences in the past, I knew that MZ services would make a great match with the EWC members, since they have experience is working with the DSV OR and understand the way we think and work. We were also aware that for this training we needed a new direction.
Connecting the dots / Finding ‘our’ story
On the second day of training we were asked to solve a puzzle together. We were given sheets of paper with part of a picture that we weren’t allowed to show to each other. Asa team we had to guess and put the pictures face down in the correct order. Then we’d turn over to see if the story was correct. No one wanted to take the lead in the beginning but then it started coming together. Ultimately we solved it and it was great for team spirit. All these efforts did help improve our communication and understanding.
It was a very positive experience for the participants. We are all from different countries and each and every country has their own working methods and values, but throughout these four days all opinions were respected. At the end, we all shared the same vision and direction.
Though we have had similar training before, we realized that we need to keep the communication and exchange going to keep the momentum. This is something we didn’t do the last time around.
“These 4 days helped us get reacquainted with each other. We were able to arrive at a new shared vision as well as define our strategy and mission for coming years.”
Gustav Pertz, Senior Officer Road DE (Member of the select committee European Works Council, DSV)
We had divided the group of 26 into four project groups. Each had been designated with a specific task and an action plan they’re following. We have now had a few conference calls already, between all groups. I think the EWC members were made conscious of the fact that they really need to take an extra step to keep the EWC alive and valuable. We plan to keep to this promise going ahead.
*Based on Inputs from Jeroen Hendrix and Gustav Pertz, Members of the select committee of the European Works Council for DSV.