A few days ago my shirt and jacket stayed in the closet, but jeans, sweater, work jacket and safety shoes were the order of the day. The background: My change-of-sight appointment. What does that mean? In the visual change program at TÜV Rheinland, managers do an internal internship in a completely different department, preferably in an operational position. This is not only a welcome change, but also a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge base, build understanding and trust, and gather inspiration.
From product testing to real estate management
My work led me into the field of products, or more precisely into the hardlines business field. They test just about anything you can imagine in terms of mechanical products – from ironing boards and grills to swimming equipment. And a few days later I was a trainee in the real estate company and gained some tangible impressions of the maintenance of the properties, the technical infrastructure and the fire protection in our buildings. What was great for me was the openness and friendliness with which I was met everywhere. This is not a given because as an intern you tie up a lot of time and capacity, which is sometimes difficult in day-to-day business.
Change of sight = promote knowledge transfer and understanding
The change of sight is carried out at TÜV Rheinland as a controlled experiment and is aimed in particular at managers in central functions in Germany. The change-of-sight program is quite simple: the departments report vacancies for an internal internship to the Staff Development department, which in turn informs interested managers and brings both parties together. Fortunately, the colleagues from the testing business are always very open-minded, make such appointments possible and like to share their knowledge so that everything takes place in a very positive atmosphere.
A great tool not only for executive development
From my point of view, this is a great offer from my company. Especially when you work in a central function, it is extremely important to “ground” yourself and develop an understanding of the operative business and the needs and perspectives of the employees. This applies not only to managers. As part of my induction program, I generally send new colleagues out for several days to accompany various test appointments. This gives you valuable insights that are important for your own work and your view of the business, because how can I market a service and accompany it communicatively if I have never seen the whole thing live before and have never got to know either customers or operative employees?
A tip at the end: Stay curious!
Newcomers from all areas often ask me whether I have a tip for the first few months or years at TÜV Rheinland. My answer: Always stay open and curious. Look outside the box and preserve your interest for the whole company and all employees, no matter at which hierarchical level. I have learned one thing: You never stop learning. And that’s a good thing because then the job will always be fun. The change of sight contributes to this.