In High Team Spirit: Living and Breathing Company Culture at Zühlke Camp
Every year each Zühlke team leaves their office for some days of training and attends an offsite event called Zühlke Camp. Ina, HR Manager at the London and Manchester Office, is particularly fond of this five-day event.
The company culture at Zühlke is all about discovering, exploring and getting inspired. For camp we usually go to a remote location. For five days our over 70 colleagues from our London and Manchester offices, as well as colleagues from other Zühlke locations and external speakers come together. We have held our previous camps in various locations including Prague, Ljubljana, Lisbon, Zagreb, Marrakesh, Malta and the Lake District in the North-West of England.
At Zühlke, we invest a lot in the training of our employees and our company culture. This involves individual learning and learning together. The training budget that we offer at Zühlke provides for both types. Our team members can use it to attend courses and conferences or buy subscriptions and books. Both types of learning are equally important and have different advantages to contribute – either to an individual or to an organisation.
Zühlke Camp is all about learning together and from each other. It’s about team spirit. All of us have a lot to share and offer. We split into teams depending on what we are passionate to explore and learn: a new language, technology or methodology. There are workshops and talks, as well as sessions dedicated to soft skills development.
“Zühlke Camp is all about learning together and from each other.”
We organise the camp schedule and training topics within a camp committee. The structure of the agenda allows for everyone to participate in open space sessions and through giving “lightning talks”. These presentations are limited to five minutes and may be on any exciting topic. Everyone at Zühlke has a bit more in-depth knowledge than the rest in a specific area. Everyone comes prepared to share and receive knowledge.
Camp definitely strengthens the team spirit. It is a great opportunity to get to know each other better, to understand everyone’s strengths, how we can collaborate and share knowledge even more efficiently. This becomes more and more important, since we are growing steadily. Besides that, we take time out to have fun together. We dedicate half a day of camp to social team events and each evening there are self-organised activities, such as sports, music, board games, a LAN party, Werewolf and other games. At the end of the day, we all came together for a lovely dinner and chat about our adventures.
During camp the offices are empty, no progress is made on ongoing client projects. And yet it’s worth it. The value of our camp has been demonstrated consistently and continuously over the years. It is never under question if there will be another Zühlke Camp the following year. The flow and transfer of knowledge, the experience of having trainings together, the inspiration. At camp, we can explore topics that we all truly enjoy, are passionate about and in which we love to grow and develop. This, along with getting to know each other better and having a wonderful time together, ultimately leads to a great company culture and a stronger team spirit.
Camp is a vivid part of the company culture at Zühlke. This is only one example of many, but it reflects our culture and the way we work and grow together. Zühlke invests a significant number of working hours, as well as of the company profit, in the training and development of its employees. This is greatly valued by our employees and admired by those outside Zühlke.