Rethinking IT — 100 colleagues participate in Social Day.

Take 100 Daimler employees and get them to focus on team spirit and social responsibility. What’s the result? A superlative Social Day — and the best departmental development event ever. It was a day full of emotions, sweat, and delicious cake.

One of the biggest Social Days in the company’s history was staged under the leadership of Manfred Abrecht, IT Infrastructure & Operations at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, and with the help of an organization team.

On this day, more than 100 colleagues from Daimler IT provided support for the employees of the Kleinsägmühlerhof, a farm that is also a residential center for people with disabilities. The farm is managed by the Lebenshilfe organization in Bad Dürkheim. The Kleinsägmühlerhof has been operated for 30 years in the town of Altleinigen with great commitment and a sense of social and environmental responsibility by people with and without disabilities under the leadership of Richard Danner. The farm has its own bakery, a dairy with a cheese making workshop, its own slaughterhouse, and many other features. All of the farm’s products are certified according to the Demeter guidelines for organic products from biodynamic farms. They are sold in the farm’s own store, which has been lovingly decorated by the residents. The farm’s baked goods, such as bread and cake, are also delivered to companies.

The farm’s ongoing operations also require work and financial support that it cannot manage entirely on its own. As a result, the colleagues from Daimler IT decided to provide it with strong support by means of a large-scale Social Day that was part of their team development program. In line with the slogan “#socialconnect – einfach machen!” (#socialconnect – just do it!), the goal of the event was to provide help where it was needed and enable people to get to know one another on a very different kind of platform. Daimler colleagues from four locations (Wörth, Gaggenau, Mannheim, and Kassel) participated.

A Social day with the slogan 'Just do it!'

Manfred Abrecht became the head of this department, which is spread across four locations, two and a half years ago. He hoped that bringing together people from the various teams during the Social Day would help them get to know one another better. On this sunny September day, his plan turned out to be very successful. Colleagues wearing red, yellow, green, and blue T-shirts printed with the Social Day slogan worked in different areas of the farm. The mood was relaxed, and at the end of the day the results were impressive. In spite of the day’s tropical heat of 30°C, the team had harvested the entire potato crop, given the barns a new coat of paint, sanded down tables and benches, chopped firewood, renewed fences, and handled the catering entirely on its own — among other things. With the energetic assistance of the farm’s employees, who have gathered lots of experience with large-scale events, the team set up a big catering tent where coffee and delicious sheet cake were served. In the meantime, the preparations for the evening barbecue were in full swing. Only products from the farm itself were used for the catering.

Sabine Lust from the Daimler plant in Gaggenau reported that cooking food for one’s own colleagues can be a lot of fun. Colleagues joining in a round of beer to celebrate a good day’s work clearly felt that this had been the best departmental development event they had ever experienced.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Daimler to organize something like this!

Manfred Abrecht, IT Infrastructure & Operations at Mercedes-Benz Trucks

The feedback about the project was enthusiastic: Everyone involved gave positive assessments, according to Ralf Herter from the Wörth location, who was on the management team that organized the social project. “Lots of my colleagues have gotten in touch with me to thank me,” he said. “The communication within our four locations has noticeably improved, and many people are already asking us whether we can have another Social Day next year!”

Gabriele Ruf, Director at Daimler IT Infrastructure of Daimler AG, came from Stuttgart to the picturesque town of Altleiningen to get a sense of this very well-organized social project.

I am impressed how a Social Day, apart from aspects relating to team building, can also strengthen and refine the principles of Leadership 2020. An overall truly successful day that has given me plenty new food for thought.

Gabriele Ruf, Director IT Infrastructure, Daimler AG

Richard Danner from the Kleinsägmühlerhof also expressed his extreme satisfaction with the event and confirmed that the day had been a great success. He admitted that it had required intense preparations, but said that his employees were very proud that “Daimler had visited them” and were still talking about the event. So it’s unanimous: The Social Day was a resounding success!