Jacqueline, you have made it your mission to improve the digital skills of around 1700 colleagues. Why are you doing this?
Because I think it's important and I've been given the opportunity to work on it at Performance Materials. I believe that we will be even more successful as a division if we provide the right tools and important key competencies in the area of digitalization for our colleagues. And: I simply enjoy talking to people, helping them and simplifying their everyday digital lives.
What digital skills do you think are particularly important?
Every one of us needs a good basic digital know-how in order to be able to communicate virtually in a reasonable and professional manner – especially in times of Corona. The topic of self-learning and, above all, lifelong learning is more important than ever. For me, it's about empowering and motivating my colleagues to develop on their own initiative. I'm proud that I was able to launch a self-learning format together with my project team: In an online learning journey, everyone can acquire basic digital knowledge themselves.
This requires the right mindset with openness to new things, the courage to change and a lot of initiative. Not everyone needs to know everything, but they do need to know where to get help if they have questions. At Evonik, we have great solutions: self-learning IT portals, eBuddies, Teams and communities in which everyone can share their knowledge and network with each other. In my opinion, applicants also need these soft skills and this mindset!
What do you particularly like about your role as project manager for this topic?
Success stands and falls with a committed project team. At Performance Materials, we tackle important issues, and everyone can contribute their own ideas. As a comparatively small organizational unit, we have a high impact due to the commitment of each employee. One example: our "PM Agenda", which gives everyone the opportunity to contribute to our organization – in line with our motto "People Matter". From several hundred suggestions for improvement, our management has set up seven projects to make us even better as a division. The motto here is: don't talk long – just act! I'm leading one of the projects in the area of digital skills – already my second of this kind. That shows: We're not letting up – we are continuously working on it!
A quick look at your resume, Jacqueline: Does your responsibility as a project manager have anything to do with the fact that you studied teaching?
I've always been passionate about training to teach others IT content that adds value. I especially like the "wow, I didn't know that, but it really helps me now" moment. As I studied teaching, my focus has always been on topics like development, learning, and didactics. That has never quite left me.
Finally, give us some facts!
Pandemic has turned out to be one of the biggest digitization drivers. Today, we have wonderful digital solutions for seamless collaboration, no matter where in the world we are collaborating from. With our current tools, it has never been easier to work on documents at the same time or to interact directly and quickly with each other. Today, everyone who knows how to get the most out of virtual meetings, who can skillfully moderate, run workshops and manage projects in 2D – is not only on the cutting edge, but is, as I call it, really "on their toes" digitally!