In the next few blog posts I would like to write a little about working in an SME in Germany. The thoughts, data and research is taken from my dual studies in cooperation with Merus from 2016 to 2018. I started in 2014 as a temp for texts in German, English and French. The following dual master's degree with a focus on project management, business administration and technology was ideal for combining further education and my work at Merus.
What does SME mean?
SME is originally the abbreviation for "small and medium-sized enterprises". As this is a common term, I am using it for companies with a similar number of employees as Merus. Here I am referring to the number of employees at the main location in Sindelfingen.
In the following articles the characteristics of SMEs in general and Merus in particular will be discussed.
Flat, flatter, flattest - hierarchies at Merus
Where others work on flat hierarchies and short decision-making processes, this is part of everyday life at Merus from the very beginning. Each employee has a roughly defined area of responsibility, in which he or she is responsible for achieving the best possible results. Constant exchange instead of occasional, but lengthy meetings ensures a good overview. No employee is alone with the responsibility, but can, if necessary, obtain advice, opinions or input on his or her own projects.
That's also why the search for a topic for my thesis was based on practical experience and the decision was ultimately mine. Having already had an insight into the company, I had to decide what would add the most value to Merus. My goal was to plan and implement all corporate communications in such a way that Merus would be ready for the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. However, the concepts associated with each timeframe were as detailed as possible.
However, it was essential for the concept to include options for a quick reaction to any external and internal changes.
Freedom and Do-it-Yourself Communication
SME means for its employees: "We do this hands-on". In other words, we are doing what we can no matter if it is part of our job description or not. So I had almost infinite freedom to design videos, photos, brochures, promotional gifts and much more. And was enabled to plan, design and produce many of these myself.
Now I know what it means to realize a video from the idea to the film. When working together with external service providers for this kind of work, it helps a lot for the mutual understanding. But I also had to learn to choose the best one from the many possibilities and to determine which criteria could be relevant. Because even if I would be able to realize all of my ideas, unfortunately I have to select what is worth the effort and which project needs to wait.
If this text has risen more question marks than insights, I am satisfied. I would like to use the next three texts to present my work during my studies at Merus. That is when I would like to answer your questions.