Vetter Insights

At Vetter, the common objective and the people are in the foreground.

Sven Schwer, Visual Inspection shift coordinator

Objectivity, diligence – and a smile

“Approach colleagues with a smile.” This is the motto that Vetter staff member Sven Schwer subscribes to. The 39 year-old works as a shift coordinator in the Visual Inspection department. His day starts with a ‚hello‘ to his team and then taking over the room from his colleague working the previous shift.

The 15-minute meeting during which the two shift coordinators discuss the checklist for the handover requires the utmost concentration and diligence. The checklist includes all data, incidents and irregularities, special product requirements, the number of random-sample checks yet to be performed or any incidents in connection with airlock control.

Sven is proud to work in a company which contributes to improving the life of people, and knows his responsibility. “It is important that I ask the right questions so that I learn everything from my counterpart, and that the data and facts are correctly documented. In just a short time, a great deal of information must be conveyed to help ensure that no errors occur.” However, despite the objectivity and diligence, it is also important for Sven to exchange a few personal words. “The interpersonal aspects of a relationship are essential,” said Sven. “Sentences such as ‘Hi, how was your weekend’ or ‘How are you?’ help create a positive atmosphere where you can listen better during the handover.”

Sociable gathering among the approximately ten shift coordinators who work the same shift is possible during the morning break when they discuss the rooms and orders, during lunch, or virtually via a WhatsApp group. “We use the group to communicate that someone, for example, has brought a cake or when it is someone’s birthday. One colleague might bring Russian food, the other something Yugoslavian,” said Sven. Almost everybody participates in the social events offered by Vetter, which are talked about for a long time. Sven commented about his view of cooperation at Vetter: “In my old company, everybody was fighting for himself, and the individual departments were isolated. At Vetter, the common objective and the people are in the foreground.”

Finding consensus

Conflict potential may arise during daily shift handover, for example, when complications occurred during the previous shift. “The challenge is most often in properly informing the colleague,“ said Sven. “In this situation, you must be empathetic and tactful.” In his function as shift coordinator, Sven is responsible for approximately 25 staff members during his shift. If there are disagreements in the team, he must take action.

​During a seminar at the Vetter Academy, Sven has learned how he can intervene in such situations, acting as a third party. “I listen to both parties and try to calm both sides down. Sometimes, it can get a bit loud; then, it is important that I keep calm. Finding consensus is usually not difficult, after all, the problem is often mere trivialities or misunderstandings. If you do not talk about them, however, the whole situation could get worse.” The ability to cooperate, on either a large or small scale keeps human society together. “After all, we are born for community,” the Roman politician Seneca once said. “Our connection is similar to a stone building which would collapse if the stones did not support each other.”