Interview with Carolyn Schlak, Vice President People, Organisation & Culture
Hi Carolyn, what is your role at Scout24 and could you tell us a bit about how your typical day at work looks like?
Carolyn: As Vice President People, Organisation & Culture, I have the overall responsibility for the human resources department at Scout24. Things are very dynamic at Scout24 and every day is full of new challenges. So I guess my daily work is what you would call agile. Especially during the Corona crisis, a lot of flexibility was required. In the last few months, I have been working remotely most of the time thanks to Scout24’s mobile office policy. Since the start of the pandemic, we have been sending out regular management updates by e-mail, slack or video message to the entire company, informing them of current steps and measures. In some cases, things had to happen quickly and I had to put my other to-dos on the back burner. The health of our employees always has top priority.
What is otherwise very important to me in my everyday work are regular team meetings which keep everybody up to date on all topics. I also make sure to always have an open ear for my colleagues. And if time allows, I like to go out for lunch or coffee with my team and other colleagues from time to time.
What is the Scout24 DNA Culture Code and how do you make sure to protect it and make it thrive?
Carolyn: In 2019, we formed various working groups and defined together what our culture looks like. The idea behind it was that corporate culture is always shaped by the behaviour of employees. We therefore give our employees the opportunity to create and develop their own culture rather than dictating this "top-down". The result of this working groups was our Scout24 DNA Culture Code. It describes our culture, so basically who we are and how we cooperate with each other at Scout24.
The DNA Culture Code includes our four core values Data Driven, Learning, Proactive and One Team. They are an essential component of our corporate culture. The official launch of the DNA culture code was in February 2020 when we distributed our DNA Culture Code booklets throughout the company. That was the first step – now we want to live our culture day by day. For us, it is a matter of course that we also hold our managers responsible for behaving in accordance with our four core values. It’s of great importance that they are committed to adhering to them. In addition, we have established a DNA Ambassadors Network with colleagues who help us anchor the Culture Code in the company. One of their first initiatives was a new meeting etiquette to optimise our meeting culture. The current situation has forced us to host the majority of meetings remotely which can be challenging at times. Therefore, our DNA ambassadors for example offer knowledge sessions for efficient virtual meetings that include tips and hacks. I’m also part of the DNA Ambassadors Network and I find it very inspiring and enriching to help making our DNA Culture Code prosper.
As our DNA defines who we are, how would you describe Scout24 if it were a person?
Carolyn: There is a special “Make it happen” spirit at Scout24 that has inspired me right from the start. For me, Scout24 as a person would be someone who gets down to work while others are still discussing whether to start at all. Someone who is not afraid to try out new ways of doing things, to make decisions and to take responsibility. And of course, someone who is a team player and knows that success is created together as "One Team".
What are you most proud of when thinking of your time at Scout24?
Carolyn: The beforementioned great teamwork at Scout24 is definitely something that stands out. We don't just cooperate; we stand by each other. This is necessary because we strive to deliver the best services and products to our customers and consumers. Our mission is to make complex real estate decisions easier for people – and I see every day that we really succeed in this. Be it with your first own apartment, the sale of a property or the dream of your own shop: We make people a little happier every day. Therefore, I am very proud to work at Scout24.
Last but not least, how would you describe #WorkingAtScout24 in three words?
Carolyn: Make. It. Happen.