Case Study
How do you establish a culture of appreciation in the polycrisis? How do you ensure satisfaction? With Douglas, we gave the team a crucial 'mental break'.
For Douglas and others, the pandemic was accompanied by a constant strain on employees and managers. Mindset change sparked new motivation and enabled an increase in employee satisfaction.

Founded in 1821 as a soap factory in Hamburg, Germany’s warehouse district, Douglas has had a long path to success. At the beginning of the pandemic, this path led them through the same uncertain world we all wandered through. A lot was changing, and Douglas did exactly the right thing: they stopped and considered what to do to support their people.

A hectic crowd
01 / Challenge: positioning and renewed energy
The pandemic brought significant changes: Not only were health concerns and economic fears about the future on the rise, it also drove change in the world of work.

Viele Vorzüge des Homeoffices sind seither nicht von der Hand zu weisen – doch Tina Müller, CEO Douglas, bemerkte wie wir alle auch Schattenseiten: „fehlende Strukturen, Einsamkeit oder das Gefühl, dass die geleistete Arbeit nicht mehr gesehen oder wertgeschätzt wird”.

Wie führt man in diesem Kontext erfolgreich Mitarbeiter:innen? Jetzt waren keine Leadership-Regeln aus dem Lehrbuch gefragt – die Führenden brauchten einfach einen wirklich freien Austausch, um zu erkennen, wie es gut weitergehen kann.

“It was important to me to give ourselves as a management team a space in which we can freely reflect on our experiences and break new ground.”
Tina Müller
former CEO, Douglas Group
TheNextWe® App in hand
03 / Solution: free and self-determined to change
Together with 50 Douglas executives, Tina Müller took part in TheNextWe’s digital coaching program.

Deliberately designed to be an open and free thinking program designed without reference to business goals, the program was exclusively designed for self-determined change: If we question our own thought patterns and positions and see our own topics from a new perspective through a mindset change, we become fit for the “uncertain world”.

As in each of our programs, the individual selected topics and their conversations with their coach were completely confidential. The participants worked through the following topics: work-life balance, appreciation of other perspectives, change of perspective, self-care, trust and freedom culture. It was no surprise to discover that if these values ​​and opportunities are lived, then resilience, the ability to act and employee satisfaction increase. And so, according to Tina Müller, the participants also found the program to be “a special mental break”.

As in all TheNextWe programs, the “meeting room” was an app. In phone calls and chats, the participants were accompanied by a personal coach. Because TheNextWe deliberately avoided video calls, the focus was on their own thought patterns.

Tina Müller remembers: “Some went for a walk for the phone call in order to concentrate fully on the conversation, for others it was the first agenda item of the day before all other calendar appointments.”

Increase in employee satisfaction
rated the mindset change as personally beneficial
average rating of coaching quality
Woman with smartphone in front of her looks happily to the right
05 / Result: more satisfaction, more sustainability
The free choice of the participants’ own topics and the concentrated, sustainable coaching had visibly powerful effects.

Due to the positive response, key elements from the coaching were integrated into the new Douglas management program.

The conclusion of those involved: managers who find new satisfaction and strength with such a "time-out" are simply better equipped to move others.

We would like to thank all participants for their trust and for sharing their satisfaction and joy!

“You don't start a transformation or a revolution alone. You always need comrades-in-arms at the beginning, above all, there are still few, and with these comrades-in-arms you try to bring it down to a larger common denominator. And when the organization then senses, 'Ah, there's something to it, that could work', then it spreads further.”
Tina Müller
former CEO, Douglas Group
By reducing individual concerns and reservations, employee satisfaction at Douglas increased measurably in 12 weeks.

Tina Müller
“With TheNextWe's program for mindset change we increased employee satisfaction at Douglas by 11% within only 12 weeks. I never would have thought that's possible.”
Tina Müller
former CEO
Douglas Group
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