When the flagship start-up Jimdo some time ago 25 percent of its Employees dismissed because it was not possible to introduce effective management structures, which sparked a lively discussion about the change in the Working world. How can Recruiting work here?

trivago office

The future of work?

Sometimes everything turns out differently than you think. Sometimes even with a bang. Because I still remember that memorable week when Jimdo laid off a quarter of its workforce. Because that was all the more impressive as for me it was all about the New Work had confessed.

So we had on the Future staff still over new recruiting forms and Work 4.0 were discussed and at a Microsoft press dinner in the run-up to Orgatec, new forms of work and the design possibilities of offices were discussed. This was followed by a visit to the very playful offices of Trivago in Düsseldorf, which for me are the Google offices in Hamburg and Dublin creativity still top.

Fun culture on the edge?

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Everything seems to have been set for a beautiful, new, colorful world of work. And now this: The German flagship start-up Jimdo in Hamburg just laid off a quarter of its workforce. The end of fun culture?

At the malice that followed me from the social networks echoed back, one might think: "Startup Jimdo: fun culture on the edge” headlined Gerhard Kenk on Crosswater Job Guide. You can read the prejudice that passion and Fun only conditionally for one Company are good. Work, especially in Germany, has to be hard and hurt. Or not?

Growth problems at start-ups

This was just the case recently as a result of a study also in BrandEins, which gave the topic of start-up culture with Jimdo and his barefoot CEO as an example a multi-page contribution:

“Start-ups of a certain size have to struggle with similar problems as classic companies: what Stefan Kühl explained for the early New Economy is confirmed by a study by Lead, a think tank of the Mercator Foundation, which is based on interviews with founders. According to the study, the pleasure-driven initiative of the employees and the non-hierarchical cooperation are myths. It also works in these companies fast for a tight Organization and klare Responsibilities, according to Markus Baumanns, co-author and Executive of Consulting Company Companions.”

No efficient management structures

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What exactly had happened in the eyes of the management, co-founder and CEO Matthias Henze admitted to the founders' scene and confirmed the results of the study:

"We have failed to implement effective management structures and we have grown too quickly in terms of personnel."

The only question is: what conclusions can be drawn from the incident, which quickly trended on Twitter under #jimdoquit? New, hip work cultures are not good, a lot of hot air about nothing? That would probably be the wrong conclusion. Because who would want to go back to the fun-free philistine zone of the old economy when they can have beautiful, colorful offices?

Needs of employees

However, with all the hipness and coolness, the exenstial basic needs of the employees must not be forgotten: For example, the need for a sufficient salary, job security andLife-Balance.

One hears that the superficially modern and hip start-up culture is often misused to conceal self-exploitation and grievances in the company, along the lines of: “We have a table football game, but we expect to work 70 hours a week.” But, as studies show, this can also be done Boy Influencing workers less and less.


There is definitely something behind it System, like the Goodplace founder Monika Krauss-Wildegger in an interview with the example of the new profession of Feelgood Management explained:

“At first glance, the Termthat it's mostly about fun or Health goes. Companies that only emphasize these aspects often do not want any further structural changes at all.”

For Krauss-Wildegger, on the other hand, feelgood is a corporate culture that drives topics and projects that are important to the colleagues. Important characteristics are employee participation Feedback-Channels, say on eye level and bosses who stand behind their democratic system too. Walking barefoot a little isn't enough if you don't really want to meet employees as equals.

Benefits for companies and employees

In the end, it's a bit like greenwashing in environmental protection: A new corporate culture is great - if it's really lived. Dedicated employees are more motivated, more productive and more loyal.

And: A company becomes much more attractive for young professionals, not least because employees like to talk about YOUR company. Jimdo employees are now benefiting from this popularity: many of them are now on Twitter under the Twitter hashtag #jimdoquit Job Search - and are immediately fished out enthusiastically by recruiters from home and abroad, how Henner boyhood in detail. This is how modern Recruiting 2016 can work!

Employee loyalty as a multi-dimensional concept

But back to corporate culture again: This form of employee loyalty is, however, a multi-dimensional one Concept. And for every company it is important to have the right and appropriate managementMeasures select for your own needs.

For smaller companies they are more playful and there is room for experimentation. The larger and more experienced the company is, the more structured the management will be.

Must work hurt?

One thing should be clear: In the end, those are the companies successfully, which make their employees understand the purpose of their work and offer them optimal development opportunities and working conditions.

Whether work, in accordance with the Protestant work ethic, will continue to hurt in the future, and whether efficiency and competition must always be top priorities - that is at least worthy of discussion. Maybe in the working world 4.0 (or whatever) is actually time for a completely new working culture - and maybe we all have to relearn a lot.

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