Enabling new things

Marcos Quiroga Fernández
Project lead UNITED, Corporate Communications, METRO GROUP, Düsseldorf, Germany

Nadine Wiegratz
Expert Employer Branding, Corporate Talent Management, Leadership & Change, METRO GROUP, Düsseldorf, Germany

Marco Quiroga Fernández Corporate Communications Metro AG Project Manager United Düsseldorf (photo) Nadine Wiegratz Expert Employer Branding & Corporate Talent Management & Leadership and Change Düsseldorf (photo)

Networking into the future

For Marcos Quiroga Fernández, space and time are relative. Not because the Corporate Communications Manager for METRO GROUP possesses superpowers, but because, thanks to UNITED, he is perfectly networked in the company – across hierarchies, national borders and time zones. With the launch of its internal social network in April 2015, METRO GROUP has created a new basis for promoting exchange among its employees and making targeted use of digital networking opportunities.

Marco Fernández on the way with a suitcase (photo)

Networking to transcend borders: as Project Lead for UNITED, Marcos Fernández is also responsible for training colleagues around the world.

“UNITED adds to our digital offer and provides us with a new way to demonstrate that we embrace openness and transparency. Our way to move this company forward.”

“UNITED is a platform through which colleagues worldwide can make contact with one another, share knowledge, exchange ideas and collaborate on tasks and projects – quickly and directly,” explains project lead Fernández. “For example, the network offers virtual workspaces, a wall for posting one’s own contributions and a comprehensive search function for locating people and topics.” Fernández emphasises that the technology is “state of the art” and every bit as agile as its users. It is designed for ongoing development as the network grows in response to demand.

The employees of METRO AG, all METRO Cash & Carry countries and numerous service companies can already access UNITED. In the future, the entire group of companies is to be networked on the platform. Marcos Fernández knows that this will take time: “Beyond carefully defining the legal framework, this is about supporting and accompanying METRO’s far-reaching change process. Moving from e-mails and the static intranet to a dynamic social network is a big step, but one that I’m firmly convinced is worth taking. UNITED is not just the best example of how we’re opening up – it’s also our means of having new things happen in our company.”

Marco Fernández works at his computer (photo) View on the computer screen of Marco Fernández (photo)

In the analogue world, Marcos Quiroga Fernández shares an office with three co-workers in Düsseldorf – but in the virtual world, the Corporate Communications Manager interacts with colleagues from all over the world in a workspace.

Nadine Wiegratz works at her computer (photo)

Making connections. Bringing people together.

“Every day, I see how UNITED is changing our collaboration for the better. That’s why I’m working to make sure more and more employees join up and get networked.”

Nadine Wiegratz is not just well networked in her job, she is also an active part of UNITED. When the employer branding expert starts up her computer in the morning, the first thing she sees is the social network as her home page – and she uses it all day long.

“For me, UNITED has become just as indispensable as e-mail and the telephone,” says Wiegratz. “I can hardly imagine working without the network anymore.” What she particularly values about the innovative platform is the ability to quickly and easily share topics and information, upload documents and make them accessible to all who are specifically looking for or may be interested in them. UNITED also benefits Nadine Wiegratz’s collaboration with her “community” – her employer branding colleagues in 26 METRO Cash & Carry countries. For example, rather than sending the minutes of regular meetings out by e-mail, Wiegratz now only posts them on UNITED. The same is true for journal articles, notices for events such as Campus Week or links to informative contributions, for example, on the global Linkedin site. “Thanks to UNITED,” Wiegratz stresses, “we’re simply better connected now.”

Meanwhile, there are many such examples of the new communication and networking possibilities in METRO GROUP: The social network is used to communicate the global employee survey METRO Voice as well as for the weekly presentation of and commentary on the company’s share price by Investor Relations. The Quality Assurance department uses UNITED to send out invitations to product tastings, and employees from IT support make targeted use of the platform in the transnational search for solutions to IT problems. And they are happy to find out that they do not always have to reinvent the wheel – it’s often enough to know where the construction plans are.

Nadine Wiegratz and Marco Fernández talking in a café (photo) View on a iPad with the United Metro Group Webseite opened (photo)

Enthusiastic ambassadors for UNITED: Nadine Wiegratz and Marcos Fernández are dedicated networkers.

The networkers

Portrait of Marco Quiroga Fernández (photo)

Marcos Quiroga Fernández

Marcos Quiroga Fernández is a huge fan of social media, both privately and at work. The Corporate Communications Manager has spent the last 13 years contributing his expertise and his passion when it comes to “technovations” to METRO GROUP’s corporate communications. And his projects, which have ranged from innovation communication regarding the Future Store Initiative to METRO GROUP’s social network UNITED, are as diverse and as dynamic as the retail sector itself.

Portrait of Nadine Wiegratz (photo)

Nadine Wiegratz

Nadine Wiegratz is a keen ambassador for her company and for fast and simple communication using a network. The employer branding expert’s responsibilities include helping her colleagues around the world position METRO GROUP as an attractive employer, and she makes systematic use of the opportunities offered by social networks to do so. What she finds especially fascinating is how dynamically innovative applications develop – and how they generate new opportunities for dialogue.