People First – gevekom shows everyone

Interview with Roman Molch, CEO of gevekom GmbH

Roman Molch, CEO of gevekom GmbH
Roman Molch, CEO of gevekom GmbH

The shortage of skilled workers is currently and will continue to be one of the major challenges for companies. Roman Molch is CEO of gevekom GmbH, one of the largest owner-operated call centers in Germany. He is committed to a people-centered corporate philosophy out of genuine conviction. With his credo 'Happy employees – happy customers', he has become a pioneer in the industry.

Wirtschaftsforum: Mr. Molch, it has been about eight years since our last conversation. What has changed at gevekom since then?

Roman Molch: In recent years, the market has increasingly sought service providers that are based in Germany, but also in the Nearshore area. We work for very large companies that are under enormous cost pressure. They want to present their customer service, which is usually a non-profit area, as cost-effectively as possible. Therefore, we are still present in Germany today with several branches, but we have also expanded to locations in Serbia, Spain, Bulgaria, Bosnia, and North Macedonia. Our employer concept 'People, Family, Employer First' worked just as well in the new countries as it does here in Germany. Accordingly, we had and continue to have a strong influx of employees there.

Gevekom event work
gevekom has developed an Event-Work-Office concept; here an Open Meeting Space at the company's headquarters
Gevekom Service Employee
The credo of gevekom is: Happy employee – happy customer; here a Customer Service Agent

Wirtschaftsforum: Nearshoring is certainly a way to address the shortage of skilled workers. What measures are you taking in addition?

Roman Molch: For us, these are less measures than an underlying philosophy. From the beginning, 'People First' was my guiding principle. I pursued this concept with passion, and I am convinced that this is why we have become such a strong brand in a market that still struggles with image problems. In many companies, 'Putting People at the Center' is a marketing slogan. For us, it is a reality lived daily. We sincerely focus on people. As for the shortage of skilled workers, we have developed an internal career model that allows us to develop call center agents into call center experts and then into management positions, such as team leaders, project managers, trainers, and workforce managers, up to operational heads. Of course, we also hire from the market, but we prefer to advance careers internally. This is what sets us apart.

gevekom Office Concept
Work should not feel like work: meetings, for example, are held while swinging
gevekom Minigolf
gevekom employees can take a breather during the break, for example, in the Green Zone

Wirtschaftsforum: Please could you give us some examples of measures you use to make ‘People First’ visible in your company on a daily basis.

Roman Molch: The job of our employees is challenging. Processes are becoming more complex, conversations more difficult. Therefore, we want to support them as much as possible and make their working environment as comfortable as possible. We have built an Event Office concept, 'aired out' the workplaces, and created space, incorporating swings, waterfalls, and massage studios. One floor is named the Ibiza Holiday Floor, for example. It is designed like a Caribbean island. There is also a Green Zone with a lot of plants, inviting relaxation. At all locations, we have CO2 monitors, and everywhere smells good. Call centers are usually associated with impersonal open-plan offices. We naturally offer flexible working hours and home office. There is a daycare, free food in the cafeteria, and English lessons during working hours. Recently, I purchased three holiday homes at Scharmützelsee, where our employees can vacation at discounted prices. This year, we will introduce the Job Bike. We have won the CCV Quality Award for our social concept. This is the most prestigious award in our industry and a lovely confirmation of our strategy. I may not be able to change the call center industry, but I have the desire to make it a little bit better.

Wirtschaftsforum: Where is your journey with gevekom going in the coming years?

Roman Molch: Digital processes will be an important cluster for us. We have increasingly invested in our IT over the past few years and have put together an interdisciplinary team that deals with future topics. Among other things, we are working on support through AI. Digital tools will increasingly take over simple cases. However, there will always be personal advice, especially if something goes wrong. That's why we will train our Customer Service Agents even better in the future and take even more care of them. I see a fusion of people and digitization in the future. But customer service will remain.