One of the core values of Cobot is Trust and Ownership. This value springs from our belief in the potency of empowerment; we work best when we can take ownership of our work and gain accountability for our actions.
That’s also why, late last year, the workforce of Cobot organized the formation of a Works Council! It’s an instrument for representation in the workplace that enables each member of our team to benefit from certain collective benefits and protections.
In Germany, Works Councils have, alongside unions, been a fixture of workplace representation for decades. The process is more than a symbolic gesture, it is one of the steps that we have taken (and continue to take) in our attempt to continuously improve our company culture.
As with many structures that protect workers, one powerful aspect of Works Councils in Germany is that they form networks both internally and externally. Through them, representatives are able to find and participate in training and access a host of information that will inform their ability to support coworkers and engage productively with management.
In Berlin and in Germany there have been calls for greater workplace representation at tech companies. At Cobot we are proud that our experience forming a Works Council was amicable and that both the management and the workers were proud of our decision to form one.
What does that mean for us now? It means we have an elected representative of the workforce who gets paid time to help answer employee questions, advocate for employee rights in employment issues, and negotiate employee salary criteria on our behalf, among other benefits. It’s another step in our journey of advocating for the future of work while doing our best to create it.