When Hilti’s ON!Track becomes part of a social enterprise…

Bookbridge 2018

bookbridge 2018

I cannot recommend this experience enough – be brave and try something new” states Saskia Duch, a candidate of the 2018 Bookbridge programme. 

Since 2012, Hilti have been collaborating with Bookbridge, a social enterprise providing action-learning programmes. Throughout the years, 54 Hilti employees have been challenged with a real entrepreneurial endeavour - creating tangible community-based learning centres - in an emerging market. Their role has been to step up as an entrepreneur, learn by doing and ultimately exceed their expectations and have a memorable experience.

By collaborating with teammates across cultures and with different seniority in a mostly virtual setup, they have experienced what it takes to become a next-generation leader; even including undertaking an investor pitch. But has it made a difference to their current roles? Changed their perspective on the world? And how did Hilti’s asset management software ON!Track make an appearance in this year’s project?

Bookbridge 2018: Mongolia

As part of this year's Bookbridge Programme a team travelled to Mongolia to help set up an English Learning Centre in Bayankhongor. The overall aim was to establish a financially self-sustainable learning center in a remote area, which provides space, material and courses based on the local needs. This involved 8 weeks of hard work and one of Saskia’s favorite moments – the investor pitch.

In her words:

“The pitch was a presentation unlike any other, not only was it a substantial sum of money that we were talking about but it was also the make or break of the 8 weeks’ worth of really hard work. We only had one afternoon to practise as a full team and it’s safe to say that our trial run was far from polished and presentable. But it was inspiring to see how on the actual day everyone was helping each other out, giving feedback, setting up the location and practising in the few spare minutes at breakfast. The pitch itself went so smoothly and everyone excelled in their topic: winning the investors’ commitment without any reservations was the best feeling.”

What impact does Bookbridge have?

With 13 social enterprises now created by Hilti employees as part of the programme, it’s clear to see that it not only benefits social enterprise but also the employees participating. From teamwork to upskilling to experiencing other cultures, the possibilities are endless and can vary depending on the person, making the programme invaluable for anyone.

We know virtual teamwork can sometimes appear inferior to face-to-face collaboration, but what does Saskia say about this:

“Virtual teamwork DOES work. I was always convinced that doing teamwork in a virtual environment would always result in one person doing the work and the others tagging along. But I was very wrong. Teamwork really does work even when 90% of it takes place online. However, I believe the key to success is the set-up of the team as well as their mutual desire to succeed. With a team that is self-motivated and self-organised, things that I previously imagined beyond the reach of an average team, were suddenly within our grasp.”

It's evident that this experiential learning teaches valuable business skills and supports the development of everyone involved as responsible leaders.

So, where does ON!Track come into all of this?

ON!Track contributing to a social enterprise

You can’t set up a community learning centre without any course materials, so the team set up a library.  And what better way to ensure that the 2,000 books that were donated by Hilti’s ON!Track team don’t go walkabouts, than using ON!Track as a library management software.

We asked Sam Favager, our Product Manager for ON!Track, why the team decided to donate the tags?

 “Bookbridge is a fantastic charity which makes a real difference, and is extremely rewarding for our colleagues at Hilti! We were more than happy to support this project by providing some tags and software to help the team manage their library. Not only will this help the community centre manage their books, but hopefully it will provide the kids with further education around digital solutions and technology which they may not otherwise have a chance to experience!”

Regarding the tagging of 2,000 books Saskia said:

“Some of the kids were really interested in helping us and with the combined efforts of the locals, we managed to scan and register the books on the app and introduce ON!Track as the library management software in no time!”

The programme has impacted 181,325 people so far and hopefully many more, with the programme continuing to grow year on year. Here at Hilti, it’s made a difference to our employee’s lives and provided the opportunity to bring the programme learnings into their work life.