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Visionary Meets Diplomat – Our Wellbeing Tandem

The two met at a GOOD FOR ME yoga class, and today Rebecca Goßmann and Anne-Katrin Löffler share 60 percent of the responsibilities as Head of Wellbeing at Beiersdorf. Together with their team, they look after the physical and mental well-being of employees and offer low-threshold support. They both very much appreciate the fact that they enjoy a great deal of freedom, are allowed to try out a lot of things and live agility. In this interview, they talk about how they came together as a job tandem and the associated benefits, trends and focal points of their work:

Rebecca Gossmann and Anne-Katrin Löffler
Rebecca Goßmann and Anne-Katrin Löffler head the Wellbeing team in Beiersdorf’s GOOD FOR ME health management as a job sharing tandem.

How do you describe each other?

Rebecca: Anne-Katrin is diplomatically gifted and incredibly good at combining different interests. She can also infect and motivate people with her enthusiasm. Professionally, she brings a lot of experience from NIVEA marketing and PR. This is of course helpful in getting our topics and offers for greater well-being across to our colleagues.

Anne-Katrin: For me, this beautiful responsibility closes a circle, because I studied sports science and journalism. In the Wellbeing team, both aspects come together, and I feel I’m in the right place. That’s also where I see Rebecca. She lives and breathes wellbeing, has extensive expertise in this field, and helped establish the field nine years ago. I would say Rebecca actually is Wellbeing at Beiersdorf. She’s a visionary who’s full of ideas. What I really appreciate about her is the fact that she questions herself and is curious about how others do things.

How did you find each other as a tandem and what was your motivation?

Anne-Katrin: It sounds cliché, but it was serendipity. At the end of my second parental leave, I took advantage of coaching through Beiersdorf before returning to work. After that, it was clear to me that I would prefer to work in the Wellbeing sector. It was unlikely that I would be able to get a responsible part-time job in this rather small area. But I knew Rebecca, just called her and by chance she was looking for a tandem partner.

Rebecca: Yes, you got in touch at just the right time. My motivation was to gain more freedom for different areas of my life and still have a job with leadership responsibility. Working in tandem offers me this opportunity. But you also have to be honest – it’s not as easy as it sounds. Beiersdorf promotes the concept, but it still takes good arguments to convince superiors and teams of the idea. We therefore accepted the offer of coaching right at the beginning in order to prepare ourselves as best as possible. As a tandem, we have a kind of relationship. That’s work, but it’s very rewarding.

Anne-Katrin and Rebecca motivate the 1000-strong Beiersdorf team before the start of the HafenCity Run 2022.
Working as a tandem for the well-being of colleagues: Anne-Katrin and Rebecca motivate the 1000-strong Beiersdorf team before the start of the HafenCity Run 2022.

Where do you see the biggest advantages?

Rebecca: In tandem, the challenges are spread over two pairs of shoulders. At the same time, we always have a coaching partner at eye level. As such, we hold a mirror up to ourselves and actively use the opportunity for mutual feedback. And we ask ourselves after each week what we have learned from each other.

Anne-Katrin: Professionally and privately, we can talk about anything, and we learn from each other. We see ourselves holistically and thus also all employees. Other advantages are double creativity and the fact that someone is always approachable. But the latter applies to the entire Wellbeing team. Colleagues who are looking for help always get support and an answer quickly.

To what extent has the pandemic influenced your work?

Rebecca: In the last few years, our field, which was classically called health promotion, has transformed a lot. The pandemic has accelerated this, and also spawned new formats. Examples include the GOOD FOR ME podcast, hybrid offerings, and digital campaigns that have greatly expanded our reach. In the process, we’ve all become a bit of wellbeing influencers. That’s fun, and we’re also much better at reaching our colleagues in the countries. 

Anne-Katrin: A relatively recent example is the recent lockdown in Shanghai, which was very challenging for the team in China. To assist the employees, we invited them to our five digital wellbeing sessions for the active break and provided movement videos and audios. This was very well received. Our “Open Wellbeing Sessions” have also been well received at Headquarters because it is low-threshold to participate. Since the pandemic, more employees are willing to just do it, to try new things. And we have also developed further, giving keynotes on Healthy Habits and Mental Health, for example, and coaching teams more.

What trends are you seeing overall and how are you mapping them?

Rebecca: Our world has become more uncertain, and of course this is accompanied by anxiety and states of exhaustion – in society as a whole as well as at Beiersdorf. That’s why mental health is a focus for the Wellbeing team. Our goal is to de-taboo the topic by talking about it and developing concrete offers for greater resilience. This is increasingly in demand – from employees as well as managers.

Anne-Katrin: We have also taken up the trendy topic of mental load – the mental work of thinking about a constantly rattling list of invisible to-dos that come on top of the normal madness. It’s more common in women, but it can affect men just as much. By the way, that’s another benefit of job sharing. Rebecca and I are both mothers, and mutually it’s easier for us to recognize and dissolve the mental load trap. In this respect, working in tandem is a good well-being concept for ourselves.

Thank you very much for the interview.

Beiersdorf job sharing logo

Jobsharing at Beiersdorf
Beiersdorf AG has been actively promoting job sharing since 2010 – for example, when filling vacancies advertised with this option. Job sharing is a flexible working time model in which employees share a role as a tandem while individually dividing up working hours and tasks. There are currently 42 job-sharing tandems working at Beiersdorf AG, 23 of whom have personnel responsibility.

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Diana Lühmann

About the editor: Diana Lühmann

Since autumn 2019, Diana has been responsible for corporate communication related to HR and inspiring people at Beiersdorf. These include the areas of Diversity, Learning & Development, Career, Leadership, and Health. Previously, she was in charge of R&D Communications and explored the exciting world of our research and development.