Began as a Painter and Varnisher -
Now Office Manager and Trainer

Kai-Kristian Gericke is the office manager at Schlau Crafts Market in Bielefeld and has been part of the Group of Companies for 15 years. In addition to administrative and organisational tasks such as duty roster preparation and inventory control, customer contact and the training of new junior staff are also part of his “daily bread”.

As a trained painter and varnisher, he is familiar with lacquers, materials and working construction sites. This know-how helps him in not only dealing with customers but in training employees as well. He particularly enjoys training new apprentices. “Passing on my knowledge is something very important to me. At the Brueder Schlau Group of Companies, I had the opportunity to take the trainer’s certificate and since then I have accompanied many junior employees on their way into the professional world,” says the 45-year-old.

Since October 2022, he has been office manager at Schlau Crafts Market in Bielefeld where he is responsible for all matters relating to goods, coordination and customer satisfaction.  “Keeping an overview of the vast number of various tasks and challenges is essential there. But it is precisely this variety that I enjoy,” explains Kai-Kristian Gericke. “I am at home in wholesale and the constant change of duties motivates me anew every day. You never know what to expect and that’s what makes it so exciting. Indoor sales is so much more than just selling our Schlau products,” he continues.

He also takes care of the smooth running of the daily activities. For him, members of staff are of utmost importance: “You are the ‘Papa Smurf’, so to speak, and you have to help motivate the entire team. Contributing yourself, even exchanging a joke or a personal word once in a while, is always a good idea.”

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses

Kai-Kristian Gericke emphasises the positive working atmosphere and team spirit among colleagues. “Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. For a good atmosphere and a working day in which everyone feels valued and seen, I try to respond to what someone is particularly good at. I also find it important to say a simple thank you. That keeps the interaction lively,” says Gericke.

He sees the Group of Companies as a thoroughly positive employer. “A lot is already done for the employees,” says the office manager, reporting on Christmas parties, corporate benefits and the Job Bike.


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