»The humour at work, the approachability of the management board, and how closely we work together at all hierarchical levels — that has surprised me«

Tanja Götz is a walking interface. She ensures constant exchange between branches, headquarters and management and puts all procedures and processes through their paces. When she came to comma in 2008, it was in the process of cutting ties with the parent company. Since then, she has driven the retail offensive — first as a District Manager, then as Head of Retail. Meanwhile, a dedicated service philosophy has shaped the comma stores, which have now expanded to include four comma stores and four outlet stores. When Tanja started there were 16 stores. And it is exactly these design spaces that she values: »I am given a high level of responsibility and trust, even when sometimes things go wrong. The important thing is picking yourself up after falling down, getting back in the saddle and carrying on«, she says. It’s reflected in the corporate culture, too: »The humour at work, the approachability of the management board, and how closely we work together at all hierarchical levels — that has surprised me.« The Family Day, where the children of employees can sew, craft, design and model, is just the tip of the iceberg.

»I have always been fortunate to have supervisors who have seen the potential in me and encouraged me. For example, a person told me very shortly after I started at comma: ›Tanja, I’ll make something out of you!‹, and that’s what happened.« Today she continues this approach and finds herself in the fortunate position of accompanying employees as they advance in turn. In this way, she has two District Managers who have accompanied her from the position of Outfit Advisor and then Store Manager to her current role. »A member of staff once said to me, ›Tanja, when you say ›Jump‹, I ask ›How high?‹ That really made an impression and showed me what real trust means. You can’t achieve something like that through domination or arrogance.« And since she continues to personally manage some stores, it helps maintain contact with the workforce — after all, more than 280 people are affected by her decisions. »That is very important. My motto is: ›not to let yourself be driven, but to drive the right things forward.‹ That’s only possible if you keep an open eye and ear.« In addition to loyalty and cohesion, there’s also something a little different that Tanja values at comma: she is her own target market. »My wardrobe could almost fill a comma store«, she laughs. »I can dress for any occasion, also private, and I don’t need to worry too much or waste time thinking about what to wear for important events. I like that.« And that makes it even easier to lead by example. Simply standing still is out of the question as far as Tanja is concerned — in the future she wants to achieve and maintain peak performance and consistency in retail. »Despite our growth, it’s important to me that we maintain cohesion among all our employees. Maintaining successful practices and initiating new ones. That’s my goal and my absolute priority«. While Tanja might not have planned every step of her own career, she has always been open to new challenges. Even today, she takes on any new challenge with all her heart and energy. After all, at comma there is something new to discover and create.