When Children Take Over the Management of MIKRO+POLO for a day
On Wednesday, November 20th, MIKRO+POLO celebrated World Children's Day for the second time in a row.
Once again, we joined UNICEF's
global initiative »Kids take over«
, in which children take on leadership roles in the economy, media, culture and other areas for one day.
Since children are among the most vulnerable groups, they want their voices to be repeatedly heard and taken into account. Our company gave them this opportunity by allowing them to take over management for the day. The project was warmly welcomed by the entire staff who also supported the #GoBlue visual petition and dressed in blue in order to express our support to all the children around the world. To make the day even more interesting and, of course, fun, we wore pinned childhood photos, which oftentimes brought a smile to our colleagues' faces.
On this day, we opened our doors to 14 of our employees’ children, aged between 6 and 14. They occupied seven leadership positions, while each manager also had an assistant. We were joined by nine-year-old Brin, who took over as Director-General (and even bought coffee for all our co-workers in the morning). He was helped by his assistant, eleven-year-old Gal. Ten-year-old Matic took over as director of our Laboratory program, and also had an eleven-year-old assistant, Zala. Fourteen-year-old Grega became the director of the Lab Interior program for a day, and Luka, aged eight, was delighted to be his assistant. Thirteen-year-old Lea and her six-year-old assistant Ela headed the Customer Support Department, while eleven-year-old Maj, the head of laboratory furniture production, along with seven-year-old Vid made sure that everything ran smoothly in production. Eleven-year-old Filip and his eight-year-old assistant Žiga were in charge of logistics. Finally, eleven-year-old Jakob with his ten-year-old assistant Tilen took over the Maintenance department.
The children first took a tour of the whole company, where they met the employees and, of course, their parents, and then assumed completely legitimate management positions. What a delight it was! All the young managers with their assistants did an amazing job. They started the day with a "serious" introductory meeting that took place in a proper meeting room, later they also sat down with department employees, performed and assigned various work tasks, inspected products, ultimately got acquainted with their parents' work and ... had fun doing it! In the end, the children concluded they were “quite lenient bosses". Throughout the project, we fostered the (important) awareness that World Children's Day is a fun day with a serious message. At the same time, we wanted our children to have a great and unforgettable day at our company (or their parents' company) and also to encourage them to think about what kind of world they would want to live in.
After the child managers completed their tasks for the day, we carried out a very interesting and creative workshop, where they were especially encouraged to think about the world in which children live today, about their values and what kind of world they would like to live in. Because the eager children were extremely talkative, we discussed more interesting topics than anticipated. We were also visited by a UNICEF worker, Mrs. Alenka Jež Heinc, who agreed that children are an immense source of ideas that can benefit the serious world of adults.
As part of the
creative workshop, the children provided some ideas for improving their
well-being, which we are obliged to put into practice. First, we looked at last
year's commitments and found that they had all been successfully realized. However,
we were also very creative in making new commitments. Despite the fact that
only one commitment should be achieved, their ideas were so good we decided to realize
Our commitments to the children – or the MIKRO+POLO commitments to children – to be realized are:
To respect the rights of everyone, regardless of where they come from, their skin colour or social status.
To provide healthy food and beverages at the company. Surprisingly, children know a lot about the importance of healthy eating, therefore, we made a commitment that our kitchen will strive to prepare food, which is as healthy and varied as possible. After all, a number of times children eat breakfast and dine at our company.
To strive to minimize the negative impact on the environment. We have already been running a paperless office for a few years, as we only print documents intended for our customers, and we generally encourage everybody in the company to live "green" (for example, throughout the company we have "eco-spots", special stations with separate bins, where all employees carefully separate trash on a daily basis). We will be pleased to further develop this green mission for the better future of our posterity.
To cooperate with each other, be nice and encourage each other. We aim to do this practically every day; nevertheless, there is always room for improvement. We also issued a brochure titled "Our Chemistry" (our company’s culture), which lays down what kind of culture is fostered in our company. Special attention will be paid to this every single day in the future since this is the only path to "growth" in our relationships.
During the creative workshop, these commitments were written on a board or a poster and the agreement was reached that we did a splendid job. In the end, the children were in for another surprise – a visit from our mascot, the laboratory mouse Miško Polo. Wherever he appears, children welcome him with great excitement. Polo the Mouse brought small gifts for the children, greeted them kindly and asked them how they had spent the day.
This was followed by lunch (everybody was overjoyed, as intense creative thinking made them all quite hungry), after which the children slowly made their way home full of impressions. We believe that being a leader, an assistant manager and an active participant in a creative workshop, where a lot of thinking is needed, is far from easy. Therefore, we commend the children for their cheerful attitude, commitment, serious consideration and proposals, and last but not least for all the help they did during their work. They also deserve high praise for the fact that they were well aware of what World Children's Day, which we had spent together, meant. Furthermore, we are very thankful for their sincere thoughts, plenty of laughter and positive energy.
In general, of course, our employees were happy to express support for World Children's Day. We were dressed in blue shirts with pinned childhood photos. Among other things, we hung a blue flag with the official project logo in front of the company administration building; we coloured our logos on all websites and social networks, set up blue balloons in our offices, and what is more, our corporate colour is conveniently blue too. Although it is in a slightly darker shade, it made things even more pronounced in terms of visual effect. Thus, we are pleased to conclude that the company once again incorporated and identified itself with the Kids Take Over project. We really do a great deal for our employees’ children and frequently put smiles on their faces.
is – because we care. Although we often hear that we adults do not understand
the world of children (because children simply do not know and understand why
they have to learn Slovenian at school, if they can already speak it anyway),
we are constantly trying to create an environment where the children’s voices
are heard. And, naturally, also taken into account.