Station: [256] The Staff

A characteristic of the Schocken brothers’ entrepreneurial success was their staff policy. As some of the principles in the seating area suggest, they didn’t only expect efficient conduct from their staff, they offered them perks as well: from personal gifts, holiday money, school fees, uniform allowances, book money and gratuity payments to canteen food, staff savings banks, training courses and holidays in the company recreation home in Rautenkranz, Vogtland.

Politics such as these were not only upheld at Schocken, but also in other businesses.  The aim was to make the staff subservient and loyal to their company, but also to prevent them from drifting into another political camp.

The staff library in the Schocken Department stores was an exception, which probably went back to Salman Schocken who was fascinated by books and expected his staff to educate themselves and read the appropriate literature. He devised the „book loan service,“ for them himself.

In the showcase you’ll see apprenticeship contracts and employment references from former Schocken staff members. The “Gedenkbuch,” or Commemoration of Service Book was given to staff on their 10th anniversary with the company. Such books were a further means of encouraging staff loyalty. After the Chemnitz department store opened the company had almost 6000 members of staff.

In the seating area you can browse through the „Schocken Ltd Partnership,“ announcements. The in-house newspaper, published from 1926 onwards, was for staff and friends of the company. In-house newspapers were typical of the time and they were meant to develop a staff community, which in turn would increase the company’s profitability. The „15 Principles for Sales Staff,“ are also printed in the newspaper.