Independent. Self-managing.

In many job postings German employers promise eigenständiges Arbeiten – literally independent work, meaning the freedom to do the work with little influence from next-level management. Selbständiges Arbeiten – self-managing work without constant status checks, without anyone “looking over your shoulder”, is highly attractive to German employees and job-seekers.

It is a sign of trust in the person’s ability. Constant feedback to the boss on the progress of work is neither necessary nor desired. Too much communication between levels of hierarchy is in the German context a sign of Unselbständigkeit – inability to work independently, self-managing. They need to be “taken by the hand” (hand-holding). And noone in Germany, neither team lead nor member, wants to waste time doing that.