Making the Workplace Better - What Can be Achieved by Implementing Sustainable Employability Activities?
We interviewed HR manager, Amber Pijl, to find out what makes working at Kadant Johnson Europe so special.
Kadant has always focused on respect for people, community, and environment but also integrity, safety, and people development. We are a people-centric company, and this means we focus daily on the current and future needs and capabilities of our employees.
Amber Pijl, HR manager of Kadant Johnson Europe, shares insights into our people-centric culture.
VC: Recently there has been a lot of talk about the "great resignation" and “quiet quitting”, are these problems for our company?
AP: This phenomenon does not really affect us. I must say that we have always had a low resignation rate at Kadant; people who join our company tend to stay with us for a very long time.
VC: In your experience, what is the key to this performance being well above the current situation at other companies?
AP: Maybe by always paying attention to people, they are less likely to leave; they are more involved and more productive.
VC: How has the company succeeded in making employees more satisfied and engaged?
AP: Everyone knows they can freely make proposals or discuss their needs. We do not have a standard “recipe”, but our solutions are shaped especially for each particular need. This creates a relaxed atmosphere in the organization, and employees feel that they have an influence. Stress and frustration are avoided, and not only is job satisfaction increased, but work is done much more efficiently.
VC: Can you give an example of how Kadant Johnson Europe cares about working conditions & employability?
AP: Internal surveys revealed that physical and intellectual load can be a problem for some people. For this reason, we added a yearly “check for sustainable work" to our assessment interviews. Just like the periodical inspections we do every year with our automobiles. In this way, there is greater understanding and attention to the importance of remaining productive in a sustainable way.
VC: How is it possible to recognize and manage the level of stress during the workday?
AP: Work can be physically or mentally demanding. For employees, it is therefore important to be able to decide for themselves when they need to rest. For this reason, in addition to the standard breaks, our employees can independently choose several extra moments for coffee. The fact that we give our employees their own responsibility in this regard is greatly appreciated. It also ensures a better work balance.
We can synthesize our commitment to paying attention to working conditions with these three words: care, balance, and foresight. At Kadant we always try to improve by paying attention to people; we want our employees to “feel a part of something”. This way they are involved, they live better, and in the end, they are also more productive.