Our People

Interview with Marleen Hoeks

Van Geloven is committed to good employership. “We feel it is essential that people feel at home here, working properly, healthy and with motivation.If people are sustainably employable, this is a win-win situation. To us as an employer it’s good, but for employees it is also good, because they have more job satisfaction and can have a satisfying and healthy life after work”, is what the HR Manager, Marleen Hoeks, indicates.

Van Geloven employees employees almost 800 people, 318 women and 476 men. Most of the employees have a permanent employment contract. Few employees work here on a temporary basis. Once hired, employees stay with the company for a fairly long time. In order to ensure long-term employability, Van Geloven is always looking for developments with a potential positive contribution.As the company requires physical production labour to a high extent, this focus is of particular importance within the themes Health and Safety. For example, on the lines it is essential to work ergonomically and pay extra attention to posture and behaviour. “Relating to health, the employees have initial responsibility. This includes eating well and exercising enough. But in the work place, it is our job to be alert in these aspects. The use of ergonomic aids, training in how to lift and carry things, involving a physiotherapist and active arbo policy are designed to prevent complaints as much as possible. For prevention - but also if complaints arise, the company doctor and a physiotherapist are available. If the complaints occur at a younger age, we will spar concerning the work options in the future”, says Marleen. 

Absence policy
In the context of sustainable employability, the company also focuses on absence assistance.The absence rate is relatively high within Van Geloven: 5.4%. This is the result of a number of factors: the high average age, the long employment period and the physical work. Still, absence rates have fallen by 0.5% since 2011. “This is because we introduced a new absence policy in three of the four sites. Contact between the employee and the supervisor is the central issue in the policy, also for long-term absence. Additionally, we aim for good communications between employees and their supervisors by frequently conducting personal development and other interviews. In order to help our people keep fit, we offer employees in various locations a discount to local gym memberships”, says Marleen. And naturally, the company is committed to safety in the context of the absence policy. Any unsafe situation must be reported via SOS forms. Additionally, we frequently walk inspection rounds, observing both behaviour and situations in the context of safety.

Van Geloven also works on improvements in working conditions together with its employees.For example, the 4WIN project already resulted in fine results. “We set up Yellow Belt training for our employees”.This aims to have small groups think about possible improvement processes in all domains. Additionally, projects are initiated in different companies. We aim to have people from different sites collaborate. This is not always easy, as all four production sites have their own culture and insist on retaining their identity. But going on ‘coffee visits’ helps break the ice. The common denominator is in any case that all people are very proud of the products they make and of their company. That is a great good”, says the HR manager with enthusiasm.

Sustainable employability on the floor
In order to keep people both healthy and motivated, Van Geloven pays ample attention to fringe benefits such as training and pension. Personal Development Interviews (POP’s) are conducted frequently, so the supervisor and employee can discuss the employee’s future and current development. If people are interested in training, the supervisor reviews to what extent the company may facilitate this. “We think it is great if employees want to continue learning, and we aim to offer development options where possible. Additionally, we feel it is very important for employees to be able to continue working until their pension in a good and healthy way, so that they can actually enjoy their old age”, says Marleen. Van Geloven’s pensions are administered by VLEP, the foundation Sector-Wide Pension Fund for Meat, cold-cuts, convenience food and poultry. The pension fund was established by employer and employee organisations and is mandatory for the entire sector.

Finally, collaboration with the trade unions and local Works Councils play a major role in terms of HR. In an open, transparent ambiance, we aim to come to optimal results for both our people and our company based on clear communications.