At Aalberts advanced mechatronics we are passionate about delivering excellence to our customers. To do this long term and stay competitive, we need to improve continuously, and motivated and empowered employees are critical to make this happen. Gert-Jan Karman, manager production/logistics at Mogema, is on a mission to make sure our people are enabled to deliver continuous improvements.
“When I first joined Mogema in 2018, employees did not feel empowered to make changes themselves and therefore did not feel very involved,” he says. “They had comments on how things should be but didn’t actually do anything to make it happen. Mogema had grown really fast, and we were so busy doing things for our customers that we lost sight of making sure our people felt like part of the bigger picture.”
He has since dedicated himself to changing that, starting with management style. “I believe that if managers want their teams to take ownership and feel empowered, they should adjust their style to the people they lead. Not all team members are at the same level, and different employees also need to be able to approach you in different ways in order to trust you and to become themselves a good example. By adjusting the way we lead for each employee, we help them feel respected and appreciated and therefore help them gain more confidence and skills.”
Another key piece of the puzzle is feedback. “I tell employees that feedback is a gift. Whether it is a compliment or a criticism, you can always see it as an improvement opportunity,” Gert-Jan says. “By incorporating feedback into our daily work routines, we help employees feel heard. Improvement is important to tackle as a team.”
It’s early in the journey, but Gert-Jan is confident they are on the right track. “We are committed to creating a culture driven by continuous improvement and taking the lead,” he says. “By offering the right tools and involving everyone in the creation of a continuous improvement organization, we hope to realize our vision of driven, flexible, and enthusiastic employees who have continuous improvement in their DNA and feel empowered thanks to inspiring leadership.”