In our blog “Mogema as an employer,” our people share in their own words what makes Mogema, part of Aalberts advanced mechatronics, a pleasant employer.
If you Google “good employer”, you will come across the following definition:
“A good employer has six principles: be careful, do not abuse your position, explain drastic decisions, live up to expectations, treat employees equally, and provide proper insurance.”
That’s all fine with us, but several companies do that. So how do we distinguish ourselves from other employers? In this story, our colleague Steffen Mollema, manager strategic sourcing & procurement, explains his conscious choice to work for Mogema and why he enjoys it.
At Mogema we take good care of our people; without them, we would not have a successful company. With us, as with many other companies, you will receive a competitive salary that matches your position, and you have to work hard for it. We operate in a high-tech market, where our customers are demanding and expect us to do a good job and be there for them. For most functions, no two days are the same. A lot is asked of you every day. That is challenging and, in my opinion, what makes it fun. And thanks to our expansion and internal shifts, we are always looking for good people.
I have already worked at many companies; on average, I was employed for about 2.5 years. I found it interesting to get involved in risky projects. When a project was finished, someone else called me and needed me. I mostly worked with clients in Asia, but I also lived in the Czech Republic for a year. I experienced times when I was in Asia more than in the Netherlands with my family!
In 2009 I was in Hungary, and my wife received the news that our son Matt had a severe muscle disease. A lot of people say that work is not the most important thing, but if my partner asks if I can take tomorrow off, I do have to make arrangements. And the answer is often: “I’m so busy, I won’t be able to do that.” But if your boss says, “We’re getting pizzas, and then we’ll work through the night,” we quickly say, “Of course!” You have the idea that your employer cannot do without you and can always call on you. And the home front always has to bend.
Anyway, at one point I got several wake-up calls which got me thinking, “Do I still want this?” The answer was, “No!” I had to make a choice: Do I leave everything behind and go to Asia permanently, or do I choose my family? I chose the latter. My family needed me, and I wanted to be there for them. So I quit my job the morning after getting offered another job. But in the end, this was also not the job. They needed me for my “Asia knowledge”, and before I knew it, I was flying back and forth to Asia again.
In 2013 I lost my job and ended up sitting at home. After a few months, I got a call from an old colleague asking if I was interested in a job in Amsterdam – another challenging job at a startup. I took it, but after a few months, the owner turned out to have committed massive fraud and the company was on the verge of collapse. On behalf of the investors, I took on the day-to-day management until a new CEO was found. Traveling back and forth to Amsterdam took a lot of time, but I had no other options.
During this period, we received the news from the hospital that Matt’s situation would deteriorate rapidly, and our home was not suitable to accommodate him. Now I also needed to focus on finding another house with the municipality of Zwolle.
After finding a suitable CEO, I received an offer to work for the investor himself. I accepted it, but soon realized it was not the job for me and in good consultation, we said goodbye. Two hours after the agreed departure, I had another job at a consumer products company. Unfortunately, it also included many trips to Asia. I did it, but I also concluded, “I don’t want to stay here.”
After some wanderings and various companies further, things worsened with our son; he is now in a wheelchair and needs 24/7 care. I concluded that I had to find a job near me and an employer who didn’t send me everywhere.
The job interview at Mogema
I was already very far in an application procedure at another company when I received an email from the former supply chain manager of Mogema. It said, “We have to talk. I came across your CV and see that you have ‘Asia transfer experience’.” But I didn’t want to go to Asia anymore, so I didn’t want to talk to Mogema at first. I had already set my sights on that other job.
I decided to talk to them anyway. We had an interview, but I tried hard not to be selected. In the evening I thought, “This doesn’t feel right.” I called the person who introduced me to explain why I was so bothered. I indicated that I did not want to travel so much anymore because I had chosen my family. I wanted to have the space to give my son and family attention if necessary. I wanted to be there when he has to go to the hospital, period. My contact understood and fed this back to Mogema. The ball was back in their court. It was certainly not about the money; that did not interest me (anymore).
But Mogema still wanted to talk to me, even after I had indicated that I no longer wanted to go to Asia. They asked me under what conditions I would work for them. We made clear and concrete agreements and then started working together. What struck me about Mogema at the time was that the space was offered in advance and that it was not an empty promise. The fact that my proposal was accepted also made me feel relaxed.
Sharing my knowledge
I have been working here for four years, which is a long time for me. Boredom has sometimes struck. But then our managing director, Bas Bonnier, came along and told me, “I want you higher in the organization.” This was contrary to my principle, since I didn’t want to travel extensively anymore. In the end, I have been to Asia a few times, but now I prefer to leave that to my travel-loving colleague, and I guide him in that. This way, my knowledge is not lost, and I can transfer it beautifully!
A special atmosphere
I still find that Mogema is a company with an atmosphere that is very different from other companies. They offer a lot of space if you deliver good performance. That means that you work well and are not who you are because of the car you drive or your salary – who you are comes from within yourself. Unfortunately, it took me years to find that out.
I no longer need to be approached by headhunters with great jobs. Because I already have one – I work for Mogema, a company that understands me! I feel appreciated here.
I want to convey with my story that a job is much more than prestige, and working is about more than making money; it’s about working in an environment that respects you and your situation. That’s what Mogema offers me.
Want to know more?
If you would like to know more about my employer and our vacancy offers, you are welcome to have a cup of coffee with me or one of my colleagues.