taking ownership and making an impact

One key way we enable the long-term success of Aalberts is by attracting and retaining talented graduates. Through our management trainee program, we offer recent graduates the opportunity to carry out projects at our various companies. This experience gives them the knowledge, network, and preparation they need to move into the role best suited to their unique abilities and ambitions.

One recent trainee managed to do this in record time, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Yvonne Spaltman joined the program at the beginning of 2020, after finishing degrees in European studies and learning and development in Maastricht, the Netherlands. One quality that attracted her to the program was its personalized approach.

“With most traineeships you’re on the same track as everybody else,” says Yvonne. “At Aalberts they were really interested in how I wanted to develop myself and my ambitions. For example, I told them that I speak French very well but not quite fluently and asked if it might be possible to do a project in France. A month later they told me they were sending me to France.”

Trainee Yvonne Spaltman and Inge Colson

Yvonne ended up deciding to focus on HR. After completing HR-related projects at various places within Aalberts – including one in France – she was invited to carry out a final, accelerated project at Aalberts advanced mechatronics. Since she enjoys a challenge, she accepted.

During the project, Yvonne worked closely with the advanced mechatronics HR and management teams to start creating the group’s new onboarding program. In just 2.5 months, she met with all key stakeholders, got buy-in from management, and developed and presented an onboarding program framework. She also produced content which will be implemented soon, such as guidelines for a new buddy program and a presentation to help managers onboard new hires.

“We started from scratch, which was a challenge but also quite handy,” says Yvonne. “I was really able to put my creativity and my ideas into the program. At advanced mechatronics they put a lot of emphasis on taking ownership and I felt like they fully trusted in my ability to do it right.”

The amount of freedom she got was surprising, but overall highly welcome. “From the beginning I noticed that there was a big emphasis on autonomy and responsibility,” Yvonne says. “Sometimes it was a bit hazy and chaotic, but it was also really focused on what I wanted to do. If you want to grow then I think it’s indispensable to have this kind of tailored program.”

“Our trainee program is like being put into a pressure cooker,” says Inge Colson, Director HR & Communications and Yvonne’s project supervisor. “It is definitely not for everyone, but I think Yvonne nailed it. We will use what she developed to make the landing of new employees easier and give them a better sense of what they have become part of.”

Ever the go-getter, Yvonne finds it bittersweet to leave the project behind. “We managed to do a lot, but I would’ve liked to finish everything and hand it to them on a silver platter,” she says. While perfection might not have worked out, progress likely will. As part of her new role as Human Resource Development Specialist at Aalberts hydronic flow control, she will handle onboarding, and she intends to share developments with her former colleagues and hopefully continue to make an impact at advanced mechatronics.

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