One size does (and should) not fit all
Thursday, July 16, 2020
Susan Oosterwijck Veldhuis only joined the team.blue team in November 2019, but she has already put ambitious diversity plans into place. With more than 25 years of experience at the helm of HR at various famous brands, she knows how to put words into action.
"I love to surround myself with brilliant people. And we have brilliant people at team.blue. But they speak the digital language, so I'm there to be an intermediary for them, to explain the clients' and society's needs and help them implement change. The digital technology field is geared for change, so you need to be adaptable and agile to succeed."
The brand team.blue might seem like the new kid on the block, but in reality, its partners have trusted experience over many years in local markets. They have a European footprint of 23 offices in ten countries, including Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey and Belgium, and there are plans to expand. The dynamic teams deliver various services, from connectivity, domain and web hosting, to complete technical services.
For team.blue, their local partners across Europe must retain their authenticity.
"We have more than 1000 employees, and we have 30 unique brands. Even though we're united under one brand, the local partners don't lose their identity, and they can communicate under their brand with their local market. A trusted brand is essential."
Regarding HR policies, differing cultures can bring additional challenges. But within team.blue, as Susan explains, she has the freedom to create an adaptable framework.
"At a previous company, international offices had to implement a global management framework which was decided on in one country. I realised that this couldn't work, one size can't fit all. You have to adapt your policies for different local cultures, yet also spur on change where needed. We've set a strong HR blueprint, which can be adapted without losing the fundamental core values."
Through internal and external campaigns with their ambassador's team, team.blue tries to attract diverse individuals.
"This is not just an HR topic but a company-wide topic. We highlight the different voices in our company, and we are building an inclusive company culture with strong core values. We recently re-evaluated our core values to ensure that they are contemporary. We want to empower, and we want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder. And we, with our partners, want to live and breathe our core values."
team.blue reached out to RightBrains for help with attaining their diversity goals.
"We want more diversity in this field and at our company. Diverse teams are key to future success. It is not about filling the gaps in teams, but to complete teams. Our goal is to have 30% more female colleagues in the next three years. We want to set an industry example that abc can be xyz."
On a personal note, Susan says she realised that there aren't many female role models in the digital field. And she wants to change this.
"At a previous work event, there were young boys and girls. Most of the boys were truly engaged by the speakers on digital technology. But not many girls. When you look at social media, the role models and influencers for young girls are people like Kim Kardashian. We have to highlight amazing women in the field of digital technology on social media; women who are doing advanced technical studies and who are even cooler!"