How to Create and Maintain a Sustainable Employability
Interview with Claudia Ziegler-Zech
At the start of the third millennium, corporations are consciously working on growing to build a legacy. With fast moving technological advancement and globalisation, an increasing number of companies are growing fast and understand a simple fact: if they want to stay relevant, they need dedicated teams of people who aren’t only essential, but the real assets of a successful business.
Can an employer attract the kind of committed employees they need to succeed? Can we ensure that they remain fit, committed and happy? Can a company become sustainable when focused on the health, commitment and development of their employees?
To find out, we asked Claudia Ziegler-Zech, an expert in sustainable employability with a stellar record of HRM projects behind for companies such as: BT Global Services, VimpelCom (now Veon), TNT (now PostNL), Sara Lee (now Hillshire and Douwe Egberts), Sensata Technologies, Wärtsilä, LogicaCMG (now CGI) Personal & Informatik AG, NIBC, Unie van Waterschappen, Leaseplan, E&Y and Raet.
Tell us about one of your latest projects of sustainable employability?
During the last year, my work at Pontis Engineering was subsidised by the European Social Funds. By using my knowledge, experience and clear methods, I improved working conditions for all employees at the company.
Starting with a broad HR scan, we evaluated the situation and defined the company’s future scope. By discussing HRM subjects individually, and defining points of improvement within small groups, we agreed upon better working conditions.
Besides reviewing the personnel handbook, we implemented a new appraisal and performance bonus system. We took more time to realise individual life and work balance, and personal development.
What is the secret behind your success in heading HR projects?
During the day I never get tired of analysing everything. By example, when I am drinking a cup of coffee, I think about how the coffee is made, from where the coffee beans come from, to how the coffee is brewed (I even think about the process of manufacturing the mug). I suppose I apply the same analytical thought process to HR projects. Like, how many people would work in that firm? Do they work under reliable circumstances? How are their families? etc. I create ideas to improve everything, the work environment of the people, the lives of their children and so on. I guess the secret is just that. I look past the immediate needs of a company when they consider what their HRM system should be.
What does your business HRM4.nl do?
HRM4.nl delivers full service HRM Office for your company. Currently we cover companies in the Netherlands, but we hope to expand in the near future. We work with each client’s individual needs, but overall, we cover the following areas:
- Outsourcing and digitalisation of HRM Administration & Payroll.
- Business Partners and Strategic HRM Consultancy at the company’s location.
- HCM, Digital Personnel files, Workforce Management, and Software Implementations.
- CLA, Pension Plans, Employee Insurances,
- Managing Sick Leave and Company Doctor
- Organising Training and Coaching.
Everything you can imagine for your employees, HRM4 can realise it.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced thus far?
The biggest challenge I have faced was the moment I realised I cannot deliver everything by myself and had to find the right consultants to help me out. Fortunately, I can rely on a big network of specialised HRM companies and experts. Every time it is a challenge to find the matching competences and skills. I’m only satisfied if the consultant and client are aligned entirely. We work in a field with facts and feelings. People have multiple ideas about how HRM works (or should work) so there is no standard.
Your favourite quote is “Keep your eyes on the stars and the feet on the ground” What drives your vision to change the landscape of employment?
My mother is a great influence and inspiration and my adoptive father taught me to explore the world, learn languages and be open to other cultures: “Whatever people believe in, we all come from the same source.” As a teen, I resisted everyone who wanted to lead me. Driven by adventure I got pregnant at 17. From the first second I loved my baby girl and was confident to raise her on my own. Finding my destiny, I was sure I had to leave Germany and to settle in the Netherlands. I got married, had a second daughter, and got divorced. I learned that I cannot wait until Mr. Right is solving my problems; I must be responsible for my own solutions; for me, my daughters and the people I’m working for. I’m proud of my daughters who live a life in freedom, leading their own companies. One is a physician and the other is an e-commerce specialist. Both are passionate about what they are doing, finding their own destiny in life.
About Claudia Ziegler-Zech
With a bachelor’s in economics, Claudia mastered her analytical and people skills in order to explore her destiny in Human Resources Management. She places innovation at the forefront of HR policy and generating a healthy, sustainable work environment is constantly on her agenda, forming an integral part of any projects she runs.
Originally from Germany, Claudia resettled in the Netherlands with her first daughters. She draws her inspiration from her mother, who, as a widow raised 3 young children on her own. Claudia worked in HR for numerous companies before setting up her own business HRM4 in 2013.