Lisan de Bresser has been working as HR Advisor at NTS for less than a year. At the age of 27 she belongs to the younger generation within the HR team. She practices her profession with passion. This is reflected, among other things, in a clear vision on the role that HR has to play within NTS. 'We assist our people in getting the most out of their work, both in terms of their job satisfaction and functioning. However, we are increasingly doing this from an advisory and facilitating approach. Our workers and managers also have to meet their own responsibility. In doing that, they make themselves, their team and NTS stronger, and that also benefits our customers of course.'
You started working at NTS not long ago. What that a conscious choice?
"Absolutely. The manufacturing industry is not unknown to me. Before NTS I worked as HR Officer and Advisor for a production company in smart construction solutions for three and a half years. The world of technology and making things suits me. I'm pretty straight forward and love clarity. Moreover, I want to be able to make a real difference. I also see those characteristics in the people of NTS.”
What was the reason for your switch?
"I want to get ahead. NTS is a large international and complex corporation. It consists of many companies that have been merged into one organization since 2005. The HR team is extensive. That’s not without reason. There is simply a lot of work to do on all sorts of fronts, not least because of the enormous growth and diversity of NTS. That means I don't get bored here for a moment; I can develop myself in my profession and I can be of value.”
Lisanne de Bresser (r) together with her HR colleague Suzanne Coppers.
How does that translate into your daily work?
“I'm addressing all kinds of practical and strategic HR functions. I support our people in matters regarding intake, progression and outflow. I take care of getting the right persons in the right places. I advise and supervise in things such as absenteeism, training, job changes and exit conversations. In addition, I focus on company policy, for example with regard to maintaining the knowledge, skills and development of employees. But I also concern myself with meeting the latest developments in legislation, for instance in the field of labor and privacy.”
What do you think is at the heart of HR?
“There have been changes over the last few years as far as our profession is concerned, also concerning the role of HR plays within organizations. HR was previously primarily seen as a servant department. Whatever problem you had, personally or organizationally, you just knocked on our door and we solved it. Now there is a tendency - also at NTS - that we are increasingly taking an advisory and facilitating position. Our people, and I mean everybody, have their own responsibility in terms of their functioning and the people with whom they work together, for example within their teams. They have to act on that too. And that’s a good thing. It provides more balance within the company. After all, we can pick up all sorts of things at HR, but it is the people in the workplace who have to do it eventually.”
That sound logical....
“I think so, but it might feel different for some because things were not the same in the past. It also does not take away from the fact that HR is still that supportive organization that wants to help our people on all fronts to get the most out of themselves and their work. For example, I really like to assist employees in developing their skills; advising them on training and coaching. And if employees don't function or don't feel happy in their current place, there are often plenty of possibilities in other places at NTS. In such a case, I also like to support. After all, good people are of great value to this company.”
What do you think about NTS' HR team?
“We are with many people who all differ in their personality and experience. That's an important asset. It allows us to distribute the work optimally. It is important that we increasingly operate with the organization in mind. The business strategy is leading in the further development of NTS. That must therefore be reflected in everything we do. We are also progressively aligning our HR policy and the associated processes with all companies that are part of our group - at least those in the Netherlands - for example in terms of working conditions, the composition of teams, recruiting people, you name it. All of this suits a contemporary professional company of this size.”
What do you see as your exceptional challenges at NTS?
“The nice thing about NTS is that it's a company with various cultures. They are inherent to our diverse companies and divisions, because of their history and the work they do. For example, the people and organization of a specialist in metal or granite processing differ materially from that of a high-tech development company. This means that there is a corporate psychological component associated with much of what HR does. Take talent management. Everyone should have the opportunity to develop, but what that exactly means and what path can be walked always varies. You always have to look at the person - who are you, what do you want, why, is that feasible and how does that fit into the NTS puzzle?”
It's always about the people and the company...
“And you should never stay on the surface but keep asking and think things through, for example during job application, performance or exit conversations. One-sided communication benefits no-one. If you want to learn, improve and grow, a valuable dialogue is always needed, about where you stand, what you think and feel, how you see the future... This applies to our employees, teams, companies and NTS as a whole. HR can deliver an important contribution in bringing together these interests.”
Keeping in mind that the people are NTS' main capital?
“Technical talent and good professionals are scarce. We have to bring them in and keep them. That is obvious. The question is how you do that and at the same time move forward as a company. NTS wants to be a contemporary employer; a place where you can enjoy your work and grow as a person, in your profession and career. That is also a prerequisite for us to be able to serve our customers properly. At the same time, there are different generations at work here. Without wanting to generalize: they differ in their wishes and needs. Uniformity is a powerful thing, but HR will always revolve around a personal flexible approach and interest in what moves individual people. It's a matter of balance, and that also makes our profession so great.”