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The Compounded Value of Belonging 

today2023.04.05. 4793 5

Background


By Gary Flood, Senior Journalist, The HR Congress


WHY SHOULD YOU CARE? 

Creating a sense of belonging among employees is crucial to keep them motivated and engaged. Grundfos’ new recognition program, which highlights success stories every week has been successful in creating an emotional connection with people. 

Adela Lammers, Global HR Business Partner at Grundfos

At the last (November 2022) The HR Congress World Summit, on Day 2’s well-attended ‘Belonging’ stream, delegates heard how what can often appear as major stretch goals like deepening a sense of belonging can actually be achieved by using very simple, practical tools. 

This positive use case came from Adela Lammers, Global HR Business Partner at Dutch pump maker Grundfos, who shared how east to is to make a positive impact on the way employees sense of belonging.  

We would love to bring this inspiring story to a wider audience, so we’ve tried to summarize some of Ms Lammers’ main lessons in this short textual summary–but of course, nothing beats watching (or re-watching!) her speaking in her own voice, which you can do here. For now, though, please read on! 

  

Creating a real emotional connection and the basis of belonging for employees can be both very simple and very practical things. 

That’s the very reassuring message to her fellow HR professionals from Adela Lammers, the Global HR Business Partner at the largest pump manufacturer in the world, a 19,000-strong, family-owned Dutch-headquartered operation called Grundfos. 

Lammers explained that Grundfors wants to not only deliver customer satisfaction and be good for the environment, but also keep its people motivated and engaged. 

“I consider myself lucky to work with leaders here that understand that without belonging, no extraordinary linear performance can be achieved,” she said. 

Key here is the firm’s recent service success stories program. “In the last two years we have faced many challenges, and one of them was the biggest organizational change in our history that happened at the same time as the pandemic,” she said. 

That involved a total reinvention, she said, of the ways Grundfors works as well as the way it manages and leads, as well as the way people collaborate. That meant, she said, that it was needed to do something that would create a sense of belonging—connecting people to the organization, making them understand that the firm would continue to have the same focus on them.” 

This is new, she said, as service people are not so visible in a company as they work backstage but are our hidden heroes making sure that we have pumps working, keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and who keep us safe from fire or away from dangerous substances in different industries.” 

That had, she said, to be very simple but very impactful. In Grundfors’ case, that meant new ways of remotely reaching many people via a new recognition program. 

In practice, that means every week the company’s leaders highlight a colleague or a team that delivered great success performance or some other great achievement—real life stories where employees had to cope with difficult circumstances but managed to be successful towards our customers, local communities, internal colleagues, or the environment. 

It turns out that all this has been done with very simple communication tools like email and Yammer. “Nowadays, there are a lot of fancy communication platforms that can be used but we decided to choose email because this is the best communication channel for our targeted audience of our service employees who tend to not check other communication platforms,” she points out. 

A nice touch, she adds, is that after each story is published a Grundfors global director approaches each profile candidate who takes the time to see the specific effort and achievement in each case, and who then has been encouraged to create a very personalized message, and often with a touch of humor.  

Andrea has a lot more to say in her speech on how all this is being appreciated by employees—how proud they felt, how happy and they go back more energized, more engaged, more motivated and feel they belong here because they feel respected and valued and “part of something.”  

She also has details of other tools including use of metrics and complements all her useful information with a personal slant—sharing how her line manager had made sure she could both start a family yet still take an important promotion at the company. 

To get the full picture of this very relatable example of HR success, watch the presentation:

Written by: Eva Mezosi

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