NOM is actively working to increase awareness around inclusion and diversity. A theme that starts with a warm welcome to the organization. How do new employees at NOM experience their welcome? We asked four brand new colleagues: Christiaan, Julia, Leonie and Soraya.
It is striking that the new employees find it an advantage that - due to the corona measures - NOM still applies the national policy of working from home as much as possible. Because: the times they are in the office and meet colleagues, there is genuine attention and space to get to know each other. The nice surprise was the personalized welcome-to-the-NOM bag they received on their first day at work. With all kinds of practical gadgets and the appropriate booklet 'A good start is half the battle', full of interesting facts about the organization.
Space to be myself
'A gift on your first day at work is definitely a good start, although personal attention is the most important thing,' thinks Christiaan (24), who started as a project officer in operations & control in September. 'Because I'm still completing my business administration studies, I work four days a week: two at home and two in the office. That turns out to be an excellent mix. At the zoom meetings I can focus on the content, while at the office days there is more room for guidance and personal encounters.' Christiaan likes the feeling of being part of an organization. 'This is the real thing after all, after years of study. A serious job, although I am pleasantly surprised by the friendly atmosphere at NOM. Colleagues come up to me, are interested and compassionate. Their open attitude gives me the space to be myself.'
Good collegial relations
Julia Rutgers (34) has just started working in the finance department. 'My first impression is positive,' she says enthusiastically. 'Ever since the application and tour I had been looking forward to working at NOM. A new challenge that is quite exciting. I come from a very small family business, while dozens of people work here. Moreover, my Dutch is not yet flawless. Originally I come from Ukraine and I lived with my Dutch husband in Spain for several years. At NOM, I find the atmosphere inviting and friendly. The fact that I have a passion for accounting is more important in my position than perfect language skills. I consider curiosity about my origins a normal interest. I have the same interest myself. Through that interest you get to know each other and good collegial contacts make the work more enjoyable.'
Open, forward posture
Fair is fair: because the three provinces and the Ministry of Economic Affairs are shareholders in NOM, Leonie Ebbes was a bit apprehensive of a (too) official character. Fortunately, that prejudice has so far proved unjustified,' says Flinc's new strategic advisor, 'I meet people here with an open, forward-looking attitude, who really go for opportunities and possibilities. My first month on the job felt like a warm bath. Because many colleagues had been working mainly from home for more than a year and a half, they themselves are in a kind of constructive phase with occasional office days. I don't know the atmosphere before corona, of course, but I have the impression that people are more open and curious now than if I had started at NOM in a normal situation.'
Amusingly, Leonie's new role - to strengthen the northern ecosystem for startups - also involves inclusion and diversity. 'To knock on our door, it is important that startups feel welcome and safe. That requires openness on our side, which is why I'm glad NOM is already actively working on inclusion and diversity. It makes me feel free to make creative proposals in that area. NOM's image is quite serious and businesslike, while I notice that the organization would like to be more loose and diverse. In order to be of significance to different types of entrepreneurs, we can certainly make further steps, for example to attract more female founders. It would be nice to contribute to that from Flinc.
Asked about my input
Soraya Boonman (30) was invited by NOM to the presentation of the multi-year plan and drinks even before her first day at work. 'It gave a very welcome feeling that I belonged even before I had officially started,' says the HR adviser. 'Moreover, it was a great opportunity to speak to some new colleagues already. We still regularly work online from home and then it is easier to talk when you have already met each other. I felt comfortable here from the very first contact. There is openness about mutual expectations and I am asked for my input. That's a good start. As an HR advisor, I know how important diversity is in teams, to complement each other and keep each other sharp. The fact that I have a different background than the average NOM colleague means that I bring a fresh perspective. It's great to see that there is room and appreciation for that within this organization.
In this white paper you will learn:
- That diversity and inclusion further advance businesses
- How difficult it can be to set aside your own prejudices
- What steps you need to take to make work toward greater diversity
Please note that this whitepaper is only available in Dutch at the moment. We are in the process of translating this whitepaper.