As a Board member and Arcadis Expert Management Consultant, you must have a busy schedule. How do you typically start off the day?
I do a considerable amount of planning to help me prepare for each day. I often work out in the morning or listen the news while enjoying a cup of tea. Afterwards, I will prepare myself for the days meetings and make sure to block some focus time in my agenda throughout the day and between meetings. As a Board member, I work with people in different time zones, so I sometimes have early morning calls (as well as late ones) to align on Foundation priorities and updates as well.
How do you balance your role at Arcadis with your position on the Board?
What I truly enjoy about my Arcadis role as well as being a Board Member is that both roles focus on people first initiatives. As an Expert Management Consultant, I focus on assisting our North America clients with a variety of challenges, including workforce resiliency, organizational assessments, and change management.
Both Arcadis and Lovinklaan represent the interests of Arcadians, so it’s amazing that I get to do that for our clients and colleagues. It’s really a win-win situation for me. There are people involved in both roles so that makes it both challenging and exciting at the same time!
What inspired you to join the Board of Lovinklaan?
I think it’s really going back to our mission and thinking about how we can make a positive impact on Arcadians. What excites me the most about the Board right now is that it’s very diverse – whether it’s based upon age, gender, or geographical background. It frankly representatives what Arcadis is doing as a global company as well. So, we can bring that diversity and show that face of Arcadis.
Diversity and representation are key focal points within business and society today. How do you work towards addressing these topics within Arcadis?
I fundamentally believe that we as Arcadians must represent the communities in which we serve, and look like them. This requires being empathetic not only to our clients but also to our client’s clients. What does that look like? In the water sector it’s not just the utilities that I am working with or the agencies – it’s also their communities. We must be emphatic to all the experiences that communities go through, whether they look like me or they don’t. I think that is the key to be successful.
As for the Board of Lovinklaan, we serve to represent the different global perspectives of Arcadis during our tenure. This enables us to provide local and regional context for our programs while strengthening our commitment to inclusivity.
Can you tell us anything about the redesign of Quest?
As we are emerging out of COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to review our programs with a fresh pair of eyes; Quest was one of them. Quest is a knowledge program and we evaluated how we can extend the actions within the program, make them longer lasting and broaden the impact of the knowledge exchanged. We have engaged with over 400 Arcadians across the globe in multiple ways (conducting virtual interviews, surveys, working sessions, workshops) to gather solid input and feedback.
We are really looking forward to improving the way we learn from each other. We want to increase the use of digitization in that space and enhance the program. We also hope to leverage data and insights from participants to continue improving the program going forward.
What advice would you give to Arcadians just starting out at the company?
Before COVID-19 you would have been able to quickly see the Arcadis culture on “improving quality of life” by heading to the office for 5 days a week. We recognized that during the pandemic, our way of working shifted dramatically to virtual would drastically change the onboarding experience for new Arcadians. To help ease this process, I recommend that new Arcadians put forth purposeful effort in connecting with your colleagues on both a local and regional level. There are several ways to do so – from attending office meetings, all-hands calls and townhall, to having regularly scheduled check-ins with your manager and a mentor or other peers in your global business area. You can also sign up for a mentor through Mentor Connect as well as join one of our employee resource groups or our Lovinklaan programs!