Sparking a change
When I joined the Board of Lovinklaan in 2020, the Foundation had already been supporting various programs such as Imagine, Quest, Shelter, and Global Shapers. These initiatives had been receiving funding and support since 2008, 2010, and 2011, respectively. However, we recognized the need for a new approach to amplify our impact further. A significant shift came with the introduction of Local Sparks, a program with a predefined end date for Lovinklaan’s funding. This change marked our commitment to championing new programs within a finite timeframe, ensuring a focused allocation of resources to drive an accelerated approach.
Being guided by principles
We are guided by the Articles of Association that were written at the time when Lovinklaan was formed in 1981. These articles state that the Foundation’s purpose is to promote the continuity of Arcadis and the interests of its employees. Thus, when deciding which new programs to invest in, our primary focus is on supporting initiatives that advance both these interests. We seek programs that empower Arcadians to develop their skills, enabling them to contribute significantly to Arcadis’ success. For instance, our emphasis on digital and sustainability skills is exemplified through programs like Expedition DNA and Sustain Abilities.
These initiatives are designed to be inclusive and available to all Arcadians as we strive to provide opportunities that benefit the entire workforce. Programs that cater to a few individuals in highly specialized areas tend to be ones we pass on, as our aim is to ensure broad participation and impact.
Being heard and represented
As an employee-led organization, Lovinklaan recognizes the importance of actively involving Arcadians in our decision-making processes. Our board represents diverse backgrounds and countries from across the world, allowing us to draw on a wide range of perspectives. We value the voices of those we work with every day, using their insights to design and implement our programs effectively.
During our face-to-face board meetings, we proactively engage with Arcadians, interact with employees, seek their input, and discuss our programs. For example, during the Board’s visit to India in 2022, we had the pleasure of meeting 100 Arcadians face-to-face and another 200 online.
Additionally, we host global webinars and regular employee surveys to receive direct feedback. All our program managers are Arcadians themselves, and they receive regular feedback from participants that helps us continuously improve and update our initiatives.
Our plans at Lovinklaan for further investing in programs to support the growth and development of Arcadis and its employees remain centred around incubation. We believe in investing in initiatives that accelerate progress, have defined end dates, and receive front-loaded investments. By aligning our support with the new Arcadis strategy for 2024-2026, we aim to drive innovation and success throughout the organization.
It is worth noting that since our most recent board member joined in 2023, Arcadis has expanded by 20%. With each term, as board members conclude their service, we actively recruit new members from across the business, ensuring diverse representation. As the Chair of Lovinklaan Foundation, I am thrilled to see the evolution of our board as we adapt to the changing needs of Arcadis.