I often ask my colleagues if they work hard and see their job as a top-class sport. If the answer is Yes, I then ask whether they take care of themselves like a top-class athlete does: get enough sleep, live a regulated life and eat well. People usually tell me I’m crazy, but I believe you should live like the person you want to be and how you want to perform.
You may wonder whether an employer should have anything to do with the health of its employees.
Pim van Beek Development Consultant Commercial Businesses Retail
Fit and healthy
You may wonder whether an employer should have anything to do with the health of its employees. It could feel like meddling. But I’ve noticed that younger generations are open to this. They are into vitality and health and think it’s perfectly normal to ask their employer for advice. In fact, before they apply for a job, many young people want to know what their employer has to offer in terms of health and vitality. That makes sense to me. An employer has responsibilities to its people. The more fit and healthy its employees are, the better the company will perform.
Do what you enjoy
I work 50 to 60 hours a week. Some people wonder whether these hours are sustainable. I think they are, because I do what I love. It’s a choice to work at ABN AMRO and to run my own business. My company focuses on performance training, coaching and other dimensions of vitality. I also teach workshops in subjects like energy management, which looks at how to live your life in a sustainable manner. Do you alternate work with rest and relaxation? I get enough energy out of life to have two jobs. The nice thing about having my own business is that I make my own decisions and don’t have to check with other people. But on the other hand, I enjoy working at ABN AMRO together with my colleagues. Input from others helps you see things from a different perspective, and that makes me a better advisor.
Every day a little better
The important thing for me is to learn something new and to do things a little bit better every day. This helps you develop. You don’t need to go to school to learn – work itself is a learning process. You can reflect upon things and give each other feedback. Unfortunately, some people see feedback as criticism. But I think you shortchange yourself if you don’t appreciate feedback. I often say you don’t need to be a leader in order to develop your leadership qualities. Everybody, regardless of their position, can improve in their professional life. And if you need help, you can use your sustainable employability budget. Every ABN AMRO employee gets an amount each year to select a training course or development path. Take a seminar, sign up for a course or buy a relevant book – as long as you keep growing professionally.