Taking ownership of my life

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Ellen Blomberg

From studying theatre, film and television to heading up the bank’s insolvency team – not a very logical career path, at first glance. But nothing could be further from the truth. At the bank, it’s mainly about how you deal with issues and acquire the knowledge you need. I now use the knowledge and skills I obtained at school when I hold presentations and attend meetings. I enjoy inspiring others, which is why I am an ambassador for ABN AMRO’s vitality programme.

All of the bank’s employees are offered a physical examination to check their emotional age and vitality Ellen Blomberg thumbnail Ellen Blomberg Head of Insolvency Credits Operations NL

ABN AMRO wants to be the leading digital bank in the Netherlands. This ambition places heavy demands on staff. More and more processes are becoming digitised, changing the way we work. As a manager, I want to make sure my people feel good and have a healthy work/life balance. A strong feeling of vitality – physical, mental and emotional – helps you achieve personal and professional success. That’s why I teamed up with a number of colleagues to conceive the LEEFVitaal! vitality programme. Under this programme, all of the bank’s employees are offered a physical examination to check their biological age and vitality. Staff are asked questions such as, Are you happy? How do you experience your job? Do you feel healthy?

Staying fit

The days of the 9-to-5 mentality are gone – you can now work 24/7. I see that in my own job; my work is never done. I often take work home with me or am available on my day off. I do have one condition, though: I practice hockey once a week and I play one match a week. The healthier I am, the better I perform. It’s so important to take ownership of your life! A lot of employees do this, but there’s also a group that are under increasing pressure. The vitality programme helps you deal with your work/life balance in a healthy way and stay fit so that you can keep pace with this rapidly changing world.

A little better every day

I head up an insolvency team at Operations that is responsible for seizures and bankruptcy settlements. It’s important for the client to receive the best support in this process and for us to work as efficiently as possible. The people in my team – 35 in the Netherlands and 30 in India – also need to stay fit. We settle around 60,000 seizures and bankruptcies a year. That can really get to you. Every letter, transfer or frozen account has a direct impact on somebody’s life. I talk to a lot of colleagues about vitality and how they can get the most out of themselves. We are now streamlining the client procedure. In the past, we focused on handling entire files; now we think more in terms of steps in the process in order to improve the quality of our service. This helps us do things a little better every day.


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