Building pride and commitment to one’s mission and employer are essential success factors for a company. That’s what Aritco’s HR Manager Rick Middel says and talks about the “Wow” factor at the first meeting with the elevator industry. For the Aritco blog, he describes the importance of “the three E’s,” why striving to be a certified Great Place to Work company, and finally, looks into the fortune-telling for 2023.
Meet Aritco’s HR Manager Rick Middel
Aritco invests in its most important resource - its employees
WOW FACTOR WITH A CAPITAL A(RITCO)
“THE JOY OF SEEING PEOPLE GROW AND DEVELOP”
Rick Middel from the Netherlands ended up in Sweden via the School of Economics at the University of Gothenburg. The great interest in innovation was the starting point for the move. Also, with a background in technology and production-oriented doctoral studies, he met the requirements when the School of Business and Economics was looking for an employee with knowledge in research and education. The interest in HR was born in the work with the students. “The joy of seeing people grow and develop is amazing,” Rick describes.
Since March 2022, he has assumed his first role as HR Manager and notes that he does not have a traditional HR background. He adds that: “Aritco was looking for a different type of profile” and further notes that his employer shares the same interest as him in “innovation,” which is one of the company’s watchwords. Rick is responsible for personnel matters in a unique organization with employees in White-Collar and Blue-Collar gathered under the same roof, something we have written about in a previous blog post: Teamwork in focus with manufacturing and offices in the same building.
FOUR QUESTIONS FOR RICK MIDDLE
The Aritco blog caught up with Rick Middel at the start of the new year and asked a mix of backward- and forward-looking questions.
Hi Rick! What was it like to start working in the elevator industry?
“I remember the first feeling when I stepped into Aritco’s headquarters in Järfälla. My perception of elevators was “a heavy box,” but when I stepped into the showroom, I got a “wow” feeling. This was a design product! When I opened the next door, I encountered a familiar smell of metal that gave me a nice sense of security”, Rick describes when he stepped into the heart of the office – the production hall.
He explains the background to the familiar scent memory from when he worked in production as a student.
“My next feeling at the Aritco office was the warm and welcoming atmosphere; everyone greeted me happily. Everything from the production area to the office space.” He describes that the experience lasts. “I was instantly captured as new to the job. In many workplaces, you can experience closed doors in the office. At Aritco, it’s a lively and open atmosphere.”
ARITCO IS “A GREAT PLACE TO WORK” COMPANY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
“The staff is our most important resource. It is important to measure how the organization is doing concretely. Through the GPTW organization, we have an independent actor who ensures the result. In addition, they offer international comparison data, which is important for us with offices in seven different countries”. Since 2018, Aritco has been qualified as a Great Place to Work company when the result of the annual employee survey reached 70%. Despite the pandemic behind them, the results increased to 84% in 2022. “The focus is on how we deal with the result and work with an underlying change. Focusing on the daily work will bring results. Here we focus on another one of our values: Teamwork,” Rick explains.
A recent example is when the head office in Stockholm invited us to indoor Beach Volleyball in dark and cold December. A much-appreciated initiative where the teams were mixed to include employees from different departments and a mixture of employees from blue-collar and white-collar, respectively.
TELL US ABOUT THE 3 “E'S” THAT PERVADE PERSONNEL WORK
“Within the personnel department, we constantly focus on three values with an “E.” Envision, Engage and Empower. That means we must imagine (Envision) why we have our specific strategy and create even greater clarity through that consideration. How do we involve all employees (Engage) and create opportunities for everyone? It also means insight into personal responsibility where each individual understands their role to contribute with commitment, individually and in teams. Finally, we believe in each individual’s ability to influence. We give our employees trust and authorization (Empower) to propose their ideas and run matters themselves. I am convinced that it makes people grow”, he summarizes.
FINALLY, HOW DO YOU SEE THE YEAR 2023?
“2023 will be a year with many macroeconomic challenges affecting the industry. To ensure that we stand strong, we will focus on the most strategically important for the company – to create opportunities for innovation and continuous improvement of working methods and processes to meet the needs of partners and customers and prioritize our employees well-being. For HR, it will be essential to support and coach employees and managers as the business develops and to focus on the strong corporate culture that characterizes Aritco with engaged, motivated and proud employees,” Rick concludes.