Colleague in the Spotlight: Marieke Lamers

While you can find our entire team on this website, we think those short biographies don’t do them justice. This month’s colleague in the spotlight: Marieke Lamers!

What did you do before you joined Aexus?
‘A lot of things! After studying social pedagogic care, I was offered a job at my internship company, an organization for reintegration, where I was responsible for the back office. After this I worked for a payroll company, for a job agency where I did recruitment and after this I worked for a large organization for reintegration. Here I was working on a project on behalf of the Municipality of Arnhem to help unemployed people to find a job. Through a mutual friend, I met Aexus’ CEO and founder, Chris.’

And he immediately offered you a job?
‘Yes, kind of, haha. We got into a conversation and I told him I was looking to do something different, but was already in talks with another company. Chris then said that if that would turn out to be nothing, I could always come work at Aexus. When those talks ended, I gave him a call. I think he was surprised I took him up on his offer, but he kept his word and after a job interview, where I also met Jos, he offered me a position as sales support/office manager.’

What were your first impressions of the company like?
‘My first day was a sales session with the entire team. It was quite small at the time, but already very ambitious. At the end of the day, we went out for dinner, where I got into a discussion with Roel Evers about our rival football clubs. I remember thinking, “I hope things will turn out fine…” They did!

Another thing that stood out was how they always involved me in things that they thought I was interested in and they could use help with. My position of sales support was okay, but my heart has always been more in HR and recruitment. Also because of my second studies in Human Resource Management, in which I got a foundation degree. So, when they were hiring new people, Chris asked me to help him with the job interviews and asked if I was willing to take care of all recruitment. I jumped at the opportunity and I’ve also taken on all the HR tasks. That’s something I notice in general about Aexus and I’m also proud of this culture: if you have an idea of want to do something, make a plan, get everybody on board and they happily let you do so.’

How did your job evolve over the years?
‘I am now responsible for human resources, office management and I fulfill the role of confidant. Moreover, as the company grew, the office management tasks required more and more of my time. At the same time, standard HR tasks still need to be performed, but my advisory role is more of a strategic nature. Meanwhile, Koen has taken over recruitment duties. Because Aexus consists of hubs in multiple European countries, it is important to focus on the team and maintain the culture of Aexus. Which does not happen on its own, but requires effort from the entire team.’

What do you like most about your current role?
‘I enjoy talking with people, helping them find solutions for the problems they are experiencing. It can sometimes be challenging to fulfill this role, because of my own personality. Speaking in terms of the colors of Jung, I would be a green person, while most of the colleagues at Aexus are more red. This means I really had to learn to speak their language and communicate in a different way than I was used to. It took some time, but I believe I have become quite good at striking the right chord.’

What does a typical day at Aexus look like?
‘Most days, I have some sort of structure in place. Like when a new colleague starts, I need to make sure there is an onboarding program waiting for him or her, but also that a laptop, smartphone and lease car are ready to use. I spend time on human resources management, like contract renewals and legal matters, and on financial and other administrative tasks. I make sure all facility matters run smoothly, keep an eye on birthdays and presents, and arrange the yearly Christmas party. Roughly once every two months the company schedules a tech session, so I am planning for that as well. I also have regular meetings with our onboarding coach and sales managers about our team members and their development, keep in touch with all colleagues to hear how they are doing. And finally, I provide advice on HRM to the management team. Long story short: I try to ensure everyone is happy and able to do his or her job in the best possible way.

What do you like most about Aexus?
‘That the organization is very flat. Everyone is able to talk to one another and willing to help each other. It was that way when I just started, and it is still is that way. However, that is not something that happened overnight. Teams do not form themselves. Especially not if you have offices in many locations, with people from different cultures, with different backgrounds, like we do. As an organization, we really focus on keeping that team spirit. It took a lot of time and energy, and it is never really done – but I think our efforts are paying off. An important advantage of a flat organizational structure is that people really have a chance to grow at Aexus. If you want to try something, you can. And if you show that you are good at it, you can keep doing it. All our managers started that way. It is so cool to see what a great job Maurits and Can Paul are doing in Amsterdam. They might not have had a lot of experience when they started as sales managers, but they are repaying the trust Aexus put in them every day: I notice they are really working hard at making Aexus the best place to work in the Amsterdam region.’

Do you have any plans for the future?
‘I would like to focus more on our sales academy. We made a good start with the onboarding program for every new colleague, but I think we can expand it and add training sessions. That way, we can offer colleagues a chance to develop themselves, both as humans and professionals. To me, learning your entire life is a very important theme. I also want to keep focusing on improving our employee journey and make sure Aexus is a professional organization that is able to make its people happy, and keep them happy. All the international growth we are experiencing, and our goals and objectives means there are a million other things for me to take care of. I won’t be bored for some time!’