Interview: Employees talk about their training
SANHA recently won the Accent award 2021 in the category ‘training’. SANHA received this award for its strong commitment to train and retrain its employees in as many ways as possible. In this interview, some SANHA employees are happy to share their experiences with you.
Geert Van den Abbeele (50), Managing director of SANHA Fittings Ternat for 14 years:
Why is so much importance placed on training new employees within SANHA?
Geert: We operate in a sector where technology is central. The company therefore has very specific knowledge that must be passed on internally. In today's society, we notice that there is a great lack of professionals. As a company we have therefore chosen to train people strongly within our profession ourselves.
In addition, we employ very many people who have been working at SANHA for 30 years or more. With a view to the future, it is important that the torch is passed on to the new generation. Therefore, in recent years we have been putting extra emphasis on training to ensure that this generational change takes place smoothly.
We also notice that young employees have an increasing need for well-organized professional guidance to stay motivated. They want to grow and become better. We can offer them that. At their own pace, of course. Because it is not always important how quickly one learns, but that there is continuous progress. As a company we want to make that investment. We combine the training and guidance with sufficient freedom so that employees can give their own substance to their job.
As Chief Operating Officer, Mathias Van den Broeck (32) manages SANHA's daily operational policy.
How has SANHA evolved in terms of training?
Mathias: About ten years ago there was very little structured training within the company. The focus was on quality and the products sold themselves. Little by little this changed, and we first focused on a solid knowledge of our sales team by creating product related and technical trainings. Since then, we have made great leaps forward. Every new employee who joins SANHA is now provided with a structured and comprehensive training. In the beginning, this is a lot of information to process. It is important to also repeat this info sufficiently so that settles properly. This is why the SANHA Academy was set up last year. This new and innovative way of training immediately earned us an award. You can find more information here.
Valérie Matthys (29) joined SANHA in 2018 as junior product & business development manager. She founded the SANHA Academy together with Mathias.
Could you please explain the concept of the SANHA Academy?
Valérie: The SANHA Academy is an internal training platform where a wide range of video training courses on different subjects is available to all SANHA employees, and the content is continuosul updated and expanded. This gives SANHA employees the opportunity to update themselves at any time of the day, when and on whatever subject they want.
Why was the SANHA Academy created?
Valérie: It is important that employees have the opportunity to develop their full potential within the company. Motivated employees are given many opportunities to advance in their jobs and even to grow within the company thanks to our internal training programs. We also notice that employees remain motivated thanks to the training offer. We therefore continue to renew the Academy. Employees are given the opportunity, for example, to request their own internal or external training courses.
Anouk Garay (24) earned her degree in applied economic sciences in 2020. She had only just left school when she started work at SANHA as junior product & business development manager. Like all new SANHA employees, she was prepared by various training courses.
Anouk, what was your training path like?
Anouk: After a warm welcome and introduction to all colleagues, I received a comprehensive presentation of the company and all practical information on my first working day. This was followed by several product and technical training sessions where I got to know SANHA's products thoroughly.
In the days that followed, I was individually trained by different colleagues. I was given a tour of the production, got a better insight into the R&D process, quality control, tool management and even accounting. These one-on-one trainings also provided the ideal opportunity to get to know colleagues better.
Finally, I got the chance to visit our production sites in Germany and Poland. This gave me a good insight into the operations of our other sites and allowed me to meet face to face with colleagues I often interact with online. This makes collaboration much more pleasant.
Did you find the extensive training to be an added value? Why yes/no?
Anouk: I found the extensive training program to be of enormous added value. Thanks to the various training courses, I could get to know my new colleagues in an approachable way and I was quickly integrated into the company. The SANHA Academy is still a great help for me when I have questions about certain topics.
Pascal De Neef works as a foreman at SANHA Fittings, where he and his colleagues manage the daily operation of the production.
New production employees are assigned a godmother or godfather. Can you tell how exactly this works?
Pascal: New employees are turned over to their godfather or godmother after being introduced to the team. From that moment on, the godfather or godmother acts as the first point of contact for questions or problems. It is a kind of trusted partner that ensures a quick integration of the new employee within the team. During the training, all aspects of production are taught. This ranges from learning to operate machinery and product quality control to safety regulations and company rules.
How exactly does the training of production workers looks like?
Pascal: The training is done in different phases. First the basic knowledge is taught. Once the employee has mastered this, the training becomes more and more specific. The training is done at the new employee's own pace.
The training takes place both on the work floor and in our special training room, where we have examples of piping systems, pressing tools, beamer, etc. Employees may also request additional training at any time.
Would you like to join our team? Check out our vacancies here!