16 December 2019 ... min read Listen

Expanding expertise

We’re always looking for new ways of working together with the Compensation & Benefits team in Belgium

As I mentioned in my previous blog, my team recently doubled in size (from two to four) which has allowed us to structure the team a little differently. We’ve now split the topics that are associated with our team expertise – compensation & benefits – between the four of us, so each of us is an expert in a couple of topics. Besides that, we are each the main point of contact for our ‘own’ parts of the business, so in my case for all HR business partners within ING in the Netherlands. I like this way of working, because it means you’re a generalist who knows at least the basics about all aspects of HR, but you’re also a specialist with in-depth knowledge of a couple of topics and you form strong ties with the part of ING that you do the most work for.

There is a Compensation & Benefits team within ING in Belgium too, and as our Dutch and Belgian operations are increasingly becoming one bank we’re always looking for new ways of working together with them. In fact, some members of the ING workforce already work ‘cross-border’, and we want people to have the freedom to do so without any uncertainties about their salary or other benefits. Having said that, the Netherlands and Belgium work with different compensation systems. After all, different countries have different laws and different local situations. We therefore have regular contact with our Belgian HR colleagues to ensure that we synchronise our communication activities about things like salary rounds.

We’re trying to unite the Netherlands and Belgium as much as possible in other ways too, and with increasing success. In practice, it mainly comes down to using the same style of communication in both countries and running the same internal campaigns with the same timing. One example was the employee performance management programme we launched last year, called Step Up, which included a Stretch Ambition component. Employees choose their own Stretch Ambition – it’s an ambitious, longer-term goal that is unrelated to your day-to-day work. You can spend a year or more working on achieving it, but it must be beneficial for your own development and for ING as a whole. It’s one of the three components in ING’s employee appraisal.

I’m quite a long way through my traineeship programme now. To be honest, I hardly even notice that I’m a trainee anymore in my day-to-day work, but I do notice it in the fact that I get the chance to attend all kinds of interesting training sessions and take part in the annual traineeship events. I think the extent to which you feel like a trainee also depends on your own needs and mindset. Some trainees perform better with a little guidance, whereas others prefer more autonomy. But whether I still feel like a trainee or not, I’m definitely an avid ambassador for the ING traineeship programme. In fact, a good friend of mine who has been working elsewhere for 18 months has now decided to apply to become an ING trainee after hearing all my stories. I can’t wait to see how he gets on in the application process!

About Joost

Joost gained a bachelor’s degree in Law and a Master’s in Labour Law at Leiden and completed internships at three law firms. He gained management experience during his years on the board of his student and study association. He graduated at the beginning of 2018. Joost lives in The Hague. He likes sport and recently switched from hockey to a more individual sport: he chose the triathlon and aims to do a half triathlon at the end of the year. He also goes golf or kite surfing when he can.

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