Integration Hero: Alex ten Harkel
Enable U consists of individual heroes. Some work with customers, others send...
But the Enable U machine works so efficiently because of our many integration heroes. This series of integration heroes is intended to honor those individuals.
Els Akerboom is the first contact when the general number of Enable U is called. She ensures that callers receive an answer, are able to speak to the right person or are carefully kept at a distance until it is clear what is being called about. Els is the jack-of-all-trades who manages agenda’s, takes care of lunch, orders things, shows people the way, keeps track of app groups, supports HR and much more.
Els, how did you come into contact with Enable U and why did you decide to work with us?
“I saw a vacancy on LinkedIn and when I read it, my first thought was: ‘That’s me!?!”. The description exactly matched my character, experience, competencies and especially how I see my role within a company. In addition, back then Enable U was a smaller company where the range of tasks was very diverse and that really appealed to me. It’s funny that Enable U is now bigger than ever, but that the range of tasks is still just as diverse as when I started.”
You started working at Enable U when the first wave of corona infections brought the Netherlands to a standstill. What was that like?
“Well, to be honest, that was quite difficult. I was often the only person in the building, which is multi-company building. I didn’t know anyone, I couldn’t ask people something face-to-face and that was pretty tough sometimes. Because of the commuting distance, the travel time is almost an hour anyway and when I arrived in the dark, with bad weather at an empty and dark office, I sometimes found it a little creepy. Gradually more and more people started to come back in to the office, and that also gave me all kinds of challenges: what am I going to order for lunch, how do we divide the units in terms of keeping a safe distance and so on. But mostly, it was just nice to see more and more people.”
Enablers work hard and we want to offer them a healthy lifestyle. Among other things, you provide coffee, lunch and snacks and must therefore keep everyone satisfied. How do you do that?
When I started at Enable U, lunch in particular was, although healthy, rather provisional and I tried to make it all just a bit more professional with hygiene and cooling, a new buffet shape and an even more varied and healthy offer. But because we have grown so much, we don’t have a lot of luchspace and that is sometimes quite a challenge. The fact that on some days there are 30 people and on other days maybe only 5 causes the necessary logistical problems. Fortunately, my colleagues are without exception friendly, helpful and never actually complain! That makes my job very nice and ensures that I always like to come to the office.”
What do you love about Enable U?
“I am an office manager and have little knowledge of the technology that Enable U helps its customers with. I am very aware that the first contact is also the first impression for our company and existing customers want to be helped quickly and efficiently. “figure it out” is not in my dictionary and my challenge is always to help a caller to full satisfaction.
Fortunately, in my working life I have also experienced the evolution of the filofax and calling from a phone booth to PC and mobile phone. And I can listen well and solve creatively.
How do you experience the collaboration between you and the Enablers?
“The colleagues here are completely different from where I came from. Everyone here is friendly and respectful and always willing to help. I won’t often say “no” when my help is asked, but I wasn’t used to this kind of behavior from colleagues and that makes me feel very appreciated.”
When you look ahead in time, what do you see?
“Of course I always look a bit ahead, but I am mainly aware that I have to live today. I am a little older now and refined and therefore your outlook on life changes a bit. You appreciate more what you have and know that you do not get any guarantees in life. I am a realist and now know that life is not self-evident, so I try to let positivity dominate everything. What I also really appreciate is that my current job is still exactly as described in that LinkedIn ad. Back then my heart made a leap of recognition, and I still have that feeling. I’m in my place, and how many people can really say that?”