The Ampelmann way: Striking the right work-life balance


“At Ampelmann, safety is what we do – and that includes our own safety and our own health,” says Mariska van IJzerloo. As Director People & Organisation (P&O), she knows the importance of a strong work-life balance. A few days ago, she talked about Ampelmann’s commitment to a healthy and energising work environment in an interview for BNR (clip starts around 3:46:00).

This conversation comes at a point when talking about preventing stress in the workplace is becoming crucial. Research by RTL Z and Menzis recently found that more than a third of employees nowadays often think about resigning. The reason? Too much work, hence too much stress.

“It is in our Ampelmann culture to strive for a good work-life balance and prevent stress,” says Mariska. “We do not shy away from the topic; we talk about it. We keep each other open and honest on the topic. We cannot safely transfer people to their work at sea, while our own people fall over. That’s not who we are."

Photo Mariska van IJzerloo

Ampelmann makes sure to measure stress on several levels, including advanced predictive metrics like personal work-life balance and engagement. From monthly engagement ‘pulse’ data to talking about work life balance in quarterly objective-setting for each employee, managers focus on what is really needed at each point in time. Having the real conversations and caring about each other is key. In addition, the P&O team looks at absenteeism across the company and determines what part of it is stress-related.

“We have a relatively young workforce at our headquarters, on average just over 30, where we offer our people large and adventurous jobs and responsibility at a young age, even abroad,” says Mariska. “What we find very important is that, on the whole, the work-life balance is good for our people. That is what we measure, talk about and that is what we aim to ensure.”