Van Leeuwen
Having four generations on the work floor creates the much needed dynamics!

Having four generations on the work floor creates the much needed dynamics!

Angelique van Gaans,
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, Zwijndrecht

Van Leeuwen is developing rapidly. This happens in part due to the advancing digitalization of our company and the social changes in our environment. Because of this, some processes change extremely quickly and the meaning of some jobs change with them. It’s no surprise that we need ambitious, capable and flexible colleagues who stay up to date. At the same time, we now have employees from four different generations in the same team. This alone regularly supplies us with a wealth of different perspectives in one department! In this blog, I would like to share with you a behind the scenes view at the Human Resources department at Van Leeuwen.

The world is changing at a fast rate. This is why we expect our supervisors to have the skills necessary to recognize these changes and respond to them. In order to support the supervising staff, we are currently developing specific courses to help them develop. The courses are aimed at dealing with generation gaps and keeping up with the pace at which the world is changing.


Steel fever


Granted, tension between generations is not exclusive to our current age. What is new, though, is the addition of a fourth generation, when we were used to a maximum of three generations in one team. This is caused by the rising pension age, but also by the fact that people in the steel industry are often loyal to their company: they have steel fever!


Dealing with differences


At Van Leeuwen, we have been mapping the changes in our staff and the consequences they may cause. We ask ourselves: Do the different generations need different ways of getting attention? How do you motivate the various generations? How do you optimize cooperation? How do you guide them in their careers and keep them interested in Van Leeuwen for the maximum amount of time? This last point goes for all generations, whether they are just starting or finishing their career.


Taking the extra step


All these subjects are discussed during the courses organized by the Human Resources department at Van Leeuwen. This is a positive step for both the supervisor and the employee. After all, you spend many hours working for your employer and the supervisor is your first point of contact. Experience has taught us that people become motivated when their supervising manager is aware of their drives and ambitions and actually acts on them. Simultaneously, our HR policy benefits our customers just as much. Motivated employees love taking the extra step.


Grab the opportunity


At the same time, Van Leeuwen reaches out to its employees: “Grab the opportunity if you want a different job within the company!” We welcome every initiative. For instance, if an employee has the ambition to work in an international environment, we offer guidance to make this possible. By looking for a fitting new job together, we manage to keep our employees with us.




The benefits speak for themselves. By taking this approach, all employees, including supervisors, work on their personal development as well as the company’s. A good influx combined with the opportunities to grow within the company challenges our people and keeps them flexible and motivated while we supply our services. The ultimate icing on the cake? We keep learning from each other!



View all locations

Contact us