In addition to her role as Global Head of Human Resources at Aegon, Carla Mahieu holds several supervisory positions, serving, for instance, as a member of the Royal BAM Group Supervisory Board.
How would you compare the People aspect to the Planet and Profit aspects of sustainability?
‘Employee commitment and mutual cooperation not only drive commercial success, they also contribute to ‘Profit’ and ‘Planet’. People are the deciding factor in making progress in achieving our sustainability objectives. BAM is justified in its emphasis on safety, health, diversity, training and professional development.’
What is your vision for talent development?
‘Everyone has talent, it’s simply a matter of developing potential. You occasionally come across employees whose talents are better suited for other roles within the business. Both the company and employees benefit when talent – in all its forms – is developed and its potential fully unlocked. It’s about ensuring that employees have the opportunity to develop their talents in the areas they are passionate about and presenting them with beneficial challenges. We put our People to work according to their strengths rather than have them continually work on areas of improvement.’
How important is sharing knowledge and networking?
‘Both – whether partners or colleagues from other firms are involved – are essential in understanding how the market works and what clients want. Cooperation along the entire value chain is vital, but this demands a high degree of transparency. BAM has a wealth of talented employees, and bundling together what they have to offer enables you to offer integrated solutions. This, however, demands leadership and a change in culture to promote cooperation. We’ve made good progress, but it’s not yet a matter of course.’
What trends do you see in the future of human resources?
‘As regards diversity – the promotion of women to senior positions in particular – BAM is not gaining ground as quickly as we all would like. Too few women are reaching senior management positions. This will remain an area of focus in the years to come. In addition, employees can continue to contribute over a long period. After all, we are all getting older and working until a much later age. We will intensify our focus on how we can make the best use of their skills and experience. While BAM focuses squarely on the issue of ‘what needs to be done’ and while the products delivered are usually tangible, it’s also a matter of how you achieve these outcomes: what kind of relationship do you have with suppliers and clients? Are you always an effective partner when working on a project? The use of ICT and social media in employee recruitment and networking continue to gain in importance. Companies that actively work on employee engagement will create an advantage in the future.
Aegon Global Head of Human Resources
Member of the Royal BAM Group Supervisory Board
Carla Mahieu’s previous employers include Philips and Shell.