“Furthermore, sports culture is deeply embedded in our company; we encourage our employees to engage in sports actively. There are plenty of examples. We have a gym right next to our office, where we facilitate our employees to work out. During lunch breaks, you’ll see many people training there. But our sports calendar is packed with even more: we have company hockey and football tournaments, colleagues spar in boxing, and we even participate in Mud Masters challenges as a group. A few weeks ago, around 30 people ran the full or half marathon in Amsterdam, all wearing Vibe Group shirts.”
“When you aim for a top sports culture, empowering talent is crucial. It starts with recruitment. We want to attract the most talented and ambitious individuals. This means being transparent from the outset. You attract those who align with your culture and repel those who don’t. Once they are in, it’s about ‘lifelong learning.’ We believe in it wholeheartedly. You can draw parallels with sports here. If you want to reach the Olympics, you must keep training. I, too, continue to train. Primarily for my own inspiration and ideas. But we also demonstrate that, regardless of your level, continuous learning and development are essential.”
“The learning journey begins with a ‘welcome to Vibe’ 3-day experience. New employees go through various programs. This is followed by an ‘impact journey,’ a 28-module training program for the first 7 months. Simultaneously, there is extensive training led by managers, including on-the-job coaching. For every step an employee takes, there’s a new training program. So, it’s all about lifelong learning.”
It should still be enjoyable, right?
“Our most significant challenge is finding people who are genuinely passionate. The Netherlands is a country where ‘it should still be enjoyable, right?’ mentality is prevalent. A champion’s mentality is different. That doesn’t mean we’re not a fun company because we certainly are. But it’s for those who are genuinely passionate. Otherwise, people drop out. On one hand, real results are expected, but on the other, we take good care of our people, not just through training but also through other provisions. We do a lot for our people, including monthly lunches, weekly gatherings, and two incentive trips per year to places like Iceland, South Africa, or Lapland. They don’t get that for nothing, they have to do something for it.
Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)
“About 7 years ago, we set a BHAG, Big Hairy Audacious Goal… A goal where you have no idea how on earth you’re going to achieve it. Back then, we said we wanted to have 2,525 employees by 2025. We currently have around 2,000 people working for us. It looks like we can actually achieve this. Once we’ve achieved it, there will be a new BHAG for the next 10 years.”
The Connection Between Vibe Group and Club TalentEmpowerment
“The most significant link between TE and us is, of course, sports, which fits very well. What TE is trying to do with harnessing talent aligns perfectly with what we do. We generally don’t hire experienced professionals but look for young talent that can still be fully developed. Our organisation is a meritocracy. That means you grow in your role based on your knowledge and skills, not based on how long you’ve been with us. Just like in sports, you come across talents that can grow very quickly, and we try to encourage that greatly. It’s not political but very transparent. Just like top sports, it’s very fair. If things aren’t going well, you need to look at yourself. The focus is very much on talent.”
“Talent empowerment with a top sports element is a perfect match with our DNA and what we find important. The challenges you face in top sports are inherent to our company as well. In the beginning, you face setbacks. You can quit, but the learning curve is in picking yourself up and continuing. And eventually, you gain traction and things go well. In top sports, you lose more than you win too. It requires a lot of dedication. In top sports, but also in our case.”
“So, where the added value of our collaboration with TE lies is the inspiration from top sports. We use this in things like lunch clubs or Exceptional Achievers Day. Top athletes and coaches come to inspire and motivate young Vibers. Additionally, we engage in sports activities with top athletes as part of our sports program.”
“Sailor Scipio Houtman is our ambassador. That’s not a coincidence. We believe in his talent, but there are more similarities. Many people within our company are of the same age, and Scipio wants to reach the top, just like we want to reach the top in our expertise. That’s very relatable. And Scipio also has the boldness that fits the Vibe Group. It’s great to see.”