Young Den Hartogh is a platform on which young employees in various departments and branches of Den Hartogh Logistics can challenge each other to work more intelligently, better and more efficiently. That was the challenge that was presented to us in June 2012.
Now, 1 year later, the first Young Den Hartogh group is ready and we are making space for a second group. Who’s next? We are very curious!
What have we done in the last year? More than can be mentioned here!
Besides the pitch to the Board of Directors in July 2012, various training courses and workshops and, of course, our project #Green_DenHartogh, we also participated in a session for all managers on Den Hartogh Working: the Board was curious about our opinion on Den Hartogh Working, which is why we were assigned an important role during this session.
But returning to our project, the goal of the YDH project was to provide insight into the current status of Den Hartogh Logistics in the field of sustainable transport in relation to the needs expressed by the market in which we operate. Sustainability is a global trend, but how green are Den Hartogh Logistics and the transport sector actually? We also wanted to identify the role of social media in modern business communication.
We have asked a number of our most important customers and the employees of Den Hartogh about their vision of sustainability and social media. This enabled us to draw a number of conclusions.
Internal research revealed that our employees think that Den Hartogh can make further improvements in the field of sustainability. It also became apparent that our employees gave themselves high personal scores in relation to their involvement with sustainability. So people do feel that sustainability is important but do not always see the same level of involvement in the company and the market in which they operate.
The most important conclusion that can be drawn from the external research that we conducted is that a significant portion of the principals interviewed have prioritised safety above sustainability at the present time. The primary reason stated for this is that sustainable transport is currently frequently not ‘business sustainable’. In short, principals are open to sustainability, but they have no budget for the sponsoring of new technologies or methods.
Finally, our research revealed that social media is still only used to an extremely limited degree in our business-to-business market and its potential value is (still) not always recognised. Our employees also indicated that they gather and/or share very little business-related information via social media. Social media is used primarily for private matters. The most important question highlighted by this section of our research is therefore – should we use social media for all of our spearheads, with the accompanying costs, while this is not required by the B2B market and our own employees? It is now up to the Board to decide on the path to be followed by Den Hartogh Logistics.
Naturally, we thank everyone who we spoke with during the interviews and anyone who filled in our survey and provided input. We could not have completed our project without it!
We originally intended to present our conclusions and recommendations to the members of the Board. However, we were faced with an extra challenge – the Den Hartogh Senior Management Days were held in Rotterdam at the end of February. During this event, Young Den Hartogh had the time and opportunity to present our conclusions and recommendations to the entire management team.
The big day started at 8.20 on the morning of Friday 15 February. We had prepared thoroughly and everything was professionally arranged (see photo). After a brief introduction to the more than 30 international managers, we put them to work. They were divided into 4 groups that then brainstormed on the 4 statements that we had presented:
How can we sell green(-er) transport in a SMART way?
How can we make sure that sustainability will grow within our organisation?
How can we make social media interesting for B2B?
Do we have to increase the awareness of sustainability at our customers?
After this challenge, one delegate from each group was permitted to express their opinion and we held a group discussion on these subjects. The goal of this was, besides the conclusions that we had already stated, to give the Board members even more ideas in relation to how to handle the spearheads of sustainability and social media.
All in all, our presentation at the Senior Management Meeting was an extremely successful conclusion to our project! We are enormously happy with the opportunities that we received and wish the next generation of Young Den Hartoghers a great deal of success and enjoyment!