Senior Principal Employee Relations Specialist

Human Resources

Vanwege het internationale karakter van ons bedrijf en onze medewerkers hebben we hun verhalen en ervaringen in het Engels weergegeven.

"Bringing the strategic direction of the businesses into the right balance with what is best for our employees, is the best part of my job."

Daphne lives in Maastricht with her husband Chris and her three children Thijs, Max and Fenne. Daphne enjoys the good side of life; going out for dinner or actively spending time with her family and with friends. In her spare time, Daphne likes to play field hockey or go for a run. Family holidays are mostly a combination of activities and relax time: skiing or hiking in the Austrian mountains and relaxing in Italy. Daphne has been working at Medtronic for eleven years and is currently the Enterprise Excellence Employee and Labor Relations Partner.

Daphne about her position at Medtronic

Medtronic is constantly evolving, and we need to respond to that in the best possible way. For example, in case there is an organizational change, what are the consequences? How is this impacting our employees? Within my role as the employee and labor relations partner, I act as a consultant and liaison to key strategic business partners on aspects such as compliance with labor agreements and minimizing the impact for employees. There are a lot of differences between all the countries in our region (Europe, Middle East & Africa), which makes it more complex, but also fascinating.

I enjoy working with the works counsel a lot. The relationship between Medtronic and the works council in the Netherlands is very strong and this interaction with the works counsel reinforces our performance. It is a proactive collaboration instead of a reactive one, with a focus on openness, transparency and trust.

Next to this, I represent the Human Resources (HR) function in the Dutch Leadership Team which gives me a wide perspective of all the different functions and businesses in The Netherlands. It is a very valuable platform for discussing challenges, opportunities and changes affecting all businesses and functions in The Netherlands.

Daphne’s education and career path

I studied Psychology at university level with a specialization in cognitive psychology. In my early career, I worked as a psychologist with children who had learning difficulties, and on career counseling and assessments. After that, I moved to recruitment. Eleven years ago,
I started at Medtronic as a Talent Acquisition Specialist. After one year, I became the
HR Generalist for the Supply Chain department. After a few years, I moved into an HR project management role where I have done a wide variety of projects from the Workday HR system implementation to a more “employer branding”-focused project called
Human Age.

When these projects came to an end, a new opportunity opened up at Medtronic. I became the HR Partner for the Dutch sales organization, which has been a great learning. During that time, we were in the middle of the Covidien integration, which also included that we were moving the sales office from Heerlen to Eindhoven. In this role, I have also been involved in the Due Dilligence Process for another acquisition done by Medtronic. After the Covidien integration, we were also in the middle of transforming the HR organization and as part of this transformation, centers of excellence (COE) were created. One of these new COEs was Employee and Labor Relations (ELR) and I accepted a new challenge in ELR to contribute in building this new COE in The Netherlands.

Most challenging in my current role

The biggest challenge in my role is working in the Medtronic matrix structure. The way we are organized per country, entity, region, business or function is highly complex. Employee and Labor Relations (ELR) are organized per country due to the local legislations and practices. All the initiatives from the functions and business come together in the country where we need to align and coordinate between these various initiatives.

What I like most in my current job

Working with the businesses, creating the combination with the strategic direction of these businesses and trying to achieve the best for our employees. Bringing this into the right balance is what gives me the most energy in my job.

What I like about working for Medtronic

What I like most about working for Medtronic, is the positive atmosphere, the diversity, the pace of change and the complexity. Also, the involvement of people is quite extraordinary.
I like that I can contribute to an organization which is constantly evolving. Also, the fact that Medtronic is mission driven: for example, the fifth tenet of our mission which is focused on recognizing the personal worth of employees. In ELR/HR, we try to live this in every process and every decision we make.

What ‘Further, Together’ means to me

‘Further, Together’ to me means that we - in this complex organization - are able to execute and innovate as ONE company, and that we are able to connect the dots. That we will always make sure to think in consequences and to look beyond our job descriptions. Thinking about what is right for Medtronic! How do your responsibilities fit in with what we as a company are trying to achieve.

My most memorable experiences at Medtronic

For me this definitely was the Covidien integration. Merging two companies of such a large scale has not often been done before, especially in the healthcare industry, this was a first. As a company we learned a lot: what should be taken into consideration and what is the impact. There are so many changing elements which influence each other and bringing this together is unbelievably challenging. Also bringing together two company cultures, how should you do that? And then you need to think of how you want to proceed together. We have been involved in integrations before, but never in one of this size or complexity.

Next to this, the patient events always leave an impression. Especially the first time that I attended the event. It makes me proud to work for Medtronic.