“It’s an investment in our people!”

“We try to keep the distance between executives and employees as short as possible. We want our young professionals to understand what the group is about and what strategic choices we are faced with.” Myriam Macharis, Human Resources Director at Etex Group, explains with infectious enthusiasm what the group seeks to achieve with the Etex Management Programme.

Today’s market is changing faster than ever and it has become much more complex what with globalisation. Not only has the economic context changed, over the past 15 years, Etex Group has evolved into an international player. “While our core business is still the same, our range of products and applications has expanded significantly,” says Myriam Macharis. “We used to grow organically, but over these past 15 years we’ve undertaken several international acquisitions. These different companies and cultures add to the complexity of our business and it’s therefore more important than ever to support our future managers and to make them aware of this growing diversity.”

Recommendations Taken on Board

Etex Group combines internal and external management education programmes. The Etex Management Programme organised in collaboration with Vlerick targets young professionals across the group who have just taken up a management role or who will do so in the near future. With a mix of theory and practice presented by experts from Vlerick and Etex, the programme covers all aspects of management.

As part of the programme, the participants work in groups on topics suggested by Etex Executive Management. At the closing session, the participants get to present the results of their work to their line managers and members of the Executive Committee. “During the previous edition participants analysed how Etex’s corporate values are lived and experienced within the organisation. And we have taken on board the conclusions and recommendations that were presented!”

Flexible Programme

Why Vlerick? Myriam Macharis does not hesitate: “For a start, we share the same Belgian roots. But more importantly, Vlerick has a good reputation and we appreciate the pleasant collaboration and their professional follow up of the programme’s organisation.” She pauses before adding: “They’re also very flexible in their offering. Based on the feedback from the previous sessions we’ve each time been able to fine-tune the programme. This year we’ll organise four modules of five days instead of five four-day modules since we want to invite people from outside Europe as well. And Vlerick will set up an online platform that participants worldwide can use to conduct virtual meetings in between the modules.”

Sustainable Networks

So far nothing but praise from the participants. They are enthusiastic not only about the contents of the programme, but also about the networking opportunities. “The programme’s proven to be extremely effective in developing a sustainable internal network. And the presentations at the closing session are an excellent opportunity for the participants to show what they’ve got to offer. It’s always a delight to see natural leaders emerge.”

Myriam Macharis admits that the programme requires a great deal of management commitment, but she believes it is well worth it: “After all, it’s an investment in our people!”

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