Responsibility early on
Seize every opportunity: That’s Peter Beckers’ way of thinking. After almost six years with thyssenkrupp he’s already in his third role and has always kept his eyes firmly forward. In his position as Head of Business Excellence and Transformation Program at thyssenkrupp Springs & Stabilizers, the 33-year-old manager is responsible among other things for local measures aimed at ensuring the individual sites identify and develop their potential year by year. In this interview he talks about what he’s helping transform at thyssenkrupp and what his daily work means to him personally.
What are you helping transform at thyssenkrupp?
Our plants, our culture, and my co-workers. With our transformation program I’m currently helping nine plants really achieve the targets we have set ourselves. In concrete terms, this means that together with my colleagues at the sites I’m helping ensure the measures and improvements are implemented. Because we’re always asking ourselves: how can we be better than we were last year? This is also transforming our culture. The clear aim of the transformation program is to keep checking whether we have improved and to keep identifying new areas for development. We want this idea of constantly developing new potential to become a routine part of our culture. But the personal development of my staff is extremely important to me too: I want them to be able to look back on the past couple of months and be proud of their own progress. I want them to feel more confident, more self-assured in the work they do for the company day by day and recognize what an important role they play.
What makes working at thyssenkrupp special to you?
I’ve been given the opportunity to gain insights into lots of different areas here right from the start: as an internal adviser at thyssenkrupp Management Consulting, in my role at Automotive headquarters, and now as function head at Springs & Stabilizers. From a young age, you get the chance to work on and even take charge of big and important projects. And in this respect I’m no exception at thyssenkrupp, I’m one of many trusted with responsibility. We have many young, motivated and very good employees who take on responsible roles early on and make a very important contribution to the big picture. You’re given encouragement – “he’ll nail the next challenge too”. The trust and opportunities you get here, I find that great. It’s really special. I can keep on surpassing myself here. I’ve definitely done so several times over the past few months.
What makes you feel you belong to thyssenkrupp?
In almost six years with thyssenkrupp, I’ve already made contact with an incredible number of people. And so many decent and good people – I find that hugely motivating. I’m spurred on not just by the performance of the company but also by my colleagues – for the future of #GENERATIONTK. I feel a great sense of belonging to thyssenkrupp not just because of the time I’ve worked here but also because of my colleagues. And I see this very directly day to day. Whenever I drive to work, I pass the production shops where we make springs day and night. And working for that, to ensure that it stays that way in the future and hundreds of people have secure jobs – that motivates me to get out of bed every morning. That’s the reason I feel I belong, and I can say: it’s worth it!
What concrete signs do you see that changes are underway at thyssenkrupp?
We’re no longer such a top-down organization with a big corporate headquarters as we used to be. Of course we still have a headquarters. And as part of the group of companies we continue to discuss with our colleagues at headquarters how we are doing – what’s working well and where we face challenges. But I sense that we are becoming more independent as part of the company. We’re taking on more responsibility, acting independently, making our own decisions, and as a result we can also develop our own ideas. I’d be happy for this to continue and increase. I’ve known about the speak-up culture at thyssenkrupp from day 1, but in this respect we’ve grown even stronger in recent times.