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Decoding loyalty: the story of my 21-year job and marriage

Collage of people pictures

Let me ask you a question: What does the word loyalty mean to you?

Loyalty is a subject I’ve been thinking about for quite some time recently.

If we take the vocabulary definition, loyalty means “being faithful to commitments made or to what one is obliged to do by one's position with sincerity and without reservation.”

Decoding loyalty: commitment

Let’s start with commitment.

In my life, commitment is manifested by two things: my work and my marriage. Both equally important.

I’ve been working at SuperOffice for 21 years now. And I’ve been married to my husband Jean-Pierre for 21 years too. So, my journey at SuperOffice runs almost parallel to my marriage.

The two main areas of my life coincided and had their own milestones.

In my private life, for example, it was having children, we have two daughters – Britt (15) and Lisa (12), buying our house (that I love and refuse to ever sell), and travelling together.

The Weterings-Otten family

At work, of course, there were many milestones: winning the Employee of the Year in 2004 and going on a trip to Kenya, the death of the founder of SuperOffice (Une Amundsen), moving to a brand-new office, welcoming and saying good-bye to colleagues, and many more.

As you can see, I mainly consider relations with other people to be the most important milestones. Why? Because they turn into memories!

I realized that it’s people that I value and remember most, especially my relationships with them. I wonder whether you feel the same?

Decoding loyalty: obligation

Another part of the definition of loyalty says, "to which one is obliged by one's position".

I have a problem with this, as I don’t feel the obligation at all. For me, obligation sounds almost like experiencing “compulsory loyalty” – and that’s not in my nature. Obligation comes naturally; it’s a natural side-effect of loyalty.

Loyalty, for me, is a character trait that I am simply comfortable with.

In my private life, I am also very loyal. For example, I have been going to the same hairdresser for 15 years, I often go to the same shops, buy the same brands, have the same friends, etc.

Don’t get me wrong: I don't shy away from new experiences or challenges, but I like structure and control. Even though to some it may sound as the traits of a control freak. 😆

Decoding loyalty: sincerity

But am I sincere in being so loyal?

The answer is a resounding YES. I sincerely stay in and deepen the relationship with the people in my life, because it feels right. I choose them. And they seem to choose me in return! 🤗

And the best thing: both parties don’t feel obliged to each other, but we do feel committed. Sincerely and naturally. This applies to my family and my work.

To my mind, sincerity is a by-product of trust. While trust can only be built through hard work, determination and open-mindedness.

SuperOffice and its loyalty DNA

There are many reasons as to why I am loyal to my company – SuperOffice.

But the main ones are the company’s unique DNA, the people that surround me, and the relationships that we’ve built over the years.

What I particularly like about working at SuperOffice is the high degree of personal responsibility. It feels like I “run my own shop”. I know that my colleagues and manager trust me, and I am giving them my all in return.

My colleagues are also my friends. And I mean – true friends! ❤️

The SuperOffice Benelux team

For example, my colleague Luuk likes to spend his summer break in our house while we are away on holidays, and I always send his children birthday cards.

But it’s not just him! I often spend time with my other colleagues outside work – we go out for drinks, grab some food, talk about life – just like friends would do.

My colleagues allow me to be who I am, and that feels so good!

And I'm not the only one who has been loyal to SuperOffice for so long. I have many colleagues who celebrate 10, 15, 25 and even 30 years on the job.

Our customers are loyal to us too. They stay with us for years. That’s why our company’s motto (and the DNA code) is – Relationships Matter. It’s the relationships that create trust and make us feel fulfilled.

The Happiness Manager 

Our office in Eindhoven often hosts various events. And it’s my job to organize them.

We roll out the red carpet for our guests and I make sure there’s enough coffee and snacks, and that our hospitality is top notch.

For some it may sound like a lot of stress and effort. But not for me, it just gives me energy!

Our office is designed with an intention to be “a home away from home”. And that's exactly how it feels to me. That’s why I enjoy going to work every day. I sincerely love taking care of my colleagues, organizing events, hosting guests, planning and executing marketing campaigns.

Yes, I have many roles at the office. I am the “hostess” of SuperOffice Benelux and the Queen of Events – as some of my colleagues lovingly call me. But the role of the Happiness Manager still appeals to me the most. 😊

As every great hostess it’s the personal touches that define my style. I think it only enhances our company’s culture in which people are the greatest asset!

At SuperOffice we always celebrate people who have worked for 10 or 20 years. At SuperOffice Benelux, we have our own tradition – we make an anniversary book with photos and personal anecdotes. It’s a simple, but powerful tradition that I love to maintain. 😍

Loyalty grows from relationships

My colleague Wouter once told me: “Everything works out in the end."

This has become my mantra that helps me stay positive and look for solutions, instead of finding problems.

It also helps me believe in people and continue to want to build relationships.

Being loyal – whether it’s to your family, or to your workplace or to a brand you buy from – comes from the relationships you create with the people that represent it and their values.

But, it’s your job too to keep and strengthen those relationships. You need to put in the effort and build trust – every single day. And don’t forget to have fun while doing it!

That’s what makes it so easy for me to stay loyal for 21 years! 🥳

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