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Young & talented at Luyckx


Young & talented at Luyckx

"It was better in the old days", "this generation doesn't know what work is", "they're spoiled brats" – all clichés that do nothing to improve the image of young employees at companies. What about the up-and-coming young talent at Luyckx? Do they have a different attitude to things at work and outside of work or is there actually no such thing as a generation gap? Or… is it even better nowadays?

We invited some young twenty-somethings – Elias Dauwe, Mathias Goris, Matthias Gorremans, Elias Van Hove and Laurens Willemen – to share their thoughts with us on the subject.

Is there any truth behind the clichés?

Elias D: A little, I guess. When I look in my surroundings, I see a lot of people who are less driven.

Mathias G: I think it's a cliché that things used to be better. We might say that one day, too. A healthy mix between young and old is great. We learn from the older generation, and in return we provide innovation that they can learn from.

Elias VH: I agree with Elias. Not every twenty-something in my immediate environment is equally driven to give it their all. They sometimes want to make money in a simpler way.

How come you two aren't like that?

Elias D: I think that our practical education gave us that hands-on mentality early on.

Matthias: The nature of the beast, huh.

Mathias G: Maybe our Kempish mentality as well?

How did you actually come into contact with Luyckx?

Elias VH: I came here directly from school.

Elias D: My colleague Elias VH here convinced me.

Elias VH: A bit of advertising, huh! When you're happy about where you work, you talk about it.

Elias D: I followed my passion and I got the chance to learn the trade here. I love repairing truck-mounted cranes. Detecting problems, finding solutions and then bringing everything to a successful conclusion.

Elias VH: In my spare time, I tinker with old-timers and that's how I got to know people who were working here. When a vacancy opened up, I didn't hesitate.

Elias D at work as a technician of truck-mounted cranes and container systems.

Working independently, seizing opportunities, learning on the job

Do you remember your first day at Luyckx? How was that?

Matthias: There was so much new information coming at me. I applied to be a warehouse worker, but I’d only been working an hour and I already had to deliver something. “Here's the key,” they said. I've never done anything else. I’m still very grateful to Luyckx for that. I had no experience and had only just got my driver's licence...

Laurens: My first day wasn't that special because I basically rolled seamlessly into my job from holiday work. I did get my own desk though.

Matthias visits beautiful places during his rides.

What are you actually looking for in an employer?

Elias D: For me, it's about being happy with the work you've done. Being proud of that and being able to help a customer. Here at Luyckx, you can do this independently. You get a lot of individual freedom. For me, that's very important.

Laurens: They let you do your own thing to a certain extent here. You can take the initiative yourself, but you can also ask if you don't know something.

Mathias G: I think it's important that you get opportunities to develop. Of course, you have to grab them yourself, but I really like the fact that we're encouraged to do so.

Elias VH: That you get appreciation from your employer for what you do. In my job as a service technician, I have a lot of contact with customers. There, too, the appreciation you get when you can solve a problem is very motivating.

Matthias: I agree with Elias 100% on that. Helping someone in an emergency, because we often do that. It's very satisfying. On top of that, I live nearby; it's lovely and green here, a nice working atmosphere...

Laurens: I have less contact with customers. I was hired to make optimum use of the welding robot they invested in. It is the first robotisation that Luyckx will work with in the new location. Watching the project grow from start to finish and bringing it to a successful conclusion makes me feel especially good. The fact that you learn something new here every day is also a motivation for me.

Do they invest in training here?

Elias VH: Every time a new machine comes on the market, training is given. The new techniques are then explained from top to bottom.

Mathias G: We keep up to date with new developments. You have too.

Luyckx keeps up with the times

Is corporate culture also important in your choice?

Elias D: Yes, definitely! This is a real family business we're working in here. Everyone here still says 'Hello! How was your weekend?” I really like that friendly atmosphere.

Elias VH: You're not just a number here. Very human.

Mathias G: Every last Friday of the month we drink a beer after work. Everyone together.

Elias VH: Then we talk about things other than work. We also have regular parties and then you realise that people are genuinely interested in you.

There has also been a lot of investment in infrastructure here in recent years: new meeting rooms, canteen, showers, free soup and fruit during the afternoon, nice picnic places outside... Do you think that's important?

Laurens: Yes. A pleasant working environment really adds something. But they’ve also invested a lot in the area of new technology. That’s very appealing to young people, in any case, for our generation.

Elias VH: The equipment we're allowed to work with here is always in perfect order. Which makes the work enjoyable. You also work with your own personal tools. If anything is broken, it is replaced immediately.


Are there other things that play a role in your choice of Luyckx?

Matthias: Luyckx is met de tijd mee, vooruitstrevend en innovatief. Om daar een deel van uit te maken, heeft zeker ook meegespeeld in mijn keuze.

Mathias G: We zijn voortdurend in beweging. Je ziet de firma constant letterlijk en figuurlijk veranderen en vernieuwen.

Elias D: Dat geeft inderdaad een goed gevoel. Als je ziet wat we aan het realiseren zijn met het nieuwe gebouw... De machines die daarvoor aangekocht zijn, dat is echt hoogtechnologisch, het beste van het beste. Het gaat hier vooruit.

Mathias G: We zijn soms echt ondernemers binnen een onderneming.

Matthias: Daar komt wel wat verantwoordelijkheid bij kijken.

You are all in your twenties, how do you deal with that?

Mathias G: We don't worry about it. In fact, nobody looks at your age, just at what you can do and what you want.

Laurens: I will soon be responsible for the brand-new welding robot in the new building. It's the largest in Belgium, perhaps in Europe. I've only just graduated from school, and they trust me with that. That's really cool. I get to prove myself and it gives me a kick to be able to help with that.

Mathias G: It’s also great to tell people that. When I show my friends the gigantic valve we're working with, their mouths sometimes fall open. I think that's where the company's appeal lies. Those special machines do attract me.

Elias VH: You get to work on unique machines here. I think that's so amazing. I'm not interested in car mechanics. Give me those big, complex machines any day.

A bottle of Trappist

Laurens: I came here for a chat six years ago. The company values (decisiveness, passion and character) and the atmosphere immediately appealed to me. I instantly thought then that I would apply to do my internship here. Especially that decisiveness, going for it... Everyone is working towards the same thing and is even thinking the same thing. And everyone is there for each other. That’s very special.

Elias D: It's true. There's always someone there to help when you need it.

Mathias G: I have a very concrete example of that. Last year, there was a truck driver here with problems. It didn't take long before colleagues appeared from all over the place to help analyse the problem. We had solved the problem by about 8 pm and the driver was able to continue. We keep going until the job is done, the hours don't really matter. That's the kind of drive that is intensely present here. And then Jos Luyckx arrived with a bottle of Trappist for everyone. That's what this company is about. He didn't have to do that, but it was a nice gesture. Always very grateful.

Laurens: We actually never look at our watch. That's what passion for the profession looks like.

Elias D: Now we're giving the impression that we work around the clock! That's not really correct either. They do make sure that we get enough relaxation here. That balance is respected.

Elias VH: We also have flexible hours. But... pleasure in your work, that's what it's about.

And as if it had all been arranged, a colleague comes in. “Sorry to bother you guys. Elias, do you think you can still manage to get to a customer in Olen?" (It's 4:30 pm) Elias, without hesitating, says, "Yes, no problem". The colleague walks away, everyone looks at each other and laughs.

Matthias: That’s what it’s like. But, as you see, you're asked, not told. That's nice.

Have your expectations of Luyckx been met?

Matthias: Well, I'm doing something completely different from what I originally applied for. But I'm very happy with that. They always look together with you at what suits you best and what makes you feel happiest.

Laurens: After I'd been here for two months, they had a chat with me to identify my strengths and weaknesses, to see what my ambitions were... I was then allowed to tell them what I still wanted to learn and where they could invest some more time. They really listen and, as far as possible, take it into account what you say. It’s really great.

Elias VH: There are regular evaluations. I think it's important that you can say what's on your mind. What is going well and/or badly.

Mathias G: That's a very positive thing. They really do ask what it is that gives you energy. That makes you better, and the company. Very open communication.

Jos counts his sheep!

And how do you get on with the managers?

Elias D: Very well. Jos walks through the hall every morning...

Mathias G: … sprints! (Laughter)

Elias VH: He has a sturdy walking pace!

Mathias G: He’s very involved. Jos always comes to see what you are doing, and whether it’s all going well.

Elias D: He has to count his sheep, we always say.

Mathias G: Actually that goes for the whole family. They're not sitting in some ivory tower or anything. The opposite, in fact! If something is wrong, you can always go to them. Their doors are always open.

You are the new generation. Do you sometimes clash with the older guard?

Elias D: Not really. I think that has to do with respect. You can't think you already know everything. We can learn a lot from them and they from us. You have to be open to that.

Mathias G: Knowledge is shared here. By asking questions, not only do you learn something, but it also means you can work much faster and more efficiently.

Laurens: For example, if I have to record and measure something in the workshop, I sometimes ask them how to get started. The "older generation" sometimes has really useful tips & tricks that I never would have thought of. On the other hand, we can also teach them something about the new software programs. They know how to use them too, but we often know new applications that we learned at school. It's a two-way street.

Elias D: If they see that you want to learn, then everyone here is willing to help you.

Matthias: So true.


In this time of job hopping, how do you see your career here?

Mathias G: I do see many of my friends regularly changing employers. To be honest, I've never thought about it before. I’m fine here.”

Elias D: Neither have I. I wouldn't know where to go either. If you're in the right place, you're not looking any further, right.

Mathias G: The atmosphere is good here. You can have a laugh too. And there are lots of career opportunities too.

Elias VH: I started as a technician in the workshop. When a vacancy opened up as a service technician on the job, I applied for it. That's what I wanted to do. I'm really pleased that I'm already doing that, that I've been able to grow so quickly.

Matthias: A young kid with such a huge truck on the road...

Elias VH: Sweet! No, I'll stay here until I retire, if I can. I'm serious. I already said that back home.

Laurens: They're quick to notice if you're committed and if you really want something. It doesn't matter if you trip up a few times, as long as you want it.

Elias VH with his truck.

Where does your passion for technology come from?

Elias VH: It starts with a moped. First, it goes 50 and then it goes 80!

Mathias G: If they put Playmobil and Lego in front of you and you choose Lego, you'll end up at Luyckx! (Laughter)

Do you have any other ambitions?

Mathias G: I mostly want to continue to have passion for my job, like today. I really want to get up in the morning raring to go!

(Everyone nods in agreement)

Laurens: I'm ready for anything. "Enthusiasm" sums it up nicely!