New future prospects thanks to development opportunities


Silvie Staats initially wanted to work in prisons or with difficult-to-raise young people, but is now a department manager at Jumbo. She changed her future plans when she had the opportunity to take courses and advance within the supermarket chain.

"Actually, I initially considered working in a supermarket to be beneath me," Staats says now. She almost turned down the offer she received four years ago from her former store manager. "I had just obtained my vocational diploma in social and cultural work and was planning to pursue a bachelor's degree. I had been working part-time at Jumbo for years, and my store manager saw potential for advancement. Until then, I never saw myself in a permanent position at a supermarket, but I decided to give it a chance."

Jumbo's provision of development and advancement opportunities for employees is not new. As one of the first supermarket chains, Jumbo established its own training center, Jumbo Academy. Here, employees can pursue both vocational and bachelor-level qualifications and participate in individual training sessions. The slogan: You make Jumbo.

Competency-Oriented Development

"We have high expectations of people and are happy to contribute to their personal development," says Hans Stommels, who has been with Jumbo for almost 25 years. "That's why we don't just look at their work experience and job profile, but also at the knowledge and qualities people possess. We want to act on that. When people work from their strengths, they are much more motivated."

Jumbo Academy has entered into a collaboration with SDO for the Jumbo Management Program (JUMP) because this university of applied sciences also considers competencies of individuals rather than just their educational background and CV. "We are an independent company and we love innovation, so we wanted to see if it works to develop more competency-based approaches," says Stommels, who is a lecturer for vocational education and program coach for higher education at Jumbo. "SDO has developed a complete program for us, tailored to fit Jumbo's needs."

More Motivated

"Competency-based education is gaining popularity," says Jos Krol from SDO. "We see that more and more companies are realizing the importance of looking at the personal talents and pitfalls of their employees. Through our methodology, people discover what they are good at and what they need to improve, becoming aware of how to deal with these aspects. This leads to greater motivation to reflect on their own performance."

SDO uses the TMA Talent Analysis to provide students with that insight. Staats completed the training to become a department manager at level 4 and then the follow-up training JUMP. The TMA report, combined with the training and discussions on the work floor with supervisors and colleagues, taught her a lot about herself. "It holds up a mirror to you," she says. "I now have an even better understanding of my strengths and areas I can improve, such as my directness. I tend to express my opinions quickly, but I could sometimes word them differently."

“Competency-based education is in vogue”

Jos Krol, SDO

Continue Growing

"I particularly appreciate that there is room within Jumbo to express oneself and learn from each other," says Staats. "I am still learning even now. Every employee creates a POP (Personal Development Plan), and once every two weeks, I have a meeting with my supervisor. During these meetings, I can discuss how I'm doing and any challenges I'm facing. Sometimes, we focus on very practical matters. I get to set the agenda myself."

She feels that she has become more professional, but she's not done learning yet. "The opportunities provided by Jumbo motivate and encourage me to keep growing. I aspire to become a department manager of the fresh produce department and then an assistant store manager. Ultimately, my goal is to have my own store!"

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