Like a fish in water. This is how Thijs Moonen (52) from Nederweert feels at Linssen Yachts. So it’s no surprise that he celebrated his 25th anniversary there last April. Working in engineering is not for him, but fortunately he is the HR manager (or head of P&O). It’s a job where you don’t need to be technically-minded. Thijs therefore uses very different skills to ensure that when it comes to personnel and accounting, everything goes swimmingly.

Keeping people on board by allowing them to progress

Over 25 years ago, Thijs was tipped off by a friend that Linssen Yachts was looking for an administrative worker. “I was hired and never left again. My friend did, however. He went; I stayed. That’s the way it is. Initially, I worked in timekeeping and accounts. Later, payroll was added. It was a growth process. That’s what’s great about Linssen Yachts. They gave me and my colleagues room to grow. When a vacancy comes up, we always see if someone from inside the company is suitable and if that person is interested. That’s the culture in our company. I’m sure that’s the way to keep people on board. It’s just so important, especially in these times of labour shortages. And if things work out well – and in most case they do – this ensures serious commitment.”

Good communication gets me a long way

When the previous HR manager stepped down, Thijs was asked if he felt up to the job. Especially because he had a lot of experience dealing with people from the world of football. He thought it would be a challenge and said yes. “Because of its different facets, my job has a great deal of variety. And, if I’m honest, I don’t think it’s so intense. Good communication gets me a long way. Added to this are my life experience and the knowledge I’ve acquired through education and training, which makes it the perfect job for me. It is of course essential for me to be familiar with relevant legislation and regulations. And the Netherlands has plenty of these. I therefore attend upskilling sessions and training courses on a regular basis.”

Empathising with the company and my colleagues

No two days are the same. Everything that happens in the workplace that involves staff and salaries ends up on Thijs’s plate. That’s everything from grant applications and examining job profiles to setting up a new HR system and from job interviews to exit interviews. “It all comes my way. I like interacting with people. I just like having people around me and empathising with the company and my colleagues. It’s no coincidence that I’m one of the few people in the company who actually knows everyone. Added to this is the fact that the unpredictability of the job – you never know what’s going to happen – makes it an interesting one.”

Thijs runs the HR department single-handedly

You would expect a company with 110 employees to have an HR team working for it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Thijs runs his department completely single-handedly. “I am of course in close contact with my line manager Mariëlle and the managers of all the other departments. And I share an office with the finance department. I also regularly consult with our general manager Ed Houben, who has the office next door.”

The power of Linssen Yachts

The fact that Thijs is enjoying his time at Linssen Yachts is obvious from his many years of service alone. You don’t work in a place for 25 years if you don’t like it. “It’s very pleasant here and there’s a good atmosphere. This is also because family businesses attract a certain type of employee. One who is loyal, committed and proud and has the company’s best interests at heart. That’s the culture I feel at home in. As do many others. Almost everyone knows everyone else. Even the management team knows all the employees. In this atmosphere, we work together in a flat organisation. The records of long service do not therefore come out of the blue. Taken together, this is the power of Linssen Yachts.”

Preparing employees for retirement while keeping them fit

In a company like Linssen Yachts with many employees reaching retirement age here, staying fit is therefore a big deal. “I’m happy when everyone enjoys their job and is healthy. Where I can, I help my colleagues achieve this. And yes, when you work somewhere for a long time and are already a bit older, sooner or later ailments will arise. We are fully engaged in preparing our loyal employees for retirement while still fit. Because – let’s be honest – some of them don’t have the lightest jobs in the world. We therefore try to give older employees lighter work where possible. Workstations are designed to be as ergonomic as possible, with lifting devices and adjustable work benches. In any case, we try to give our employees the best tools possible and provide them with the safest possible work station.

A great working environment

“I started working here 25 years ago. More or less by chance. It is a fantastic company to work for and every time I look at the yachts in the showroom, I think every time: how nice it is to have such a beautiful working environment.”


Looking for new challenges

Thijs has ended his career as a football trainer and is now going to make more time for his wife Nicole and his three children Kyra (21), Senna (19) and Yentl (12). “For years, in addition to my job at Linssen Yachts, I have trained football clubs, including Fortuna Sittard. And, until recently, I was the trainer at amateur club R.K.V.V. Haelen. After so many busy years, I think I’ve had enough now. I have more leisure time at last and I’ll also be looking for new challenges.”

Scroll naar boven