Corporate news // 26.11.2021 // DECTRIS

Celebrating Another Top Employer Award: “Why I Didn’t Quit DECTRIS”

A 5-minute read

For the second year in a row, DECTRIS was named as one of the top employers in Switzerland by the Swiss Employer Award. A story of our Purchase Manager Sanjin Jäkel might explain why.

Why I Didn't Quit DECTRIS

By Sanjin Jäkel, DECTRIS Purchase Manager

The Swiss Employer Award has existed since 2000, and it’s the largest employer benchmarking initiative in Switzerland. Every year the employees of the participating organizations fill in a thorough, anonymous survey, and the award is based exclusively on these employee impressions. Last year DECTRIS scored 14th among employers with 100–249 employees, and this year we climbed to the 6th position – both times DECTRIS was the highest ranking organization in the Industry category. 

Why do people join and stay at DECTRIS? There are as many reasons as there are Dectrologists (this is how we call ourselves!), and here is one of those stories.

“In February 2020, I handed in my resignation to my line manager. I had worked at DECTRIS purchasing for two years, and I didn’t feel like my expertise was really needed. Furthermore, I figured I could make more money if I focused my time on my side project, building and selling houses. Yet, only a few weeks after giving my notice, I decided to stay at DECTRIS after all. I had understood something new about DECTRIS and learned something new about myself.

A professional purchaser is typically all about KPIs: your worth is tested regularly via the numbers in your Excel spreadsheet, and your self-worth is tested via your salary, bonus, and the kind of car you drive. When I joined DECTRIS in January 2018, I already had almost 15 years of work experience in the field. I had an excellent track record, had built my own networks, and suppliers were afraid of me. DECTRIS had no purchasing department at that time, and I saw this as an opportunity to do things my way.

I was used to starting each day by donning my suit, my armor, to go to war. I needed to scare my suppliers into giving me the best possible terms, and I needed to keep my colleagues at arm’s length in order to gain the status I wanted. Yet, at DECTRIS, nobody wore a suit, and we treated one another – as well as our suppliers – with friendly respect. I felt out of place, and I decided to quit as I had sorted out one private project and saw an opportunity to start a new one – for the cash.

I was respected and valued as a person, not only as a set of skills

However, after I had given my notice, something amazing happened: many people across the company reached out to tell me how they would miss not only my contributions, but also me personally. I realized then that the company’s people did, in fact, appreciate my expertise, but they respected me as a person even more than they valued my skills. I soon understood that I had made a mistake by quitting – but there was nothing to be done. Changing my mind so often would be a sign of weakness, and I am not weak!

Luckily, one of the great talks I had after handing in my notice was with Matthias Schneebeli, the upcoming CEO. During this talk, I admitted that I wanted to stay but felt too proud to reverse course. Eventually, however, Matthias helped me see that admitting my mistake would, in fact, be a sign of strength, not weakness. This gave me the courage to do what I did: pull back my resignation and stay at DECTRIS.

DECTRIS is an unusual company with a very strong culture. A culture is the sum of what a lot of people do, and a lot of people at DECTRIS are doing the right thing. I never imagined I would feel so close to work colleagues, but that is what happened in 2020. DECTRIS is no longer just a place where I work; it’s a part of my life. Staying at DECTRIS was the best professional decision I ever made.”

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