SME's talking: the social heart of ABC E Business

The creative center Strijp S is home to ABC E Business. This company is all about facilitating business processes in the field of automation. In addition to their work, employees also go out twice a year to do something social. We spoke with CEO Emile Peels about the social heart of the company.

SME entrepreneur Emile Peels, like many fellow city-dwellers, is enthusiastic about Eindhoven. "I like living and working there and as a company I therefore want to do something for the local society." In the office, some 35 women and men work daily to implement Microsoft Dynamics software for companies. "Our customers achieve more because we help them get their purchasing-inventory-sales processes right. Products like your favorite caramel-salt chocolate bar thus go through the process from cocoa bean to the shelf at your supermarket in the most efficient way possible." Twice a year, the entire team commits to a social cause. So roll up their sleeves!

A human character

Emile himself also volunteers in his spare time. "At school, at the sports club such things. I think it's important that we all do something for someone else and if I can do that through my company as well, that's absolutely wonderful." The employees are unapologetically positive about the projects they have done so far. "We have already done several activities at a care facility and painted at a children's playground. We always like to do something with a human touch. At the playground, we may have done a real job, but the children will be able to enjoy that place again for years to come, and that's important."
Putting our shoulders to the wheel on something together gives a different kind of satisfaction than working together on the shop floor, Emile observes. "A joint activity for a good cause at that moment increases the group feeling. You see that people find each other better on the shop floor. Of course just having a drink is also nice, but being able to do something together really adds value. It's good for social cohesion and has depth."

A meaningful job

That more and more potential employees are looking for a meaningful job is something Emile also notices. "Certainly the younger generation is not just looking for a nine-to-five job. They want to get more out of their work. That's why we pay a lot of attention to vitality, work-life balance and personal development. Look, fringe benefits such as a company car or other opportunities you can get anywhere, but more and more people are looking for meaning, also in their work."
Through Samen voor Eindhoven, ABC E Business employees go to work twice a year for a day. "For us it is ideal this way, because the entire organization is taken out of our hands. We only have to make a choice of what we want to do and go and get involved that day. For smaller entrepreneurs like us, this is very convenient. This way we can still do something within our means. It just starts with the will. Whether you have a small or large business, if you want to, something is always possible." In addition to the project days, Christmas is also dedicated to charity. "We decided to donate the savings from sending Christmas cards annually to a social project. Our relations then receive a Christmas greeting by mail, in which we thank them for reading the mail and let them know that we are giving away a nice amount."

A good group feeling

The next activity is one that Emile is very much looking forward to. "First we will have a tour of the city by an ex homeless person. He or she will show us places in the city that you might normally pass by, but which have meaning for people living on the streets. Afterwards, we will cook at the homeless shelter or help in some other way." Exactly what is yet to be decided, but that it will create impact, compassion and a good group feeling is clear. "You do realize more together how good you actually have it with a job, people around you and a roof over your head. To be able to do something for others as a team is just great."