“Meeting people and collaborating; that’s what you come to the office for”

Published on: 17 July 2023

Who are these people who consciously choose to work in the pension industry? What do they do there all day for your pension? And what do they like about their work? We are taking you behind the scenes. Salvador Essers is the Director of Facility Services (FS). “We are a professional directional organization. We create a work environment that helps our employees do their jobs well. At home and at the office.”


Manager of Facility Services; that sounds fancy. But what does it actually mean?

 “I am responsible for everything related to facilitative services at APG. That means: a work environment that helps our employees do their jobs well. At home and at the office. We also call that ‘A great place to work’. It also involves supporting things like catering, housing and security. It also includes sustainability and reducing CO2 emissions, for example; not only in FS but in other departments too. For example, mobility, and sustainable travel, and getting away from natural gas. Plus, reducing our waste and ensuring that we are energy-neutral by 2030. The transformation of APG into a sustainable organization is extremely interesting to me and I enjoy working on it.”


You’ve been working here for 27 years. Can you take us through the years, in a nutshell?

“After studying Management, Economics and Law, I came to where I am now through various functions in the field of operational and change management: facility services.

To me, that position makes a lot of sense. Because I have a good sense for what the organization needs. For one thing, because I have been working there for so long, and for another, I know the business side like the back of my hand. FS used to be much more in-house. It was a facilitative company with hundreds of people. Today this is different. We are now really a professional management organization and we outsource a lot.”


What keeps you at APG?

“What keeps me here is the social context we operate in as pension administrators. The solidarity aspect, social policy and sustainable investment appeal to me enormously. This is also something that is part of the organization. Our involvement and the impact we have is huge. I also believe in the three-pillar system of pensions: the state pension, supplementary pension accrual through the employer and the individual supplement. Such an interpretation of a system fits in well with my mindset. Getting the basics covered but also being able to do things for yourself. I see that everywhere and therefore also within APG, with room for my team and for myself as an individual. You can continue to develop yourself and do new things here. If you’re open to changes and opportunities, you could end up working at APG for a long time, just like me with my 27 years of employment. I don’t know if APG will be my last employer. That’s not something that concerns me now. I still have almost twenty years to go and I have learned that you can’t look further ahead than a few years.”

What is the challenge for you now?

“With the advent of the renewed pension system, things are changing quite a bit for our company. How is our organization transforming and how do you keep employees happy in the process? That does present a challenge. More and more people are aware that the work-life balance has to be right. As an organization, we have to facilitate that. The pandemic played a major role in this. We were very strict during that period, with the result that people adjusted their entire life pattern to working from home for a long time. Child care was arranged differently, they might have gotten rid of a car. Those are sometimes radical choices, and it takes time and effort to partially transform them again. Our offices are now set up for meeting people and collaborating. That’s what you come to work for. That connection is crucial to us. We need to facilitate this for our employees so that they can spend part of their working time together in the office. You see that need, especially among new people. After all, you don’t get to know an organization through a computer screen.”


You’re very familiar with the company DNA by now, of course. So, what would you say is characteristic for APG?

 “I’d say that having a common goal and achieving it is characteristic of APG. During a crisis or major changes, employees really go the extra mile to get through them together. I also find that APG really cares about people. You can be yourself here, there is a lot of involvement and a safe culture. The work atmosphere is very pleasant and that is great to experience. We also facilitate our employees really well and make them feel as comfortable as possible. It’s not like that everywhere.”


How do you take a break from your work?

“My free time is largely devoted to sports and club life. Handball and in the past also tennis. First by practicing it myself, nowadays alternately in coaching roles and board positions. According to my daughter, I’m better off sticking to management. She says I’m better at that than at playing sports and coaching myself. But what I enjoy most and what gives me the most energy is working with a team.”