The world of Edwin
Working at Nagtzaam for 25 years

Together we celebrate Edwin's anniversary

Edwin has been in the right place for 25 years Nightly (and later at subsidiary Sonell). A different one every time, because he has moved quite a few times in all that time. He saw the organization grow, develop, become more efficient and experienced enormous changes from paper to digital working. How Edwin sees the future of the organization?

I would like to really grow, just as big as possible; with multiple locations in the region and 80 employees


How it all started

I had been working at Van Meurs & Partners for three years as head of payroll administration when I happened to speak to an old colleague Robert Knoop about a position at Nagtzaam. He was then a partner at Nagtzaam and we still spoke regularly. My wife Anita was pregnant at the time and I thought it would be nice to work closer to home, from Bladel to Veghel where we built our own house. I remember well that I signed my contract with Johan Nagtzaam on Sunday afternoon, just before he went on holiday. That was because I wanted to cross on equal terms; with my company car, the same employment conditions and salary. “That was actually much too expensive,” Johan told me later, but his wife managed to convince him at the last minute, just before his holiday, that I would be worth it. So that's how we put pen to paper one Sunday afternoon.

Our daughter was born exactly during my transition to Nagtzaam. You can say that she literally grew up among the Nagtzaam papers.

I find the most challenge in my work with catering companies. You really have to be a jack of all trades who knows 101 collective labor agreements.

Learning, growing and change

When I started there wasn't much set up yet. I had to take over work from departing colleagues and there was not much time for a handover. Setting up the department went so well that I received my first salary increase after a few months. So I had already made it worth the salary she had doubts about during my application. Over the years I have felt a lot of responsibility and loyalty towards my department and the organization.

I have seen the department expand and shrink. For a long time I had my own team, all ladies. 'Edwin's Angels' as my colleagues used to say jokingly. At that time we moved to a new location in Heeswijk Dinter, we added an additional floor, we moved again, now to the center of Veghel and eventually we ended up with all our colleagues in one building at Populier 1. That was the best thing for me. , all colleagues under one roof. After 12.5 years, the subsidiary Sonell was born, from which we now operate. We take care of all HRM branches from A to Z; from payroll administration to absenteeism and coaching. The department has now shrunk back to a few permanent colleagues. I'm working without my own team again and that's quite fine. I prefer to work with colleagues who are as loyal as I am and who want to stay with the organization for a long time. Ultimately, I would think it would be cool to grow again. As large as possible, with multiple locations in the region.

Over the years we have changed from a paper archive to processing everything digitally. That was quite a challenge for me. I like paper and I like to keep all the reports. If you look at my workplace you will come across all kinds of things. I even saved all the strategic sessions for the growth of the organization with Johan Nagtzaam and Yousef Kayyal. If they ever need anything, I always have it in the cupboard.

“Just ask Edwin,” they say, “He knows where it is.”

Due to the current shortage on the labor market, we are continuously working on making our work processes more efficient. We make extensive use of digital solutions and automation. These make the work considerably easier than how it was before. But, “As long as Edwin makes it, we don't have to hire anyone.” Yousef always says laughing.

What drives me?

Payroll administration is a service product as part of a total package. You cannot actually earn much with payroll administration alone, but as part of a total accountancy package it is an indispensable addition. Ultimately, it is secretly quite thankless work, it should not cost anything and you get the biggest complaints when things are not in order. You have to have a thick skin for it. But, for me this is the best challenge. Ensure that everything is neatly in order; everything Edwin's way. Seeing opportunities, developing them and taking a tactical look. Arrange and plan.

My passion for HR arose during my military service. I didn't like all that running and fuss, so when they came to ask if anyone wanted to take another training course, I immediately raised my hand. In retrospect I was wrong, I thought they asked who wanted to train as a gunner (that seemed cool to me) but I ended up behind a desk and had to take care of personnel matters. While my peers struggled in the mud, I sat at the lunch table with all the senior officers and enjoyed various privileges, such as my own car. It turned out to be right up my alley. Arranging, planning and executing human resources matters. After my service, I wanted to learn in practice and started working at an accounting firm in Den Bosch as a payroll administrator and support in the accounting system.

Notable career moments

What I am really proud of is a case of an old customer in the Agricultural sector who recently returned to us after a 5-year "break". When I started with this client 15 years ago, they had about 100/200 employees for whom I took care of the payroll administration, but they have since grown to 1,000 employees. This special growth came about because many guest workers came from Poland to help them harvest the crops. But Dutch law requires companies to pay taxes on workers who work on their land, regardless of whether they are employed by you or not. Your land, your costs. That makes it super cumbersome to process administratively, with all kinds of intermediaries and secondments. But it is also a shame for the workers themselves, who are sometimes left with only the minimum. On top of the tax costs for the workers, there were often a lot of legal costs involved in litigating against calculations that the tax authorities sometimes carried out incorrectly. You can imagine that things really got messy at times.

Recently, I and the team made a new calculation of what it would cost to hire the workers directly. And what do you think? We end up much cheaper and also calculate a nice profit. Due to the success with this case, we also came into contact with the local department of the tax authorities that usually handles the calculations for the agricultural sector. He was impressed by our calculations and proposals. We are now working intensively together to develop this for many more customers in the region. Win-win-win.

My life outside Nagtzaam

To me, working 40 hours feels like it's running out of steam. I work more than 8 hours a day. I get a lot of pleasure from my work and from the positive messages from customers. I like to be busy and busy. You could say I'm the “work hard, play hard” stereotype. Because I'm always the bottom line at parties!

When I'm at home, I work in my garden and, together with my wife, enjoy our own house that we had built in Veghel before our children were born. I also love cycling. For 40 years I have been going out to the streets every Wednesday morning with a regular group.

The future

Even though I far exceed the usual 8 hours every day, I have never been reluctant to go to work in 25 years. I assume this will remain the case for a long time. We'll just continue peacefully until the next anniversary ;).

I often feel like a boxer with five opponents, one in each corner. And every time I come back on top and above.

My tip…

Work dynamically and know what you have in common!

Senna van Zoggel, Management Assistant

Curious about more?

Are you inspired by this story and would you like to be part of our team at Nagtzaam? Then take a look at our website for vacancies and discover how you can create your own path in a company that values balance and growth. Join our Nagtzaam family today!