“As long as I feel I'm making a difference, it's worth the effort.”

They arrange more than 2,000 events each year, represent their co-workers in difficult conversations with the management, and go for walks with their stressed colleagues. Meet some of our dedicated volunteers.

Hans Peter Jakobsen, Employee representative in Radiometer

“Overall, I take on the role of companion. It's about human qualities and being able to help people move forward if they have been fired or given a warning. At one point, I had a case with an employee who received a warning for underperforming. It was an employee who for several years had been frustrated about some things, and, naturally, you do not deliver your best in that situation. Then we had a talk about their behaviour and how it was perceived by the management. When you are given a warning, you feel as if someone has pulled the rug out from under you. In my experience, people in that situation are willing to change their behaviour.”

“I have pretty much the same function if an employee has been on sick leave due to stress. Then I help that person determine which situations are particularly stressful. I help them find tools to structure their work and family life. I go out of my way to find the right surroundings for these conversations. We often go for a walk and talk about it, because you cannot sit at a table in the canteen and talk about family life.”

"I have suffered from stress myself, so I have some personal experiences to draw on. But I'm also the type who goes around making puzzles in my head and looking for connections. To me, working with people is a bit like solving engineering problems."

“An engineering problem can be that two parts of an appliance work impeccably separately, but function poorly together because they both prioritise their own function. In a workplace, the problem may be that only the needs of the manager are prioritised, while the individual employee is not being seen. Then we must find a setup where the needs of both parties are met. That usually leads to good results and means that those involved become more aware of these things in the future.”

Thomas Rendtorff, Chairman of the company group in MAN Energy Solutions

"I have a board that helps me a lot, because otherwise it is simply too much work. We are not bought out, so we are expected to deliver a normal effort alongside the representative work. In that way, it is a tough job, and not something people compete for.”

"I would not do it if I did not think it was interesting. It adds a different dimension to my working life, besides being an engineer, working with people, and I like that. But I also think that representative work is necessary and that someone must carry the load.”

“We arrange three events for our members each year. And then there are the salary negotiations, which are very important. We have joint negotiations with the management about the average salary increases for engineers, and then there are the individual negotiations. We are happy to help people with materials and advice if they ask, but we do not interfere.”

"In addition, there is always something new that we have to deal with. It can be an input from the management, or the constant restructurings and changes always taking place in a company of our size. I have deliberately worked on getting a good relationship with the management. It has been one of my strategies, and I think I have succeeded in doing so. I do not have regular meetings with the HR manager, but if something is catching fire, we will have a talk about it.”

“In the company group, we have just introduced a questionnaire survey, where we ask employees about their job satisfaction, stress level and other important topics. Our management is very interested in hearing more about it. I got the idea at a course for employee representatives in IDA."

Karin Frøidt Oberreuter, Member of the Board of Representatives. Former Chairman and current auditor in IDA Food Science and board member of IDA ManifiQ

“At IDA Food Science, we have a tradition of the former chairman stepping into the role of auditor. So after two chairmanships from 2012-2018, I now keep an eye on whether IDA Food Science stays within the professional goals. I also attend the general meetings and look back at the events and themes we have had during the year ”

“The professional networks allow members to engage in exciting themes and keep their knowledge up to date. But it is the fact that members can use each other to develop that makes IDA's networks truly unique. I actually consider IDA to be something far broader than just a union. I myself have greatly enjoyed the network I have gained as an active member of IDA, and I would like to pass this on to the younger members and recent graduates.”

"I do not think there is a prototype of a volunteer in IDA. In fact, our strength lies in our many differences. In the Board of Representatives, to which I was elected in 2019, we are very different from each other and the discussions about IDA's future can be heated. But we can still use these individual differences to achieve good results together.”

“In general, I do not rest on my laurels, and sometimes I tend to take on a bit too much. My attitude is that if I have an opinion on something, or if there is something I would like to learn more about or change, I volunteer to get involved. As long as I feel I'm making a difference, it's worth the effort.”

Christina Skjolding Hjelm, Board member of IDA Green Technology. Former deputy in the Sustainability Caravan

“I became active in IDA's Sustainability Caravan, where I wrote blog posts for Ingeniøren's online newspaper and gave a presentation on water and sustainability at AquaGlobe. Later, I became a member of the board of IDA Green Technology to get a professional network and keep up to date with developments in my field. Most of my work as a member of the board is to help develop ideas and host events.”

“In my everyday life, it can be more difficult to stay up to date with new initiatives and engage with others in my field. I am not the only one working with sustainability at my job, but everyone in the company has different professional areas of expertise. So it's nice to be able to talk to someone who has a background similar to my own.”

“It is not that we have the same education. In IDA Green Technology, we come from very different educational backgrounds. Some work with energy optimisation in the construction sector, some are researchers and others are employed in municipalities or the state. But we agree on the values ​​the network is based on and what we are working towards. I really appreciate that".

“I studied Environmental Studies & Sustainability Science in Sweden and then worked abroad. That’s why I wanted to expand my network locally when I returned to Denmark.

Jakob Forsberg Larsen, Student representative in IDA Food Science

“We typically host 12-14 events a year in IDA Food Science. I participate on an equal footing with the other board members, but I often have a slightly different perspective. In practical terms, this means that I make sure that we do not schedule events during the exam period. But I also raise different topics because, as a student, I am updated on the latest research”.

“I have fellow students who have been on the IDA Food Network and they have all been really happy about it. Some have more or less landed their first job through the network. This says quite a lot about the benefits of volunteering as a student.

"If there is a topic that I think is interesting, I have a forum where I can discuss it. At the same time, I get professional feedback and guidance about getting involved with it. The theme for our general meeting this spring is coffee, which is an idea I have had for a while. Not only do I have a personal interest in the topic, but I also knew a good lecturer who could cover the health and sensory aspects. In the past, we have had an event about ice cream, because I had a contact who could give a presentation on that topic, so I really feel that I can contribute something.”

“When we arrange these events, I am in contact with the presenters, so it is a good way to meet future employers. In IDA Food Science, I also get in touch with a lot of graduates who work in the industry and who have the same background as me.”