"It's rewarding to know our customers will get even better service."  

Delhaize Belgium smiling in front of the office

Joyce Timmerman

Content Developer

Logo Delhaize Belgium

Everyone who starts a job at Delhaize Belgium undergoes some kind of training. It’s Joyce Timmerman’s job to ensure that every training program teaches exactly the right skills, so that all associates can perform to the best of their abilities. “It’s great to continuously come up with creative ways to present the training content. And it’s even more rewarding to see it come to life and have a real impact on our associates.”  

Everyone from cashiers, stockers and bakery staff to floor and store managers receives training. In her role as Associate Development Content Developer at Delhaize Belgium, Joyce makes sure that every training program is not only informative and insightful, but inspiring, too. “In order for information to stick in the mind, it needs to be presented in a creative and innovative manner. It’s my job to translate facts that are sometimes quite ‘dry’ into an enticing, interesting learning trajectory.” 

 What does it take to do her job well? “Well, first of all, a good understanding of what it is exactly that trainees need to learn. To gather all this information, I work closely with the different departments. If we’re developing training for HR associates, I sit down with the HR Business Partner to discuss what needs to be addressed in these workshops. The same goes for training in logistics, IT or any other field. In this way, I get great insight into every department and the people working for it. I really get to know the core of the business. It’s one of the reasons I love my job as much as I do.”  

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A team effort 

Joyce is one of two content developers on the Learning & Development Team, which consists of 15 people. She’s held this position for a year now, and while she focuses on retail training, the other content developer is responsible for training in the logistics sector. “Together with the project managers on our team, we establish what should be part of the training and what shouldn’t. It’s really a collaborative effort, in which I feel I’m consistently given more freedom and responsibility.” 

After all, in order to successfully make sure that associates continue to acquire new skills and knowledge, Joyce herself needs to keep learning, too. “That’s easy,” she remarks, smiling. “Because I work with so many skilled, experienced people, I learn every day, all day. Our team is a great mix of people with different specialties and skills. Most of us are in our early thirties, but we also have our ‘bompa’ (‘grandpa’ in Flemish), who has some 20+ years of experience under his belt. We have weekly team meetings, in which we discuss best practices and cover lots of different topics, trends, tips and tricks. We tell each other about the projects we’re currently working on and talk about challenges we’ve encountered along the way. Sharing knowledge is extremely important at Delhaize – we constantly push each other to do better. If I find myself struggling with a particular format or topic, there’s always somebody out there who’s willing to help. We take our work very seriously at this company. That said, we also joke around and often have drinks together after work.”  

A big part of Joyce’s learning also takes place via – you guessed it – formal training! In the four years that Joyce has worked for Delhaize Belgium, she has undertaken various training courses. “There’s a huge catalog with training sessions available for associates. We also have access to the LinkedIn Learning platform, which offers dozens more learning opportunities. Taking external courses is an option, too. In my previous role as Audiovisual Coordinator, I wanted to improve my skills in the area of animation videos, so I took a course in this field. My manager fully supported me, and the company even paid for it! Delhaize really invests in people who want to grow, and in so doing, they enhance the company too.”  

Mission accomplished 

Improving the business is Joyce’s main motivation when designing every training program. “By making sure all our associates have the right skills and tools to deliver their best work, we can better serve our customers. That’s our ultimate goal. I love that my job allows me to truly have an impact on that goal. For example, we recently trained store associates on our range of vegetarian products. I was responsible for the entire presentation of the training, which featured a lot of interactive elements combined with a strong focus on the different products. Out of the 30 participants, 28 had never tasted these items before, even though they pass through their hands daily. After the workshop, the trainees felt confident they could now do a much better job when advising customers about these products. It’s very rewarding to know that our associates learned something new, and that as a result, our customers will get an even better service. It gives me a ‘mission accomplished’ feeling.”  

When it comes to advice about food, Joyce can share a few insights herself. She’s a passionate cook and expresses this love by posting recipes on Instagram every week. “I like to cook simple, healthy meals, usually made from whatever I have in the fridge that day. I often take a bunch of different ingredients and then use my creativity to turn these into a delicious meal. My boyfriend, Maxim, never cooks – that’s my job. He chops the vegetables; I do the rest.”  

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Name: Joyce Timmerman (1996) 

Started working at Delhaize Belgium: August 2018 (although she started as a store associate in 2016) 

Studied: BA Communication Management & BA Journalism (Thomas More University of Applied Sciences, 2018) 

Living with: My boyfriend, Maxim 

Hobbies: Cooking and playing the piano 

Wake me up in the middle of the night for: Fries or sushi. Or both 

Favorite holiday destination: Southeast Asia (we’re planning to travel to Vietnam next year) 

Life-changing event: Moving from my hometown of Liedekerke to live with Maxim in Ghent 

Biggest source of inspiration: My family and friends 

Best advice I’ve ever received: “Follow your dreams!”  

This is my week


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