Tvilum has given me huge flexibility in my career 

Lisbeth Torp, our Head of Internal Sales and Shipping, has been with the company since the year 2000, which makes her a prime target to ask what has made her stay with Tvilum for so long and what makes Tvilum a great company to work for. Even more so when considering she took a short sidestep in her career but ended up „coming back home“ (according to her own words) and rejoining Tvilum. A couple of weeks ago, we got Lisbeth on the phone and had a pleasant chat on the past, present, and future of Tvilum, from her perspective. 

As already mentioned, Lisbeth joined Tvilum in the spring of 2000, initially as a Sales Assistant in the department handling sales to key accounts in France, where she spent the next eight years. The role was perfect for Lisbeth as she was able to balance raising three kids and working part-time doing what she loved at Tvilum. When her children grew older, Lisbeth gradually increased her workload. Flexibility is a word that comes up multiple times during our talk. It is something that Lisbeth values. 

After ramping up her hours to a full-time position, Lisbeth was offered two roles – those of a temporary department manager and personal assistant to the then European sales manager. As she didn´t see herself in a managerial role at that time, she ended up accepting the second one, where she says she learned a lot and gained a thorough understanding of our customers. That is something that has helped her in her career that has followed. 

The world is in constant motion, and after 2 years she was offered the same managerial role again and this time around she decided to try it and accepted. So, from 2010 she assumed the role of department manager for Southern Europe consisting of the French, Benelux, Italian, Spanish and Swiss markets.  

The crisis in 2013/2014 didn´t leave Lisbeth’s department untouched and the organization had to be downsized. In the wake of the crisis, Lisbeth was asked to take on the responsibility for the entire sales support function which she accepted. It was an exciting period at Tvilum as it saw the introduction of many regional offices – in Munich, in the UK and Chicago – reporting to Lisbeth.  

Since returning to Tvilum in 2019, Lisbeth has been responsible for internal sales and shipping. Lisbeth says internal sales and shipping are functions that are intertwined, so it made sense to combine their management into the same organization. 

It is working in different areas of the value chain, but always close to the customer, that has given Lisbeth a broad understanding of the market and our customers, and it continues to drive her also in her current role. 

Tvilum as an employer supports the development of its employees via its performance management process, which encompasses quarterly development discussions. These discussions focus on the past performance of the role, but equally also on the wellbeing of our employees. As an integral part of these discussions, they also focus on the wishes of the employee – which direction do they see themselves developing and which roles they would want to pursue in the future. It is all about listening to the employees and finding the best role for them in the organization. 

„It is all about listening to the employees, and together, finding the best role for them in the organization.“ 

To determine what puts a sparkle in her employee's eyes, Lisbeth uses a simple question: „When you get home in the evening and are happy and content – what did you work with today? “. According to Lisbeth, Tvilum is an open organization and even if the desired role is not available at the time, one's wishes are noted, and they might end up in their dream role once it opens in the future. Jobs and roles are constantly moved around – obsolete roles are discontinued, and new ones are created. For entirely new roles – eCommerce being a good example – external training is available to help employees settle into their new reality and hit the ground running. 

In terms of training, all training requests are handled by the HR department and Lisbeth has felt tremendous support from the team there to find training providers in the areas Tvilum considers a priority. A strategic approach to training the organization is also highlighted as a focus area in the Tvilum strategy, which shows the organization's commitment to helping its employees fully realize their potential – both professionally, but also personally.  

„It is the managers responsibility to guide their people in the right direction.“  

The interpretation of company culture is a deeply personal issue and people can perceive culture in separate ways. For Lisbeth, Tvilum culture entails respecting the areas of expertise of our coworkers and not judging their work in areas they are far more qualified to handle than yourself.  

“We have a mutual respect for each other’s areas.” 

In challenging times, like the past year and a half have been, cooperation between colleagues is especially important. It is only together how we can tackle the challenges of tough times and come out stronger on the other side.  

“When you come back from the holidays and find a box of chocolate from a neighboring department on your desk with a note recognizing your challenges and expressing hope for a better future, your heart just melts.” 

Tvilum is a great team and a great organization, says Lisbeth.  

“We at Tvilum are very humble about the success we are experiencing. We do not take out success for granted – we have been though trying times over the years and we know it takes hard work to be successful. It amazes me still to this day how engaged people are and how they want to be better tomorrow than they were today. Success can be fragile, and nobody can take anything for granted. We know we must fight for our success, and I mean it in a very positive way. That is what moves the company forward.”