TMC Employeneur Awards: Asterios Pliatskas and Christos Vichas
‘It happened during a regular meeting with my Account Manager,’ recalls TMC Employeneur Asterios Pliatskas. ‘It completely took me by surprise. We were talking about my current project at DAF, when my Account Manager said: “wait a second, I have something for you”, and he opened his bag. Inside was the Bronze Employeneur Award.’ That the prize was to be shared with his colleague Christos Vichas was slightly less of a surprise: ‘Christos and I work together very closely. We often try to push each other forward and we constantly motivate each other to step outside our comfort zones.’
Looking beyond boundaries and role descriptions
The word ‘colleagues’ barely begins to cover their relationship: besides being fellow TMC Employeneurs and fellow countrymen (they’re from Greece), Christos and Asterios also work in the same team at DAF, both in the role of Automotive Systems Engineer. Within their team of around 20 specialists, they’re even in the same sub-team of three. ‘So you can see why, at TMC and DAF, we’re called “The Greek Twins”,’ says Christos Vichas, with a laugh. ‘Sometimes, our co-workers combine our names and call us “Christerios”.’
When the Greek Twins started working together at DAF, almost two years ago, they’d already known each other for some time. ‘We followed the same studies at Eindhoven University of Technology. Even then, we worked in projects together,’ says Christos. ‘We also graduated together, and the field we’re working in - Automotive Industries - is not the biggest field there is. So while it was somewhat of a coincidence that we ended up working on the same project, the chances were quite high.’
Currently, at DAF, their focus is mainly on developing advanced driving assistance systems for trucks. ‘We received the Award for our performance in 2017 and 2018,’ Asterios explains. ‘I think there are two reasons why we won it. Firstly, we showed what you could call typical Employeneurship skills at DAF: we were more than just employees. We’re no nine-to-five-workers, and we’re both very interested in bringing the company forward: not just by taking initiative and creating proposals to improve production, but also by bringing people together.’
Secondly, Asterios and Christos both participate in all kinds of extracurricular activities: they try to attend as many pizza sessions and Q-meetings as they can, and they’re always glad to introduce potential new Employeneurs to the company - several of whom actually became successful Employeneurs themselves. They also helped programming a small robot, which was demonstrated during the opening of TMC’s new building. In different ways, the Greek Twins are great examples of active participation and crossing boundaries, or, in one word: Employeneurship.
‘I’m very happy with the Award,’ says Christos. ‘I’m glad that both our work at DAF and our other efforts have been acknowledged by TMC. Of course, I thanked both my Account Manager and the Awards Committee when I was handed the prize - but I also made them a promise: I told everybody that I’ll keep on working in the same way - that is, I’ll keep trying to improve myself. I’m sure Asterios feels the same way. Next time, maybe we’ll win a Silver Employeneur Award!’