Nichlas og Pia

Palsgaard Spær: Pia’s family has been employed in the same company for five generationsPalsgaard Spær:

At Palsgaard Spær, which has its head office in Hampen, central Jutland, a very special family story unfolds for Pia Kristensen. Her family has worked in the company for the past five generations. The recipe for the enduring family tradition has been a spacious workplace with good development opportunities and good colleagues.

In recent years, Danes have changed jobs like never before. According to the Danish Employers’ Association, one in three employees resigned from their jobs in 2022, which is historically the highest rate of departure. At the same time, almost 4 out of 10 people started a new job during 2022.

However, the wage earners’ urge to change jobs is not a trend experienced at Palsgaard Spær in Hampen. Here, both in production and in the office, there is generally a high seniority. In fact, the company can boast that as many as five generations – from great-grandfather to great-grandson – have worked in the company for many years.

As the fourth generation employed at Palsgaard Spær, Pia Kristensen and her family can tell many stories from the company, which she considers part of the family history. She herself celebrated her 40th anniversary two years ago, and she is pleased that her son, as the fifth generation member, is also employed at Palsgaard Spær.

– My family’s history with Palsgaard Spær goes all the way back to my great-grandfather, who was chairman of the old sawmill from around 1915 until 1932. Since then, both my grandfather and father have worked here. My maternal grandfather was employed for a full 60 years and was at the Queen’s to receive the 50-year merit medal. I myself joined the company in 1982 as an office trainee. Today, I work with the drawing of rafters after having been around most of the company and tried out several work areas, says Pia Kristensen, who is currently a case manager at Palsgaard Spær, and continues:

– Now my son, as the fifth generation member, has also started in the company, where he is training as an automation technician and deals with the company’s technology and robot system. Even though we are not in the same place in the company, it is fun to have a family member in the workplace again, because previously my husband also worked here, and my daughter was piccoline for a period.

Corporate strategy with a focus on employees

Pia Kristensen considers Palsgaard Spær a good workplace with many opportunities, and she also does not believe that five generations of the family would have found their way to the company if there had not been positive stories to tell at home.

– Palsgaard Spær has always floated in the air as a possibility when you live in a small town like Hampen. But having said that, we in my family have only recommended the place to each other because we have been happy to work here. When I had a blood clot in my heart in 2021, I experienced how the management supported the employees, and I was given more opportunities for homework and flexible hours. As long as you can prove that you are loyal, stable and a good employee, you get plenty of freedom under responsibility, says Pia Kristensen.

According to Tobias Smith, who is the managing director of Palsgaard Spær, a story like that of Pia Kristensen’s family is not something that the company has come to sleep on. Because there is a great focus on creating a spacious workplace where employees feel ownership:

– The employees at Palsgaard Spær have generally been employed by the company for many years, and we have a high seniority within all professional areas. In production, across our departments throughout Denmark, there is actually at least a seniority of ten years, with the exception of the production in Slagelse, which we opened five years ago, says Tobias Smith and continues:

– We also have many examples of employees who have looked for work elsewhere for a period, and then come back again. I myself was in another company for a few years almost 20 years ago, and then I was asked: “aren’t you coming home again?” I did, and it is very characteristic of Palsgaard Spær that we feel like one big family. But it is also an important part of our corporate strategy that we must be an attractive workplace with room for professional and personal development, because without the employees there is no Palsgaard Spær. It must be said that Pia’s family is an excellent example of how it has been successful for more than 100 years.

And if you ask Pia Kristensen if there is a 6th generation on the way, she is not completely dismissive:

– My grandchildren are only two and four years old, so they are not ready to enter the labor market yet, but you never know if they will follow in the family’s footsteps and get employment in Palsgaard Spær.

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