"If anyone knows what I'm talking about using the knowledge of science to find answers and solutions for practice, it's Merel. I think The People Society really exemplifies that!
It is great that she uses the knowledge from her dissertation to make a difference for organizations. To help them move forward and tackle societal challenges with evidence-based answers and solutions. Love it!"
Fanny Kuijper - Neuropsychologist & Guest lecturer - Máxima Medical Center
"A sailing proverb goes: No wind blows favorably to him who does not know which harbor he will reach, but that certainly does not apply to Merel, she knows exactly which harbor she wants to go to. I admire Merel's perseverance and ambition, by pursuing a PhD externally, wanting to introduce a new concept to the literature, doing qualitative and quantitative research and collecting data independently. Like everything she does, she also tackled our meetings thoroughly. She was always extremely well prepared. Furthermore, Merel is a huge perfectionist and super creative, as demonstrated by the layout of her dissertation and the so-called Layman's Talk provided with self-created illustrations.
Merel has completed a very nice dissertation mainly on her own, with some guidance from us. This is not the end point, of course, but actually just the beginning, because by founding her company, The People Society (anno 2020), she is helping organizations prevent people from being locked into their jobs."
Prof. Dr. Dorien Kooij - Professor, Department of Human Resources Studies - Tilburg University
"Being locked at your job..... It is still a largely hidden phenomenon, but it affects a significant number of individuals, according to research. This hidden problem has been made visible by Merel.
Meanwhile, Merel and her organization The People Society relentlessly draw attention to it during lectures, company visits, in the media, and through her podcast. As her PhD research shows, being locked at your job has all kinds of negative consequences, such as deception and frustration, lower performance, but also in some cases it even leads to burnout.
She inspires organizations to make this problem open for discussion, and to take measures, such as trainings for managers, but she also empowers people on an individual level. People who recognize themselves in her message, and feel encouraged by her to tackle their own situation.
And I am very proud that I have been able to coach two people from Merel her network who decided that they no longer wanted to stay locked in their current job, and therefore took the step to a new future. Both are well advanced in their search, and I am confident that they will soon find a new job. A job where they will flourish and where they will regain the pleasure and satisfaction they so long for.
Our collaboration is so successful because we complement each other: Merel provides the theoretical basis and carries the message, I offer practical help in the form of coaching to people who have been inspired by Merel to take steps. Together we break the taboo."
Simône Verlaan - Career Coach - Weg naar Succes
"I got to know Merel as a very skilled and reliable colleague. I experienced our working relationship as very pleasant. She is professional, takes responsibility and initiative. For example, she organized and conducted an online workshop for the Knowledge Circle during Corona as moderator. She is professionally strong and an equal discussion partner for organizations from the field, but was also a committed supervisor for our students."
Ied ter Laan - Team leader Business Administration program - University of Applied Science Amsterdam
"With Merel I had the opportunity to organize an expert seminar for POSG and from A to Z it went smoothly and pleasantly. She has good theoretical knowledge, but also knows how to translate this into practice. This made it an interesting afternoon. It is very pleasant to work with Merel. She says what she does and does what she says! She thinks along and is open to feedback. I can recommend working with Merel! "
Jolanda Roest - Senior Advisor Mobility - POSG
"Merel gave a talk to our team about her research on locked at the job. As a team we are working on the sustainable employability of military personnel, which makes Merel's topic very relevant. She enthusiastically gave a talk, the content of which was clear and inspiring. Afterwards, we entered into a conversation together about what role being locked at the job plays within the Department of Defense, and what we could possibly change about this. This was a great discussion, with concrete pointers. After the lecture we received from Merel the 'Stay on Track Check', with questions that help to start the conversation about this important topic with employees."
dr. Rebecca Bogaers - Core expert on mental strength, Sustainable Healthy Employability - Ministry of Defense.
"Merel is not only an expert in her field, but also a lovely professional to work with. For the members of the Dutch Work Happiness Network she gave a talk on the results of her PhD research. In consultation we adjusted the format to what would work in this seminar: not only knowledge transfer but also space for interaction and discussion of how to apply this knowledge. The knowledge but also the way of working and the way Merel was able to connect her insights to our theme - happiness at work - means that even months later members still refer back to what they learned there. Valuable!"
Nancy Peeters - Owner - Netwerk Werkgeluk