Experiments logo

Interview Martijn Michels

Martijn Michels has worked for a long time at a large corporate organization as Business Manager in the HR department. Since September 1st he is part of the team of Reward Value. Together with Martijn we look back on his first month.

New challenge

“I started as a research manager at Reward Value on September 1st. I worked for 20 years at Robeco, where I got to know Frederic. We have always worked pleasantly together and also kept in touch when Frederic left Robeco to set up Reward Value. I was always very interested in his research plans on executive remuneration. And as of now, I am actually involved.”

“Executive remuneration is a hot topic if you look at the politics. In the Netherlands but also worldwide.”

The first month

“The past month I have mainly read up. In background information, (current) studies and plans that are in place. I’ve already been introduced to various partners. I think it’s great to see the enthusiasm of all parties. You see there is a real need for what we are doing. Everyone is looking for an answer to the same question. I expect that we can play an important role in this, to be able to answer this question.”

What do you want to achieve in the coming year?

“We are mainly taking small steps when it comes to setting goals. Of course we have a conceptual plan for the longer term, but this can be fine-tuned in the interim. In fact, we look ahead a month at a time and make a plan for that period. You’re dependent on partners and how quickly the studies progress. I’m going to focus on the conviction barometer from The Diligent Institute in the coming period.”

“I hope that in a year’s time we will have been able to demonstrate that driver behavior changes if you reward them differently.”

Personal drive

“I really enjoy the collaboration with Frederic and Danique. I also enjoy working with SEO Amsterdam Economics and Diligent Institute (already). In doing so, you see that this whole research is more than an ‘ordinary’ job. There is a piece of intrinsic motivation behind everyone who contributes to this. I am very excited about my role, it fits well with my personal views.”


“By nature I am somewhat impatient, I like to see results quickly. I worked for 20 years in an organization where everything had to be finished yesterday. I realize that with this research it takes time and I am happy to do that. Furthermore, it is exciting because you have to wait and see if you are going to achieve the results you expect to achieve. My feeling now is that you will. You also want to make a change. You want it to become a matter of course that this method is applied within organizations. It takes a lot of players to make this happen.”