Schoenen Torfs (a shoestore chain) and software company EASI have been named “Best Workplace” in Belgium. This acclamation is the result of the annual survey conducted by the Great Place to Work Institute Belgium.
Employees in Belgium spend an average 1,576 hours at work. “The way we work together and have fun with our colleagues determines a large part of our work experience”, says Dirk Buyens, CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute Belgium and Professor at Vlerick Business School. It is Vlerick Business School and the international Great Place to Work Institute that, in collaboration with Jobat and MARK Magazine, annually search for the “Best Workplaces” through their Great Place to Work research. Beyond abstraction, the practical question is what makes a great workplace?
Good workplaces are organizations where people have confidence in management, are proud of their job and enjoy working for their employer. “Great Place to Work looks at companies through two lenses,” says Dirk Buyens. “The Trust Index survey or employee survey examines how employees experience trust, pride and collegiality in their company. In addition, the Culture Audit questionnaire, the survey of HR managers and employees, evaluates the employers’ policy of the organizations”, explains Buyens. “Unique in this approach is that the evaluation by the employees takes precedence. Two thirds of the final score is determined by the results of the employees.”
Schoenen Torfs has now been named best workplace for the fifth year in a row, among large companies (more than 500 employees), ahead of Accent and McDonald’s Belgium. Among small companies (less than 500), Easi won for the fourth time in a row. AE was second and Secretary Plus third.
Contrary to popular conceptions, wages are not the primary factor. “There is no direct relationship between the wages you give your staff and the chance of finishing high in this list”, says Professor Buyens. This is reminiscent of a previous study by Vlerick Business School, which showed that the (financially) best performing companies pay their CEOs relatively less than average.
A total of 35 organisations received this recognition for their good employment practices. “A remarkable increase compared to last year,” notes Buyens. “More and more Belgian companies are investing in good employment practices.” However, the total average of all participating companies did not really increase. “The difference in earnings between companies that receive recognition and those that don’t receive them increased, compared to last year’s survey,” he added.
The Brussels Times