Great places to work! And beyond

20 Mar 2017

Last Tuesday, we attended the Award show Best Workplaces 2017 in Brussels.

Great Place to work is a global research institute that helps identify, create and sustain great workplaces in more than 50 countries. Their research is based on data representing more than 12 million employees in + 7.000 organizations of varying sizes, industries, maturity and structures.

Based on an in-depth analysis of the employees’ perception of their workplace and a thorough evaluation of the organisation’s HR practices, Great place to work Belgium released its 15th annual Best Workplaces list.

To top it all off, Katleen de Stobbeleir, Professor in Leadership & Partner at Vlerick, shared some valuable learnings on productivity, leadership and how to beware of the ‘hero leader syndrome’.

Happy to share with you some key take aways from the inspiring keynote by Katleen:

We live in a Red queen’s race economy

The red queen is a character in Alice in Wonderland. No matter how hard she tries, Alice can't manage to keep up with the red queen in Lewis Carroll’s book Alice in Wonderland. And that’s exactly what we encounter nowadays: we can’t seem to keep up with the enormous speed of change in our workplace.

Katleen claims that’s it’s not about trying to run harder or work harder.

It’s about working differently and about leading differently.

Let go of the Superchicken model!

Katleen also shared with us the story of superchickens: organizations are often run according to “the superchicken model,” where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: “Companies don’t have ideas. Only people do.”

Beware of the hero leader syndrome

Especially in turbulent times, employees seem to expect leaders who do the thinking for them. And when the going gets though, that is exactly how leaders tend to behave.

“Swoop-in and save the day” leaders are actually inhibiting workforce productivity!

Rescuing is not the same as leading.

Moreover, it is also a bad thing for the leader who tends to get overworked by always trying to 'fix things'. I found this great (old) article on forbes about the problem with heroic leaders.

According to Katleen there are three keys to overcome this syndrome:

  • Put people before employees
  • Put purpose before targets
  • But learning before achievments

She also shared with us some great examples of how to foster a learning climate:

  • Introduce a why not culture, just like Tesla does
  • Start with reverse coaching, just like microsoft
  • For every new rule, one rule has to go, that’s what LinkedIn believes in
  • And coca cola encourages their employees to share their tops AND their flops

It takes courage to stand up and speak. It also takes courage tot sit down and listen

More learnings to share by these award winning companies who can now call themselves ' a great place to work' #Congratulations

Top 10 < 500 employees

  1. EASI
  2. AE
  3. Thuiszorg vleminckveld
  4. Protime
  5. Secretary plus
  6. ORMIT
  7. House of talents
  8. Solvus
  9. Abbvie
  10. Actief Interim

top 10 > 500 employees

  1. Torfs
  2. Mc Donald’s Belgium
  3. Accent Jobs
  4. Start People
  5. Adecco
  6. KBC
  7. IBA
  8. Carglass®
  9. Media markt
  10. EY

Special awards

  • Innovating hiring practices: Accent jobs
  • Employee involvement: Protime
  • Well-being: thuiszorg vleminckveld

Congratulations to all these organisations that have managed to transform into great workplaces!

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