The Best Workplaces™ label distinguishes the very best employers from the certified organisations. In Belgium, we determine three lists: Large, Medium and Small, depending on the organisation’s size. These companies have the highest levels of trust and the most inclusive cultures in Belgium. They have seized the opportunity to become better—to courageously connect in new ways, deepen their commitment to their communities, and get creative in how they care for their people.
For this year’s Best Workplaces event, we interviewed the top 3 companies recognised on our Best Workplaces™ 2022 lists. In this blog series, “Bringing out The Best”, we will share these interviews so you get to know these companies better. This week, it’s Bewire’s turn! This company is the deserved winner of our Small category! Bewire is a dynamic ecosystem for enterprise application development, analysis, design and software management. They connect different experts from multiple competence centres and come forward as one reliable team. Managing Partners Tom Stroobants and Jeroen Benats are incredibly grateful for their employees, making it to the Best Workplaces list two years in a row! They stand for 200% fun every day and live by the motto “work hard, play hard”.
Find out what we can learn from these great employers!
Bringing out The Best - Blog series: An Interview with Bewire Managing Partners Tom Stroobants & Jeroen Benats
According to you, what does a Great Place to Work® mean?
In the first place, a Great Place to Work is a safe environment where people are being held responsible for their tasks to keep the impact of the complex and uncertain VUCA-world we live in today as low as possible. It is a working place where our people are being helped to understand and accept both internal and external changes. It is a place where employees are free to experiment and are inspired to reach personal and professional potential. In short, every Bewirer always comes first in everything we do and every situation.
Do you find it essential to be a Great Place to Work?
Of course, Great Place to Work is a yearly benchmark for us. It is the affirmation that we are on the right track, that we give attention to the right aspects. It would be the second year in a row that we became a Best Workplace, and we are proud of it! Moreover, the Great Place to Work research is the new starting point for the year to come. Each year we put the bar higher in culture and employee experiences because this research shows us our improvement points.
We see the label of being a Great Place to Work as a characteristic of Bewire. We prove that we meet the criteria to receive this certification. It is always lovely as an organisation to get the recognition to be a Great Place to Work and Best Workplace. But is that the underlining reason that we do this? No, of course not! It is nice to have this employer branding, but this is the consequence of everything we do. Everything starts with every employee within Bewire and the culture we build around them.
How do you become a Great Place to Work?
By continuously measuring, analysing and improving! These three words fully capture the Bewire spirit! And this is not only in terms of the Great Place to Work research, but it applies to all aspects of the organisation. You can see it in the numbers, which is why this is so important. Though this needs to fit with your culture, you can’t just start two weeks before the evaluation of Great Places to Work and Best Workplaces; then, you won’t get far. It is a process that takes years to grow in it. It should become a habit. It is a repetitive process that needs to be fully embedded in your organisation.
Can you name one thing where you excel at?
What’s important is that people do what they love to do. They need to do things that give them energy, and that is what we try to help them with. Because if you get energy from your job, you will put your heart and soul into it. We stand for 200% fun in our organisation, and that is why “work hard, play hard” is already our motto for the last ten years!
Next to this, our organisation is also characterised by having an excellent bottom-up culture. We don’t have a lot of hierarchy, and we value ownership. Bewire is an ecosystem of multiple companies, and many of these companies are grown out of the initiatives of employees. These employees had ideas about a specific technology, methodology, etc. and then asked us if they could build something around it. We love to support these initiatives, and we even worked out a methodology platform which we hope will accelerate these initiatives even more!
What is one thing that you learned from last year during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Corona continues to have an impact. All people handle it differently. One consequence is finding a good balance between remote working and working at the office. How will the business offices look in the future, and are people willing to come back to work at the office? Will they want to come to the office at all? These are questions to which we need to find a good answer. We need to take the different needs of our people into account. Some people don’t want to come back to the office, while others yearn for it. We know it will not be easy, but perseverance is essential to us, so we want to develop the best solution to this challenge.
As a Great Place to Work, you are part of an ecosystem of like-minded organisations aiming to improve the employee experience—addressing your ‘co-competitors’, for what can they always call you?
Tom: They can always contact me to see how we at Bewire shape the bottom-up culture where we put our employees at the centre of our business. Therefore, our employees get the chance to start up their initiatives and get supported by us in working them out.
Jeroen: They can contact me to see how they can implement ownership in their organisation and create a frame where everybody can maximise their potential. Next to this, they can also contact me on how we made an inclusive organisation, where hierarchy does not exist or is at least minimised.
Are you inspired to become a Best Workplace? Join one of our info sessions to start your journey HERE! or gain unique insights into the best practices of Belgium’s Best Workplaces 2022 by downloading HERE our full report.