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 EY’s turn! This company has the number three spot in our Best Workplaces™ List in the Category Large! EY Belgium is an integrated professional services organisation - in their mindset, actions, and structure. They pride themselves on being a professional services firm that puts people at the organisation’s heart, not as a strategy, but by conviction. They are committed to building a better working world for their people, clients, and communities in all they do. Wim de Wit -HR Director- expresses unbelievable gratitude towards all the EY employees: “I can’t make a Best Workplace all by myself, so I want to thank everyone for achieving this amazing result!”!
Find out what we can learn from these great employers!
Bringing out The Best: An interview with EY HR Director Wim de Wit
According to you, what does a Great Place to Work® mean?
For me, a Great Place to Work is where you can give your best and be your best possible self. Your organisation can only be successful when your people are successful. If you can spread that state of mind to everyone, which is very ambitious, your organisation is excellent and successful, whilst being a fun place to work.
Does the label of being a Great Place to Work or being a Best Workplace go beyond good employer branding?
We participate in this Great Place to Work-trajectory because we believe it matters. Because we put our people at the organisation’s heart. This goes beyond just good employer branding at EY. It might seem cliché, but we don’t do this because of a strategy or just window dressing, but because we believe in it. We are convinced that it matters. You can only succeed at becoming a Great Place to Work when you do things sustainably and authentically. So not just for marketing purposes, but because it makes sense and will work in the long run. We can differentiate ourselves from other professional services organisations because we have the biggest heart for our people. And this might not be the first thing people associate with the consultancy sector, but at EY, it is the case.
I see our business as a good marriage between business and human needs. This is not easy but necessary. It is complex like mayonnaise is. Mayonnaise is complex because it has many ingredients and is challenging to make. They go hand in hand, and it works out perfectly when the mayonnaise “takes”.
Can you name one thing where you excel at?
One thing we excel at is our authenticity which means doing the things you say and promise. You need to think about how your decisions will influence your employees in every decision you make. The baseline is always the same in our policymaking and implementation: providing trust to our employees. An example is our approach to mobility, where people can opt for the combination of modes of transport that suit them best without making sacrifices. Additionally, EY did not make it mandatory to come back to the office. We politically mediated this by concluding that everyone should approximately work three days at the office and two days from home or at the client’s site. People still have the freedom to discuss it with their management to find a better agreement. This is an example of how we want to make a difference: if you give trust to your employees, then you will also get it back.
Making time for your people is essential. It is no rocket science, but in this VUCA-world, many things change, and the unpredictability is incredibly high. We saw this during COVID, but we, unfortunately, witnessed this as well with the crisis in Ukraine. Especially in this fast-changing world, it is essential to take some time to recover and reflect. And what we want to do now is let our people-managers know that they need to take time to listen to their people. This might not seem revolutionary, but a plant does not grow when you pull it. On the contrary, it does when you put it in good soil and water and give it sufficient attention. We are a people-centric business. Our baseline is ‘building a better world’, which primarily starts with ourselves.
What is one thing that you learned from last year during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The thing that touched me was to see how resilient our employees were. Living in a world with COVID-19 is not easy. We all need a sense of connection; that was also prominently the case at EY. Our employees showed resilience, which gives them highly positive energy. They always try to look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.
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?
They can always call me to exchange thoughts, preferably on a sunny terrace with a good glass.
More specifically, they can always contact me to discuss challenges and possible solutions in their business. Maybe we can inspire each other while exchanging HR practices oriented to the well-being of our employees and the company.
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.