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Bringing out The Best - Blog series: An Interview with Protime People & Culture Manager Jonas Van Herck

Bringing out The Best - Blog series: An Interview with Protime People & Culture Manager Jonas Van Herck

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 Protime’s turn, which has the number three spot in our Best Workplaces™ List in the Category Medium! This company is a proud member of the SD Worx family and has become a successful European provider of HR software solutions and related services for Workforce Management, Time & Attendance, Access and Planning. Protime helps companies deal with time more efficiently and valuable with its solutions and expertise. “Make time valuable” is their vision. Jonas Van Herck -People and Culture Manager- is over the moon with this wonderful result. He “wants to thank every Protimer for helping the company become a Best Workplace for the 10th time in a row”.

Find out what we can learn from these great employers!

Bringing out The Best - Blog series: An Interview with Protime People and Culture Manager Jonas Van Herck

According to you, what does a Great Place to Work® mean?

A Great Place to Work is any organisation where trust is extremely high. For us, it means that every Protimer can be at their natural best. Creating that environment or having that ambition is what makes a company a Great Place to Work. Although, this is a journey of continuous improvement, to succeed the dream of becoming a Great Place to Work or even a Best Workplace must be present. Why wouldn’t you want to create an environment where all your talented people can exploit and explore all their ambitions and traits? In the end, it will let your company and your people grow. When your company grows, you can create opportunities for your people to grow as well. This is a great cycle we want to be a part of. This is not only great for our clients, but also for our Protimers, and for the company. It makes business sense. Starting internally is the best way to do something for your clients. Give meaning and purpose to your people, and then go the extra mile. The results are there: we are growing in the number of employees, revenue and everything we do! We want to give people a platform to work at their natural best, grow, and enjoy the journey.

Is it easy to become a Great Place to Work?

It is easy to have the ambition, to believe in it, but you can’t do it alone. It has to be a journey, a process, a continuous thing. You can’t just give it attention once a year and then hope for the best. You have to provide it with attention throughout the whole year. It is important that all your employees are part of this. I think that is where we succeed in our Great Place to Work story. This story is something everyone is willing to build on, do their best for it, and make it work. It is not the job of HR or me as a People and Culture Manager, but it is the job of all the 350 Protimers! This is also what makes it unique and rewarding. These things are not only working for the company but also for me as an individual. Is it easy? Well, I think you should always put it high on the agenda. Of course, it takes a lot of energy, but it is positive energy, and you are raising the bar as well.

How important is the label to you?

I believe that many companies have initiatives that are worthy to enhance the well-being and engagement of their employees. But to keep it all in one objective external brand and label that works both internally and externally. You make it internally tangible since you believe in it. When you can make this feeling externally, you can see the value of an objective brand. Other people recognise this, and when they have a specific idea of what the label means, then it is very powerful. They have expectations of what we do, and of course, it is up to us to make it a coherent story. But, the label is the collection of all we do and believe in.

Can you name one thing where you excel at?

I think every Protimer is responsible for the company, which is unique. Our ownership comes forward in everything we do while making a difference. It is our company; we want it to be a success. We own the company together. We involve everyone in our decisions; that is something that other companies don’t do.
And we do the same things for our clients; we want the best solution for them. The satisfaction of our clients is not something that you can only see in Excel or a score. We want our clients to say, “that was a really good solution Protime gave, and this team helped us; these guys know what they are doing”. We want to have that same feeling in the quality of our work.

What is one thing that you learned from last year during the COVID-19 pandemic?

What underestimated the power of being together physically in one place. We see the advantages of using the technology, but let’s be honest, there is nothing better than the real thing. Therefore, we organised the new office space especially for being together and exploiting that power. This way, we can communicate and connect. It is an open door, but I never thought that the effect of just being humans in the same space, working together on something you believe in, would have that kind of significant effect.

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?

If you want to know how to create actual ownership by your employees in your teams, call me!
The great thing at Protime is that we invest a lot of time and attention in our teams and team culture, and I think that not every company does this. We believe that even big companies can follow our model- not just the small ones. The mindset is that competitor colleagues can call me for everything, though for ownership in specific.

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.