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Becoming the Best: Bank Vank Breda

Becoming the Best: Bank Vank Breda

The Best Workplaces™ label distinguishes the very best employers from the certified organisations. In Belgium, we determine three lists for large, medium, and small organisations. These companies have the highest levels of trust and the most inclusive cultures in Belgium. To share the example of these organisations that managed to be great employers, Great Place to Work® organised the “Learn from The Best” Inspiration Session once again. Here, everyone got some tips and tricks from the leaders of companies recognised on the Best Workplaces 2022 list.

During this session, and after a short introduction about the Great Place to Work® philosophy and services, I had the chance to listen to Marianne Van Erck, HR Manager of Bank Van Breda. She took the floor to share the secret ingredients of how Bank Van Breda got the outstanding average score of 92% on their Great Place to Work employee engagement survey (Trust Index™).

Becoming The Best: Bank Van Breda

Here are 4 tips from Bank Van Breda to achieve an exceptional Trust Index score!

1. Culture is key

“When it comes right down to it, relationships of trust make the difference.” All comes back to culture, especially during the pandemic. It’s not about just defining some values but making them alive in daily practices. This makes Bank Van Breda a Best Workplace. This company does not have much hierarchy, which leads to everybody having a lot of autonomy and responsibility. Each individual is valued and is not just another number. It is a people-first organisation where employees are proud to work.

2. Invest in unforgettable recruitment and onboarding

The employee journey starts with the proper recruitment and selection. At Bank Van Breda, the first interview is not done by HR but by the hiring manager to let applicants know how involved they are. Here, they do not solely focus on competencies but look that there is a cultural fit. The contract offer is done by a member of the executive committee and gives an opportunity to meet before the start. During their onboarding, starters receive a warm welcome from all their colleagues, get an onboarding plan, and they can join onboarding activities (e.g., bowling, axe throwing, and curling) to meet other new joiners and create a connection from the start. This way, Bank Van Breda makes sure that the starter gets a positive first impression. Moreover, 30% of the recruitments happen through referrals. Saying that “their people are their ambassadors” would be an understatement!

3. Install “co-creation teams.”

Co-creation teams include representatives from all over the company, from various departments and functions. They work on specific topics and get the autonomy to put their ideas into practice. For example, Bank Van Breda is proud to have already a happy team, an eco-team, a B-fit team, and a diversity team. For instance, the “happy-team” organised quizzes, music festivals, and walking events during the pandemic. Sometimes, events are joint efforts with the HR- and marketing teams. The B-fit team already realised an online Strava tournament, padel tournaments, healthy challenges for think pink, and an extra bike allowance. Thus, they give attention to sports events and focus on health more broadly. By providing these platforms, employees can find each other in these interests and put their forces together to make an impact! Also, various project teams have participants from different departments: IT, Operations, and Marketing. Co-creation is really the common way of working within Bank Van Breda.

4. Apply “You-time.”

Bank Van Breda focuses on long careers, so continuous dialogue about what motivates employees and how they want to develop, grow and heighten their employability is needed. They abandoned the formal feedback systems and replaced them with “You-time”. Throughout the careers of employees, they want to know how they feel. At any time, employees can take the initiative to plan a meeting with their manager about a topic of their choice. Once a year, employees write down a summary of their motivation, development, and employability, which the executive committee reviews. This way, the executive committee, including the CEO, invests much time in getting to know their employees, which also shows that there are very few layers within the organisation.

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