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Pioneers of Trust: Fost Plus

Pioneers of Trust: Fost Plus

Meet Fost Plus

Getting business done: the Fost way

As a leader in the recycling sector, sustainability is day to day business for Fost Plus. They manage to combine their core focus on environmental sustainability with a strong commitment to social sustainability. Their 2023 Great Place To Work certification is proof of that commitment. Throughout their journey, it quickly became clear that Fost Plus has its own way of “making things work”. They harmoniously blend a fun workplace culture with operational excellence by placing a central emphasis on employee trust. Laurence Havrenne, CFO, and Valérie Bruininckx, PR Manager, dive into how Fost Plus builds this trust-centric environment. Although the phrase “work hard, play hard” might sound cliché, Fost Plus redefines it by adding a unique dimension that reflects their distinctive way of working.

Balanced success: Work-life integration and achievement

“I know it’s cliché, but we really have a “work hard, play hard” culture,” Laurence says with a laugh. She attributes the consistent, strong results of Fost Plus to this mindset, particularly valuable in economically uncertain times. “This mindset brings the headspace to perform at our best.” The company also credits its focus to an extensive employee-focused “well-being at work”-program. “Our program isn’t just imposed top-down. It really lives on the work floor!” Laurence highlights, citing examples like colleagues playing paddle together during lunchtime. Valérie appreciates this healthy environment most about her workplace, noting, “There is clear attention to work-life balance.” Indeed, 98% of employees consider Fost Plus to be a great place to work. Valérie further elaborates, “Fost Plus wants to ensure everyone can perform at the top of their game. To do so, employees need to be happy and have the headspace. Not many organisations understand that.”

GPTW FostPlus

Balancing this with KPIs and targets seems challenging to many organisations, but Laurence provides insight into their approach. “Like any organisation, we of course have clear yearly targets to achieve,” she says, “But we maintain balance by breaking down company targets into clear, meaningful objectives for each employee individually.” In doing so, Fost Plus makes these targets manageable, ensuring everyone stays afloat. Valérie confirms the effectiveness of this approach, “I have a good balance between the freedom and trust to do my job and the right framework and support to make it happen.” She credits this to the “get shit done”-mentality at Fost Plus. “I am held accountable for my projects and have the confidence of management to complete my goals,” she asserts. “The empowerment is very important to me,” Valérie adds.

When empowerment makes collaborative pride grow

Empowerment is a fundamental principle at Fost Plus, as emphasised by Laurence: "As leaders, we use empowerment to help our teams reach their goals." This approach fosters not just risk-taking and innovation among team members, but also instils a strong sense of corporate pride. The Trust Index supports this, showing that 98% of employees are proud to tell others they work at Fost Plus. Valérie resonates with this, viewing her job as more than “just a job”. She praises Laurence's leadership style, which focuses on encouragement and autonomy, as key in creating this sense of pride. "We feel empowered to propose ideas and innovate. We have the freedom to try new things and even to make mistakes," she notes. This strategy allows each employee to experience and celebrate their own small successes, a practice valued at Fost Plus . “A great leader celebrates the small successes!” Laurence adds with a smile.

PlanetGroup Leadership

Laurence further notes, "A great leader is also close to their team." This closeness is pivotal at Fost Plus because it nurtures a trust-centred and empowering environment. Not only individual empowerment, but especially team empowerment leads to extraordinary outcomes they say. “When the right mix of personalities come together at the right time, it’s like magic ”. The team's unity, particularly in challenging times, showcases their strength and cohesion. Clearly, at Fost Plus, camaraderie is much more than just a word.

Moving past the Good News show

Camaraderie shines as a core value at the organisation and is reflected in being the top-scoring domain on its Trust Index. This sense of camaraderie is deeply rooted in a culture of open and transparent communication. Laurence highlights the importance of this, stating, "An organisation should foster smooth and regular communication on what matters to the company and its people, including the tough topics and slow-moving decisions." Valérie complements this view by describing Fost Plus’ culture as "a very open and welcoming culture, in which respect is crucial and everyone brings their unique qualities and experience to the table.” This focus on openness and mutual respect is essential in creating the strong bonds among team members. 

Camaraderie FostPlus

Integral to the communication culture at Fost Plus is an emphasis on feedback. Laurence explains, "Fost Plus has a strong feedback culture. It's not just one-way communication. Leadership should actively act on feedback from their team, and also dare to provide honest feedback.” Valérie agrees, saying, “The door is always open to ask for feedback, input, or to use as a sounding board.” This philosophy of open dialogue creates a natural exchange of ideas and feedback between different levels within the organisation. Laurence notes, “By keeping communication lines open across all levels, we remain close to operations, foster innovation, and cultivate a ‘can do’ mentality. ” This approach to feedback plays a vital role in the dynamic culture at Fost Plus.

Making your organisation work: the Fost and Great way

Needless to say, there’s no getting around the strong culture at Fost Plus. From a good work-life balance, employee empowerment and open feedback to destroying your co-workers at a friendly paddle game: it’s clear Fost Plus has its own way of operating. “We always believed in our strong company culture, but it’s enlightening to see it reflected in our Great Place To Work results”, Laurence says. The Great Place To Work trajectory not only provided them with insights into their organisational culture and human resources management, but also deepened their appreciation for trust. When it comes to trusting employees, Fost Plus understood that the key lies in making strategic investments in people, their working conditions, and the overall work culture. Laurence sums it up perfectly , 'In a nutshell, if you invest wisely in your people, they'll ride with you to the moon...and beyond!"


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