Transforming companies into the Best Workplace

Nicolas Bronchart is not only preoccupied with the financial health of his company but is also interested in the well-being of his staff.

His style of management encompasses participatory management, increased collaboration and teamwork and the cultivation of positive engagement and intent.

IBA’s flagship offering is its ground-breaking proton therapy solutions in the fight against cancer. The company has grown from strength to strength and now numbers 1,600 staff, with 25% of them recruited over the last year.

A few years ago the company, presented with a huge increase in their market share, decided to review two obvious areas of their company; their strategy and their structure.

In addition, they took this opportunity to revisit an often-neglected and key part of the puzzle, one that is the glue that binds people within an organisation: the company culture.

Faced with this great opportunity, Nicolas gladly joined the team overseeing this company-wide transformation.

This work seems to have paid off, with IBA entering the list of Top 10 Best Workplaces in Belgium in 2017

This work seems to have paid off, with IBA entering the list of Top 10 Best Workplaces in Belgium in 2017

The 14 principles incorporated into the company culture can be loosely classed into the following 6 categories:

1.     Increasing support for employees – listening to their needs and adapting as appropriate:   the importance of feeling that one has a meaningful job and access to relevant training.

2.     Building a culture of co-creation and collaboration – This was done by emphasizing the values of teamwork rather than competitiveness, showing how much stronger a company can become by knowledge sharing and supporting each other.

3.     Introducing common vocabulary to aid with communication and adoption of new concepts – This ranged from novel ways to identify personal and company-wide priorities as well as introducing ways to acknowledge how our moods can affect us in daily work life.

4.     Providing tools for self-awareness by using the tools of reflection, a mood identifier and awareness of our personal filters. It was important that this was done at every level of the organisation. Thus they worked with management to raise awareness of the “shadow of the leader”, how unidentified blind spots of leaders can affect their teams and organisations in a negative way.

Providing tools for self-awareness by using the tools of reflection, a mood identifier and awareness of our personal filters.

5.     The importance of presence – They introduced meetings where mobile phones were put aside, no messages or e-mails checked nor calls taken during meetings. This allowed for better focus and more efficient meetings. The use of mood identifiers also grounded the person in the present moment as it was a great way of taking stock of one’s current mood and feelings. It also allowed staff an avenue for communicating their current state.

6.     Building positive behaviour – embracing the words, “change your mind and you change your world” by introducing ways to practice appreciation each day. By amplifying positivity there was an increased cycle of positivity which leads to a more positive working environment.

In order to ensure the longevity of this programme, the company has embedded these behaviours into everyday situations and also holds an annual camp.

Nicolas was quite clear that he did not want to impose KPIs on his staff as he did not want this to be a numbers-driven exercise, but rather more about human engagement.

However the results do speak for themselves with IBA now in the list of Top 10 Best Workplaces in Belgium. It is inspiring to see more companies adopting a mindful leadership approach and to see the positive benefits it brings to both the individual and the organisation.

The Pulzz company strongly believes that happiness and well-being at work make for more productive and profitable companies. We do this by:

a) Offering management programmes to organisations, based on mindfulness, attention training and the latest research in neuroscience

b) Promoting a more human-centric approach to management.