EASI and Torfs retain their titles as Belgium's Best Workplaces 2016

For the second year in a row, EASI and Torfs are number 1 in their categories in the top 10 of Belgium's Best Workplaces 2016. The good scores obtained by the two companies are mainly due to their employee satisfaction levels. This is because the result of this annual, large-scale study by Vlerick Business School in collaboration with the Great Place to Work® Institute Belgium and media partner Jobat is based on an employee survey which determines two-thirds of the final score.

The study examines 3 aspects which characterise a Best Workplace: the employees' confidence in the management, the employees' pride in their job and the pleasure which they experience in the workplace (colleagues). The results are supplemented with an analysis of the personnel policy by means of a survey among the management and HR, which determines one-third of the final score.

The title of Belgium's Best Workplace 2016 makes EASI and Torfs good role models for people-centred, high-quality personnel policy.

Changes in position and newcomers

Among the small companies (FEWER than 500 employees), EASI can once again call itself the Best Workplace 2016.
According to Dirk Buyens (Professor of Human Resource Management), they won because they understand that autonomy in the workplace is crucial. “EASI empowers its employees, allowing them to take full advantage of the freedom they are given. In combination with a considerable reduction in control systems, this strengthens the sense of entrepreneurship and allows their employees to take the initiative to a far greater extent when performing their daily tasks.”

AE and Protime have also kept their places in the top 3. ORMIT rose by one place to number 4 and Mars Belgium even gained two places (5). AbbVie, which only made it into the top 10 for the first time last year, has made a significant leap from 10 to 6. Finally, there are no less than 3 newcomers: Secretary Plus (7), Solvus (8) and House of Talents (9). Handson & Partners fell 6 places, wrapping up the list in 10th place.

For the seventh time in a row, Torfs heads the top 10 list of large companies (OVER 500 employees). The company has been focusing on employee satisfaction for years and is a regular fixture in the top 3.
The focus has been on people since the company was founded, explains Dirk Buyens: “Torfs constantly strives to satisfy both its customers and its employees and feels that the two go hand in hand. The company calls this ‘360° consideration’. Torfs wishes to be known as the ‘most customer-friendly retailer’ and the roll-out of this new vision and the accompanying anticipated behaviour in the stores was therefore the company's biggest HR project in 2015. This global vision was co-created, allowing all the employees to be involved right from the start!

There are no changes among the top 3 large companies either: both Accent Jobs and McDonald’s Belgium are in exactly the same position as before, in second and third place. Start People has made a good leap from 8 to 4, causing Adecco to move down by one place (5). Monsanto has stayed at number 6. As a result, KBC has shifted from 5 to 7. The cleaning company Care has made a comeback, reappearing in the top 10 at number 8. Media Markt rose by one place to 9 and newcomer EY brings the top 10 to a nice conclusion.

Special Awards for 3 outstanding business cases


Care understands that employee appreciation is crucial. So on Cleaners' Day, the company wanted to give all its employees an extra token of appreciation for their daily efforts. All the employees received a card through the post on the day, congratulating them. In addition, they were all given the chance to enter a competition to win a manicure or pedicure, simply by saying why they were proud of their job at Care. Clients could also nominate a cleaner whom they felt deserved recognition!
Other nominees were: EASI and Start People.

Strategic Talent Development

ORMIT aims to help people grow and take full advantage of their potential. The company helps people to discover their unique talents and make the most of them. In their opinion, everyone should grow as an individual and one does not necessarily develop with a specific job in mind. In the first instance, it's all about getting to know yourself: who am I? What do I want? What can I do? These are the questions used to steer personal development at ORMIT.
Other nominees were: AE and KBC.

Employer branding

According to Torfs, the external Employer Brand is intrinsically linked to the company's internal HR efforts. Torfs is convinced that happy employees mean happy customers and vice versa. It is therefore very important for the organisation to be genuinely friendly towards its employees if they are expected to demonstrate the same behaviour to customers. They regard the Best Workplaces label as a second cornerstone of their Employer Brand. A few years ago, when they decided somewhat impetuously to participate, they could never have predicted the positive impact it would have on their organisation. And finally, they are constantly trying to reinvent themselves when recruiting new staff. Their job site has a fun online questionnaire which immediately shows candidates whether their profile matches Torfs' values!
Other nominees were: AbbVie, Protime and Adecco.

Lessons to be learned: what makes ‘Best Workplaces’ different from other companies?

The four incentives for commitment in these companies are as follows:

  • Working environment
  • Belief in senior management
  • Empowerment
  • Training and development opportunities

A few fun facts about the Best Workplaces 2016:

  • Last year, the Best Workplaces covered over 216,650 km during the course of joint sporting activities.
  • Half of the Best Workplaces organise international city trips with their employees.
  • 2 Best Workplaces have their own music band.
  • 90% of the employees of Best Workplaces feel that their management team is competent to manage the organisation.
  • 82% of the employees of Best Workplaces feel they are always well informed.
  • The employees have never been so happy with the training and development opportunities which are available to them.
  • Best Workplaces provide an average of 58 hours of formal training per year.
  • 80% of the Best Workplaces invest in training courses for the individual development of their employees, i.e. training courses which are not directly linked to the employee's job.

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