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Best Workplace in Belgium 7 Times in a Row: Here’s How We Did It

04/02/2022
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Forster Perelsztejn
Marketing Advisor

Easi has been around for 22 years. And it's been elected Best Workplace in Belgium (under 500 employees) every year since 2015.

That's about a third of the company's existence. And it has doubled in size over that time.

We've been able to maintain our culture and DNA from 1 to 400 employees. How cool is that?

And we're not counting on stopping here.

But how do you offer, year after year, a work environment that your employees love and that brings results to your clients?

Sure, financial perks and company cars are nice. But all the other companies that compete for the Best Workplace title also have that.

And yet, Easi keeps coming first!

Nothing happens by chance.

It all started with the vision of Easi's founder, Salvatore Curaba. He wanted to build an organization based on values. These values have evolved, but they stay true to the initial vision. They are excellence, positivity, caring, responsibility, and commitment.

The other part of that vision is that he wanted to share that organization with its members.

That's Easi, and we're replicating and scaling that vision every day.

How? Just read on.

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Investment in people

Everyone is hired as if they're going to stay forever.

And a lot do!

If you speak with most of our managers and executives, you'll realize that Easi is their first job.

That's because we don't simply attract talent, we do everything we can to keep it.

No one joins Easi just to fill a vacancy. We hire people because we believe in them and because they have a place in our midst. And, as such, we invest in them.

If anyone requires training that will help them do their job better and benefit the organization, there'll be time and budget for it.

But we don't only invest in skills. We invest in well-being. This means showing appreciation, getting people together, and maintaining a healthy working environment.

Trust and responsibility

There are two reasons to do micromanagement: you're either a bad manager, or you have bad employees.

In both cases, it's not favorable to productivity and development.

People give the best of themselves when we trust them, and managers are at their best when they can lead instead of scrutinizing.

That's what Easi is all about.

Employees are responsible for their own work and schedules. And they can rely on available and empathetic managers to challenge them, guide them, and help them improve.

Anything less than that is dysfunctional, and we don't want it.

Employees taking responsibility and deciding for themselves is a strength. And we cultivate our strengths.

Growth and opportunities

As you already know, Easi does its best to keep people around.

Both our CEOs started as juniors, and so did almost all the managing team. It's not uncommon for someone to celebrate their 10, 15, or 20 years at Easi!

And they wouldn't have stayed that long if they hadn't been allowed to advance.

By promoting internally, we don't only preserve our DNA, we also make it clear to our employees that there is a future for them at Easi. For as long as they're on board.

And it's not only about promotions. It's also about initiatives.

Easi has a classic top-down structure, but everyone can take initiatives, suggest ideas, and lead new projects.

In fact, most projects at Easi have been started by employees eager to start something new. Rooftop, our first SaaS project, is an example of that.

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Initiative, leadership, and creativity are highly encouraged. These are the qualities that make things happen.

Recognition

It's not all about the money. In the long run, feeling appreciated for investing your time and energy is what makes you stay the course.

Sure, money is important too. That's why you get paid well and get the recognition you deserve.

But recognition is not only about throwing fancy parties. (But don't get us wrong, we LOVE to party. Here's a taste of our latest Recognition Trip.) It's about showing appreciation.

We celebrate employees by praising them and their work. We do that personally in meetings, on internal channels, or on social media.

Likewise, we also offer small gifts all year long just to say "We know you're investing a lot in this, and we appreciate it."


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Caring

Having a good work ethic is important. Everyone at Easi puts in hours and works hard to meet their goals and close projects.

We’re not going to lie, there can be pressure and stressful moments. As a business, our existence depends on satisfying our customers, and that sometimes means working evenings or weekends.

That being said, we avoid it as much as possible. And we always try to find solutions to alleviate the pressure on our employees.

Also, no effort goes unnoticed and hard work is always rewarded. Dedicated employees obtain great opportunities and career paths.

Positivity

Positivity is one of the driving forces at Easi.

This is not about being happy all the time. We would never expect that from our employees. Plus, it’s beside the point.

Positivity is about the way we approach each situation.

It’s about how each problem is an opportunity. Complaining is out of the question. If something is problematic to you, it’s your responsibility to come up with a solution.

It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help. On the contrary, solving challenges together is our strength. And you will always find people ready to get on board to work with you.

It means that, as cliché as it sounds, there are no difficulties, only solutions.

The great thing about positivity is that, just like negativity, it’s contagious. So if you actively choose to be and act positive, it will radiate around you.

We sometimes face setbacks, or make mistakes. It happens. But what matters is how you deal with it.

Positivity is also the certainty that the best is always to come. And so far, it’s been true!

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Well-being and safety

On top of these, Easi has a designated two People of Trust. These people, who are part of the HR team, are available to hear about any psychosocial issue employees might be experiencing.

They're trained to deal with issues like stress, burn-out, harassment, and so on. Also, conversations with these people are strictly confidential.

We want our people to feel 100% safe about their work environment.

Excellence

We take pride in providing our clients with the highest quality software and service.

In business, excellence isn't about following the rules and imitating what's been done before. It's about finding new ways to improve methods to always stay on top.

And everyone in the company gets to influence that. Every input is welcome.

And when your input is heard and implemented to improve the global project, you feel valued.

And you want to give more.

It's a virtuous circle that we cultivate because everybody benefits from it.

Love the process

Easi founder, Salvatore Curaba, says himself that he's almost prouder of the efforts than of the results.

That might sound crazy, but it really isn't.

Failure is inevitable. If you never fail, it means you're not trying enough things. Even Easi has launched projects that have failed.

But that doesn't matter as long as you love the process, because you learn from failure, and put that to good use. If you're doing it only for the money, you're going to be miserable.

Fortune favors the bold. And we are bold.

Results are a side effect of us loving the process.

Transparency (aka no bullshit)

Easi has always been about building something together. (This is one of the reasons why the company is owned by employees.)

You can only do that if there's honest and transparent communication from all sides.

Of course, some information has to remain confidential. But no subject is, in itself, off the table. And questioning the management team is part of Easi's transparency culture.

It's so important that employees get to grill the CEOs about anything they want for about an hour once a month. Whether it's about investments, future projects, or company policies, everyone is welcome to ask questions.

A lot of companies also tend to sweep layoffs under the rug. Talking about departures and terminations is seen as taboo.

There's absolutely no reason for that.

The news of every departure is made public and everyone is free to ask questions to the person leaving the company. Whether they wish to share about their departure is up to them.

Self-determination

The vision of our founder, Salvatore Curaba, was always to share his company with the people he worked with. As such, any employee is entitled, after 3 years, to buy shares in the company.

And, as of 2021, 51% of the company now belongs to Easi employees.

 

As such, employees can affect the company otherwise than through their regular work. It also shows how much of a passion project it all becomes.

Owning shares in the company is another source of empowerment and another reason to stick around.

Mobility

Sometimes you realize that your job doesn't suit you as much as you thought it would. But that doesn't automatically mean you're out.

If you have the Easi mentality, and you believe you could contribute to the organization in another function, we're always open to discussion.

Several people in the company have successfully transferred from one role to another.

As you know if we can keep our people, we do.

We are Easi, and we want you to join us (or copy us)

We're not sharing this content to brag. (Although we're quite proud.)

We're doing it because we want you to be part of the adventure. We want to grow with people who share our values.

And if it doesn't apply to you, surely you can use some of this for the benefit of workers around you.

Bringing people to their full potential takes some work. You need to invest in them, give them perspectives, show appreciation, build trust, and let them express leadership.

If you do all that and recruit like-minded people, you'll have a strong organization with loyal employees.

You can't force excellence; you have to inspire it.

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If you share our values and you're looking for a challenging job in Belgium's Best Workplace, visit our website.

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