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Reinforcing a positive workplace culture


Fabienne Frisson, Human Resources & Office Manager
Steve De Craene, Finance Manager

LCL boasts a positive workplace culture. Employees experience a sense of belonging and connection and endorse the company’s strategy. This was revealed in the very first employee engagement survey conducted by Profacts for LCL in 2023. The research showed significant staff engagement. “95 percent of employees completed the comprehensive survey on employee engagement and well-being. Therefore, the results are representative,” says Fabienne Frisson, Human Resources & Office Manager. “The survey provides an overview of current strengths, as well as challenges in remuneration and communication within our organisational culture.” Together with Finance Manager Steve De Craene, Fabienne Frisson is working on a transparent motivational bonus system in 2024 to address these issues.

The 2023 employee satisfaction survey served as a baseline measurement. What were the main results and what actions will these findings lead to?

Fabienne: “It was a very comprehensive questionnaire, covering physical working conditions, work atmosphere, camaraderie, team events… We now have a broad view of the well-being, engagement, and desires of our employees. We were very pleased with the results, consistently surpassing the benchmark set by survey agency Profacts. Employees indicate that they are satisfied with their current job and their relationship with their supervisor. Even though a third mentioned that they could easily switch jobs because they are in demand on the job market, they consciously choose to stay at LCL. Our employees are well acquainted with the company’s strategy and values, actively incorporating them into their daily work. They have a high level of trust in the management.”

“Challenges also surfaced. While collaboration within the teams is very good, communication and collaboration between teams need improvement. In 2024, we will work on improving alignment, including boosting motivation with the new bonus system. Terms of employment and remuneration were also a focal point. There is a need for an objective and transparent structure to benchmark salaries so that we can offer a sufficiently competitive package in a highly competitive market. The intention is to repeat the survey annually, allowing us to evaluate our actions and make necessary adjustments.”

Was talent management also a topic?

Fabienne: “At LCL, we heavily emphasise personal and professional development, enabling everyone to fully unleash their talents. In 2023, we averaged six training days per employee. A positive outcome of the employee satisfaction survey was that one in three expressed ambitions to progress to a different role within the company. LCL team members want sufficient support, including additional training. Based on performance evaluations, we aim to identify the potential of all employees and create personalised training plans to meet those needs. In 2024, we plan to provide six training days, even more tailored to individual needs. These include not only external training but also onboarding training and a set of mandatory courses on safety or anti-bribery and corruption.”

“A significant step forward is the Data Center University, where we have incorporated several mandatory training sessions. This allows us to gradually expand our e-learning offerings to the staff.”

Steve: “In talent management, it’s crucial to fully utilise the potential of each staff member. We conducted an evaluation examining whether all positions align with the company’s needs. In small companies, employees often handle various tasks without focusing on a specific role. LCL has grown significantly in the past five years, both in the number of employees (from 16 to 45) and as an organisation. It’s important that everyone is in the right place, knows their end goal, and understands their responsibilities. Only after this exercise can talent be developed.”

Did this alignment exercise yield any particular insights?

Steve: ” We have found that several roles require input from other roles. Without that input, tasks cannot be executed properly, and you cannot be successful in your job. To align roles as effectively as possible and prevent people from working in isolation or lacking input, we have developed shared responsibilities. We have even incorporated them as KPIs in the motivational bonus plan.”
Fabienne: “Employees must be accountable for their roles. By strongly defining and communicating these roles, I have already noticed that people say communication and collaboration are much clearer.”

Is ESG part of the initiatives around learning and development?

Steve: “Our strategy map serves as our compass. It serves as the foundation for our actions in the right context at every employee event or information session. ESG is an explicit and integral part of our value proposition. We consistently present our governance, social and environmental goals. This way, sustainability permeates all aspects of the company’s operations.”

Fabienne: “We translate that high-level story into concrete actions; including mandatory training on anti-bribery and corruption (ABC), health and safety, well-being, and more. Safety is a top priority. We organise sessions twice a year on major risks, working at heights, high voltage, firefighting, and more. People can also only gain access to server rooms after certification, on top of assessment by the operations manager and the prevention advisor.”

What is the policy on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)?

Fabienne: “DEI is a lot more than looking at quotas and ticking the box. We want to ensure that the conditions to attract and retain the most diverse audience are optimal. We have our job postings reviewed by Talentoscoop and will organise training for managers on unconscious bias. This is to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities in their careers without unconscious biases playing a role. Another, quite classic, example: we organise meetings at family-friendly hours as much as possible, ensuring more equal access. I am pleased to note that the chairperson of the Board of Directors, Els Demeester, is also attentive to this. She prefers to speak of IED, because she believes that inclusion is the key to creating a thriving company culture.”

What is the importance of the bonus plan introduced in 2024?

Fabienne: “A job grading framework clearly and objectively reflects various responsibilities. LCL wants to guarantee fair pay – equal pay for equal work – equity in wages for women and men with the same job profile or role. A rewarding compensation and benefits plan attracts high-performing candidates and helps foster staff motivation, retention, and a positive workplace experience.”

Steve: “Ensuring we attract and retain diverse talent is crucial for our continued growth. Competitive conditions are essential for achieving this. With the motivational bonus plan, we not only encourage the desired attitude but also acknowledge individual performance. I mentioned earlier that it is essential for employees to collaborate not only within their own teams but also across teams. We need each other’s input to successfully perform our jobs. These were guiding principles for the variable incentive plan, where we distinguish between company goals, department goals, and individual goals. With the bonus plan, we aim to align objectives across our different departments and show appreciation for good individual performance.”