Linda Cappelle, General Manager Bright Plus (Belgium)
If you do something with passion, you have a much better chance of succeeding. For me, that's really the way I look at a lot of things, both in my work and in my private life.
“At Bright Plus we strongly believe in offering opportunities to our employees. I think that in order to be able to grow, managers must give their employees the space to do so and make sure their well-being is ensured. By focusing on well-being in your organization, employees will not only become happier, but are given numerous opportunities to grow as a colleague and as a human being. In the past years, we at Bright Plus took our well-being to the next level. An important moment set the wheels in motion.”
Something has to change here
“In 2016, my manager fell ill for a longer period of time. She has always been a great example to me and someone I still look up to. The fact that she fell ill was not only a shock for me, but it upset us all. ‘If this can happen to such a strong woman, it can happen to anyone’, I thought."
"I think in life we all want to do our utmost and give everything we have. It’s part of human nature, I guess. We all want to be the nicest colleague, the greatest friend, the best father or mother or the kindest child. I, too, had that drive. I always wanted to do my best for someone else. To be clear: there is nothing wrong with that mindset; in fact, it highlights the social character of human beings. But it can also be a pitfall. In striving to do everything right, we can forget ourselves. You pay particular attention to someone else, but you unconsciously put yourself in last place. That’s something you can't keep up with. The moment my manager fell ill was my wake-up call. It was the moment I realized that some things had to change and we had to change our perspective on well-being at Bright Plus. In the end, it led to our current well-being policy.”
"I have always believed that passion is the key to success. If you do something with passion, you have a much better chance of succeeding. For me, that's really the way I look at a lot of things, both in my work and in my private life. I don’t do things halfway; I do them with full conviction. That attitude I took as the starting point for my efforts to take well-being within our organization to a higher level. I started with small things which would help my colleagues to make changes. For example, we agreed that we would no longer email colleagues at weekends. I shared the message behind those small changes with our management team and distributed it to all colleagues. There was a great deal of recognition among everyone. This helped to build awareness that change was needed.”
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"The changes led to our current well-being policy, which focuses on five themes: Healthy, Informed, Happy, Motivated, Talented. Our basic idea is that healthy, informed, happy and motivated employees who are given the opportunity to develop their talents have more energy and resilience, are more involved, are of greater value to an organization and are more able to enthuse others. When implementing such a policy, it’s essential that it’s a story that is supported by the entire organization. It has to be a bottom-up story. If, as a manager, I am going to tell you that you have to undertake an action in order to realize change, the chance that you will act upon it with enthusiasm is small. If you come up with the idea yourself, you’re probably more excited about it and are more willing to implement it. That’s the way you really get everyone on board as a manager.”
"A number of things are essential to implementing a successful well-being policy. These are trust, mutual respect and open communication. Talk to each other, not about each other. Give employees the opportunities to grow and make sure you keep communicating with each other. I very much believe that if you have the tools to discuss issues, you can minimize negative energy in your organization. With these tools, you can keep the conversation going, you learn from each other and you can give each other essential feedback.”
“Giving employees responsibilities is one of the aspects that gives them the opportunity to grow as a colleague and as a human being. Bright Plus is a small and flat organization and we emphasize the importance of taking responsibility for your own contribution, and for shouldering responsibility to the whole process together. This sense of responsibility is what creates opportunities for growth. As a manager, you have to support people. Give your employees the space they need to take the stage.”
"At Bright Plus, we introduced HPIs (human performance indicators) in addition to our KPIs. Every colleague can determine for themselves what their HPIs are. For example, someone can choose to commit to the theme Talented and stimulate colleagues to follow all their e-learning courses. By achieving HPIs, everyone can contribute to the well-being and happiness of others. That, in turn, helps us meet KPIs, because a happier employee achieves his or her targets more effectively."
"I think Bright Plus, the organization as a whole and the employees as individuals, are happier and more involved now than they were a few years ago. I can tell this from small things, such as the enthusiasm that colleagues express on social media about our organization or the spontaneous actions on colleagues' birthdays. The passion has grown. And that in turn makes me as general manager happy, because I have a passion for passion. I am well aware that well-being is something you have to work on all the time. You are not finished after you have drawn up a policy. That's why well-being is always one of our top priorities at Bright Plus.”
As an HR service provider, Bright Plus operates in a people's business, which is why we do our best every day to offer opportunities for life to our employees, our clients and candidates.
"I doubted for a moment whether this was the right time to publish my book Fulltime Passionate. But my conclusion was that this is the best time imaginable. During this pandemic, I have noticed all the more how important it is to invest in your people. The COVID-19 pandemic not only affects our physical health, it also challenges our mental health. I notice it in my colleagues. Working from home is seen as challenging. Colleagues miss the small conversations at the office, for example at the coffee machine or when walking to a meeting. Communication now is different and thus that essential interconnectedness is less present. Now it’s especially important to maintain the team spirit by organizing informal online moments, for example with a virtual coffee break. As a manager, recognizing the emotions of your colleagues and giving them the opportunities to share their feelings with each other are essential. And don’t forget to share your feelings too. Create structure, transparency and clarity. They really make a difference in this day and age. It makes me proud that we were able to share the story of Bright Plus in this way.”
"When I look at myself I live much more consciously now. I focus on one thing and don't do multiple things at the same time. I make intentional choices and take my time for things, both at work and in my private life. It gives me a sense of calm and being in control. My family is the most important thing for me. I’m married and together we have two children (18 and 20). During the pandemic we spent even more time together. I enjoy that enormously, especially those little moments, which hold a lot of value. Even before the pandemic started and working at the office was still possible, I recognized a growing awareness among my colleagues of the importance of these small, precious moments that we share with each other as colleagues, too. Together we are kind of a close family with a shared commitment to doing our utmost for our clients and candidates. The difference is that we do this while paying a lot more attention to our own well-being than we used to.”
Linda Cappelle wrote a book in which she describes her vision on well-being at organizations: Fulltime passionate. The book, with numerous identifiable cases, serves as inspiration for other organizations and managers. It is available in Dutch and French ('Une passion de tous les intants'). Get your copy at publisher Borgerhoff & Lamberigts.