Vandersanden, Europe’s largest brick-producing family business, has been awarded the internationally recognised Great Place to Work certificate for the first time.
Eddy Deconinck, Director of Corporate Wellbeing at Vandersanden, comments: “This recognition underlines that we are on the right track with our vision. What we have been working on together for years is now officially recognised.”
It is the first time that the company has submitted an entry. Vandersanden has been awarded the certificate in all countries where a large group of employees is active: the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. This officially recognises the brick producer for being a good employer.
Eddy adds: “We are extremely honoured to have been awarded the certificate in four countries simultaneously. This result confirms the confidence of more than eight hundred employees, who are proud of their job and enjoy working together in a respectful manner,
“It is a fine recognition of good employment practices, both internally and externally, and underlines that we are on the right track with our vision of corporate wellbeing. We will certainly celebrate this, as soon as we can safely do so.”
More than a declaration of intent
As a family business, Vandersanden sets a great emphasis on being people-focused, encouraging a family atmosphere and having integrity. This is part of what Vandersanden calls corporate wellbeing, whereby the company wants to make a difference every day for the environment, the community, the sector and its employees.
For example, the family business treats each employee as an entrepreneur and owner of his or her own future and employs its own trainers to help develop the team’s skills.
To this end, it has designed a unique model for leadership and ownership, underpinned by a full set of competencies: Vandersanden has developed its own vision on leadership and ownership: Connect and innovate, Carry and develop, Lead, Manage.
Through this application, every employee actively contributes to the sustainability of relationships among colleagues, in the community and within the sector, where Vandersanden is also in pole position for the development and production of sustainable, low-CO2 products.
For Vandersanden, profit is not an end in itself, but a means to achieve other ambitions, including corporate wellbeing. At the family business, no one receives an individual bonus, but all eight hundred employees share in the profits equally. Safety and health occupy a prominent place at Vandersanden. In that area too, ownership is actively promoted and supported with the ‘Look after yourself’ programme.
Eddy continues: “Our vision for corporate wellbeing is not limited to a declaration of intent,” explains Eddy Deconinck. “We translate our ambition into actions and results: not words, but deeds.
“We have long used the Great Place to Work model as a driver for improvement. What we have been working on together for years is now officially recognised.”
Participation of more than 80 per cent
The Great Place to Work certificate, which Vandersanden has received, is awarded on the basis of an independent study. For the certification, the Great Place to Work organisation conducts an anonymous employee survey, the Trust Index study. This survey uses 65 indicators to measure the degree of trust, pride and pleasure, as well as the perception of the work culture.
Edds says: “Vandersanden met all the criteria with an impressive participation rate of more than 80 percent across the company.
“This is yet another demonstration of the importance that staff attach to it.”
Through this recognition of great workplaces, Great Place to Work strives to encourage organisations to put their people first and in doing so, to give even more people the opportunity to work for a great organisation.
International family business with a personal touch
Although Vandersanden is an international company, as a family business it preserves the personal relationship with its employees.
Eddy concludes: “Each employee adds value to our organisation. That is why we have an eye for the unique qualities and characteristics of each individual and everyone is given the space to be themselves.”
In this way, the family business likes to share the stories behind the people who work at Vandersanden. Partly thanks to stable growth, the family business also continues to strengthen its position as an international employer – Vandersanden is currently looking for approximately 20 new colleagues.
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