How InSites Consulting cares about Millennials

As announced earlier this month we have been certified as a Great Place to Work® with no less than 93% of our employees convinced InSites Consulting is a great place to work for. A recognition we’re of course very proud of, but also the ideal occasion to reflect on our Employee Happiness strategy and daily practices to make our company a better place…
Over the last 10 years, we have grown at an average pace of 25% a year. Today, our team counts more than 175 enthusiasts working in six offices around the globe with no less than 87% of our team members being Millennials. And as our NxtGen expert Joeri Van den Bergh shared in his Millennials at Work report: “Millennials were raised and educated differently than Generation X and the Baby Boomers and it has affected their working attitudes and preferences. Only 29% of employed Millennials currently feel engaged with their work. As a result, 6 out of 10 Millennials leave their company after less than three years at an estimated cost to the organization of $20,000 per person to substitute.” Discover how we improved our strategy to engage and retain our talent and ultimately aim to become more Millennial-proof.

Company within the company

Last year we introduced the Company within the Company principle, uniting different team members in mini-teams that have a clear and shared purpose. The main driver behind this new approach is to stimulate purpose- and goal-driven thinking. Teams are invited to define their team purpose and goals for the coming year, based on the company strategy. Sales teams for example are not only responsible for revenues but also manage their P&L, giving them greater degrees of freedom in managing the growth of their team.
This new way of working requires strong teamwork, mutual trust between co-workers and a coaching practice in which ongoing feedback and a continuous focus on progress becomes the new normal.
InSites Consulting team

Ongoing feedback and development

Up to last year, we followed the classic performance management process, integrating every single best practice: objective setting, self-assessment, bottom-up and peer-to-peer feedback, calibration meetings, end-of-year evaluations. Unfortunately, this rule-based and bureaucratic process didn’t always bring us closer to our goal: (1) personal development and growth and (2) culture of feedback.
Therefore, we made a radical change and killed our annual evaluations. Instead we installed a new approach where employees are in the driver’s seat of their career and ongoing feedback plays a central role. At the same time, we also ditched our performance rating system and cut the link between annual performance reviews and rewards.
In other words, we moved from an ad-hoc-rating-based evaluation system to an ongoing cycle of performance management. Turning one rating into many conversations.

Caring and engaging work environment

In a competitive consulting industry, the workload can be intense and stress levels can be high. We want to create a supporting environment where employees feel appreciated and cared for. There is however no such thing as one road to happiness, so a combined approach at different levels is what works best for us.
We adopt a flexible working policy that allows employees to balance their professional and personal ambitions. Key in our approach is personal freedom: creating an environment where people themselves decide what, when and how they are doing things (within the boundaries of our business context). This is reflected in different practices such as our focus on getting things done instead of hours worked, flexible working schedules, flex-desking, (unpaid) sabbaticals, remote working, office closing between Christmas and New Year… The results of our latest Great Place to Work® survey show that 86% of our employees agree that the offered flexibility matches their professional and personal needs.
An important source of happiness is social connection and the feeling of togetherness. To stimulate that social glue and engagement amongst employees, we allocate a significant budget to teambuilding initiatives. Every 18 months we organize an InSites Consulting Congress & Teambuilding with the aim of inspiring each other, exchanging knowledge, sharing stories that reflect the value of our work and cross-office team bonding. Last year’s edition in Ibiza was rated with an overall satisfaction score of 9.4 on a 10-point scale. In addition, every office gets full budget autonomy to organize fun and informal team activities. This has led to the creation of local teambuilding teams and many bottom-up initiatives that contribute to a fun atmosphere and allow to disconnect from work.
Other programs such as the Happy Moments and Employee Appreciation Day are all about showing our care and appreciation. In our Happy Moments program we share and celebrate employees who recently got promoted, new employees joining, work anniversaries, birthdays, weddings and births. On Employee Appreciation Day all of the attention goes to our employees and we say thank you in many different ways: free office lunch, massages or other healthy treats and a special thank you message for every individual employee.
Employee Appreciation Day
In today’s fast-changing society, the question arises if employers should play a more active role when it comes to taking care of the employees’ emotional health. The results of our latest Great Place to Work® survey highlight that employees struggle to disconnect from work and could benefit from extra support in recognizing stress signals and finding a better work-life balance (or should we say life balance as work is per definition part of life). As part of a new corporate FIT program we want to explore how we can provide employees with the necessary tools to build their mental capital and manage energy levels. Another pillar of this program will focus on a healthy workstyle, think healthy snacks and drinks at the office and initiatives to be more active throughout the working day.

Impact on company happiness and success

The main question for business leaders is of course if all these initiatives contribute to the success of an organization. In other words: does this new approach lead to happier, more productive and engaged employees?
Looking at the results of our latest Great Place to Work® study, we have a strong indication that there is indeed a positive correlation. Over the past 3 years we have seen a positive evolution in the general satisfaction score: taking everything into account, 93% believe InSites Consulting is a great workplace, whereas in 2015 and 2016 percentages were at respectively 80% and 86%. 93% feel proud to be part of our team and 90% are willing to give extra to get the job done. There is a strong family feeling with 87% agreeing that we are all in this together. About 80% indicate wanting to work at InSites Consulting for a long time.
Great Place to Work
As mentioned there is no such thing as one road to happiness and the context in which a business operates (type of industry, local versus global, company size…) also determines the success of certain initiatives. Be critical in choosing the best approach for your business and accept that trial and error is part of your journey towards a Millennials- and future-proof workplace.
Get more insights into creating a Millennial-proof workplace in the Millennials at Work paper. Get your download via [email protected].

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