An increasing number of companies are determined to offer their employees a fulfilling work environment. This idea is being implemented in various manners, for example, by the revamping of the workplace at Mazars, a new manager outlook at Linkbynet, continuous learning at Microsoft, and the development of collaborative work at Accenture. Here’s a recap of what was discussed at Club Talentsoft 2016.

Employees don’t just want to earn money. They want to give meaning to what they do, yearn for flexibility and crave autonomy. This is especially true with the development of digital tools that have allowed employees to develop new competencies. The result? Companies must be able to adapt to this new paradigm. Some companies have already initiated innovative in-house projects. This is the case for Mazars: the company asked its Gen Y employees to describe their ideal company and workplace. This project led to a revamping of the workplace. “The real change wasn’t just in our offices, but rather in the way we work. We completely changed things around: whereas before everyone would work alone, now our workplace fosters collaborative work and leaves little room for isolation,” explained Laurent Choain, Chief People & Communication Officer at Mazars, during Club Talentsoft 2016.

Trusting employees

Linkbynet is adopting this mindset. Three years ago during the company’s move, the group decided to implement an open office floor plan. This highly symbolic decision encouraged the development of collective intelligence. “Our model is based on a strong idea. We hope to encourage our employees to experiment, succeed, and even make mistakes,” stated Marianne Descamps, HRD at Linkbynet. To develop employees’ feeling of belonging, the facilities management company has also accompanied its managers in their new role. “We created a more inspiring management model alongside our managers. This new model promotes autonomy and gives more responsibility to their teams, especially by explaining the challenges the company faces and the values it holds,” said Descamps.

Trust employees: Microsoft’s secret weapon for meeting the new expectations of their teams. “At Microsoft, knowledge holders and learners are no longer opposed. We’ve developed continuous learning, which consists of opening up to the ideas of others, asking for systematic feedback from fellow co-workers, and accepting advice from others,” explained Laurence Lafont, Director of the Public Sector department at Microsoft. The employee appraisal system has also been reviewed and modified: quarterly performance appraisals are now carried out to favour continuous improvement.

The challenge: spark the interest of the younger generations

Company management has realised that talent attraction and retention will be one of the biggest challenges in the coming years, according to Julien Fanon, Senior Manager Talent & Organisation at Accenture Strategy. “Today, there is a declining interest in big companies from young workers: 86% say they prefer to not work in a big company. Yet, these companies need them in order to stay competitive,” said Fanon. We need to thus offer the younger generations the value propositions they are looking for. We need to place teamwork at the heart of the organisation, adapt to our employees’ specific needs as much as possible, continuously help them develop their employability, and make sure their work has a tangible impact. This implies, however, answering a very critical question: What sort of medium-term competencies will the company need, and how does it reshape its employee promise to attract talents?


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