Discover how Accent Jobs is building a strong appreciation and company culture.
When you step into the talent placement company, Accent, you immediately feel a positive vibe. According to the valuation expert, Nathalie Arteel, this is no coincidence: “The management is consciously focusing on a strong business culture and a strategic valuation policy. And that is paying off.” We will explore here how exactly that happens and works.
A strong business culture drives innovation and ensures that your organisation is better prepared for the future. A strong culture sets you apart from your competitors, and ensures that you have happy employees and loyal customers. It also has a positive impact on your security results, your absenteeism rates, your CSR policy, etc. In short, a strong culture ensures that your people come to work with enthusiasm every day.
Building such a culture starts with a strong vision – or dream – and a set of company values, and especially with the translation of that vision and values into their actual behaviour in the workplace. But how do you tackle this? How do you connect your employees to the company values and to that dream? How do you recognise the right click in your employees’ DNA? And how do you motivate and reward people to give their best every day? The talent placement company, Accent, is a great example of this; management has been consciously working to create a positive business culture for years.
“Accent people can be recognised from afar, they are authentic and they radiate job satisfaction.”
When you step into the Head Office, you can immediately feel that positive energy. You just notice from little things that everything is done with love. Consequently, it comes as no surprise that on 23 March 2021, Accent was named as the winner of the “Great Place to Work” among companies with over 500 employees.
What is the secret of Accent?
Nathalie Arteel: “At Accent, the bar is set high. For example, new employees receive no less than 200 hours of training in their first year. As such, they are prepared to help build the dream of Accent. In addition, entrepreneurship is very strongly encouraged. One of Accent’s main goals is to continue to motivate employees to give their best. In addition, Accent deliberately aims to build up a long-term relationship with its employees. Not only does this impact the customer experience, it also has a positive impact on the financial bottom line. Valuation plays a crucial role in all of this. Accent’s strategy is to create as many small moments of connection as possible. Connection to the Accent dream, connection to the values of Accent, connection among the Accent people themselves, connection to Accent’s goals and connection to the heart of each employee.
“When people feel truly connected, then trust grows and then their commitment increases.”
How can Accent create such a culture of connection?
Nathalie Arteel: “Everything starts with their strategic valuation policy. Appreciation in the broadest sense of the word because, in many companies, appreciation is associated only with pay. This is a major pitfall and this is not the intention here. Accent wants to respond to one of the most fundamental basic needs of every human being: each of their employees has the right to be valued and encouraged on a personal level. Every employee wants to feel that he or she can contribute and help build that Accent dream. What makes Accent so special is that they manage to build a culture where, on the one hand, people are challenged every day to perform at a high level and where, on the other hand, people actually feel well-treated. A culture where people can be themselves and grow accordingly into the best version of themselves. It is nice to see that high performance and love fit perfectly together at Accent. I don’t come across companies like Accent very often.”
So what does Accent do differently?
We asked Charlotte Meiresonne, the HR Manager at Accent, who is part of the driving force behind this authentic approach. She is happy to share the three key elements on which Accent is betting in order to build on that positive culture:
1. Accent people look through a positive lens
Several years ago, Accent defined a clear dream and values compass. Charlotte Meiresonne calls it their DREAM DNA PLAN. The dream clearly defines their reason for existence, their purpose. The DNA consists of a compass of values and mantras linked to a specific mode of conduct. And the plan makes it very clear how they can achieve their goals. Unlike many organisations, this one doesn’t stop at hanging a nice message on the wall. Accent teaches each employee to look through a positive lens and to put an actual name to each positive initiative linked to the values and the dream. This is how the dream and values come to life. Through Arteel’s platform, you can even choose to rate any positive action in less than 90 seconds and share it with the team on a virtual recognition wall.
2. Accent people turn every milestone into an unforgettable moment
Accent wants to go further than just rewarding figures. They motivate executives to connect heart to heart, to look at the person behind the figures or the job content. Accent has therefore defined a number of moments in the employee’s career which are celebrated in a very special way. For instance, onboarding, service anniversary, birth and marriage.
Charlotte Meiresonne “Arteel helps us, on the one hand, to make the process as automatic as possible (with a minimum amount of administration) and, on the other hand, to make it as personal as possible. The appreciation solution RecognizeMoments supports our executives even when they lack the inspiration to write a wonderful message of appreciation.
“What makes the collaboration with Arteel so strong is that they have made our DNA their own.”
They have dived into our corporate culture and developed a unique concept based on it. This, in fact, was not an obvious thing to do. After all, at Accent we believe it is of prime importance to give employees an experience at a special milestone. And this is tailored to each different generation working with us. In other words, we always go for impact. As a result, our employees share this experience inside and outside the company, which is a good thing for our employer brand. Moreover, Arteel works completely in a custom-made manner. For example, they have designed five greeting cards especially for Accent. This encourages our employees to create even more moments of connection in their environment. This can be the case with colleagues as well as with customers.”
3. Accent rewards through experience & gamification
Charlotte Meiresonne “Accent’s strategy is to value people on a personal level for their exceptional performance. This is what sets us apart in our approach. We must have the ability to validate positive actions immediately through creative forms of appreciation. In fact, this gives people an extra boost. Moreover, such immediate appreciation makes the bond between Accent and the employee very strong. You create an unforgettable experience, a moment which will be remembered for a long time. And let it be just this effect which keeps people motivated to remain committed without any conditions attached.”
Accent realises that it is incredibly important to lay emphasis on a positive culture. If people come to work every day with gusto, if they feel valued, then they can grow into the best version of themselves. Then they return home in the evening with a big smile on their face. Accent believes that happy employees are also healthy employees and that this is at the root of a good CSR policy. And even though Charlotte Meiresonne realises that it is a journey of trial and error, she is determined to increase the joy in the life of every employee every day.