‘If you want an exciting job where you can hone your professional skills while getting the space to grow as a human being, then DNS Belgium is the perfect place for you.’ These are not our own words, but those of Kathleen Jooris. As an external consultant, Kathleen supports DNS Belgium in talent management. Her task, as she sees it, is to coach people to get the best out of themselves so that people and organisation can grow together. At DNS Belgium, she can achieve that mission to perfection.
'At DNS Belgium, they really believe that people should be given the opportunity to continue to develop, even if it's to find a new position elsewhere,' says Kathleen. ‘And that can be very wide-ranging’. In a small, flat organisation such as DNS Belgium, growth opportunities are rather limited. But this is offset by very exciting jobs that emerge with technological developments. Investing in personal growth is therefore all the more important.
People must continue to grow constantly in order to remain relevant on the labour market and in our organisation,' says Philip Du Bois, General Manager of DNS Belgium. ‘It's a win-win relationship. If people think that they are better off elsewhere, they are free to go. We are very transparent about that when it comes to recruitment. As an employer, we ask them to work together for 3 to 5 years and then reassess the situation. In my 10 years at DNS Belgium, only one person left after only two years'.
‘Employees with exceptional qualities and talents do not always find the specific challenges they are looking for in a small organisation such as ours. Our paths then separate. As an employer, we can nonetheless be proud that we have contributed to that person's growth and to the development of his or her further career', says Philip. ‘We open the door and encourage them to fly.’
"So far, most people seem to be happy at DNS Belgium. We do offer challenges in terms of content. And we try to offer our employees an excellent professional framework: modern ways of working together that give autonomy and responsibility to everyone in the organisation, a far-reaching form of participation, respect for employees, an excellent work-life balance, a good financial package, attention to health and sports, a nice office ...'.
We ask employees to work together for 3 to 5 years and then reassess the situation.
Growing as a person and as an organization
At DNS Belgium, every employee is entitled to ten days of training per year. "The training courses chosen by our people contribute to the growth of the individual and thus also to the growth of the organisation," says Philip. “People are very much encouraged to use their training days," says Hilde Van Bree, Marketing and Communications employee. “That happens regularly in an interview with your immediate superior, who asks you point blank whether you still want to take training courses. And the choice can be quite extensive. It's not limited to technical courses such as Google Analytics or SEO. You can also take courses that will help you improve as a human being'.
DNS Belgium does not judge anyone based on whether they have taken training courses or the results obtained. ‘But DNS Belgium is working actively on a feedback culture where we use peer reviews to get people to give feedback to each other, both on positive matters and on points that require attention. In this way we continue to challenge and to stimulate each other to develop further.’
Working together efficiently and cohesively
‘I am given a lot of space to experiment and that's fun. When you really believe in something, you get all the means and time to do what you want to do. For example, I myself had taken the Sociocracy 3.0 course,' says Kathleen. Sociocracy 3.0 is a collection of tools to get the best out of people and organizations. 'I already knew that, but this time the course was very company relevant. Afterwards, I was given all the space and budget I needed to get to work with the trainers and their programmes to develop a bespoke training course for DNS Belgium. In the end, two thirds of the employees took the training course'.
Hilde was one of them. ‘Some learned techniques and patterns we are now trying to apply consciously,' she says. ‘We don't do that automatically in every conversation or meeting yet, but we are experimenting with stricter time slots for meetings, for example. We have to learn to talk less until we reach a consensus or everyone agrees with a decision. When no one objects, a proposal can be good enough to be tested. That way you can move forward faster. The big challenge is that there has to be someone who facilitates the meetings. We're not in the habit of pointing to each other when we diverge from a subject'.
If you want an exciting job where you can hone your professional skills while getting the space to grow as a human being, then DNS Belgium is the perfect place for you.
As a consultant, Kathleen is of course involved in many organisations, so she can easily compare the situation at DNS Belgium with how things are going elsewhere. ‘DNS Belgium really is a great place to work. There's a constructive culture here with the motivation to keep improving. People take good care of themselves here, because they are given the opportunity to do so. I hope that people realise what a special workplace we have here together.’