Leveraging employee engagement to become an industry leader, a real-life example

Author: Anton Eeckhout

Nowadays no one will deny the importance of engaged employees when building your business. But how do you recognize an engaged employee? And how can you engage your workers? An engaged employee has a positive view on his or her job, responsibilities and organization and is very valuable for a company. Employees who are fully committed to their job and the organization they work for will deliver more than what’s expected from them. Hence, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that organizations with a strongly engaged workforce often outperform their direct competitors. A lot of people believe that employee engagement is solely driven by financial compensation. In reality, it goes way beyond the financial aspect and that’s exactly what we will show you in this article with a real-life example.


To illustrate the importance of employee engagement and how it’s done we will take you to Het Poetsbureau, an organization that offers cleaning services with service vouchers. Their prime focus is to always put their employees first which seems to work as they are now Belgium’s industry leader with 8.000+ employees and counting. Founders, Jo Mellemans and Elly Huysmans, attribute their strategy and management style to Wouter Torfs, notorious advocate of the idea that companies need to focus on more than simply profit.

Het Poetsbureau understands that employee engagement is developed via several levers and not only through financial compensation. Everything they do, decide or plan is guided by the simple mindset in which the employee always comes first. To drive employee engagement, they started by addressing their workforce as ‘stars’ and by a compensation package that doesn’t only outperforms their competitors but also asserts the company’s appreciation for the executed work.


Here are some examples of what an employee from Het Poetsbureau can expect:

An employee at the company cannot only expect a salary that’s higher than the industry’s average but they are also given unprecedented fringe benefits such as an optional company car, phone subscription, stylish work clothes, etc.

As an employee in the cleaning industry, you often have to deal with negative connotations and a general lack of appreciation. Het Poetsbureau has made it its mission to counter this and highly invests in making sure all employees are valued and appreciated as they should.Besides spreading the message internally, they are looking to set an example visible outside of the company’s walls in order to break existing dogmas.

As the job of a household help can be quite lonesome, Het Poetsbureau actively tries to counter this by organising different activities throughout the year where all employees are brought together. Their yearly staff party in Het Sportpaleis, one of the largest indoor venues in Europe, is a great example of how the company spares no expense when showing appreciation towards the employees.

Every job can be demanding, both on a physical as on a mental level. Het Poetsbureau understands the potential struggles that might occur and has several actions in place to relieve pressure. For example, they are actively looking into making this type of job more physically sustainable by providing ergonomic cleaning supplies or matching the job content with the employee’s profile. For mental relief, the organization offers everyone the possibility to consult professional psychological support free of charge.

Ten years ago, the founders of Het Poetsbureau discovered a market opportunity and decided to take the leap. Now they outperform their competitors and are the biggest player on the Belgian market. Their key for success? The employees and the way the company treats them. It goes to show that there is nothing more valuable as an engaged individual working for your company. So, is your company doing everything they can to engage their employees?


Don't hesitate to reach out and see how Brightwolves can help your company in building an engaged workforce.

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