Alexia de Bernardy ©women’s forum

“Hello — thank you — bravo — sorry”: is it so complicated to create relationships within companies?

Meeting with Alexia de Bernardy, author of Moteurs d’engagement

Alexia de Bernardy, a serial entrepreneur, has created and managed Filapi, a network of business entertainment centers and event agency for children from 3 to 10 years old. After leaving this organization in 2016, she devoted herself to the subject of relationship within companies with the book Moteurs d’engagement and the creation of the “WE box”, a company specialized in the relationship between the individuals, serving professional goals. In this interview, she explains how relationships promote agility.

How did you come up with the idea of writing this book?

When I created Filapi, I realized that if we want our employees to be motivated and engaged, we need to be optimistic and grateful. In a start-up, you cannot bet on huge salaries because budgets are limited. So we have to find other ways. It is this experience that I wanted to share through this book. I voluntarily chose to deliver testimonials from very different companies, such as the SOS Group, L’Oreal, Dior, EY, KPMG or Blablacar to demonstrate that this method can be applied everywhere, regardless of the size of the company, its core business or how it works. This book is the synthesis of more than 250 testimonials and 2,000 hours of discussion to reach the greatest number. Its goal is to exchange good practices: there are more than 365 in this book.

Who is this book for?

It is intended for all employees, managers or not. The courses however differ according to the situation. For the manager, this can range from the prohibition of mail within a team to promote face-to-face exchanges, the establishment of a collective grocery store, or the appointment of a “Guardian of the senses” to avoid superfluous meetings that waste everyone’s time. It is also important to end these meetings with a roundtable to verify that they have been useful and effective: it is the famous ROTI (Return on Time Invested). Concerning employee, it is essential that he takes care of him, for example, by applying himself a real “personal coaching”: find time to isolate himself, take breaks, walk, talk slowly, lunch in silence and … go to the bathroom more often, a vital need often postponed until later for lack of time!

This book contains a wealth of advice that can also be deployed with clients, service providers, household teams, hospitality, etc.

The We-method could be summed up in four words: “hello — thank you — bravo — sorry”

Yes they are simple words but they are essential in the relation to others. However, we do not hear them often enough within companies, while they are good for those who hear them and sometimes even those who say them! In my book, I quote a study that states that it takes three to five compliments to forgive a reproach, at home or at work, because the brain memorizes more critics than compliments. This is to say the importance of knowing how to apologize! The excuse makes it possible to turn the page with spontaneity and sincerity.

On the same subject of commitment, what do you think of the establishment of volunteering programs or corporate skills sponsorship?

I think it’s very important. More than a third of French people admit that they could do more volunteer work but they do not know how to do it. There is an aspiration for a more meaningful work. Helping a cause create emotion, shared memories, and allows you to talk about other things than your job. This generates positive, deep conversation and sometimes teaches humility, when one is confronted with people in difficulty in particular. Salary rounding and holiday giving are also simple actions that promote commitment.

You have developed other tools, including an application, the WE Room, and a diagnostic tool, can you tell us a word about them?

The application declines the content of the book in the daily lives of employees. It allows setting up customized challenges according to the objectives of the companies. Examples of challenges: forbid all Anglicism during one day, make a selfie with the most cheerful person on the floor, etc. It also contains quizzes, quotes, good practices, intended to create social link. It can run from one day to several months. The WE room can both “heat the room” during a seminar or weld a community in the long term.

The second tool, which is in graph form, allows objectifying the strengths and points of improvement of the company in its capacity to generate a team spirit and a sense of belonging. Synthetic and understandable by everyone, it helps to build an action plan to create links within the company. A summary of my book somehow!

French Version

Website of the WE box: http://www.lawebox.com/
To buy the book: https://www.amazon.fr/engines-engagement-practices-working-set/dp/2322103225
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