With an average of 100,000 hours of our lives spent in the office, our workplace is a space that has a very special place in our lives. So far, nothing new. And yet, we do not all understand it in the same way. For some, it is almost a second home and for others, a simple place of passage. We all have our own definition of what work means, just as we have a very personal definition of fulfillment. When we talk about fulfillment, we are talking about empowerment, improving the balance between work and private life, streamlining processes, reducing tasks with low added value, improving self-esteem, seeking meaning in one’s work, more transparent and open communication, etc. Ultimately, it is all these things that contribute to creating a sense of satisfaction in all of us.
A real criterion for employees’ choice when they seek to join a company, well-being is no longer disconnected from our professional activity. And the evolution of everyone’s expectations is in line with this. Far beyond a simple trend, employee development is now at the heart of HR departments strategy, which pushes companies to rethink their structure and evolution model. The topic of employee development remains complex and can turn into a real headache for some companies.
1. Development as the cornerstone of the company
The idea of fulfillment is based above all on a vision of a company’s growth model. For a long time neglected in favour of business logic, the concept of well-being at work has gained considerable interest in recent years. And for a good reason: in a context of talent war, companies are trying to rethink their operating methods in order to differentiate themselves and retain their employees. The company shifts focus on what characterizes it, what constitutes it: its people. At PayFit, we want to think of our business as not just a product and a few figures, but rather as a group of people involved in building a common project and working towards the same goal. It is this idea that must be instilled in our employees throughout their journey. And this does not only involve a beautiful theoretical speech. We need action.
For this paradigm shift to be effective and not just anecdotal, it must above all be embodied. And it starts with management. At PayFit, the idea of fulfillment draws its strength from the involvement of all top management functions. Since the beginning of the adventure, the notions of accomplishment and well-being have been set in stone by our founders as the ultimate fundamentals of our development. Indeed, the idea that everyone should feel good guides all our actions. This desire to make the workplace a place where everyone feels good is above all the result of a reflection by the founders who wish to go beyond a worn-out vision of work.
“Our decisions and actions are dictated by one elementary thing that is part of our values: kindness.” — Firmin Zocchetto
By facilitating the daily lives of each of our employees, we can now make it easier for everyone to excel in a position, to be creative and to prove themselves more easily than in a harmful climate. That’s why we made employee development one of the 3 pillars of PayFit’s growth. This is a key element for the sustainability of our culture.
Work life is above all an adventure in which people make their own personal journey. The company must provide each employee with the means to feel good in their daily lives, both personal and professional, while keeping a clear border between the two. These two notions must not overlap while remaining mutually dependant on each other.
“We’re not talking about “professional development”, it’s much broader than that. At PayFit we do not define it. Development must be complete to be truly effective.” — Firmin Zocchetto
Beyond a simple trend, workplace happiness does not only lie in the organisation of a few afterworks and the purchase of table football tables. It must transcend simple material needs to be part of the company’s overall vision in a sustainable way.
2. Create a positive working environment
At PayFit, we are well aware that a single definition of happiness is not possible. It is plural and subjective and takes into account the feelings of each individual. Knowing this, we took the time to define our objectives in terms of employee experience and determine how we wanted to achieve them.
“If we want to revolutionise HR, we might as well be the best example possible.” — Firmin Zocchetto
> Communication and feedback: For us, the collection of employee feedback involves several elements. For example, we use the Culture Amp platform to learn about the weaknesses and strengths of their PayFit experience. The platform allows us to get anonymous feedback from employees. Quarterly interviews with managers are also a good way to take a more in-depth look at everyone’s experience, career objectives, feelings, etc. All these exchanges then make it possible to identify the different areas of improvement at the company, at the team level and at the employee level.
It is essential for us that everyone feels free to speak, that employees really feel that they can express themselves in a transparent way, without formatting. This is why we put efforts into creating real dialogues, especially between employees and n+1. With weekly one-to-ones, quarterly performance reviews or career lunches, we are really democratising regular exchanges so that it becomes the norm.
In the same way, we provide people with the information necessary for the successful completion of their work. And it starts with the onboarding of new employees. A welcoming breakfast, a fun presentation of the teams, cooking classes that encourage cross-team work, all these elements allow them to take ownership of the company’s state of mind, image and values. Sharing values from the first interview is fundamental to ensure that everyone joins the adventure for the right reasons: to live a team adventure. By providing global visibility on company figures and strategic decisions, employees gain visibility on the work accomplished and feel more involved.
> Autonomy and transparency: Finally, another key factor to PayFit’s development is the autonomy granted to employees. This requires both autonomy in the choice of working methods and freedom in communication. Offering everyone the opportunity to find their own way of working is the best way to build balance and mutual trust. The way projects are managed also has a significant impact. For example, we remind everyone internally that it is essential that they propose topics that are important to them, we encourage and support PayFiters in all their side projects. Also, there is freedom around processes, everyone can create and implement their own processes as long as they allow a more qualitative and flexible work. It is by leaving hierarchical codes at the door that employees can feel free and empowered. These elements contribute to the creation of a real climate of trust and transparency.
3. Enable employees to grow
Autonomy also means offering employees the opportunity to grow. Training programmes, workshops or career path, are measures that truly reflect a company’s desire to advance its employees. For us, all these elements will empower employees, encourage them to take initiatives and thus enable everyone to surpass themselves.
> Career path: it is essential to listen to everyone’s aspirations and remind employees that they can express themselves. We are all aware that no one wants to be in the same position for 10 years. Employees generally want to develop new skills, venture into new territory, or even change areas of expertise. We are or will all experience this in our careers, so it is important to support each employee when they express this wish and to provide them with what they need to enable them to advance in their thinking and their career. This is what we do by setting up career paths that allow everyone to question their future aspirations. We realise that not all employees will stay with PayFit for life, but it is part of our DNA to provide them with an inspiring experience.
“We have all been in a way, in the place of those around us. It is essential to listen to them and allow them to move forward as we would have liked them to do for us.” — Caroline Leroy
We have made several internal developments possible: from sales to customer care, from acquisition specialist to growth engineer or from manager to individual contributor, each of our employees who expressed a desire for change has been supported. The final transition is always preceded by various interviews, observation, immersion and training periods to ensure the employee’s appropriate development.
> Training and workshops: offering everyone opportunities to learn a new language, a discipline, is now one of our priorities as it encourages PayFiters to develop new skills. For example, by offering English or French courses to employees who so wish, this will enable them to gain confidence and thus to achieve their full potential through their work. To be able to achieve the best possible results, you need to surround yourself with the best, maintain and develop your hard skills. But not just that! We must also allow everyone to work with the best tools on the market.
“We believe that everyone should be given the same opportunities to develop in their daily work.” — Firmin Zocchetto
4. Guarantee fair and progressive compensation and make employees’ lives easier
If our mission is to simplify HR, the same applies to us internally. Giving employees the opportunity to work remotely or offering 20 weeks of maternity leave and 4 weeks of paternity leave, etc. All these measures are intended to reflect our product, our values and our beliefs. Allowing everyone to simply navigate between their professional and private lives will be the best way to ensure that your employees do not feel caught in the middle of both at the same time. To keep them motivated and focused, what could be simpler than relieving employees of all sources of daily frustration to help them better balance work and family life.
And because we are aware that the notion of workplace happiness is not totally unrelated to salary, we must not neglect it. It is ultimately only a representation of our value as an employee. It is one of the tangible means of rewarding progress, an evolution beyond compliments and encouragement. Establishing a salary grid for the evolution of everyone’s compensation linked to achievable and stimulating objectives will only make work more motivating.
There is no magic recipe for the development of your employees, however there are several avenues of reflection around which we can focus. While it is essential to implement various actions, we must maintain this spirit of initiative, this ability to listen to our employees and above all always question ourselves. Nothing is taken for granted. It is with constant questioning that we will be able to maintain everyone’s desire to come to work.