People and Organization

Top-down and rumblings.

Bottum-up and support.
Thomas Dewulf

March 2015: rumblings at Möbius head office. The preferred lunchtime, evening and, yes, even morning snacks of many colleagues were set to disappear. Supplies needed replenishing almost every day but now the “Mignonettes” and “Chokotoffs” would no longer be able to satisfy that onset of hunger (or was it just indulgence?). The cause was the following post on our internal Eyelean* improvement board: “Chokotoffs, Mignonettes, etc. Little snacks to have with coffee for our customers, but – let’s be honest – were mostly eaten by ourselves…”. An improvement proposal was launched immediately, as it should: “Remove all unhealthy snacks and replace by healthy snacks”. Arguments for and against were bandied about, but after a short poll on our intranet – 27 for, 15 against was the result – the decision was quickly made. One month later all unhealthy snacks had gone and been replaced… but not without the necessary objections.

Every day we support our customers in change programmes, with one specific approach. Communication, introduction sessions, customer surveys, involving workers in work groups, etc. Methods to create a support framework among workers and to use their expertise. In the past these methods were used for our Health initiatives to a lesser extent. Top initiatives were chosen and launched, regardless. Participation in sports events, fitness tests, flu vaccination, a Polar Loop by way of new year’s gift, etc. In the future we want to handle it differently, we want to bring together your initiatives in a year programme, geared to each other and supported by the workers.

Another approach was required! Both feet in the mud, seeing what is happening at the workplace. Only this would lead to a support framework. Initiatives would no longer be introduced bottom-up and the “Health@Möbius team” was established. A steering committee with representatives from all segments of the Möbius Group. From Möbius België to Möbius Nederland, from sister company Solventure to subsidiary LoQutus, from business consultants to marketing specialists and health and safety officer. From now on they would represent the different groups in the company and draw up an annual programme.

First action of the steering committee? An employer’s survey! Why only work with the inspiration of 8 people if you can work with the inspiration of all workers? An assessment of the state of health in terms of eating and sleeping habits, level of movement, stress, etc. was the result. We also sounded out how the Möbius Group could contribute to a better lifestyle for all these aspects. The first reactions were unanimous:

“Am a fan of this survey, it’s important! Thanks for launching this!”
“This survey is a great initiative!”
“Go go go!”

With a remarkably high level of response the steering committee received more than enough input. Ideas were prioritized and worked out in more detail, a planning was drawn up, in short the annual programme took form. From the daily offering of fresh soup to organizing specific sessions about sleeping and a sedentary lifestyle, over the next year we will work on different aspects! Aspects that are important to our workers.

Over the past month the project that started as “Health@Möbius” was launched under a new name with matching logo: Möfit. With success! Not only for our workers, but also beyond. A place in the final of the “nv gezond award 2015” (a health promotion award for SMEs) was the result. What a great bonus, no? We didn’t win the award, but we did get confirmation. We’re doing a great job! A reason to celebrate. With Chokotoffs and Mignonettes! After all, the best-before-date of this massive stock in our cellar is fast approaching.

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Thomas Dewulf