Crafting a Happy and Resilient Workforce with Ariad's Managing Director

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  • 05 min. reading
  • Workplace

What is the future of work, and how can it be happier?

Ariad brought together 4 experts to share their thoughts, give insights into how they're working to make their teams and workplaces better, and what will be important factors in building the next phase of a better working life.

In an evolving post-COVID landscape, Jeroen Geleyn, Managing Director at Ariad, finds excitement in the challenge that currently confronts all companies: adapting to new work paradigms like hybrid models, full-time remote work, and varying office preferences. 


Reflecting on the current era of workplace management, Jeroen anticipates the possibilities it holds, especially in the field of consultancy and staffing. "I'm looking forward to this new era, although I don't believe all the answers are in yet. Many of our clients have this question," he notes, underlining the shared uncertainty and need for innovative solutions in the workplace.


Does happiness at work matter?

As we dove into the first topic of the day: Should companies care about employee happiness to stay competitive? Jeroen immediately emphasised Ariad's distinctive approach : "Our angle is the human touch. How can we provide the right expertise at the right time, especially when it has become more complicated? As a good friend of mine says, if it's complicated, it's to your advantage. You can make the difference." 


Building on Ariad’s approach to business, Jeroen immediately drew a parallel with the importance of finding and creating the right environment for every talent. "I personally think it's the responsibility of the employee to find intrinsic motivation," Jeroen acknowledges. However, he swiftly adds, "But on the other hand, we're all social beings. So we're influenced by the environment we're in. And so an environment can really kill us."


Panel discussion


To address this challenge, Jeroen mentions a pivotal insight from a recent workshop on CliftonStrengths (a personal development model owned by Gallup, and framework which Ariad members follow): "If you want to impact the happiness or the engagement of your employees, you will have to help them be true to their strengths." This encapsulates the essence of Ariad's commitment to fostering an environment that encourages individuals to leverage their strengths.


Continuing on the importance of a good environment, Jeroen delves into the workshop's insight. "How does that work? That only works if you give [your talents] the right environment and the right manager," he asserts. For him, a manager's role extends beyond overseeing tasks;  “if the manager helps them to identify their strengths, helps them to see how they can use them in their roles, maybe do some job crafting and adjust the role so that they use their strengths, then there is a much higher chance that they will be happy in their job.” 


Jeroen's perspective emphasises the critical link between a positive environment, effective management, and employee satisfaction. "Yes, intrinsic motivation means self-responsibility. But if your environment is not helping you, then you're not going to jump very far," he concludes, summarising the delicate balance between individual accountability and the external factors that shape professional experiences.


At Ariad, this philosophy is actively applied. Jeroen describes how we focus on creating a win-win situation for both clients and consultants, rooted in identifying and maximising individual strengths. "Working within the framework of CliftonStrengths helps us get a clear idea of our consultants' strengths to better match them with potential clients," he explains.


Moreover, Ariad places a strong emphasis on cultural fit. Jeroen highlights that it's not just about matching job descriptions but also about aligning individuals with the values and culture of a company. This approach is facilitated through long-lasting and honest partnerships with professionals currently in the field, ensuring a holistic understanding of the work environment.


Considering the bigger picture

The long-term vision at Ariad is pretty straightforward: we aspire to cultivate a community of experts through an environment that stimulates strength-building and knowledge-sharing. Jeroen envisions that some of these experts will evolve into leaders, carrying forward the ethos that Ariad values the individual and knows how to facilitate the growth of both consultants and companies effectively.


As the panel discussion draws to an end; Jeroen reminds us of the significance of accepting that you can't control what drives people. “Help them discover what really gives them energy, what brings them in the flow, etc. With the risk of losing them? Yes, but it's a much more sustainable approach”. And if someone's motivations no longer align with your business's needs, he believes it's not just acceptable but highly recommended to part ways on a positive note. This approach, according to Jeroen, shows genuine care for the individual and a belief in a more holistic, "bigger picture" approach.


Emphasising a unique perspective on employee development, Jeroen encourages a mindset that is ready to adapt. "It's okay to sometimes lose some people. You should focus on the empowerment and development of your employees," he asserts. The willingness to let employees pursue their passions, even if it means parting ways positively, is a testament to a business philosophy that extends beyond immediate organisational needs.


In conclusion, Jeroen Geleyn's insights provide a roadmap for businesses navigating the complexities of the post-COVID era, and building sustainable, engaged teams. By opting for a human approach, focusing on individual strengths, and nurturing a positive environment, Ariad sets an example of a forward-thinking organisation ready to meet the challenges of the new normal. As Jeroen looks forward to the unfolding future, it's evident that his commitment to the wellbeing and growth of individuals positions Ariad at the forefront of progressive and people-centric management practices.


Learn more

Curious to learn more insights from industry leaders on happiness at work?

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