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HR tips and tricks: Working better does not mean working more

Workplace performance sometimes hinges on things so simple that they can easily be overlooked.

Recognising the importance of sleep

A good night's sleep is like fuel: it's what it takes to remain productive all day at the office. Aetna, a large American insurance firm, offers tips and tricks for getting a good night's sleep and rewards its employees for giving importance to getting enough sleep: 25 dollars a month for volunteers whose electronic monitoring devices record seven hours of sleep per night for 20 consecutive days.

What is a good manager?

One who is benevolent, ethical and respectful and who looks after their teams' well-being. That does not mean being a chief happiness officer or equipping the office with table football. Since happy employees are vital to the company's interests, the following are a few recommendations that can be implemented by any manager keen on creating conditions that contribute to the staff's well-being:

  • Delegate
    A good manager understands the power of showing trust in the team: making it accountable and showing recognition are stimulants. 
  • Be a haven of serenity
    A manager who loses their temper, adding to the pressure of the crisis, does nothing to improve the work environment or morale. A good manager is capable of staying calm. 
  • Communicate and smile
    There is nothing worse for teams than a sullen or withdrawn manager. Bad moods are contagious. 
  • Keep a sense of humour
    Humour has a relaxing effect and puts business in perspective. 
  • Inspire others
    Managers and staff are forced to spend a large part of their lives together. That being the case, it's better for the manager to provide inspiration, be receptive and open to suggestions.
  • Leave room for privacy
    A good manager makes it tacitly understood by staff that they have a right to privacy outside of working hours: no meetings after 7pm, empathy for family, attention to every individual's well-being, etc. 
  • "Well done", "thank you", "yes" and "no" are part of a good manager's vocabulary
    Recognition is a key to motivation, a well-known fact that can also be quickly forgotten. Congratulating staff, making achievements known to the hierarchy, not taking all the credit, but also taking decisions that are not always popular, assuming responsibility for mistakes: these are tasks that can require abnegation. They are difficult but indispensable.

Slow and steady wins the race. Make staff accountable and share with them

Base Design is a branding agency whose creative director, Thierry Brunfaut, gives us a methodology based on responsibility and autonomy for all, enabling him to get more done while working less. His week features four moments of truth with his team. Apart from these four informal meetings, team members work when and where they like, and in some cases even choose their work team, the only rule being that projects have to be well-managed.

  • Monday morning: the three challenges of the week
    It takes just 20 minutes for each team member to post their three challenges of the week on post-its that will stay up until the following Monday. Each challenge must have a clear aim, a deadline and a public commitment to achieve it.
  • Wednesday morning: how far have we come since Monday? 
    Three hours to discuss the state of play of projects under way, to encourage feedback and share feelings, humour, the important event of the week, expectations of the meeting and commitment to the team's success.
  • Midday Thursday: time to share a meal!
    Taking the time to get to know each other is key to working well together. 
  • Friday afternoon: flashback on the week
    Time to take stock of the challenges. A goal met gives a sense of achievement. A goal not met teaches us about mistakes made and helps us to identify areas for improvement.
(Sources: ,,


Our bank sponsors the Export Lion Awards for the first time

On 23 September, Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) will be hosting the 19th Export Lion Awards, an event that celebrates Flemish companies with outstanding export results. BNP Paribas Fortis is happy to support this initiative.


About FIT

In 2005, the Flemish government established the Flanders Investment & Trade (FIT) agency to promote international business in Flanders. FIT was the result of a merger of Export Flanders and the Flemish Service for Investment. The organisation aims to promote international entrepreneurship in Flemish companies, particularly SMEs.

FIT has its headquarters in Brussels and has 96 offices worldwide, five of which are based in Flanders. The agency provides information and assistance to Flemish investors and exporters free of charge.

Partnership with BNP Paribas Fortis

This year FIT is organising the 19th Export Lion Awards on Wednesday 23 September, an event that puts Flemish companies with exceptional export results in the spotlight. As the number one import and export bank, BNP Paribas Fortis is pleased to support this event as a sponsor. We are highly committed to our encouragement of Belgian exporting companies, and therefore the economy in general. Our many years of expertise in international trade finance and our global network of experts make us the perfect partner for companies with (future) international operations.

"We are proud that Belgium is one of the top 15 export countries in the world, and we are happy to give our exporters a boost by sponsoring the Export Lion Awards", Frank Haak, Head of Sales Global Trade Solutions at BNP Paribas Fortis, says.

Everything you need to know about the event

  • What? Sparkling online award ceremony followed by a virtual networking event
  • Where? At 6 locations and live from Ghent
  • When? Wednesday 23 September, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Entry fee?Free, but advance registration is recommended

Do not miss this inspiring evening!

You will receive an email with a link to the event's live stream a day before the award ceremony.



BNP Paribas Group, first quarter 2020 results

Excellent business drive in the quarter impacted by an unprecedented health crisis

The health crisis has had major repercussions on macroeconomic outlook and produced extreme shocks on the financial markets. After a quarter in line with the 2020 objectives of BNP Paribas, health crisis related developments had several major negative impacts on the first quarter 2020.

Commenting on these results, Chief Executive Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafé stated:
“In response to the health crisis, the Group’s teams have mobilised around the world to contribute to the functioning of the economy and its financing. Our concerns have been to protect our employees who are fully mobilised to ensure banking services, to quickly implement solutions to support the financing of our corporate, institutional and individual clients, and to launch in all regions where we are present a plan for emergency donations to the hospital sector and organisations committed to assist vulnerable people.
At the end of a quarter supported by an excellent business drive, in line with its 2020 objectives, the results of BNP Paribas for the 1st quarter 2020 were impacted by the harshness of the health crisis. The good resilience of revenues and results despite this shock demonstrates the robustness of the Group’s diversified and integrated model. With all teams at BNP Paribas, whose I want to thank tireless commitment to serving customers and providing support to society, we will continue our efforts to mitigate the impact of the crisis on the economy and prepare for the future.”

Press Release:



Test it here: how sustainable is your organisation?

BNP Paribas Fortis' Sustainable Business Competence Centre (SBCC), which helps companies transition to a sustainable business model, has developed a test to help you determine your company's progress in achieving sustainability. You can set to work immediately with the results of this test.

As Belgium's largest bank, BNP Paribas Fortis wants to drive socio-economic development in our country. This development requires companies to transition to a sustainable business model. As this is not particularly straightforward, BNP Paribas Fortis wants to make its expertise available to its customers.

One of the SBCC's initiatives is a brand-new test aimed at corporates, SMEs and institutional customers. The test consists of 15 questions relating to the steps you need to take to become more sustainable: awareness, diagnosis, quick wins, business model and cooperation and innovation. Once you have finished the test, you will receive the results in your mailbox instantly.

The SBCC uses your answers to make practical recommendations for your journey towards more sustainable entrepreneurship. In addition, we have all the resources needed to guide you throughout your transition from start to finish:

  • technological expertise in high-tech, ICT, biotech, medtech, clean and green tech, and more
  • a network of companies and business associates
  • financial products and services that facilitate the transition to a sustainable model

Is your organisation ready for a sustainable future?




BNP Paribas Group, second quarter 2019 results

The business of BNP Paribas was up this quarter in a context where economic growth remained positive in Europe but slowed down, implying expectations of a continued low interest rate environment.

Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé:
BNP Paribas delivered in the first half an increase in net income at 4.4 billion euros. Revenues were up thanks to business growth in the operating divisions. Operating expenses were well contained and benefitted from the transformation plan, generating a positive jaws effect. The common equity Tier 1 ratio rose to 11.9%, illustrating the Group’s solid balance sheet. New digital experiences rolled out for customers are a success and the Group is actively executing its ambitious policy of engagement in society. I would like to thank all the employees of the Group for their dedicated efforts to achieve these good results.

One pager with the results
The press release

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