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The employee experience and the technology behind it

04 July 2021

Innovation, individualisation, and flexibility are not only important values for IT consultant CTG as an organisation, but also the principles applied by Ferdi Claes in shaping the employee experience. “And what better domain for an employer to prove this than salary?”, reasons the HR Managing Director.

CTG wants to give its employees control over their salary package. “This aligns with our overall HR vision, the core values of which are individualisation, flexibility, innovation and responsibility”, says Ferdi Claes, HR Managing Director at CTG.


Those principles also align with the projects often requested by CTG customers. “Nowadays, the buzzwords are agility and digital transformation. We employ various methodologies and tools (SAFe, DevOps, scrum, canban, etc.) with frequent iterations in the change process.”

The principles imply considerable freedom, but also include responsibility for personal choices. This is why it is important that the Flex Income system used by the HR services provider and SD Worx workforce management company goes hand in hand with sound legal support. “Every decision needs to be legally watertight at all times”, says Tom Vanpraet (SD Worx). “The technology has to work and be easy to implement, but communication is also essential. A tool can be a technological wonder, but without communication, you cannot achieve the goals that are the very reason why you began using that tool.”

Advice for well-informed decisions

That is why the HR department at CTG is always available for advice, adds Claes. His goal is an employee experience in which the individual truly feels in control. “HR provides advice, so that the individual can make well-considered and well-founded decisions. An equally important part of that experience is easy accessibility to own data. Being only a few taps on a smartphone away from accessing salary information at any time is paramount.” The cocktail is perfectly balanced so that the ingredients of empowerment are properly combined with all aspects of user convenience. “I can spontaneously, as it were, schedule my days off without having to launch a system from my desk.” The app is now also accessible via facial recognition.

Which brings us to the most used aspects. Claes continues, “The holiday planning functionality is extremely popular. I can easily view my days off in the app, as well as see those of my team. We increasingly organise certain aspects of our work in much the same way as the other aspects of our daily lives. This also means that they do not first have to send requests to HR.”

Shopping experience

The Flex Income modalities for salary are used quite often. Claes continues, “The reason is that, since last year, we no longer use an annual cycle, but a continuous mode: employees can now simply shop. What is most important here is not the need to modify your salary modalities weekly, but the emotional feeling of ‘safety’ inherent to being in control of your own data and having it within easy reach when you need it. No more black box. And you know that it’s a cinch to make changes when desired.”

We are still amazed by the fact that the notorious complexity of salary issues can be easily managed from an app, though certain aspects like salary slips are still administered via a portal. Claes continues, “The first line of support there includes a chatbot. Those interested in taking time off will immediately receive suggestions for out-of-office messages and other administrative fringe effects. Flex Income has meant a lot less administrative work for our HR staff, unlike a few years ago with the earlier versions.”

“We are in control of the entire process, end-to-end”, says Vanpraet. “That means, among other things, that everything takes place within a defined legal framework. Leasing, for example, is linked to a four-year period. And there is a framework defined by the employer for everything that he or she wants to make flexible when implementing the system. Holidays, for instance, can be modified within the framework for sector agreements. If necessary, changes can be made daily within that framework because the processing of changes is a seamless process, including digital signatures via e-id for attachments.”

Incidentally, the Flex Income plan is not intended as an optimisation exercise in terms of costs, claims Vanpraet. “It needs to offer added value to employee users in line with the relevant phase.”

A diverse menu

Apart from holidays, one of the most flexible elements, the mobility features are also extremely popular. “We see a clear trend towards smaller cars, but with more luxury features”, says Claes. “Top performance cars are losing ground.” Another reason for this is the possibility to choose a smaller vehicle and a larger holiday car. And then, of course, there is the coronavirus factor: employees are increasingly asking themselves whether they really need a large car. CTG also sees a trend towards plug-in hybrids. Claes says, “Of the 75 cars we ordered this year, 30 were plug-in.” The purely electric cars are still too expensive and drivers still suffer from driving range stress. E-bikes are also very popular in combination with a smaller company car.

With so much freedom of choice without compromising on manageability, Ferdi Claes is even considering expanding the menu. “The diversity of options largely determines the attractiveness of the system. We try to add something new to our shop each year. Little interest in a new element when first introduced does not necessarily mean that it was a poor choice. I know from experience that things can turn around quickly. When first launched in early 2012, the Flex Income system had a usage rate among employees of 12 percent, while that amount is now over 80 percent.” Tom Vanpraet (SD Worx) is not surprised about the new elements available, as he often sees customers with a telenet@home or proximus@home formula for data.


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