When you feel good, you perform better
At ION in Waregem, health is a top priority. Employees receive a sports watch, and running and cycling clothes. Professional support is also available for those participating in a sports event. Project developer ION was founded just 6 years ago by CEO Davy Demuynck and his two partners. The company has been able to achieve remarkable growth in recent years. Meanwhile, ION employs about fifty people. The most striking feature of the company is undoubtedly its philosophy, which puts the well-being of the employees central stage. Anyone who starts working at ION is given the opportunity to undergo a fitness test free of charge. All employees receive a sports watch, as well as a cycling and running outfit for both summer and winter. At lunchtime, workshops are regularly organised, for example on healthy eating. If a number of colleagues have a sports goal in mind - Spartacusrun, Beatrun or Dodentocht - for example, the company provides professional support.
Sometimes people just need a little push in the right direction. On the first floor at ION, for example, we have a sweets cupboard. Employees can eat and drink as much as they like, free of charge. But we stuck a subtle A4 note on the cupboard door to discourage the excessive consumption of sweets. It says that it takes a 4.8-kilometre walk to burn off one can of coke. "Our little note works because we have noticed that our staff tend to prefer water over coke or lemonade. We also provide healthy alternatives: fruit salad in summer, soup in winter..." Those who get tired just thinking about sports but still want to work for ION, don't need to despair. "We consider all applicants, regardless of whether they enjoy exercising or feel the need to change their habits. At the end of the day, everyone is free to do whatever they feel is best for them."
CEO Davy Demuynck studied PE and strongly believes in the importance of good health. “When you feel good, you perform better. I truly believe that. The employees are a company’s greatest asset, and as an employer, it is your duty to take care of them".
All the efforts the company makes to help its employees get fitter come with a price tag of course. "You can't always have the urge to measure everything," Demuynck says. "We think it's worth the investment. Our employees feel good here. In the past 6 years, only 3 employees have left. I can tell that our people appreciate our efforts. And just to be clear, we don’t force anyone to do anything."