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Torfs wins Best Employer award for sixth time

09:52 11/03/2015

Shoe-shop chain Schoenen Torfs has once again been named Best Employer in Belgium in the category of 500 or more employees. The annual award is organised by Vlerick Business School in conjunction with Jobat and the Great Place to Work Institute Belgium.

This is the sixth year that Torfs, named after CEO and founder Wouter Torfs (pictured), has won over the award’s 13-year history. The shoe store, based in Sint-Niklaas, has more than 80 outlets in Brussels and Flanders.

Torfs is well-known throughout the retail industry for its people-oriented policies, including ongoing training for shop staff. According to Torfs’ philosophy, the quickest way to customer satisfaction is to present them with a model of staff satisfaction.

“Torfs constantly strives to satisfy both its customers and its employees and feels that the two go hand in hand,” commented Dirk Buyens, professor of human resources management at Vlerick. “The company calls this ‘360 degree consideration’. This year, the focus was mainly on leadership. Over the past year, all the shop managers and their assistants completed 360-degree Expedition, a training course intended to raise the level of ‘considerate leadership’.”

The award is given on the basis of a poll of employees regarding their confidence in management, their pride in their achievements and their satisfaction with their workplace. Vlerick also carries out its own analysis of each company’s human resources policies.

Following Torfs in the top three this year are employment agency Accent Jobs and fast-food chain McDonald’s Belgium.


In the category of businesses with fewer than 500 employees, the award for best employer went to EASI, a developer of business software and apps, with offices in Nivelles and Leuven. EASI also made the top five last year.


This year EASI came in ahead of previous winner, business consultancy AE in Leuven, and productivity and time efficiency consultant Protime, based in Aartselaar. “EASI offers its employees the chance to become shareholders in the company,” said professor Buyens. “Not only does this create a greater sense of commitment within the company, it also strengthens mutual relationships over the long term.”


photo by Wouter Van Vooren/De Standaard

Written by Alan Hope