Doing business differently: Avizzeo, happy at work!

Information updated on 28/01/20

Montpellier-based IT consultancy Avizzeo became a cooperative and participative company in 2016. Well-being at the workplace is one of the core values for the company, labeled Happy at Work in 2017.

L'équipe de Avizzeo au complet. @David Richard

Back row from left to right, 2nd: Sébastien Darcy, co-director; 3rd: Anne Debaillie; 4th: Antoine Penciolelli, co-director and founder. @David Richard

Avizzeo made well-being a priority for its employees by focusing on two main principles: responsibility and collaboration-based management. To implement these concepts, the Montpellier company became a “cooperative and participative company” (SCOP status under French law) in 2016.

“Governance questions are not just the directors’ responsibility,” says Antoine Penciolelli, co-founder of the company specialized in data analysis, decisional informatics, and software development for higher schools of education such as Montpellier Business School. “Everyone has their say in decisions made during general assembly meetings, regardless of how many shares they hold in the company,” he adds.

Participating in various commissions, employees are also involved with the company’s daily operations. For example, a workgroup was established to elaborate Avizzeo’s salary grid. “The grid takes many factors into account, such as positioning, expertise, and autonomy, as a means to ensure fairness,” adds Anne Debaillie, hired as Chief Happiness Officer in 2016. “It is also visible to everyone and can be reevaluated in case of problems.” The “Facilities” commission enabled other staff members to get involved with choices about new office furniture.

Employee satisfaction, the main Happy at Work criterion

The company had two employees when it was founded in 2013. The number doubled three years later when Avizzeo changed to SCOP status in the La Ruche co-working space in Montpellier. Avizzeo is now located on Rue Foch in downtown Montpellier, with sixteen employees, IT developers, project managers, data scientists... “in a workspace that is designed to be comfortable, as we spend a lot of time there,” adds the co-director.

“Enabling people to adapt their missions by taking part in decisions and well-being gives them a way to influence fundamental organizational well-being,” summarizes Anne Debaillie.

The company also gets together for afterwork events and festive activities. With its corporate social and environmental policy (CSR), Avizzeo in 2017 was the first company with fewer than 200 employees – the only one in the region – listed in the Happy at Work ranking. The label recognizes well-being at the workplace based on the satisfaction of employees, which has doubled since that time at Avizzeo, with staff size increasing from eight to sixteen people.
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