June 19, 2024

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Leading With Autonomy: Result And People-Driven Leadership Style At Eurobrillance

3 min read

With over 30 years of experience, Eurobrillance is the leading supplier of high-quality, sustainable paperboards and laminating services in the printing industry and packaging manufacturers. Currently held by a private investment group, Chateau De Steinbach Holding, Eurobrillance has experienced critical ownership and structure transformations. From its inception in 1992 to being acquired by Martin Raeymakers and Boris Hoffarth in 2017, the company structure has changed from strict authoritarian leadership under the first owner to becoming a thriving environment where employees feel heard, seen, valued, and competent.

Now, a flourishing organization where prosperity, content employees, and profits exceeding expectations intertwine, Eurobrillance, acquired by Chateau De Steinbach Holding in 2017, used to have a flat structure, where the founding father made all the decisions, requiring workers to execute them without asking questions. Since 2017, the new owners have been altering the company’s DNA and striving to increase productivity, employee satisfaction, and profits.

Inspired by Isaac Getz’s leadership philosophy, called corporate liberation, Eurobrillance focuses on complete and utmost autonomy. “Whether it’s the CEO, CFO, accountant, or machine operator, everyone deserves autonomy and a space to make their own decisions, determine the organization of their day, the speed and order of completing tasks, and the methodology they follow,” adds Martin Raeymakers. As emphasized by the owners of Eurobrillance, the role of the leader is to provide focus and strategy and let the organization operate freely in accordance with personal abilities and needs.

Martin and Boris
Martin and Boris

“If people have a problem and come to me as a CEO with two solutions, I’ll help them choose the more efficient one. But if they have an issue and a solution they believe is good, they don’t come and see me—they just do it,” adds Boris Hoffarth. Eurobrillance believes in fostering an environment where employees in all positions are valued. That’s why if there are quality or production drawbacks, everyone involved, the client, the salespeople, the CEO, and the ones operating the machine, are partaking in the discussion. The owners of Eurobrillance emphasize that’s the only way to organically improve a company’s productivity and profits. “They discuss it among each other, learn, and offer insightful feedback. The next time they produce, they think of that client they met weeks ago and take their problems and opinions into account,” explains Martin.

Eurobrillance’s commitment to equality is tangible across all ventures. For instance, the company introduced a quarterly bonus system. When a target is reached, the owners share 8% of the profits with employees, dividing it evenly between executives, truck loaders, machine operators, production managers, and the sales department. “The amount is the same for everybody. We consider that each employee has the same importance and value in achieving success, propelling the flow of the process,” adds Martin.

While autonomy and independence fuel the company’s growth, setting guidelines is also important. However, Eurobrillance engages employees even in the rule-making process; the personnel meet together to develop a set of rules that are later proposed to the owners. As noticed by Eurobrillance’s leaders, that way ensures employees adhere to guidelines as they were the ones who created them.

“We have no KPIs and measures. It’s all about reaching milestones and success organically. And we can see this method is working. We have less absenteeism, fewer sick leaves, and don’t struggle with getting young generations on board, which is quite a struggle, especially in our region,” says Boris. “When people have autonomy and can decide for themselves, they want to do their best. They’re happy, they’re satisfied, and they feel valued. With a content team, our productivity has increased significantly. I believe taking care of the spirit of people who are responsible is the key to a successful company,” remarks Martin.


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