Episode 6 : Having fun at work is a powerful catalyst for excellence
For the first 2020 episode of our Faces behind Service Excellence series, we met Bart Paesen, Head of our Treasury Services Team.
Bart is one of those people you’d like to have dinner with. He is a fascinating storyteller and loves to cook! Originally from Hasselt in Belgium, he lives in Luxembourg and enjoys the international diversity of this vibrant city. A curious traveller, his favourite destination is Umbria in Italy where he loves to seek out exceptional, regional ingredients to whip up the best Italian recipes.
Bart began his career journey with Lombard International Assurance over 20 years ago in the Policy Administration Department, now our Partner and Client Services (PCS) team. “I started in another century!” he said with a smile. Back then, in 1999, the team comprised of three people. Today, Bart leads our 13-strong Treasury Services Team who are responsible for processing the claims and payment transactions to our clients, partners and the necessary authorities across our varying markets. We had a chat with Bart to learn more about his personal belief in how staying motivated at work and service excellence go hand in hand.
After such a long career with Lombard International Assurance, what continues to drive, inspire and motivate you to achieve excellence every day?
Consistently learning, always evolving. I like to remind my team that “if you learn something new today, you will go home with a sense of accomplishment”. I am a firm believer that challenging yourself every day, regardless how big or small, is the key to staying motivated in life and at work.
I also believe motivation is born from a positive state of mind or attitude. It is a matter of being enthusiastic, curious, open to change and passionate about what you do. Our company’s vision and culture nurtures an environment where we collectively strive to be the best. We have been the market leader in our industry for a long time now, but I think that simply being the leader is not enough. To stay ahead of our competitors we must continue to pioneer our sector and deliver a superior service. To do this, I am big believer in the word “how”. Service excellence hinges on how you conduct business, how you foster an environment where all employees are committed to providing outstanding service, and understand how they contribute to our success.
Being part of a forward thinking organisation where innovation is paramount and diversity of thought is embraced is organically motivating. It’s never boring at Lombard International Assurance, that is why I have been here for over 20 years!
You mentioned enthusiasm as a key driver of motivation. What do you mean by this?
To me, enthusiasm for what you do is born from happiness – which means that work has to be fun! We spend a significant proportion of our daily lives at the office, so it is imperative that we enjoy where we work, what we are doing and appreciate those we work with.
As a manager, it is important to me that I am always accessible to my team and provide an environment for them that is built on trust, respect and transparency and that everyone’s contribution to the wider company’s objectives is recognised and rewarded. This is the key to ensuring that my team feel comfortable and valued. I always tell anyone who chooses to join my team “if there is something in your role that is making you unhappy, let’s review that straight away. The quicker we can work together to resolve or adapt, the better for you and the team as a whole”.
For me, enabling my team to bring the best version of themselves to work every day is the key to sparking enthusiasm and driving motivation.
In your opinion, what makes Lombard International Assurance stand out from competition?
Definitely our approach to simplifying complexity. Our clients are HNW and UHNW families and institutions. Their situations are diverse and intrinsically complex. We work hard to provide our clients with innovative bespoke solutions with outstanding service. This means we always have to be one step ahead. The more complex a partner or clients’ problem, the harder we strive to resolve it – we love a challenge! Complexity fuels our expertise and pushes us beyond our everyday horizons.
What’s your secret recipe to delivering service excellence?
I believe exceeding expectations is at the forefront of service excellence. We take a long-term view to building meaningful relationships with our partners and clients. The result of this means we are able to anticipate our clients’ needs before they even realise they needed anything. The key to this is listening with intent. By truly listening, to not only hear what is said, but by also understanding their underlying requirements and priorities, we are able to offer tailor-made solutions and anticipate our clients’ needs before they have even realised that they needed anything.
As mentioned earlier, our diversity, not only in thought but in the make-up of our teams, is our greatest asset. We are able to hold important conversations in the language of the partner and clients’ choice, as we have a multitude of nationalities and languages spoken within our teams.