first gun

I was eleven years old the first time I saw a gun in the streets. Startled by a clinging sound in peak midday rush while I was waiting for a friend right outside the hall of Antwerp-Central rail station.

Looking toward the sound, I noticed a shiny, chrome, Beretta. To suppress panic, I’m trying to see if someone else witnessed what I just saw. The next instant, I looked at the man who had just dropped the gun.

He was getting dumped on, verbally, by his companion. Sounding like a southeast European language, I can only imagine he must have said. You idiot, why did you drop your piece in the middle of the day? At the busiest spot in the city, no less.

The two men looked at me. In about twelve seconds, I developed more panic. I touted my lips somewhat and shook my head in an attempt to relay an “I haven’t seen anything” sentiment.

Why am I telling you this?

55% of communication is nonverbal.

Leaders, managers, and HR professionals can’t overestimate the importance of body language.

Sometimes, everything and nothing is being said at the same time.

why quit

4 reasons why software engineers leave their job.

Mismatch in expectations

Wait a minute, this is not what I’ve been sold. Often, the way the job has been offered initially doesn’t align with what it feels like to actually perform in the role, every day.

Flawed remote work strategy

A remote work strategy shouldn’t revolve around the required amount of days employees must come to the office. It should be about the most efficient way to get synchronous work done. This depends heavily on how teams organize themselves, as opposed to an enforced, top-down approach.

Bigger picture

In many cases, software engineers don’t really feel what their efforts contribute to. For clients or internal projects, ideally, the impact that they helped realize, should be made as tangible as possible.

No recognition

Sleepless nights, plagued by that one stubborn bug that just won’t go away. An architectural innovation that dramatically reduces cost structure or doubles performance… So many efforts go by unnoticed. Without empathic leadership, the proverbial pat on the back, it’s hard to keep pushing code daily.

it’s not salary

How to make sure employees stay? Spoiler alert; it’s not salary.

Jack Parsons once said: “the employee who leaves a company because of the salary can return because of the culture, but the one who leaves because of the culture will never return because of the salary”.

Excellent job culture and company culture aren’t just valuable for current employees, it’s a powerful magnet to attract new candidates, as well as re-attract ex-employees.

Building a company culture, bottom-up, starts with job culture. One employee after the other. Making sure the match is right, both on a hard-skills – and soft-skills level creates an upward spiral that serves as a coil for the above-mentioned magnet.


Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own story. This powerful quote by Franz Kafka potentially reveals a lot about us humans.

I believe that many of us are necessarily the hero(in) of our own job.

When employers, specifically managers and leaders, fail to recognize, respect, and empathize with their hero(in) employees, expecting them to be involved and engaged is unrealistic.

tech changes

Here is an example of how technology changes consumers and producers.

Back in the day, TV shows were written so that you’d still understand what was going on no matter when you tuned in. If you missed an episode, you missed an episode. One way to help viewers was to have a steady cast that appears in every single episode.

Nowadays, people (binge) watch TV shows. On-demand, whenever it’s convenient. For instance, the Netflix remake of “House of Cards” has characters disappearing, only to make their return eight episodes later. This principle allows for a new layer of complexity. Complexity that challenges the writers even more in their creative processes.

Safe to say, streaming technology altered viewers’ behaviors. This behavior change, in turn, influences producers’ behaviors, only to further alter viewers’ behaviors.

Imagine for a second how technology has influenced employees’ behavior. Hybrid working is here to stay. How does that influence employers? What are some of the principles they should embrace to further engage with their employees?

thank you

Thank you. These two words and their impact have been researched thoroughly, with tons of new research appearing every day.

When managers thank their employees for their contributions, acknowledge their achievements, and give credit where credit is due, employees are four times more likely to feel engaged.

Whom are you going to thank today?

doctor translator

When you get your blood checked at the doctor, they don’t just forward the lab results. Most of us are laypeople, medically speaking, so we need a couple of things from the doctor.

We need them to translate the results. All these numbers, exotic-sounding terms, and ratios. What do they even mean? Not a whole lot until our doctor interprets the results for us. This number here, dear patient, means your cholesterol is too high. This number indicates you have a vitamin D deficiency.

We need them to guide us on how to improve specific metrics. Once the lab results have been translated, we need them to provide us with actionable advice on how we can improve our situation. Make changes to your diet, or take some supplements, for example.

Businesses looking to hire top talent often use assessments in the process. Those results need to be translated as well, alongside practical advice as to how to improve based on those results.


Sixty percent of job seekers report having a negative candidate experience with the employers they engage with.

Imagine sixty percent of customers having a negative experience leading up to purchase with a particular company. How long would it take for that company to go bankrupt?

Signing with a new employer is arguably a more significant life event than most purchases of goods or services. Hence, candidates considering an employer should be treated as vip’s.

hostile acquisition

Companies get merged all the time. More often than not, the employees, who are about to be merged, are forced into a rather passive role.

They probably didn’t have a say in the process, to begin with. It’s hard for them to imagine what the new, larger company will feel like. What about the new colleagues and managers? Naturally, some doubts arise.

Mergers typically bring about a wave of people resigning, devaluating the merger from the get-go. Maybe the employees preferred the old, smaller company. They might be uncertain as to what’s expected of them in the new company. Uncertainty doesn’t quite boost employee engagement, au contraire.

Successfully completing a merger is an excellent trigger to re-establish employees’ expectations with regard to their jobs. Merging a small team into a larger company is manageable. Merging a large corporate into an even larger corporate requires tools, models, and frameworks to discuss these expectations, preferably in a scientifically sound way.

our own hero

Everyone is necessarily the hero of their own imagination. That’s what Franz Kafka once said allegedly.

Everyone wants to be the hero of their own job. When employers, more specifically managers and leaders, fail to show recognition, respect, and empathy, employee engagement is no longer an option.