Tag Archives: training

-A message from the Dean-

In academia, September marks a fresh start, a new chapter. We are delighted to be saying hello to our new members at the British Chamber Academy, and to be welcoming back some familiar faces, too. The past few months haven’t been easy, so we have put together a selection of initiatives in order to support our community and help you and your business get the best out of these unprecedented times. 

To start, we are now offering online executive education to individuals and organisations who wish to acquire immediately applicable skills, knowledge and enhance their professional network. The upcoming training schedule offers a wide variety of digital workshops, carefully configured to address the challenges associated with remote working environments and encouraging individuals to maximise the benefits of our digitised world. 

In cooperation with Brussels New Generation (BNG), the academy will be offering digital workshops targeted at young professionals, who aim to enrich their employability and thrive within increasingly competitive labour markets. 

Academy ‘credits’ are being introduced as a method of preventing participant  ‘e-learning fatigue’. This development aims to maximise the digital learning experience of our clients and encourages the purchase of ‘credits’ to allow the completion of  a series of shorter, more engaging workshops as opposed to one less productive training session. 

As part of our long term commitment to improving the quality of work within our business community, we will continue to utilise our extensive network of like-minded professionals and offer specialised courses in support of broader social initiatives such as promoting women in enterprise. 

I look forward to virtually meeting with you soon!

Dirk Daenen

Click here to register for our upcoming trainings!

HR in practice

by Robbert Dekker, Operations & Strategy Executive of the British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium.

Did you know that your annual holiday rights are based on how much you worked the year before? That from time to time, all salaries are indexed even if you received a raise the month before? A room full of professionals stepped away from their busy schedules on Tuesday 12th of May to take part in the first of a three-part training session on “HR in Practice” to get a better understanding of these complexities.

Hugues Thibaut of Group S and Eric Laurent of Eryv were the featured speakers, elucidating de-facto HR managers to find their way through Belgium’s notorious HR maze. Hugues shared his vast knowledge on payroll matters, while Eric explained the intricacies of the Belgian tax system in a way that even I – a relative newcomer to Brussels and HR – understood.

Let me tell you then, what I got from all of this. In a nutshell, Belgian social security and tax rates are high and the payroll system fairly bewildering. Apparently, Belgium ranks 3rd on the payroll complexity index! Therefore, it’s not surprising that Belgian companies either opt for dedicated teams managing their payroll process, or often outsource this to an external payroll provider. I myself am simultaneously in charge of Operations, Finance and Accounting, management intelligence as well as HR and work with outsourced partners to both manage my workload but also get expertise where needed. This business training session offered me an excellent opportunity to get a solid grounding for at least one of my various responsibilities.

The presentations struck a chord with one other participant, who remarked, “…event if you think you know this stuff, it’s great to compare with peers how they deal with the challenges they’re faced with.” And I’m sure I wasn’t the only one happy to hear others struggle with very similar issues. Often there is an easy solution if you know what to ask and to whom.

I will no doubt attend the last session as well to get a better understanding on trainees and volunteers, advanced employment laws, and on how to optimise remunerations. I would highly recommend this to anyone faced with the HR tasks and processes.

The British Chamber of Commerce in Belgium have many more great professional training sessions planned for 2015. The next session is Accounting for Non-accountants with BDO, which will take place on 4 June. This event is open to both members of the chamber as well non-members. For all other trainings, please follow this link.

From signs on the underground to advertisements of the latest fashions trends, we are constantly being bombarded with thousands of messages each day. Yet, how can businesses make sure that their message is the one that sticks in peoples’ minds? Andrew Manasseh, Management Communication Training, showed us how.

Both engaging and informative, this session provided an insightful overview of why we attempt to communicate with consumers and how to develop effective messages, all through interactive, group activities. Andrew’s approach was simple and concise, with his own presentation echoing his principal rule; only communicate two or three key messages at any one time. This point was reiterated through a tool called the ‘message house’ which outlines the essential elements needed to achieve the main communication objectives; raising awareness, developing opinion and changing behaviour.

Of these objectives, altering a consumer’s opinion or behaviour are the most challenging. To overcome this, it is important to have a structure with an over-arching message which is then supported by two or three statements and hard and soft evidence. It is also advisable to avoid using clichéd business jargon and phrases. However, the most fundamental element of successful communication is ensuring that the message means something to the people you are engaging. Simple, interesting and relevant messages often leave the most lasting impressions.

The session was the perfect beginners guide to effective communication, providing participants with the confidence and tools to reach their desired audience.

Topic of the discussion: Improving communication skills

Speaker: Andrew Manasseh, Management Communication Training (

Tuesday, 2 July 2013




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