No-one is invisible in a co-operative

Framework for recovering trust

Good employership in The Netherlands

By Ingrid Smolders, &samhoud consultancy

A fantastic event took place in Amsterdam bright city, organised by Great Place to Work. The evening program included the traditional awards Ceremony for the best employers in The Netherlands. And for the third time in a row &samhoud is the #1 Great Place to Work in The Netherlands. Although of course we are extremely pleased with this, we especially gained a great deal of inspiration at the afternoon event during which the manifest of good employership was produced. What happened there? And why?

Together with around 60 people, using a pressure cooker type approach, a manifest was drawn up that aims to inspire and help Dutch organisations to actually achieve good employership. And those 60 men and women, they were no ‘softies’. It was a selected group of companies that have been praised for achieving and maintaining good employership, such as Vitae, Microsoft, NetApp, SAS and us. But they were also experts specialised in good employership or in certain aspects of it, for example Michiel Drijper of the community ‘Iedereen elke dag plezier’ (‘Fun for Everyone Every Day’), and Huub van Zwieten, author of various management books on ‘Man and Work’. And finally there were representatives of employers’ and employee organisations. In short, those who brought about the manifest are those who know what it is about. The outcome of this unique collaboration was a roaring manifest with recommendations that can be directly applied in Dutch organisations.

Now, was that needed? Absolutely! Prior to the event, Great Place to Work had carried out a major survey into good employership in The Netherlands. The outcomes of that survey showed a major gap. Whereas the best employers scored an average of 78% in the confidence index (‘a B-’), the score of the average Dutch organisation was 58% (‘a C-’). That is quite a gap. If as a nation we want to win the battle, then as organisations we’ll need to ensure that the best people want to work for us and want to stay working for us. For the average Dutch organisation there is still a lot of territory to be gained here. And that’s where Great Place to Work wanted to offer support – together with the above mentioned 60 people who know how to put good employership into practise. Support by drawing up an exciting, concise, and action-focused manifest with which Dutch organisations can start to work. The manifest was presented to Hans Kamps, crown-appointed member of the Social Economic Council.

Good Employership
The manifest includes a range of recommendations, ordered in the various areas that Great Place to Work uses when reviewing human resource policies in organisations, i.e. recruiting & welcoming, listening, speaking, inspiring, celebrating, caring, developing, thanking and sharing. We would like to share a number of important elements with you. To begin with, the importance of recruiting people based on their attitude was underlined. It is extremely important to not only look at people’s knowledge and skills, but particularly also their fit with the culture, with your organisation’s core values. In this area you need to ensure unity. On the other hand, in your recruitment policy you need to ensure diversity and that people complement one another. The combination of, on the one hand, unity in values and attitudes and, on the other hand, diversity in the composition of an organisation brings great rewards. Another aspect that was mentioned is the importance of inspiration. In order to create inspiration within organisations, living out your vision on a daily basis is a must. In addition, it is important to ensure that co-workers get to know one another better, so that they can inspire one another. And it is important to bring the outside world into your organisation (customers, suppliers and other groups in your environment). These results in inspiration that is needed to create fun in the workplace and at the same time contributes to achieving better results.

These are only a few examples and the manifest includes many more of such examples. Of course it would take too long to tell the whole story in this blog. But the manifest as a whole does deserve to be considered. That is why you can download the full Manifest Good Employership. In short, if you are already a very good employer, consider which aspects you can still improve or strengthen. If you are not yet a very good employer, then you can use the outcome of the collaboration between 60 professional experts to your advantage.

By the way, while we’re talking about creating Great Places to Work…. As mentioned &samhoud won the #1 three times in a row.

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