Sustainable Employment: The importance of sustainable employment practices is increasing. Many people feel stress in the workplace. Approximately 80% of physical symptoms are caused by stress. The ‘stress’ theme is therefore crucial in sustainable employment. In addition, the consequences of burnout in the short and long term are becoming increasingly visible and the consequences of this are also being strongly felt.
You come across the term sustainable employment more and more in organizations, HR policy, and publications. It sounds like a popular, perhaps a “hip” concept. But what does it really mean for employers and employees?
Definition of Sustainable Employment
If you look at the meaning of the concept, you will come across different definitions and explanations everywhere for ‘sustainable employment’. A definition frequently used is that of the NEN (Dutch Standardization Institute): “Sustainable employment is the ability of the employee to provide added value for an organization now and in the future, while also experiencing added value themselves.”
“Sustainable employment is the ability of the employee to provide added value for an organization now and in the future, while also experiencing added value themselves.”
The demands placed on employees nowadays continue to grow. Additional problems, or perhaps rather a challenge, is the increase in the state pension age and the aging population. The number of newcomers to the labor market is getting smaller, whilst the retirement age increases, therefore, Employees must work longer into their lives which then certainly has an impact on the employability of this group of employees.
Importance of Sustainable Employment for Both Employer And Employee
The moment that employees are in the sustainable employment category, it becomes more interesting not only for the employee but also for the employer. Now both edges of the blade are sharp so to speak.
Employee loss does not only lead to high additional costs. As a company, you have also invested in your employees for many years. If these then disappear or leave, you also lose their valuable accumulated employment and knowledge of your company. Finding new employees is not always attractive. Not only is there a shortage in the labor market as mentioned earlier, but also fierce competition in various fields. Meaning that young employees are often inexperienced and attracting experienced employees usually costs a lot of money. Apart from replacement and capital loss, burnout can cost € 70,000 per year.
That is why naturally you want to achieve sustainable employment in order that your employees are able to continue working for as long as possible without absenteeism. Satisfied and healthy employees are very important for the company. But how do you achieve this?
What to Bet on for Sustainable Employment?
As an employer, you can take measures to make your employees healthier, happier and thus more effective for you (ie more sustainable employment). Think in particular of the points such as health, involvement, motivation, and development. Sustainable employment results in employee retention:
- Health: Ensure a safe environment and a good clear policy for working conditions. Both physically and in terms of atmosphere in the workplace. Perhaps you can offer an annual health check, promote sports by, for example, reimbursing subscriptions from gyms;
- Involvement and motivation: do not only look at the things that are not going well but focus on the good points. Keep your employees informed when making decisions and, where possible, offer them room to contribute. Communicate with your employees and stay up to date with everything that is going on in the workplace. Also, think of team building and strengthen the mutual “team spirit”.
- Development: motivate your staff to participate in courses and training. Not only company-oriented but certainly also for their own personal development. Facilitate this by, for example, making personal training budgets available.
“Sustainability results in employee retention”
Let us consider these points further below:
Employees are the driving force within the organization, ensuring that all work is done and that the company can exist. These employees are human beings, not robots and therefore it is important that they are healthy. A lot of stress leads to an unhealthy existence and it has been described earlier how important it is to motivate your employees so that they will not get stressed. However, there are many other factors that can lead to healthy employees.
A healthy work-life balance should be part of a company’s policy. Not only continuity or profitability but precisely the human capital that this must achieve deserves more attention.
In such cases, training courses such as ‘time management’ and ‘assertiveness in the workplace’ are regularly used. If, for example, you look at the root causes of burnout, you understand that this often does not provide the outcome that is desired.
Making sustainable employment part of the policy of an organization requires a lot of time and patience. On the other hand, some cogs in an organization will have to be changed somewhere if the course of direction is to be adjusted. It is remarkable that this has a positive effect on the profitability of an organization in the long term. Calculate the right people in the right place, with a healthy motivation, who are involved in the organization, with a healthy dose of energy.
We work out further below:
- Release and put into perspective
- Decrease stress
- Make stress negotiable
- Continued Communication
- Meaning and happiness at work
- Seating position
- Healthy food
- Working atmosphere
More information on increasing employee resilience here
1: Release and Put Into Perspective
It is healthy for employees to find the time to ‘do nothing’ and to be out in the open during their break. Two simple things that are effective to keep your head clear and prevent stress. A tidy head provides sharpness and overview.
In a deeper layer of perspective, employees can ask themselves whether they still enjoy their job and ask themselves what can be improved in the work situation. These questions are often shunned as if these questions should not be asked. Avoiding this problem will lead to more absenteeism, no matter how sensitive this may be with many employees.
Employees who ask themselves what is really relaxing for them and what their ideal discharge valve is, experiencing less stress. Employees who consider everything that goes well despite setbacks are often more aware of certain things and will be better able to deal with stress. Releasing or putting things into perspective is, therefore, such an important point, just like trying to enjoy the life that one leads.
2: Reduce Stress
Stress manifests itself in certain symptoms. This way employees tire quicker and are therefore less productive. They feel a lack of energy and recover less quickly from efforts made. Moreover, they often experience sleeping problems and have difficulty concentrating. Changes at work are difficult to handle and people withdraw quickly and more regularly, just as they often make a more irritated and dissatisfied impression. Involvement with the company and colleagues also decreases considerably and there are physical complaints. Moreover, stress is often the culprit that causes people to report sick earlier into their employment and more often. Illness due to stress costs companies a lot of money. And that is while it is best to do something about it.
3: Making Stress Negotiable for Employees
Stress in the workplace. Both employers and employees can do something about this. A more important step in this is to always make stress or stress-related complaints available for discussion. Stress is the most common occupational disease in the Netherlands and must therefore always be a topic ready to discuss. Encourage people to make complaints known and discuss at an early stage. Never hide the stress factor as a manager. You are also not expected to be a psychologist. Discussing stress complaints requires listening and asking questions. In this way, appropriate measures can be taken on time to prevent long-term absence from employees.
Employers are really capable of reducing stress in the workplace. The profit can be achieved by recognizing signals of stress within the company earlier. Take absenteeism or the low absenteeism factor. Do you see a staff member reporting sick more often and frequently, for example? Scientific research has shown that employees who sign out more than three times a year due to illness are people who could possibly get out of circulation for a longer period of time.
So if you as an employer notice that people are sick more often and more frequently, then it is wise to talk to your employees. In this way, it is possible to find out the reason for the increasing absence. Is the staff member really sick and is there a medical reason or is it not going well at home or at work? Based on such maintenance, measures can possibly be taken to prevent a lengthy absence.
4: Continued Communication
The most straightforward way to prevent stress within your company is simply to keep in constant conversation with your employees, and not just about work-related matters. Employers who regularly ask how things are going – both privately and at work – and who ask what goes well and what does not go so well, will experience that the involvement of employees remains greater and employees feel that they are taken seriously as people and employees. Another tip is to set up a Preventive Medical Examination. You as an employer are obliged to offer this (I’m not sure if this is a legal requirement on the side of the employer in the UK),
employees are not required to participate but can fill in questionnaires about the psychological and physical situation on a voluntary basis.
The results will, of course, be kept confidential, as will the results of physical tests that are also part of this study. Based on the results of the investigation, personal advice is given to the employee. In this way, for example, an imminent burnout comes to light, which might still be preventable at that time. Such an investigation can be carried out by, for example, the occupational health and safety service.
Having a good conversation starts with increasing safety at work
5: Meaning and Happiness at Work
The figures about happiness at work vary enormously. Some studies show that more than 50% are happy with his or her job. On the other hand, in 2nd and 3rd place is looking for another job ( source ) Lack of meaning at work means that the Dutch State and companies spend more than a billion euros on absenteeism. Many people experience too little meaning and appreciation for their work. They cannot motivate themselves to perform their work in a (satisfactory) manner. They do not see their work as meaningful enough and think that their work adds very little or nothing to the business.
Making your work happy is possible. Employees who feel they are directly contributing to the success of a company. The position of a company improves, driven by motivated employees who feel like their work every day is for good reason and purpose. It has been found that if people do work that suits their qualities and that is related to their abilities surrounded by happy colleagues feel appreciated by the management of the company, they feel happy with their job. This contributes to the meaning of the work. Moreover, the meaning is becoming increasingly important as employees grow older.
Younger employees are initially primarily concerned with building relationships instead of giving meaning. Only later do they wonder if and what they contribute to an organization. Meaning this is something that you as an employer must take into account. The term meaning can be extended even further. Someone who feels useful to do work feels valued and surrounds himself and knows nice people who experience more happiness in life (and report sick less often)
For example, ensure that the employees do not sit for too long. Employees must take their own responsibility for this when sitting at their workplace by setting an alarm clock every 20 minutes and standing or walking for a moment. But this is also very important during meetings. Meetings often take a long time and are therefore held together. This can be prevented by standing up for the change. This will also allow employees to better keep their attention and prevent them from sitting down in their seats.
Being active together is of course also great fun. It is not always nice to have to walk around on your own during your break or to be the only one to get up from your seat. Go for a walk together during the break or organize yoga classes while working. These do not have to be long or difficult, as long as everyone motivates each other to get up and move together. For example, do a competition where employees receive pedometers and can compare them at the end of the day. In this way, healthy competition is created.
7: Seating Position
The sitting position is also very important. Because people sit at a desk for a long time, their sitting position changes constantly. Often the posture goes from sitting neatly upright in the beginning to sitting down during the day. The latter is disastrous for the back muscles and this span can again lead to incorrect stretching and back complaints. Prevent this by always sitting upright and in the back of the chair. Do you notice that you are no longer able to sit like that? Then this is the sign that you have to get up.
8: Eating Healthy
Fruit in the workplace is desired. Fruit is healthy and by preparing fruit for your employees every day, you not only motivate them because they will see that you are investing in their health, but it is also actually much healthier if the employees have the opportunity to work in order for them to eat free fruit every day.
9: Good Working Atmosphere
A nice team also contributes to a good working atmosphere and therefore also to the health of employees. A team mainly has one goal and that is to accomplish the set work. With this in mind, it becomes very businesslike and does not benefit health. Invest in the health of employees by stimulating team spirit. Occasionally go out with each other outside work or make sure that everyone gets to know each other so that there is an interest in each other. People then know what they have to offer each other and how everyone is really put together. Often people present themselves differently at the business than who they actually are and that in turn can lead to friction between employees. Get to know each other. Besides the work, also have fun together.
Throughout the Netherlands, training is often given about health in the workplace. Attend such training together. Here you will learn everything about how you can keep your employees healthy and tips and tricks to apply to your team. Let your employees count, help them develop and grow and of course be a good example yourself. It is therefore important that you as a manager are a good example for others so that more rest is created in the workplace.
A more assertive employee is an employee who is less likely to be absent from work.
Commitment and Motivation
As an employer, you do not want to see demotivated employees in the workplace. Being demotivated is also burdensome for the employees themselves and other colleagues around them. Such an atmosphere is picked up on by others and before you know it, a large part of the workplace is demotivated. You don’t want this. But why and where does that happen? It is useful to first look at what employees are motivated to understand.
We work out below:
- Employee motivation
- Promote creativity
- Freedom or control
- Reward (salary)
1: Employee Motivation
Employees are often motivated by things such as value, expertise, creativity, solidarity, autonomy, security and rewards.
Value means that people like to feel that they do not do the work with no result or reward. There is a certain rating attached to their work, that they would like to hear feedback from those above or from their fellow colleagues. For example, who would not like to have a pat on the back when the project is successfully completed? By giving this appreciation to the employees, they get the feeling that they are appreciated for the work they do. Employees then feel that the work they are doing is of value and not for free.
People develop with the incentive of becoming better than what they are now. They develop certain expertise. Everyone has their own abilities and people can develop in what they are already doing. This can be done, for example, by following courses or by receiving tips and tricks to better perform their duties. They are motivated by the expertise because space is created to become even better at what they are already doing.
2: Promote Creativity
There is, therefore, more room for creativity. If you already know what is expected of you, you develop certain visions about how things can be tackled better or differently. This belongs to the creativity section. Because you have your own visions about how things can be done differently and better thus space is given to be able to bring these ideas to the table, employees are motivated because they can let their own creativity run free. This gives a sense of involvement within the project and within the company. A connection is created between colleagues who share a vision or who work together on the project. These ideas are then presented to the managers and in this way, a mutual connection is created.
Read also: Dealing with a competitive employee
3: Freedom vs. Check
A company where strict rules are made by management that relate to how things should be arranged, or how things should be realized in clean lines, is simply not a fun company to work for. On the contrary, employees are happy if they are allowed to make their own contribution and can carry out their work according to their own insight. This sense of freedom is also called autonomy. Rules within the company are of course necessary to steer things in the right direction, but this does not mean that it is necessary to hinder employees in their own abilities.
From a psychological point of view, people who are independent and free will enjoy working. As a manager, you must realize that this is only good. Work will be done by people who feel free and who like to get stuck in. These people trust their own abilities and their own judgments and can make this open to discussion within the group. You then have intrinsically motivated employees to work.
Security is also an important factor for an employee. It is an important motivator, uncertainty leads to fear and employees who distance themselves from a company. Within a company, people often work on various projects that are part of a larger whole. Different employees work on all these projects. For example, it is not helpful for anyone to just remove an employee from a project because it is more convenient. Doing this, you remove the security of the employee. For example, he has been very much looking forward to working on the project, but this opportunity is subsequently taken away from him. The decision to remove an employee from a project in the interim offers a great deal of uncertainty and employees are certainly no longer motivated by this.
5: Contract (permanent / temporary)
The same applies to the offer of a contract. By informing employees in the meantime of the state of affairs with regard to the quality they provide and their points for improvement, you offer an employee much more certainty. An employee deserves a chance to improve himself and cannot be told at the ‘last minute’ that his performance is inadequate and that he is heading for the door. This causes a lot of uncertainty and dissatisfaction for the employee.
In addition, we also have to deal with rewards. An employee who receives a letter stating that he can no longer grow in terms of salary becomes much more unmotivated than an employee who has the chance to receive a salary increase every year. He experiences a recognition of his efforts over the past year and this motivates him to do his job even better the following year. Besides this annual increase, it is certainly not a bad idea to reward an employee with a ‘loose pot’ for, for example, completing a project or other work. These kinds of small matters also ensure that employees remain motivated.
By working on these types of motivators, employees will be more motivated and this, in turn, creates a good atmosphere in the workplace. Find out more on how you can improve employee happiness whilst reducing absence
7: Employee Involvement
Employees must also get a sense of commitment. They work for a company, but this does not mean that their own opinions and visions must be impeded. Employees often have a better understanding than anyone else about the state of affairs within a company. They are often among the first to have the best insight into what can be improved or what can make a company a huge success. It must, therefore, be possible to share these opinions and visions with management. This gives management other ideas that they can take into consideration and the employees are motivated because they get a sense of commitment.
Personal Development of Employees
The relationship between personal development of employees and sustainable employment is great. The importance of facilitating the personal development of employees in an autonomous way, too. Developing this in the organization is extremely difficult. It requires long-term thinking and robust strategic choices. But what would happen to the organization if everyone were twice as effective? (Let alone 9 times?)
We are now talking about a cultural change that could take many years. This means that the course cannot be changed radically, but that if one percent change in course takes place today, an organization will end up in a completely different place in three years’ time. In the context of sustainable employment, it is very important that your employees can and continue to develop personally. Then they will be more effective and motivated, which increases the (sustainable) employment. What do you and your organization do to motivate and encourage this for your employees?
In terms of personal development, one of the most discussed management books is “The 7 traits for effective leadership” by writer Stephen Covey. This book, of which more than 25 million copies have been sold, deals in particular with their own behavior at work or in private life. In this book, Covey describes the influence of this behavior and consequently the influence on the different relationships with other people. But it’s not just about your own behavior and the influence on others, but just as important is your personal development, how you continue to work on yourself and take care of yourself.
We explain below:
- Keep the saw sharp
- Find and maintain balance
- Personal conversations
- Assessment interviews
- Developing personal qualities
- Increasing autonomy
1: Keeping Employees Sharp
In other words: by freeing up time to “sharpen” yourself, you can be much more effective the rest of the time. Do you want to be personally successful and effective and continue to develop? Then you will have to take good care of yourself. There are four dimensions that are described in Covey’s book:
- The physical dimension: think of a good and balanced diet, sufficient exercise and sport. Make sure you have more energy to do things;
- The spiritual dimension: simply put, think and do things that inspire you, these ensure renewal and growth. For some people that might be music, for others religion or for others’ literature, a good book;
- The mental dimension: Our mental development and study/discipline are important. For example, following education or another study, course or training, work-related or not;
- The Social-emotional dimension: developing, using, and maintaining your empathic capacity.
So what is the importance of taking good care of yourself, including the employer?
“When a chicken lays golden eggs, it is important that the chicken itself is well cared for to ensure that golden eggs are laid in the future.”
2: Find and Maintain Balance
It is important and most effective if a good balance can be found within the four dimensions. Covey states in his book that every individual can develop virtually endlessly. It is ultimately about finding the right balance.
As an employer you can state; do I give my employees the space to develop personally, not only to grow but also to relax? What does it provide me with? Vital and sustainable staff and you are also an interesting employer for new talent looking for personal growth and development. In short: binding and captivating are investing in vital employees.
“Binding and captivating is investing in vital employees”
3: Personal Conversations With Employees
The assessment interview is inextricably linked to the personal development of employees. As a rule, this assessment interview is held once a year, sometimes combined with an interim update.
Leadership guru Ben Tiggelaar speaks about the ‘conviction interview’ when an assessment interview is held once a year
Many employees experience stress because of the assessment interview. Not strange: A meeting is held once a year, during which a number of issues are identified that go well, and subsequently a number of points for improvement are discussed.
Employees Look Forward to the Assessment Interview
The reason that employees start looking at the assessment interview is therefore not strange. Nobody wants to hear what he has done wrong after a year of working on what he needs to improve. After all, we all want to be seen, heard and appreciated!
“After all, we all want to be seen, heard and appreciated”
How unjust is an assessment interview that is only held once a year? Once a year you as an employee are told what your ‘points for improvement’ are and after a year you will be asked why you were not involved more so in this. (If the previous appraisal form is reviewed at least after one year) Have you really had the opportunity as an employee to develop on your ‘improvement points’?
4: The Assessment Interview
Many companies have set a framework within which employees can operate. Logical of course. Otherwise, everyone would do anything they wanted. We have also set guidelines for the way in which we must all function. A kind of common denominator that we must meet. The assessment interview tests whether an employee meets these requirements. If an employee deviates from this standard, development points will follow.
This is of course as obvious as a sore thumb. It has become so established and normal that we don’t even think about it anymore.
Viewed from a distance, this is pretty strange. We have employees with enormous talents, possibilities, and qualities, but wish to put them in the ‘job description’ box. Often attention is paid to the lesser qualities of an employee, who of course have to comply with a certain guideline, while it is much more interesting to pay attention to the strengths of an employee.
Research shows that an employee is nine (9) times as effective when he/she can use his / her strengths.
What happens if you have to pay full attention to the lesser points of an employee? A ‘six culture’ is created because that time and attention can no longer be devoted to personal talents and therefore fade away.
5: Focus on the Qualities of Employees
This indeed means that the boxes in the organization must be adapted more to the people who work there. That you train employees in the direction where their passion and pleasures lie. That you let people work together that complement each other (strong vs. weak).
There is indeed a chance that, over time, employees will develop beyond their position. That they develop too many qualities to stay in that position for longer and that they get the feeling that they can do more. The balance between performance and reward is then disturbed and an employee starts looking for ‘more’.
The ability to deliver high-quality work is motivating. As an employer you can stimulate development by, for example, indicating what a development process can be for an employee and where the potential growth opportunities lie. If a staff member knows that a development process is possible, this will result in a more motivated employee. As an employer, you can constantly capitalize on the possibility of improving craftsmanship. Let employees know if and what the growth perspective is and what this could possibly mean in terms of extra salary. Or how an extra diploma can be obtained. It will continue to motivate employees because employees often want to continuously improve their craftsmanship.
6: Autonomy: Important Factor Against Absenteeism
Ask employees what they find most annoying in the workplace and they will undoubtedly come up with a lack of freedom of movement or a department head who assists his troops as an army commander. So they often get annoyed by a supervisor who chews everything or even commands them. Personnel like to have the freedom to decide for themselves what they do, of course within the set frameworks. Employees often cannot stand it when they are told in detail what they should do and how they should do it.
An important tip for employers is, therefore, to send input and a clear explanation, in particular, than to demand clear-cut results in advance. So let go of the details more and leave that to the staff. It often happens that results grow because employees are allowed to use their own creativity. In line with this: think about the option of having older employees with a lot of knowledge and skills and also respect within your company perform some sort of mentor function. These employees have a great deal of experience, but not always the energy and motivation of the ‘young dogs’. As a mentor alongside a ‘young dog; this often works very well.
Strategic Steps in Sustainable Employment
Employers can certainly do something to give people that meaning in their jobs. For example, by assuming trust instead of control. It is important here that employees are given the space to organize tasks independently. As a manager, you do not have to control everything. In fact, by making employees responsible, you increase engagement.
Companies that see more in network connections instead of tight functions, know more employees who experience meaning in their work. The so-called individuality/authenticity/ position in the market of a company also plays a role in giving meaning in the workplace.
The strategic framework is important to make employees employable in a sustainable manner. Why does an employee work at Apple, for example? Or Greenpeace?
The right position in the market, with the right internal and external translation, attracts the right employees who feel seen and heard.
Yet the meaning-giving ball is not only with the company or manager. It is important that an employee indicates his own frameworks in this. So start a conversation with them and try to find the answer to the question in which way (jointly) a better situation can arise. People who do not experience a sense of purpose will sooner feel stress and will, therefore, be out of circulation for longer and more often.
Sustainable Employment: Priority Among Managers
Preventing stress in the workplace should be a priority for every manager. It prevents lengthy absence times and therefore saves considerable costs.
The costs for sick leave are on average € 250 per day!
There is certainly something you can do about stress. Keywords? Recognize the qualities of your employees and give them independence or autonomy. It has been proven that staff who are given the opportunity to develop through education and training are more connected to the company. As a supervisor, you know how the staff are in a spiritual and physical sense. This can be done by conducting research or by entering into a conversation / using common sense.
It is also important to let people perform work that they aspire to and can do well; put your people in the right place. Turn your staff into tailor-made solutions and, together with your employees, focus on sustainable employment. Older employees? They can be deployed as a mentor based on their qualities and experience.
Appreciate your staff and offer them the salary that suits a particular position or responsibility and try to show people the importance of healthy eating and exercising regularly. Also, try to see a career within the company as a continuous development process for your staff. Provide space for development and think less about right or wrong.
It is good practice for the employer to facilitate the ingredients for stress reduction. To take measures to prevent long-term absenteeism. Discuss the options with the employee in this context. Agree on what the employer does and where the employee’s responsibility lies.
We work out further below:
- Report complaints by line managers
- Further development and mobility
- Appearance and branding
- Older employees
1: Report Complaints by Line Managers
Signaling is also possible via department heads or colleagues in the workplace, and of course via the Occupational Health and Safety Physicians. They can send signals that someone is insecure, quickly gets angry or suddenly makes many more mistakes. By linking that employee to someone with whom he or she has a relationship of trust, the reasons for the deviant behavior are often discussed. Sometimes a third person must be called in for this. In consultation, solutions and appropriate measures can be considered.
2: Further Development And Mobility.
We are already talking about the autonomous development of an employee. A development in which the employee is at the helm and the manager facilitates this development.
As an organization, you do well to facilitate this development by applying a well-considered inflow, throughflow and outflow policy.
Looking for a new employee (internal or external). The search for a certain character profile that fits the work that needs to be done in the next three years (not the next 30 years!)
The policy to let people continue to develop within the organization. This is possible both horizontally and vertically. Flowing on an employee’s own qualities and talents
Let an employee develop so far that he looks for new learning opportunities.
Read more about personal development for employees.
3: Appearance as an Employer (branding)
Clear strategic choices are important for employers. The image that is brought out is important for getting and retaining good staff. People who feel good within a company will often show much more involvement and will also work harder for the company. If you succeed in keeping the majority of your staff involved, this significantly increases the chance of running an effective business.
Moreover, it costs you as an employer a lot of money if there is a lot of absenteeism. After all, the wage costs of the absent staff member continues as usual, while as an employer you have to deal with extra costs due to less production, attracting temporary new employees or extra costs due to overtime that the rest of the staff has to carry out due to the absence in order to compensate the employer. However, over time can cause too much tax on the rest of the staff, and that can also lead to absences. Absence due to illness costs employers a lot of money on an annual basis.
It is important that you as an employer ensure a positive image. That image will be propagated by your employees and have a suction effect on high-quality people who therefore want to work for you. No superfluous luxury in 2018: good people turn out to be more and more pins in haystacks.
Also read: learning objectives for employees
4: Increased State Pension Age: The Older Employee
It is now known that the state pension age has risen and is rising. However, it is questionable whether people will be able to complete the work later in life. The work can be too heavy or at least feel that way, which means that absence is clearly lurking. And can you still saddle people in their late sixties with debilitating shifts?
The importance of sustainable employment for older employees is therefore extra high. Partly because of the recovery of the older employee often takes longer than that of a young employee. Explain to older staff the importance of good nutrition, exercise and sufficient rest. In addition, as a manager, you can maintain the flexible retirement arrangements and create the option that employees can take a step back. You do this the moment you hire someone. You already discuss that option. Simply make it part of personnel policy with a clear description of the consequences for employment conditions when they want to take a step back.
Continue to Challenge Older Employees
It is also most important to consider the needs of sustainable employment to older employees by providing sufficient challenges. You can – you learn all your life – offer a challenge. Appoint a senior staff member as a mentor and also consider that a younger employee can teach an older colleague something. Another important thing is to stop thinking stereotypically; do not specify what should happen in the field of work within a few years and how someone should develop within a period of, for example, five years. Maybe someone actually comes to blossom and development at an older age. So look in particular at the individual ambitions of (older) employees. These differ enormously.
As an employer, you can certainly take measures when it comes to physically demanding work. The risk of physical malnutrition is simply greater with those 55+. Nevertheless, measures are rarely taken by employers, with all possible consequences.
It is also very important that the subject of state pension and aging is and will always be negotiable. Make agreements with this growing group of employees about the aforementioned matters and in this way create a situation in which people can continue working in a valuable way until they retire within your company. Look for alternatives at an early stage. Find work that still fits the employee’s work capacity. Also, think of a mobility center or a DIY bench and consider using the employee as a mentor.
What Are the Benefits of Sustainable Employment?
Personnel that can be deployed sustainably delivers a lot: Less absenteeism and ultimately more productivity. Satisfied and healthy employees are indispensable for employers and should be the starting point for every company.
It must be understood that employees are not robots that you use for a moment just to get the work done. Unfortunately, the hectic pace of the day determines that we all often lose sight of the human requirements and needs. This leads to unhealthy working environments and the employees do not feel appreciated because of this. It is therefore important to see employees as people just as they really are.
Increase Sustainable Employment
Invest in employee abilities and help them improve, grow and develop. Let them be a real part of the company where their opinion counts and value them for who they are. By motivating employees in their work you will see that sustainable employment is increased. The sustainable employment commitment will certainly be increased if you choose to accept your employees as people. All people have their own wishes and limits. By accepting these wishes and limits, you will also receive much more acceptance and motivation.
Employees who suffer from stress or who are not in top health because factors such as demotivation play a role, are more likely to look for another job or have a negative impact on the rest of the employees. This makes working unpleasant and because employees leave, this departure will lead to high costs for the company because you have to invest in new employees again.
You have a company together. As management but also with all employees together. By being involved with the company as a whole and motivating each other to do the work well, ensures a vital company but also motivated employees. The chance of the company succeeding is therefore much greater and working is much more fun for everyone. This will also be reflected in the figures that the company achieves and the turnover that the company makes. Make the company fun for everyone to work for!
Want to know more about how employees can use sustainable employment?
Who Are We?
Milltain, with a team of experienced trainers, supports organizations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. Our training courses are aimed at managers. A burnout quickly costs the organization € 70,000.
In addition to financial suffering, human suffering is high. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before you know it you are in a negative vicious circle.