More attention for employee well-being during Corona

Attention for employee well-being also beneficial for companies

Dutch companies say that the well-being of employees is important. On a scale of 1 to 10, they give this topic an 8. It is related to more satisfaction and involvement and less difficulty in recruiting. In addition, a large majority of employers say that their company paid more attention to well-being during the pandemic than before: 43% expect to be even more committed to this in the future. This is evident from a survey of 3,400 Dutch companies with more than 100 employees, conducted by Maastricht University and Utrecht University.

Researchers from Maastricht University and the Future of Work Hub of Utrecht University have studied how much management boards and works councils are committed to the well-being and development of employees. The research was conducted in commercial companies with more than a hundred employees and was led by Professor Harry Hummels, professor at the School of Business and Economics of Maastricht University and professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Utrecht University. The results of the research are in the report: Agape: people as the engine of the company. 'Agape' is a concept from ancient Greece. In the context of organizations, it can be described as: "commitment to the well-being of others, seen from the eyes of the other." The research was made possible financially by the Goldschmeding Foundation as part of its Resourceful Society program.

Scoop on top in the crisis

Looking at the research results, project leader and professor Harry Hummels says: “The research shows that Dutch companies are involved in the well-being of their employees. It is striking that many companies that already scored well prior to the corona pandemic went a step further during the crisis. Possibly more relevant is that a majority indicate that they will keep a closer eye on the well-being of employees in the future. ”

Kitty Jong, vice-president of the FNV, accepted the research and says: "Investing in employees is also good for the company, as this study shows. It is therefore the core of our union agenda, because we still see that too many employers employ employees. Only seen as a cost item. The security of a permanent job makes workers feel valued in a company. Control over working hours and influence in the company is also important. We stand up for these themes together with our members."

More young people in the company? More attention to well-being

The study investigated the concept of 'agape' on the basis of 7 aspects, including: training options, room for regulation such as working from home and flexible working, the extent to which colleagues have an eye for each other and the extent to which the wishes and needs of employees are central Company. The composition of the staff was particularly important. Agape is increasing as companies employ more young people, more highly educated people and more employees with a permanent contract. The strongest influence comes from a corporate culture that promotes health and well-being and a good relationship between management and the works council. Companies turn this attention into action by offering room for control, regular communication, presents for employees and job security.

What are the benefits?

An important question is what attention to the well-being of employees brings to the company. That turns out to be no small feat, according to the respondents. Attention to well-being is related to: a lower absenteeism due to illness and a lower turnover of employees. Companies have less difficulty in recruiting staff and experience higher job satisfaction and greater employee involvement in the company. There is also a correlation with a strong financial position of the company and higher productivity.

Companies say they also have an eye for well-being in the future. More than half of the companies surveyed say they need extra insight into 'agape' and tools to better interpret the well-being of their employees.

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