AMP Groep discovers the secret of employee happiness: combining data and coaching!
By Kirsten van Enk | 27/01/2021
At AMP Groep they regularly ask an important question: are you happy at work? Recently they have been measuring employee happiness using 2DAYSMOOD. The combination between coaching and data is very valuable. Agnes Nijhof, HR manager at AMP Groep, tells us all about the secret of happy colleagues. “I am a people person and I like to walk around and ask how you are.” The HR manager position is made for her, but it did not happen overnight. “I had to demonstrate that the growth of AMP gradually made the HR function more important.”
Let’s get straight to the point. Are the employees at AMP Groep happy?
Well, not always no, and they can’t always be, but we try to do everything we can. Especially since we are now experiencing significant growth, it is important to keep a close eye on the workload and thus employee happiness.
Clearly! How do you keep a close eye on this?
We recently started measuring employee happiness with the 2DAYSMOOD tool. By sending out targeted surveys to employees, we get a good picture of job satisfaction. Are people happy? Now we know that in some areas, this can be done much better.
Have you always been concerned with employee happiness at AMP Groep?
No, definitely not. In the beginning I was an Office Manager. I did facility work, HR tasks, welcoming guests and organizing events. When we started to grow, more focus had to be created.
So that growth gave you the opportunity to do what you really liked.
Definitely, I really had a goal for myself. If AMP Groep grows more, I would like to fill the HR function. Well, it worked!
Yes! Well done! That went super streamlined, of course!
Well, not quite. I had to prove myself in this new position. From office manager to HR manager, and I was also given the position of confidential advisor. My colleagues also had to get used to this. And that makes sense, of course.
So you had to fight for your spot. Did that work?
I just stayed close to myself and that’s very important. Soon my colleagues found out that I had not changed and they knew where to find me with questions.
What kind of questions did you get?
These could be practical questions, about salary or contracts, but also personal questions about employee happiness and workload. It is good to mention that there was not really an HR structure yet. It was an exciting time of rapid growth and steps had to be taken. We soon realized that a structure was necessary and we started counseling absenteeism.
Yes, setting up probationary interviews, evaluation interviews after 3 months, setting up exit interviews, building contacts with, for example, a health and safety service and the use of external coaching. All processes that have taught me that genuine attention is the key to a happy company.
From setting up HR structures to measuring employee happiness. An exciting job!
Definitely! It is a very nice job in which people are the main focus. Now that we are working on 2DAYSMOOD, we are seeing the first results and that is very interesting.
Looking at data as a people person. Does that suit you?
Indeed, I am not a data person. I like personal contact and that should always be the basis of my work. Yet 2DAYSMOOD convinced me. By asking specific questions you get a great overview of employee happiness and you can recognize trends. Of course we have to act and do something with the feedback!
Can you manage that? Can you always give employees what they want?
You try to do everything about it. That is part of my job. Yet we are a commercial company and the costs are considered. That makes sense. It is my job to show the management that a certain investment in employee happiness also leads to financial results later on.
Can you give a practical example of that?
Certainly. We have just sent out a new survey on salary and development. This development and salary survey showed that AMP employees want to be trained more. After discussing all the responses during the management meeting, it became clear that training and development should be high on the agenda.
How do you ensure that the management is also on board?
They were quickly convinced when they saw the numbers. We have therefore started orienting and rolling out more training sessions. For example, we built our own e-learning platform and the first training was sent to the organization. The reactions are positive!
Sounds good! What else is on the agenda?
We are working on a proposal to implement AFAS. This is HR software with which we can streamline tasks better. In addition, we are also rolling out 2DAYSMOOD and we are busy improving the application program. In this way we want to be able to fill vacancies more efficiently and purposefully. If we can implement all of this successfully, we will have taken a significant step.
Then the question remains: are you happy at work?
Yes very! I am ambitious so I want to develop and improve, but I am really happy with this position. It is made for me.
How great! Suppose this interview is read by a job colleague. What tips can you give?
In addition to a well-designed absenteeism policy, it has been very important for us to seek cooperation with an external coach. I myself coach a lot, but someone who looks at it from the outside provides just that fresh perspective is sometimes necessary to help employees be the best they can be and to ensure that everyone in the organization is 100% happy. Because that’s what we’re going for!