Top employers in Europe? Go for a ‘Better Life’ label for organizations
By Kirsten van Enk | May 3, 2021
As a manager you probably know it: the top employers of the year. Every year you strive to be on that list so that talented people want to work at your organization. But this list, the top employers in Europe, is actually not as important as you think. It's much smarter to be the top employer for your employees every year. Makes sense, right? But where is the difference? And how do you achieve that?
"Top employers" lists are published every year. Often there is a top 10, 25 or 100 with a public reward, e.g. those of LinkedIn and Fortune. This way there seems to be only one winner and one best employer. In this way they want to reward good employership and give people on the labor market objective proof that they end up at an organization that values its employees. But such a list is actually quite shortsighted and the research and measurements that precede it are untransparant.
Is there a better way to inspect?
If you look at the "Better Life" label of The Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA), this is actually a much more convenient system. As a cattle farmer, butcher or even supermarket you are eligible to carry the label if you meet all the requirements. You will then receive the label and a certificate. Independent certification bodies regularly check that you are complying with the rules, and there is an annual check to see if you can still wear the label. In this way, there is not one company that offers the best life for animals, but there are many companies that contribute to this. Anyone can receive the label.
The Sustainable Development Goals, initiated by the United Nations, also put the theme of good employment practices on the agenda. Not in a competitive, but in a collective way, we as a society must ensure better health, development and inclusiveness around work. In short, ''decent work for all and sustainable and inclusive economic growth'' (goal 8).
Why do you want a label for employership?
A label can ensure that the ball of ''good employment practices'' starts rolling. Employers follow each other's example by being transparent about their working climate. They notice that this strengthens their internal and external image. But now there is often only one organization in each sector that can become the top employer of the year. Every organization must be able to be that, if we want the ball to roll! If you can demonstrate that you offer decent work and a healthy working environment, in which people of all levels and ages can work with pleasure, the labor market and the world should know this, right?
How does sustainable employment help?
Those requirements of decent work are linked to the sustainable employability of employees and the concept of sustainable employment practices. The University of Utrecht (UU), headed by Professor Tanja van der Lippe, has conducted extensive scientific research into this term and its requirements. The Future of Work Hub (UU) subsequently developed a measurement and benchmark tool for this. This allows you to demonstrate the status of sustainable employment practices in your company and whether you meet the expected standard within Europe. The expected standard is completely based on relevant characteristics of your company such as sector, education level and age of employees.
To really belong to the top employers in Europe, you make a smart move with this transparent "Better Life" label. But of course this is not about the life of animals, so we are introducing the Sustainable Employment Certificate. And to obtain this certificate you do not have to participate in a competition where there is only one first place available. Every employer and employee can win with this! What do you have to do for that? Your organization must score well on the following six dimensions.
A little workload might be nice for many people. If you work better under pressure, or if you have a hard deadline coming up, you may be able to concentrate better and therefore work harder and more efficiently. In addition, prolonged working from home and the expectation that we as people will work more efficiently can increase the workload. But if your employees experience a structural workload that is too high, this is anything but sustainable and poses a risk to your organization. How do your employees experience the balance between their tasks and the time they have to complete those tasks?
Do you see that your employees have become close, and that they exhibit promoting group behavior? Then you are on the right track! This social unity can ensure that employees work with more pleasure, have higher productivity and that performance and job satisfaction are higher. It is therefore relatively more sustainable for your organization if the cohesion within teams is good: more work is done, with better performance and more job satisfaction! There are no downsides to that, right?
3. Management support
As an employee it is important that you receive enough support from your (direct) manager. If employees receive enough support and inclusion, they can better cope with challenges and stressful situations. Not only at work, but also in their private life. In addition, they can keep those two different environments in harmony. As an inclusive manager you must therefore be open to diverse people, and be able to utilize and stimulate everyone's individual talents.
4. Extra role behavior (OCB)
Do your employees regularly show intrinsically motivated behavior in which they take on tasks that are not officially part of their job responsibilities? This will undoubtedly benefit your organization. They then show extra role behavior, or Organizatonal Citizenship Behavior. The more of these behaviors they display, the more effective, committed and engaged they are as employees. That makes your organization sustainable!
5. Career opportunities
As an organization you want to minimize employee turnover. This is because there are more costs involved than you might think (e.g. loss of knowledge within your organization). But to ensure that employees linger as long as possible, they must have the prospect of new opportunities and possibilities. What opportunities does your organization offer to let employees grow and stay with the organization longer? Invest in this! Because this has the effect that they work longer, more effectively and with more competence for your organization. In addition, (the prospect of) development and career opportunities makes employees more involved.
It has already been mentioned a number of times in the points above, but one of the most impactful ways to belong to the best employers in the Netherlands is if your employees feel involved in the organization. Are they willing to go the extra mile if necessary? When employees are engaged, they are more likely to take on extra work to ensure that the organization performs well. Because then they genuinely love how the organization is doing. Another plus: they are also less likely to work elsewhere. In other words: less turnover!
Become one of the top employers in Europe yourself!
Are you curious whether your organization meets these requirements? And would you like to show (future) employees that you are a sustainable employer? Then quickly take the measurement and earn the Sustainable Employment Certificate! With this measurement you can quickly demonstrate (within two weeks) whether you score better than the benchmark. You will receive an extensive report with directly applicable tips from our Employee Happiness experts and of course the certificate. Do your scores show that you need to improve a few more dimensions? Then 2DAYSMOOD is happy to help you with a data-driven plan, and you will receive that certificate in no time!
What are you waiting for? Earn that "Better Life" label for your employees and show that you are one of the top employers in Europe!