Utrecht University and 2DAYSMOOD develop a benchmark tool that demonstrates sustainable employment practices


By Mare Derks | March 9, 2021

How can organizations continuously provide work that is worthy for employees, at all levels and ages? That is the essence of sustainable employment practices. And certainly after the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, employers have a great assignment here. That is why Utrecht University and 2DAYSMOOD stimulate the improvement of sustainable employment with a new product.

Thanks to the combination of a scientific measuring method and an online tool, employers can now collect reliable insights about how sustainably employable their staff is. They discover, through six vetted dimensions, what employees consider positive and negative in the work atmosphere and how engaged they are. It is unique that employers can directly compare the results of the measurement with those of similar companies. This demonstrates the degree of sustainable employment and precisely where the organization can improve.

Benchmark data from European research

The comparison material, the benchmark data, stems from the European Sustainable Workforce study, led by sociology Professor Tanja van der Lippe, at Utrecht University. The study examined data from 259 companies in nine EU countries and six economic sectors with the central question: how do companies' investments in their employees work out in practice? Subsequently, the Future of Work Hub of Utrecht University, a group of scientists who study the future of work from disciplines such as sociology, economics and technology, developed a measuring and benchmarking method of sustainable employment practices based on this data.

Together with HR tech company 2DAYSMOOD, an expert in the field of online employee surveys, this has been brought to the market as an innovative tool. From now on, 2DAYSMOOD offers European organizations the opportunity to measure to what extent they practice sustainable employment and to compare that to the correct standard.

Prof. dr. ir. Tanja van der Lippe: “Developments such as digitization, aging and migration make the labor market increasingly complex. Getting the right people in the right place remains extremely difficult and is a costly process. Organizations therefore face the challenge of keeping their employees sustainably employable. It is great that our research data can provide organizations with the insights to implement appropriate measures.”

Sustainable employment is increasingly urgent in the COVID-19 crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has made organizations realize that a healthy, pleasant and stimulating work climate is decisive for long-term success. Working from home with deteriorated social connection, working under high pressure and a global context of uncertainty have a negative effect on the well-being of employees. This is evident from recent studies by, among others, TNO and 2DAYSMOOD. Stress, dissatisfaction and (mental) fatigue are structurally at a too high a level, resulting in absenteeism, burnouts and people leaving their jobs. Both employers and employees want to stay away from those costs and concerns. That is why it is important to intervene at an early stage if the (virtual) work environment causes unhealthy behavior or if employee happiness decreases. That is what characterizes sustainable employment.

“At the highest level, there must be awareness for sustainable employability, so that all managers can make the right choices for the sake of their staff and the organization. With the term ‘sustainable employment’ and our benchmark measurement, we can not only stimulate that awareness, but also show where exactly the organization can improve. At the same time, we are launching the Sustainable Employment Certificate. This is a better alternative to poorly substantiated rankings, such as ‘Employer of the Year’. With the certificate, employers can demonstrate that they really pay attention to employee happiness and well-being in a science based and transparent way."

Said Martin Meulenkamp, CEO & HR expert, 2DAYSMOOD.

More information

On our website, you will find more information about sustainable employment, from measurement to certificate: 2daysmood.com/us/sustainable-employment. Via the website of Utrecht University you will find more information about the European Sustainable Workforce research and the future of work hub: uu.nl/fow.


Do you want to know how your organization scores on sustainable employability and benchmark your results? And do you also want to earn the Sustainable Employment Certificate?

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Jan-Herman Hanskamp

HR director, Royal Rotra Group
"2DAYSMOOD is highly valuable, because you gain continuous insight into your company culture, collect targeted feedback and are able to see trends."
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Emma Sluman

Project manager sustainable employability, ProRail
"Since we use 2DAYSMOOD every week, we have more grip on our culture. For instance, the experience of workload and what drives employees."

Rita Blankenberg

HR Business Partner Digital, Municipality Alphen a/d Rijn
“The look and feel is happy and the data is useful. For example, the continuous feedback divided into teams, shows you exactly what you can improve.”
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Robin Gerritsen

Director Recruitment, Tempo-Team (Randstad)
“Firstly the number of happy employees has increased from 66% to 80% in five months. And secondly we continue to see a positive trend!”

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