HR Change

Added value with sustainable employability

It is a trend that we cannot ignore: ageing. This trend causes many organisations to deal with an ageing workforce. In some cases, even more than half of the employees are over 50 years of age. A challenge for many organisations today. A challenge which could be countered with sustainable employability. What is sustainable employability and what could it offer? You read it in this article.

Organisational impact of ageing

This older generation of employees is more likely to suffer from health problems. Absenteeism therefore increases, and motivation is not always as high as it could be. The organisation is struggling with the consequences: increased staff costs, reduced flexibility, loss of attractiveness as an employer and outflow of knowledge and experience that is difficult to cope with. Sustainable employability can provide solutions here.

What is sustainable employability?

Due to the increase in the pension age (AOW in the Netherlands), sustainable employability is the focus of many organisations. It is often associated with the ‘older employees’. According to the Social Economic Council (2009), sustainable employability consists of three specific elements: working capacity, vitality and employability. Working ability refers to the extent to which one is physically (such as motivation) and psychologically able to work. Employability is about flexibility: are employees able to perform different activities and roles now and in the future? Finally, vitality is the energetic aspect: to what extent is someone fit and resilient enough to carry out the work? These three elements of sustainable employability are important for every employee, regardless of age. This means that sustainable employability is not only important for the older employee, but for the entire organisation. What can be the added value of sustainable employability?

Added value and approach

Sustainable employability can not only have great impact for the older employees, but also for the entire organisation. With the right application it can ensure high enthusiasm and good future prospects among employees. With having a shared understanding of what sustainable employability means for the organisation, a joint starting point is created. From there on, it is important to ensure that the employees responsible for the implementation of the sustainable employability policy are capable of conducting personal conversation with employees. The creation of openness around the subject is also a matter of great importance. It makes it possible to talk about how he or she currently sees his or her performance and future plans. This future can also be outside the organisation. The clearer the future needs, the more pleasant the collaboration can often be. The only way to get the conversation going is by bringing the parties together, which can give the overall working experience a boost.

Organisations can benefit greatly from the efforts they put into sustainable employability. It is not just concerning the older generation. It is also about forming your own career path as a (younger) employee. The creation of shared responsibility for sustainable employability can generate great advantages for both the employees and the organisation itself.