The Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution’s Engagement Success Story
The Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Maatschappij (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution), or KNRM, is the voluntary organization in the Netherlands tasked with saving lives at sea. Alongside providing lifeguard services, the voluntary rescuers and rescue boats are on call for emergencies. Since its founding in 1824, the KNRM helps anyone who asks for it, and it always helps free of charge.
It is not a governmental institute, but an independent organization supported by donations, gifts and inheritances. As part of Effectory’s Corporate Social Responsibility activities, we recently assisted the KNRM by giving it free access to our platform and services in order to support their HR and employee engagement activities.
A future-forward people strategy
In total, KNRM has 60 employees and 1,400 volunteers. These colleagues, who come from a variety of backgrounds, find a common cause through the KNRM’s mission to help people. Femke Koning started her journey as KNRM’s Human Resources Development Manager in February 2020.
As the organization’s first ever dedicated HR professional, she leads the way in creating and sustaining the KNRM as an attractive and inclusive workplace. “When it comes to HR, we used to have an ad-hoc approach for initiatives and some short-term focus. This helped us getting things started. We’re now looking into long-term plans, and we definitely need the input and feedback from our people to help us with this.”
In order to discover how employees are experiencing role clarity, employership, organizational development, and engagement, KNRM started with a survey for full time employees only. Effectory was chosen as the preferred supplier because we promise anonymity to respondents, which is a very important aspect for employees. “Effectory has a track record of being a very solid provider. And when you think of Effectory you know you’re safe when it comes to the anonymity of the employee feedback.”
We’re now looking into long-term plans, and we definitely need the input and feedback from our people to help us with thisFemke Koning, Human Resources Development Manager at KNRM
During this process, Femke also aligned with KNRM’s works council, which in the Netherlands functions as a shop-floor organization representing workers. In order to drive adoption and ensure high quality feedback, two members of the works council have played an important role in its set up and the analysis of results.
A big part of the added value that Effectory offers comes in the form of the benchmark data that Femke and her colleagues can compared their results to. It shows how the KNRM is doing relative to other charities of a similar organizational size. Based on the results, Femke is able to create a clear and effective HR agenda that is going to help all employees.
“To work on future success we’ve decided to work with an external party, Involve, to help us with change management and communication of this this process. We truly think they can help and accelerate change based on employee feedback. We really invest in the future and we are building an organization where people want to work
Creating a transparent process
Famke says that “we put a lot effort into the preparations leading towards the survey. We were transparent about the process, involved the works council, created documentation and involved managers from day one. This prep work resulted in a response rate of 90%, which is really impressive, and means our survey represents the voice of our employees.”
Together with their Effectory consultant, KNRM analyzed and discussed the data that resulted from the survey. Some of the outcomes have surprised management and some have validated things that were already on Femke’s agenda. Two key takeaways from the survey was knowing employee sentiment and perspective on daily operations, and that there is a lack of clarity on decision making.
Femke adds: “Sometimes a negative outcome of a survey can be a good thing. We got validation by our employees regarding the things we want to fix and work on. I’m keen to help to bridge the gap and measure this in a year’s time. I would like to ask the same people the same questions again next year to see if we have progressed. I expect us to be able to do this, as the survey showed there is very little intent to leave amongst our employees.”
I would love to support and enable our line managers to embed feedback and surveys in their daily routine. We have such a strong foundation of passionate people, I’m sure we can build a positive future on it.Femke Koning, Human Resources Development Manager at KNRM
Feedback that results in action
When it comes to the future, Femke believes in building an organization based on trust and feedback. With a focus on growing the feedback maturity of the company HR is going to have a supporting role. According to Femke the most important thing about asking for feedback is the action taken based on the outcomes of a survey. This is not just a one-way, top-down operation, but goes both ways.
With MyFeedback (the personal dashboard within the Effectory platform through which employees can access their results and compare them to the company and/or team average), anyone who gives feedback has a great opportunity to compare and self-reflect on the outcomes of the survey.
Ultimately, a positive feedback culture is about having open, transparent communication which cultivates trust. This isn’t something that only HR can be held accountable for, but a task for everyone inside an organization.
Femke explains: “Just like anyone in our organization, our line managers are doing a tremendous job. I would love to support and enable them to embed feedback and surveys in their daily routine. We have such a strong foundation of passionate people, I’m sure we can build a positive future on it.”
Effectory’s work with the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution is part of our CSR efforts to realize our mission to improve the working lives of millions of people and make the working world welcoming for everyone. To find out more about our CSR pledge please visit: effectory.com/effectory-and-the-community/
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