What is sustainable employability?

Suzanne Mancini

In this blog I will elaborate on sustainable employability, what it is and why it is important. Moreover, I will explain what aspects are most important for your organization. Let’s start at the beginning: What is sustainable employability?

What is sustainable employability?

Why is it important?

Many companies invest in a wide range of initiatives to increase sustainable employability. There is a salad bar in the canteen, mindfulness sessions during the day and free yoga classes in the early morning. The fact that the workforce nowadays must continue working well beyond the retirement age of ten years ago is seen as the main reason for this trend.

Aging has become an urgent topic for our society. Together with the increased competitiveness in business, this adds to an elevated concern for companies to address sustainable employability. A sign of this urgency can been seen at the level of policymakers in the European bureaucracy. The European Social Fund (ESF) promotes and provides subsidies for vitality programs within companies.

Continuous development

These days, the fast pace of implementation of new ways of working poses new challenges. As well as organizations changing from a conventional hierarchical set up to a flat network organization. This can be especially challenging for older employees and therefore they should be motivated and mentally stimulated to stay up-to-date and excel in their job.

It goes without saying that more is required than only investing in employees’ physical health. Additionally, with many changes in the way of working through digitalization, there should be a strong focus on a mental level. In this case sustainable employability focuses on developing a different skill set to be able to cope with the new ways of working.

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The numbers of Effectory

To research the impact of sustainable employability at work, Effectory has analyzed the feedback of 50.000 employees in the (what industry / companies). We looked at what these numbers could teach us on sustainable employability and below we have listed the top five factors contributing to sustainable employability:

  • Development opportunities
  • Labor conditions
  • Being able to do what you are good at
  • Being happy with the work you do
  • Having fun at work

These factors determine about 85% of the sustainable employability rate of people at work. The first two, development possibilities and labor conditions, are most important.

The differences for various age groups

A remarkable finding of the research is that for employees from 55 to 65 the development possibilities are the most important for sustainable employability, while most of the time younger age groups are given priority from an organizational point of view. When we look closer at the situation of older employees this is easier to understand, since they deem it very important to keep on learning and developing to be motivated for the work they do. Meanwhile they do not have to worry as much about the labor conditions, as they have already been met most of the time.

Positive side effects

The main concern often is for employees to excel in the long term, yet there are other important positive side effects to sustainable employability. Here are the top three:

  • Employees feel 42 % more valued by the organization
  • 31 % of the employees are generally more satisfied about the organization they work in
  • These employees score a 29 % higher on their pride in the organization

It is self-evident that when you invest in sustainable employability, you get those side effects for free with it.

Do you also want to increase the sustainable employability in your organization?

At the ESF you can apply for a subsidy to conduct employee research. This research can show you the sustainable employability in your organization and where you can improve. Subsequently this gives you a great opportunity to develop and improve the employee experience and make your organization more successful!

Employee survey

Increase employee engagement through action-oriented feedback. Using a single platform, you can collect reliable data, analyze the results, and share insights

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