What is good employment practice (in 2021)?

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According to article 7: 611 of the Dutch Civil Code, employers are obliged to behave like a good employer. But good employership goes further. In this article we zoom in on the characteristics of good employment practices.

What is good employment practice?

Being a good employer means that you as an employer must behave carefully towards employees, that you do not abuse the stronger position that you have as an employer, that you motivate radical decisions and live up to expectations, that you treat all employees equally and that you provides good accident insurance that compensates employees for damage after an accident.

But really good employership goes further

More and more employers believe that being a good employer goes a step further. It is not limited to what the law says about it, but concerns more aspects such as good care for your people in general.

After all, a good employer ensures happy employees and in this way contributes to a successful company with employees who perform better, have less absenteeism and less turnover.

But how do you make your employees happy as an employer?

Several factors contribute to happiness at work

According to pwnet.nl, happiness at work is a combination of a number of things.

  1. First of all, we want to enjoy our work and we need social cohesion. We become happy from contact with others and therefore also from good relationships with colleagues.
  2. We also want to be able to grow and develop.
  3. Also important: How meaningful our work is: we want to contribute. But we must be able to determine how we do this to a certain extent: our urge for autonomy is great.

How these factors contribute to it happiness at work differs per individual; every employee is different.

Maurits Bruel, founder of the training program to become Chief Happiness Officer at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, mentions three comparable factors that influence happiness at work: the meaning that someone gets from their work, the challenge of the job and relationships with colleagues.

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Increase happiness at work; measure first, then take steps

What can you do as an employer to contribute to that happiness at work? First of all, you have to measure the state of happiness at work in your company. You can do this by conducting an annual employee satisfaction survey. In this way you monitor the status of the factors that influence happiness.

For example, consider Gallup's 12 Questions, the most widely used research tool for measuring employee engagement worldwide. This survey asks questions such as: ‘The mission or purpose of my organization makes me feel that my work is important', ‘At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day' and ‘It last year I had opportunities at work to learn and grow ”. All these questions link up – not by coincidence, of course – to the aforementioned factors that increase happiness at work.

Once you know the status of employee happiness at work, you can take steps to increase that happiness at work to ensure that the answers to questions like the above become more positive.

More connectedness

Do employees feel little bond with each other? Then take action on that. This can be very simple by organizing joint company or team lunches. Of course there are also countless workshops to strengthen the team spirit. With the team activity ‘Create your blue zone', for example, a team learns to work together better, smarter and above all in confidence.

Learning and growing

For the current generation, a good salary in 2021 is no longer the most important thing. On the other hand, the opportunity for employees to develop and develop is seen as very important. After all, you stand still without learning new things. Not only as an employee, but also as a company. Creating a learning culture and facilitating learning optimally thus contributes to good employment practices.

Joseph Kessels explains in a fun way how important a good learning culture is within a company in the video below.

What a good learning culture looks like is not set in stone. So research what that means for your employees. Are they thinking about weekly knowledge sessions or would they like their learning objectives to be reviewed annually and knowledge development to be safeguarded in a structured way?

Facilitating a learning culture is not all about time and money. It is also important that your employees are offered high-quality training and that they have access to a good platform in which they can follow and book training courses.

Characteristics of good employment practices

In addition to consciously contributing to the happiness of your employees as an employer, there are specific characteristics that shape good employment practices. Think about:

Equality
This means that, where possible, you treat employees equally and fairly like the rest of his or her colleagues who are in the same situation. Therefore, favoritism or bullying is certainly not one of them.

Trust
As an employee you must be able to rely on the expectations that the employer creates. A good example of this is that if you as an employer indicate that you are entering into a longer employment contract with an employee, you as an employee must be able to trust that this will actually happen.

Acquired right
This means that if employees, for example, receive a Christmas gift every year, they can trust that they will be able to receive it every year. If you suddenly stop giving a Christmas package without giving a clear reason, this can be judged as bad employment practices.

Motivation / argumentation
Decisions made by the employer that directly affect the employee must be substantiated or explained.

Proportionality
The employer pursues the interests of the employee in a proportionate manner. The employee, in turn, will also have to serve the interests of the employer. As an employer it is not allowed to achieve a minor interest for the employer by violating a major interest of the employee.

Carefulness
The employer has the duty to inform his employees about their rights and obligations and also has an obligation to investigate if such situations arise.

Good employment practices and HRM

As an HRM professional you undoubtedly have to deal with being a good employer. In fact, you are often partly responsible for this and this burden rests on your shoulders.

Nevertheless, we believe that this burden should not rest solely with the HR / HRM employee. Successful organizations have a management that is constantly working on being a good employer and has this high on the agenda.

Good employment practices must be fully supported by the board and / or management of organizations. Only with full commitment can you really stand behind GOOD employership.

The road to good employment practices

If you want to be regarded as a good employer, it is therefore not only important to comply with article 7: 611 of the Dutch Civil Code. Good employership continues. Start by measuring where you are and repeat it annually. After that, you have to take steps to increase work happiness. Quite a job, but a company with happy employees is more often a successful company. A good reason, we think.

Would you like to know more about continuous learning in combination with being a good employer?

Curious about how you can get continuous learning on the agenda? We at HR Consultant UK are happy to help you!

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