Sustainable employability: what is it and how can you benefit from it?

by Danique Geskus | Nov 8, 2023

In an ever-changing work environment, sustainable employability is becoming a critical issue for both employees and employers. It is more than a trend; it is a long-term strategy to get the best out of employees and strengthen the competitiveness of organizations. In this blog, we discuss the meaning of sustainable employability, how organizations can manage it, HR’s key role in it, and how sustainable employability can lead to cost savings. Step into the world of sustainable employability with us.


What is sustainable employability?

Sustainable employability is the ability of employees to work productively, healthily and with pleasure throughout their careers. This theme includes several aspects: the continuous development of competencies, promoting health and well-being, and fostering job satisfaction and engagement. The pursuit of sustainable employability is essential for organizations. Not only does it help them maximize the potential of their employees, it also strengthens their competitive position. Moreover, it helps reduce absenteeism, which can have significant benefits for both employees and employers.


How do you manage sustainable employability as an organization?

Over the past few years, we see more and more organizations addressing this issue. Thus, there are several initiatives that contribute for both the employee and the employer. Examples include:

  1. Encouraging continuous development allows employees to remain competent and keep up with changes in their field. This can be achieved by offering regular training, courses and education.
  2. A work environment that promotes physical and mental health can also contribute to sustainable employability. This can be done, for example, by offering healthy food, sports facilities, a good work-life balance and preventive health checks.
  3. Involving employees in decisions that affect their work and creating a culture of collaboration and appreciation can increase job satisfaction and engagement.
  4. Offering career coaching or mentoring can give employees insight into their career goals and strengths, helping them make the most of them.
  5. Flexibility in how, where and when employees work can help them maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  6. Valuing and supporting diversity within the workforce can lead to more innovative solutions and an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued.


HR’s role in driving sustainable employability

As you can see above, there are several components where you as an organization can make quick gains. The HR department plays a very important role in this. Thus, they design and implement strategies aimed at continuous development, health, job satisfaction and engagement. In addition, HR facilitates learning and development opportunities, encourages a healthy work environment and promotes flexible forms of work. They are also responsible for creating an inclusive culture that values diversity. By offering career counseling and coaching, they help employees realize their potential. In short, HR drives the policies and practices that promote sustainable employability within an organization.


Saving costs through sustainable employability

As an organization, you also notice the various benefits of steering for sustainable employability in your wallet. In fact, by focusing on sustainable employability, an organization can save significant costs. Reducing absenteeism and employee turnover are direct cost savings as these factors are related to replacement, sick leave and lost productivity. Furthermore, investing in continuous employee development can lead to improved performance and efficiency. Also, healthy and satisfied employees can be more engaged and productive, contributing to the company’s bottom line. Finally, attracting and retaining talent through a focus on sustainable employability can reduce recruitment and selection costs.


Keep your employees engaged and sustainably employable with Learned

Managing for sustainable employability starts with insight. With Learned’s Survey module, you can continuously monitor aspects such as employee engagement and act accordingly. Drive the data by team, compare your results with those of similar organizations and optimize the most important themes for your organization.

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