Work partly determines how happy you are. But there are also many other factors that affect your well-being, such as health, finances and relationships. Your work performance may suffer. More and more employers believe that they must not only help employees with work pressure and stress, but also outside the workplace.
The firm Bowers and JACKLING, recruitment agencies for technical staff, also want to help employees with matters outside the workplace. Director Jacco Fingerling: “I find it strange that most employers only focus on work-related matters to increase the happiness of their staff. At the end of the day, your work only determines 8 percent of your happiness.”
Therefore, the company has not developed a job satisfaction program, but a general job satisfaction program that helps employees with, for example, latent health problems. Fingerling experienced firsthand that this can have a big effect.
“In the family in which I grew up, migraines occurred, and I had accepted that I have that too. Later, through a blood test, I found out that I am lactose intolerant and that this can cause migraine symptoms. Since I kept stop drinking cow’s milk, I no longer lie in bed one day every month when I’m sick with a migraine.”
He also managed to improve his energy level with a slight adjustment. “My vitamin D level turned out to be low, which can lead to fatigue. I thought I was fine. But when I started taking supplements, I felt more energetic. I wish our employees that kind of improvement as well. “
The match between employee and position must first be good
A questionnaire helps Bowers and JACKLING find out what the staff are up to. If the questionnaire indicates that someone needs medical attention, outside help will be called for privacy reasons. “For example, we offer a blood analysis which is carried out by an external party. An external orthomolecular expert is also available. If the advice is to take more vitamins and minerals, we pay for them.”
Lars Vissers, director of De Arbodienst, calls Fingerling’s efforts noble. But he emphasizes that this kind of initiative can only succeed if the employee really feels at home in the organization and the position he or she performs. “If that match is not there, then there is a greater likelihood that such help backfires. The extras become golden handcuffs: Because the employment conditions are so good, you don’t dare to leave when you are actually unhappy in your job.”
We have already sent an employee with whom the relationship was not good, at the company’s expense, to dinner with his partner.
If the employee is happy in his work, you can focus on private matters and see how you can facilitate that, says Vissers. “But it remains an extra, you don’t have to do it as an employer. It is of course also the employee’s own responsibility that it all continues to run smoothly in his or her private life.”
Employees of Bowers and JACKLING who prefer to keep private matters completely private do not need to disclose them, Fingerling emphasizes. “We offer help, but it is non-binding.”
Extra help pays off in the end
30 of the 125 employees in Bowers and JACKLING have now completed the questionnaire. Three people could use that help, says Fingerling. “They have actually struggled with headaches, stomach aches all their lives. But it was never bad enough to go to the doctor. We hope to be able to help them with that.”
If the answers to the questionnaire show that someone is very stressed due to caring tasks, Bowers and JACKLING also come to the rescue. Fingerling: “If you are less administratively skilled, a PGB application for a family member, for example, can cause a lot of tension and stress. Then we will help you fill it in.”
But the company is also trying to help with employee relations issues. “We have already sent an employee with whom the relationship was not good, at the company’s expense, to dinner with his partner.”
Although Vissers believes that the foundation for work must first be good, he advises employers to invest in this kind of extra help as prevention. “Ultimately, the investment pays off in productivity, employee satisfaction and probably customer satisfaction as well. It also reduces absenteeism. So it definitely pays off.”
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