European HR Best Practice Report 2011 - Part 1

A CRF Institute Benchmark Study on Top Employers in Europe April 2011

Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010.

© 2011 The CRF Institute. All Rights Reserved.

will conclude just what exactly we can learn from the HR policies and practices of the top performing employers. well being policies & absenteeism. succession practices. most changes are In fact changes that are visible also in like-for-like comparisons where only bi-annual participants are included in the comparison. Where relevant an additional explanation is given. Only organisations that meet top standards in Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. staff turnover. Switzerland.European HR Best Practice Report 2011 . receive a Top Employers certification. Spain. differences and similarities in HR policy across Europe. France. HOW TO READ THE REPORT The report is divided into chapters. CSR employee engagement and communication strategy. staff retention and employee engagement. a comparison is made between 2010 and 2011 data. All Rights Reserved.crfinstitute. The ‘2010 results’ are based on the data derived from the Top Employers that were certified in 2011. retention practices. and thus have Best Practice HR policies and practices. practices and policies for criteria such as Pay & Benefits. It is based on a benchmark of the annual Top Employer research conducted by the CRF Institute in Belgium. the Top Employers Best Practice. diversity strategy. Germany. Some differences between the data from each year can be attributed to a change in composition of the Top Employers group. ‘2011’ refers to the Top Employers that received their certification in early 2011. 2011 COMPARED TO 2010 In the report. © 2011 The CRF Institute. . However. Key drivers. The Netherlands. The purpose of the Top Employers’ research is to identify which organisations excel in terms of offering HR policies and practices that drive human capital attraction. You will be notified when the report is available. the CRF Institute presents its research report on Top Employers in Europe. Training & Development. The data of those certified organisations are included in this HR Best Practices Report. In the research. ABOUT THE CRF INSTITUTE The last page of this report tells you more about the CRF Institute and its HR projects. Working Conditions and Company Culture are reviewed thoroughly. In total 340 Top Employers in these 9 countries successfully completed the research.) comes with a summary of research outcomes on this topic. each corresponding to a topic in HR. European HR Best Practice Report 2011 PART 2 In September 2011 the second installment of the European HR Best Practice Report 2011 will be published. The figures will give you insight into the year-on-year comparison and local outcomes in each of the researched countries. Career Opportunities. Each page (covering elements such as the position of HR. This report gives insight in the best practices. www. all critical areas of the HR Management of the participating organisations are assessed. THE RESEARCH INSIGHTS IN THIS REPORT The insights in this report derives from the CRF Institute's annual Top Employers projects (including Top Arbeitgeber Deutschland and Schweiz and Top Employeurs France). It also compares the results with last year’s outcomes. United Kingdom and Poland. This report will contain insights and Best Practices on the following topics: primary benefits. etc. Finally.Part 1 For the third consecutive year. plus it can be downloaded from our website: www.crfinstitute.

European average THINGS TO DO TODAY 2011 (as in 2010) Graph 2. •To truly measure the impact of the employer brand. start mid(1. right). talent management became more important compared to learning & development while employee engagement rose in importance.HR Priorities SUMMARY OF RESULTS • While the top five HR priorities of European Top Employers in 2011 are the same (and are even ranked in the same order). • Unsurprisingly. attention once more shifts back to attracting and recruiting staff. Graph 1.tonow by focussing on the retention of current staff and on how you attract you new talent. 4-10 in list of HR priorities TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • Top Employers that want to grow staff numbers. These growing organisations also apply significantly less emphasis on organisational change. 1-3 in list of HR priorities priority is ranked no. Top five HR priorities for organisations. • Top employers that give above -average priority to talent management aboveuse research to study the visibility of their employer brand as well as to study the impact on talent attraction. Instead. It is in countries where slower-than-expected economic recovery has been visible (UK. put much more focus on retaining and recruiting staff. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. the lower the priority it places on recruitment (also see Figure 2). • The next 5-10 years will be characterised by the retirement of the first wave of ‘Baby Boomer’ employees (those born between 1946-64). For instance. All Rights Reserved. But. • Employee engagement is now a top five priority for eight of the nine countries researched (see Figure 2. Italy & Spain).com . despite the impending pressure this demographic change will place on businesses. Relative importance of engagement and recruitment priorities LOW PL ES HIGH IT ENGAGEMENT BE NL FR CH LOW DE RECRUITMENT HIGH UK HIGH LOW priority is ranked no. dealing with an ageing workforce is amongst the lowest in the list of priorities in all countries in Europe. the higher a country’s engagement score. © 2011 The CRF Institute. that the focus is primarily on engagement. as those in 2010. In countries that have experienced more sustained economic recovery. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • If your mid-term goal (1-to-3 years) is to increase staff numbers. www. above• Top Employers that have above -average focus on recruitment and diversity use research to study the impact of their employer brand on talent bra nd attraction and retention. Poland. there are changes in the relative distance between the priorities.crfinstitute. also and measure the impact the employer brand has on talent attraction a nd retention. go beyond To measuring brand recognition and relative appeal on the external labour commonlymarket (the most commonly-used ways of measuring).

HR claims top spot in terms of its contribution to the annual report: 65% of Top Employers devote at least two pages of it to describing their HR strategy and organisational development. • HR directors that report directly to the CEO describe the role of their operation. 65% of the HR leaders reported to their CEO.Position of HR Graph 3. Graph 4. In Spain and Italy this is most common: 88% of Top Employer organisations publish this HR information in their annual reports.” 0% say: “HR is primarily an administrative function.” TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • HR directors that are members of the highest management team describe the role of their department as more crucial in strategy strategy formulation and operation. In these countries the contribution is perceived to be more operational than elsewhere in Europe. • Fewer Top Employer organisations say HR plays a ‘crucial role in strategy formation and operational success’. Notably lower influence is measured in Germany and Switzerland.” HR Inc 27% say: “HR plays a crucial role in operational success. the Netherlands and Spain. © 2011 The CRF Institute. HR report directors must be part of the highest management team and must report to function the CEO directly. 6% say: “HR plays a contributing role to operational success. department as more crucial in strategy formulation and operation. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • To accelerate the impact and influence of the HR department.crfinstitute. www. All Rights Reserved. Countries where HR has the highest perceived influence are the United Kingdom. in 2011 this had fallen to 66%. In 2010 three-quarters of Top Employers agreed this. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December . • Despite the reduction in perceived influence. Only then will the influence of the HR function be fully visible and able to be developed. where 50% of HR departments claim HR plays a crucial role in strategy formation and operational success. in 2011 74% report to the CEO. Role of HR within the organisation (European average) 66% say: “HR plays a crucial role in strategy formulation and operational success. Reporting lines for HR directors (European average) SUMMARY OF RESULTS • A growing number of HR leaders in Top Employer organisations now report directly to the CEO. In 2010.

Identify and segment specific employee offerings. In addition. Expected shortages of adequate resources per job level (European average 2010-2011) 20102011 2010 39% 42% 54% 43% 17% 3% 17% 4% 12% Executives Management Professionals Admin / support No shortage of resources TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • Companies experiencing employee shortages put more emphasis on attraction as an HR priority.Resource planning Graph 5. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • To avoid employee shortages in the immediate short-term. Belgium and Switzerland report the tightest market for professionals: three quarters of Top Employers there indicate they expect a shortage of professionals. © 2011 The CRF Institute. • Differences in the expected growth of staff numbers reflect the broader picture in local economies: in the United Kingdom. • There is a . • Companies that do not experience employee shortages attach a higher higher priority to engagement in their HR policies. employers shortshould do all of the following: create formal statements about the organisational offering to staff. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. but notable increase in the proportion of Top Employers that expect a shortage of staff in the most sought after employee group of professionals. expect no staff shortages at all. Germany and Switzerland more than 75% of Top Employers expect moderate-to-strong staff growth levels. less organisations (43% in 2011 compared to 54% in 2010). and most importantly: develop a three -year strategic outlook on future employee needs/desires and organisational offerings. Italy and Spain – which are both are plagued by record unemployment – show the most modest growth expectations. Only half of Top Employers there expect growth. • Companies with a three -year Employee Value Proposition have fewer threeshortages for professionals. 3% Stay the same 1Decrease by 1 -5% Decrease by more than 5% 23% 3% 6% Graph 6. Greater numbers (40%) of Top Employers expect their organisation to grow by 5% or more during the next three years.crfinstitute. organisational measure the fit between employee needs/desires and organisationa l threeofferings. The Netherlands. All Rights Reserved. www. By 2011 this rose to 66%. Expected change in number of employees (next 3 years) – 2011 European average 40% Increase by more than 5% 1Increase by 1 -5% 26% SUMMARY OF RESULTS • Employers have greater confidence about the economic recovery: In 2010 only 51% of European Top Employers expected their organisation to grow. All of these strongly correlate to fewer employee shortages. groups according to there needs/desires and organisational offer ings.

• If you offer employees the opportunity to choose their benefits employees’ wellpersonally. Those offering crèche/childcare facilities has fallen from 35% to 31%. www. measure your employees’ well-being at least annually. sabbaticals and car/travel allowances (see . •Companies that offer the cafeteria model are more likely to have KPIs in Companies wellplace on employee well-being and on employee competency levels. are entitled to study leave and study support. Graph 8. but in the case of Switzerland. this is offset by businesses having considerably higher primary benefits (including offering bonuses and profit sharing). a higher number of employees connection. This allows staff to mix and match employers benefits according to their individual needs. • Poland and Switzerland have lower levels of benefits offered.Secondary benefits SUMMARY OF RESULTS • Overall. sabbatical leave. European Top Employers offer outstanding secondary benefits to their employees. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. home internet connection. In 2011 the level of benefits offered has further increased compared to 2010. © 2011 The CRF Institute. and to religious facilities. All Rights Reserved. allow and employees to choose them themselves. It also allows employers to offer the maximum number of benefits without having to offer everything eve rything to everyone (with the associated costs of doing this). TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • If you want to offer a competitive suite of secondary benefits. • The most generous Top Employers offering secondary benefits to all employees are found in the Netherlands and Spain. Most applied secondary benefits Top three per country* TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • In companies that give their employees the possibility to choose between choose a range of benefits (via a cafeteria model). right). in 2011 it went down to 71%. • The most popular benefits offered include. In 2010 78% of Top Employers offering study leave to all or some of their staff. • Compared to 2010 some benefit provision has been reduced. medical aid schemes (including healthcare).

In Spain however. All Rights Reserved. • Sabbaticals are most universally offered in France. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. www. Poland and the Netherlands. The rise in offering sabbaticals is even greater: it is up 54% in 2009 to 82% in 2011. and special leave.crfinstitute. reduction company travel. with employers that offer compressed working hours. partselftermjob sharing. • Telecommuting and sabbaticals are the top two growing flexible working benefits: Telecommuting was offered by 68% of Top Employers 2010. flexitime . • Telecommuting is the least consistent flexible working offering across Europe. telecommuting. TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • The availability of 'work from home' facilities shows a positive relation working. just 53% of Top Employers there offer some form of career break. part-time work.Flexible working arrangements Graph 8. while in the Netherland this figure reaches 98%. and flexible working solution. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • Work from home must be offered as part of a full. sabbatical. and is now offered by 74%. In Italy 66% of Top Employers offer it to their staff. Most applied flexible working conditions Top three per country* SUMMARY OF RESULTS • The majority of European Top Employers enable part-time work and/or flexi-time for their staff. where 95%+ of Top Employers offer it. self-rostering. but in the UK it is offered by 96% of Top Employers. term-time working. © 2011 The CRF Institute. It does not stand on its own.

• Prevention and support policies are more comparable across Europe. 6.crfinstitute. Absenteeism rates 2007 -2009 per country (graph position based on 2009 rate) SUMMARY OF RESULTS • At a national level. As such.HIGH scale prevention: 20%-75% 5. absenteeism rates are influenced by cultural and legal conditions. Support policies include: burn-out recovery programmes and in-house doctors/nurses.5% CH 1.HIGH scale prevention: 30%-70% LOW . the Netherlands. (Straight comparisons must therefore be seen in this light). • Employing an in. Relative application of well being policies focused on prevention and support PREVENTION POLICIES LOW NL BE SUPPORT POLICIES FR DE HIGH ES CH FR PL LOW UK ES IT LOW . time management and ergonomic support.5% 2. www. • Top Employers in the UK. Organisations striving for lower absenteeism rates should consider this. they show an upward trend in their absenteeism doctor will bring about a significant reduction in inabsenteeism. • Providing prevention and support policies positively reduces absenteeism.5% PL Graph 10. All Rights Reserved.Wellbeing policies & absenteeism 2007Graph 9. Apart from Belgium the trend for absenteeism rates in these countries is downward. Prevention policies include: stress management.5% IT NL BE UK DE 3. Italy and Poland provide fewer prevention and support policies. • Top Employers with employee wellbeing programs also measure and report these policies in specific wellbeing KPIs. This can also help lower absenteeism rates. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • Provide support and prevention policies to generate a positive effect on absenteeism the wellbeing of your employees.5% 2007 2008 2009 TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • Top Employers that have access to an in-house doctor as part of a formal inthose support policy have significantly lower absenteeism rates than those who do not. • Top Employers France. Belgium and Spain excel in offering both prevention and support policies to support the wellbeing of their staff.5% HIGH . Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. © 2011 The CRF Institute.

LOW HIGH Training & development SUMMARY OF RESULTS • Nearly all Top Employers apply – either formally defined or informally applied – the following development programmes: Leadership development.term effects of training. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • To create the optimal mix of development programmes. coaching/mentoring and talent management/high performer programmes. if knowledge is retained over time. while in the rest of Europe short-term effects as well as long term effects tend to be measured most. General training. • Long-term impacts of training programmes (including the extent to which developed skills are transferred into performance in roles. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. and whether training provides some form of return on investment). This increases the ‘ fit’ between the needs of staff and what is offered. Italy and Poland focus mostly on the shortterm.crfinstitute. industry job-related training. So: offer programs in line with the competency effectiveness needs of staff. In the United Kingdom and Spain equal focus is put on measuring both the short-term effects as well as the long. • The availability of development programmes often goes hand in hand hand with measuring the effectiveness of these programmes. employee the fit’ insights should be measured on a regular basis. Graph 11. are less commonly measured. www. • The majority of European Top Employers measure the participants’ evaluation of training and development programmes. Two-thirds of employers also measure the actual increase in capabilities or knowledge gained by their staff from training. © 2011 The CRF Institute. • Top Employers focus on measuring the effectiveness of their competency development programmes. All Rights Reserved. optimise participation rates and measure the effectiveness of programmes. individually-selected training. Measurement of the effectiveness of development programmes Graph 12 Relative measurement of the effectiveness of development programmes Graph 13. Most applied development programmes PL TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • Organisations that apply above-average development programmes also abovemeasure employee insights (via employee satisfaction research) a t an at aboveabove -average .

with this being 9% for managers. They are most commonly involved in performance appraisals. www. • In the United Kingdom. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. rather than stand aone than . Germany and Poland. France and the Netherlands. PL Executives’ Graph 15. the manager is also reviewed on the participation of their staff in development programmes. TOP EMPLOYERS BEST PRACTICE • To increase participation rates in training and development programmes four programmes best practices can be learnt from Top Employers: managers’ 1. • Organisations that use active encouragement (linking managers’ managers bonuses to development participation and who review employees on their training participation). Belgium. 2. • Among 42% of Top Employers. development 4. recruitment and introduction.crfinstitute. Develop continuous learning activities. have a significantly higher percentage of employees participating in mentor and training programmes. Executives’ role in talent development TOP EMPLOYERS KEY FINDINGS • Organisations that employ continuous learning activities and have ha ve door’ executives that have an ‘ open door ’ policy for discussing staff development participating have a significantly higher percentage of employees participating in mentor and training programs. All Rights Reserved. the involvement of executives in these role is most apparent. © 2011 The CRF Institute. This is most common in the United Kingdom. Ensure executives are available to discuss the de velopment of staff during special open hours. Use of reviews and bonuses to encourage employee participation in development programmes SUMMARY OF RESULTS • 62% of Top Employers review their employees on their participation in development programmes. Review employees on their training participation. Spain however is the clear leader in matching bonuses to training: 25% of organisations there make part of bonuses dependent on participation in development programmes.Participation in development programmes Graph 14. 3. Make the managers’ bonus dependent on the training participation of their staff. • Linking bonuses of staff or managers to training participation is far less common: Just 10% of Top Employers in Europe apply this evaluation method for employees. promotion decisions and are also often in mentorship roles. Italy. • Executives at most Top Employers play a crucial role in the development of their staff. . © 2011 The CRF Institute.crfinstitute.European HR Best Practice Report 2011 – Additional information Questions on which the figures in this report are based based: Figure1 Please indicate the top five HR priorities for your organisation and rank them according to their order of importance Figure 2 Please indicate the top five HR priorities for your organisation and rank them according to their order of importance Who does your Head of HR report to? Which of the following statements best describes the role and value of HR in your organisation? How do you expect the number of full-time employees (at a national level) to develop over the next three financial years? At which job levels is there a shortage of adequate human resources? What percentage of your total staff nationally (with an employment contract and local based) is eligible for the following benefits? What flexible working arrangements do you offer your employees? What is your organisation's average absenteeism rate (per annum)? Which well-being programmes do you offer to your employees? Figure11 How does the organisation measure the effectiveness of its development programmes? How does the organisation measure the effectiveness of its development programmes? Which development programmes are available to employees? Does the organisation use reviews and bonuses to encourage employee participation in development programmes? Which roles do senior executives play in the development of staff? Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 14 Figure 5 Figure 15 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. All Rights Reserved.

Spain. Source: Top Employers/Top Arbeitgeber/Top Employeurs research August – December 2010. The internal and external employer brand therefore becomes vitally important to effectively attract. www. All Rights Reserved. CRF identifies top performers in the areas of HR. research and deliverables. the CRF Institute identifies and certifies. It has grown into an international organisation with operations in thirteen countries on three continents. Its headquarters are based in the Netherlands.500 leading organisations around the world have participated in the international Top Employers projects. The unique Top Employers approach is characterised by HR policy based research. Italy. France. Since 1991 the CRF Institute has developed its proprietary methodology. Top Employers provides its participants with the insight. HR POLICY BASED RESEARCH In the Top Employers projects.crfinstitute. Denmark. FOUR CONTINENTS The CRF Institute has operations in Belgium.crfinstitute. Brazil. retain and engage top talent. and United Kingdom. Poland.ABOUT THE CRF INSTITUTE THIRTEEN COUNTRIES. more than 2. The CRF Institute is the independent organisation behind the Top Employers projects. Germany. Switzerland. by international standards. the frontrunners in excellent HR management. Since South Africa. China. Key to the project is that all participants must exceed the objective rating standards in the research. leadership and strategy. recognition and visibility to enable them to stand out as an employer of choice and to celebrate this accomplishment. The Netherlands. EMPLOYER OF CHOICE The CRF Institute believes that finding and binding talent determines whether business goals are reached. visit www. © 2011 The CRF Institute. For more information on the CRF Institute and the Top Employers . objectivity and an independent and selective assessment.

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