Paul StevensManager P&O, MenzisStrengthening leefkracht. That matters more.
Menzis wants to strengthen leefkracht
People are at the centre of everything that happens at Menzis. Menzis wants to keep good care accessible and affordable for everyone so that everyone can continue participating in society. But this healthcare insurer takes it a step further, because preventing is better than curing. It starts with good health. That is why Menzis is dedicated to strengthening everyone’s leefkracht—which loosely translated means lifeforce and refers to the force that gives people vitality—by stimulating a healthy lifestyle, for example by means of the HealthyTogether (SamenGezond) app and by working with municipalities as well as with healthcare and welfare partners on smarter and more sustainable solutions. Based on their motto practice what you preach, Menzis does everything in its power to support its employees in strengthening vitality, or as they prefer to call it: leefkracht.
Everything says leefkracht
Everything in the Menzis building in Wageningen echoes leefkracht. It challenges visitors in various ways to exercise and eat healthy. Before you take the elevator, you first have to go up a flight of stairs. There are water taps everywhere for employees to fill their water bottles during the day. The restaurant encourages people to choose a healthy lunch. You can eat a bun with a meat croquette but it is not displayed in the showcase. This means you have to wait five more minutes if you want to have this snack. “We don’t prohibit our employees anything,” emphasises Manager P&O Paul Stevens. “But we do make them think.”
Focus on collaboration
Strengthening leefkracht: going from good to better together
Exercise and nutrition are not the only aspects that contribute to leefkracht. That is why Menzis goes a step further. They offer an attractive package of fringe benefits, a leefkracht scan and an extensive training programme. Since 2020, HumanCapitalCare has been supporting Menzis in strengthening the leefkracht of its employees. “As always, we began with the OrganisationScan, which clarified on which fronts Menzis already invests in long-term employability, where there is ground to be gained and most of all, what the ambitions of HR are. These insights and ambition combined were our starting point,” explains Jennifer van der Voorn, senior advisor health & employment at HumanCapitalCare. “After that, we created a taskforce, which consisted of members from HR, management, the Works Council and HumanCapitalCare. Based on the OrganisationScan, we determined the goals and priorities and then developed a comprehensive programme with joint actions to strengthen the leefkracht in the next six months.”
Enthusiasm and attention increases
Reina Buursen - Leefkracht ambassador
The 35 Menzis leefkracht ambassadors make it is crystal clear that leefkracht comes first at Menzis. Reina Buursen is one of those ambassadors. She gets employees enthusiastic about going for a walk during the lunch break, for example, or to participate in a mindfulness session or breathing exercise. “Whereas initially people said: ‘Just let me do my work,’ employees are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about improving their lifestyle. In order to increase their enthusiasm even more, every employee receives a one-time leefkracht budget since we all work from home. We are allowed to spend the budget on something that makes us happy, such as new hiking shoes, a blender or a nice plant.”
Every employee counts
Personal growth comes second after leefkracht. “With personal growth we mean being fit for the future by continuing to learn and developing yourself,” Paul explains. “In two years from now, the jobs that we do now might not exist and will be replaced by tasks that are currently unknown to us. Therefore, it is important to stay up-to-date. We also greatly value a healthy work-private life balance and participation. At Menzis, we want all employees to play a role in society and in our company. Everyone contributes and therefore everyone counts. HumanCapitalCare understands that and helps our people to strengthen their leefkracht.”
HumanCapitalCare reacts quickly
What appealed to Menzis the most about HumanCapitalCare was the modern and consistent vision it has of guiding employees and managers and the advice it provides on a strategic organisation level. “Of course, this includes the people who are sick,” Paul explains. “But preventing people from getting sick is just as important. HumanCapitalCare is proactive, reacts quickly, knows our culture and speaks our language. They complement our vision and ambitions and help us tremendously in expressing these. HumanCapitalCare is a doer and provides a fresh and objective point of view. Our collaboration is bursting with energy.”
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Every day, 2.5 billion people consume Unilever products and 160 thousand employees worldwide work on creating these products. Unilever began working with HumanCapitalCare four years ago in order to support its 2,500 Dutch employees in staying healthy, motivated and competent.