Always looking for improvements

Unilever is a global leader in fast-moving consumer goods. 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.

Before Unilever began its partnership with HumanCapitalCare, the company had been working with another party for a long time. “That collaboration was fine in principle,” says Bianca Dekker, HR manager. “But at Unilever, we are always looking for improvements in all aspects, especially when it comes to our employees. That is why four years ago, we invited several companies to check which one could help us improve the aspects that were important to us. HumanCapitalCare stood out because of its innovative approach to prevention. We first set up the occupational health & safety services. A broader perspective of how to keep our employees full of vitality soon followed. That is how our collaboration with HumanCapitalCare began to truly matter more to us.”

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Equal partnership

Unilever has offices all over the world and many HR activities are organised worldwide. “It’s nice that HumanCapitalCare does not try to sell us its approach, but rather explores our vision on welfare and adds its expertise to that. I truly see our collaboration as an equal partnership, in which we work together and enhance each other. In addition to a medical officer, we also deployed an employability coach from the beginning to help us optimise the employability of our staff. That way we notice signs earlier, deal with these sooner and thus decrease the chance of absenteeism.”

Looking at the entire picture

Prevention is a top priority at Unilever. “That is exactly where HumanCapitalCare stands out,” says Bianca. “They are very innovative in the field of prevention. They look at the entire picture and what precisely keeps employees healthy, motivated and competent and thus employable. In addition, HumanCapitalCare’s strong point is data analysis and they ask critical questions. It is very clear that they have a well of experience with their extensive clientele and also that they compare our data with that of other organisations.”

Great measure of freedom

Autonomy and personal initiative are very important to Unilever. This is noticeable, for example, in the lack of fixed job descriptions. “If an employee wants to participate in a project beyond his or her core discipline, then we create room for that,” according to Bianca. “The great measure of freedom that we give our employees is experienced as a positive feature by many people, but not everyone is equally equipped to deal with this. Sometimes, freedom makes people insecure. We support employees who have difficulty with this amount of freedom in gaining perspective and learning to deal with this better.”

How is your resilience?

The Unilever Wellbeing framework provides the necessary guidance and grip. It is a framework that is implemented company-wide to improve the wellbeing of employees. The four pillars that play an important role in this framework are: your physical, mental and emotional condition and your purpose. “With these four pillars we and HumanCapitalCare point out to our employees that it is important to regularly ask yourself how you are truly doing, not just on a physical level, but also on an emotional level. How is your resilience? And are you doing what makes you feel good, what suits you?”

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Valuable addition

Bianca Dekker - HR-manager Unilever

HumanCapitalCare began working with Unilever four years ago by deploying a medical officer and employability coach. By now, Unilever has a customer-oriented team of twelve professionals at its disposal. “They guide our employees, advise us and help us by means of reports, coaching programmes and training programmes. HumanCapitalCare knows our company and our people inside out. Because they know what is going on, they react quickly and adequately. When we come up with an idea together, the plan is often already completed the next week. Company-wide we are already supported well by the Unilever organisation itself, but HumanCapitalCare is a valuable addition for Unilever Netherlands.”

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