Royal HaskoningDHV has 5,700 employees worldwide, spread over 30 countries; about half of these employees work in or from the Netherlands. We provide services in the fields of aviation, buildings, energy, industry, infrastructure, maritime, mining, transport, urban and rural development and water.
A works council consisting of 13 members has been established for Royal HaskoningDHV Nederland. Specific committees have been established for each of the Business Lines and for the joint Corporate Groups.
Motive: good advice
We were not specifically looking for new ways to talk to our employees. During a training course on professionalizing the Works Council, Winfried Bouts of the WissemaGroup drew our attention to the CircleLytics tool (at the time still under the name CouncilWise). We are continuously working on the further professionalization of the Works Council and contacts with constituents are an important part of this. The CircleLytics online dialogues enable us to improve our effectiveness in contacting constituents.
Anonymous, broadly applicable and based on equality
In addition to the online dialogues, we send out a Works Council news flash every 6 weeks in which we report on the subjects that the Works Council has been working on. We also have intranet pages with all kinds of information about the Works Council. In addition, we publish the reports of the Works Council meetings and the advice and consent letters on this page. And, we regularly organize on-site constituency meetings and attend advisory group meetings. The committees are also an important link in our contact with the constituents; they collect input from the workplace for their consultations with the Business Line management. The online dialogues are, however, anonymous, everyone from the relevant target group can participate on an equal basis, and they also listen to each other in the 2nd round. This is another level of communication and interaction with the constituency.
How do you apply CircleLytics’ dialogue?
We try to use the dialogues once a month to discuss a current theme or a spearhead of the Works Council. Or we choose a theme that has been suggested by employees in previous dialogues. In other words, with each dialogue they can draw our attention to subjects that may have a broader impact. We set up this monthly dialogue among employees in the Netherlands. Or, where necessary or convenient, we launch a specific topic among a certain group of employees (for example, per Business Line). You can also set up dialogues among all employees and then make all kinds of breakdowns. Because not all employees in the Netherlands speak Dutch, the dialogues are bilingual: in Dutch and in English.
We share the top five results of the dialogues in the Works Council Newsflash. We discuss these top five with our management and the relevant persons/units (for ex., the Corporate Group Communications & Brand or Human Resources Management). The content and timing of the dialogues is also coordinated in advance with Communications & Brand; we all have our own responsibilities and want to keep each other informed, also because the company conducts surveys among employees.
The results of the dialogues are discussed during Works Council meetings and consultation meetings with the Executive Board and – if relevant – in the consultation with the Supervisory Board.
What do the dialogues get you?
- will give the Works Council much greater legitimacy in bringing issues to the attention of management and will ensure that there is greater support for the Works Council’s views. The results will help us to have an (even) better discussion with management about the choices we need to make regarding the future of Royal HaskoningDHV.
- will ensure that the Works Council is better informed of what is going on in the organization.
- increase employee engagement, both with the organization and the participation process. It also increases inclusiveness within the organization
- will lead to informed, good conversations with management and HR.
High appreciation of employees
In general, the employees appreciate the tool. This is evident from the high level of participation and the high rating of the tool, which is asked at the end.
We also receive reactions as a result of the dialogues, which show that topics are being discussed and are starting to become (even) more alive in the organization.
The organization’s potential is surfacing
The results of these dialogues make the Works Council a fully-fledged discussion partner because we know very well what is going on in the organization. The results also underpin and strengthen our views, giving management a clear idea of what is going on. Furthermore, by using CircleLytics, the potential knowledge present in the organization is much better utilized. Based on the results of the dialogues, management and the works council can better assess the impact of the choices that are made and, as a result, the decision-making process of the management and works council is strengthened.
And besides: it’s just fun to do!!!