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What is ‘sustainable employability’ actually about? If you ask someone for the definition of the term, then all sorts of words and concepts turn up. You can think about ‘working for a long period’ or ‘fun at work’ etc. And it would all be correct.

To make sure that everyone has a clear view about it, we use three pillars of sustainable employability in our daily work, based on those of the Social Economic Council. And these are:

  • Workability
    Physical, psychological and social abilities that are needed in the workplace
  • Employability
    Ability to find productive and rewarding work
  • Vitality
    Health/energy and motivation

The variables that define workability are summarised in ‘The House of Workability’, also known as ‘The House of Ilmarinen’, named after prof. dr. Juhani Ilmarinen, founder of the workability concept and the Work Ability Index. Whatch the interview with him about this subject.

Get started with sustainable employability

Employers will have to make more efforts to keep their employers ‘healthy’ and ‘in house’. The health policy of most companys uses the classical method which is mostly reactive. This means that no action will be taken, until costs get visible and that is when there is absence. A proactive policy however focusses on the prevention of loss of employees. This is in many cases necessary in order to avoid costs.

It pays off

Employers of large and small companies, and from different sectors, all of which are active in the field of sustainable employability, show that both employers and employees can move forward concerning sustainable employability. Investments in sustainable employability can be recouped in a short term (sometimes even within a year). For example, employers who invest in the physical and mental health of their employees earn it back through a decrease in sick days and attractive employment.


Within a proactive approach, it is important that the interventions or activities that are used fit the organization. So our advice: determine at which stage you are with your organization, draw up an inventory of what is needed in the organization and especially check the needs of the employees.

Are your employees sustainable employable?

This is the big question of course. How about your organization? Our vision is that everyone goes happy and healthy to work. We do this by deploying our advice and services. Want to know more about us and our services, click here or check our website so you can read what we are up to concerning sustainable employability.