HR practices for enhancing sustainable employability: implementation, use, and outcomes

Jan Fekke Ybema, Tinka van Vuuren, K. van Dam

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With the ageing of the workforce, organizations need to maintain or improve the sustainable employability of their workforce throughout their working life. This raises the question which Human Resource (HR) practices increase workers’ sustainable employability at work. The aim of this study is to investigate the extent to which organizations implement HR practices for enhancing sustainable employability in terms of workers’ health, motivation, and skills and knowledge from the employer’s perspective. In total, 312 owners/directors or HR managers (response rate 13%) filled out the questionnaire. The findings showed that most organizations implemented a range of HR practices to improve the health, motivation, and skills and knowledge of their employees. Perceived effectiveness of these practices were dependent on the number of HR practices that were implemented, employees’ use of and participation in designing these practices. Implementation of HR practices was also related to higher satisfaction with the current employability of employees, and to increased productivity of the organization. Implications for practice and examples of HR practices to enhance sustainable employability are given.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Oct 2017



  • employability, sustainability, HR practices, health, work motivation, employers

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