‘Flevoland healthcare landscape has all ingredients to continue to deliver high-quality and accessible healthcare’

By | Health, News

The current Dutch Flevoland healthcare landscape has all the ingredients to continue to deliver high-quality and accessible healthcare – now and in the future. That’s the main conclusion from a report by Bas Leerink, explorer of the future and partner at IG&H.

Download the full report here (in Dutch).

In the past few months, Leerink and his team of IG&H consultants have defined a vision of healthcare in the Dutch province Flevoland from 2020 onwards. To this end, they’ve had extensive talks with residents, healthcare providers, health insurers, and the local government. They’ve also made extensive calculations and analyses of all scenarios. Moreover, regulators NZA (Dutch Healthcare Authority) and IGJ (Health and Youth Care Inspectorate) have been actively involved and have responded to the report. They don’t have any objections.

As an explorer of the future, Leerink recommends a step-by-step improvement of the current healthcare provision as the best approach for Flevoland. The province shouldn’t seek to restore the situation that existed before the bankruptcy. Therefore, the emergency room and acute obstetrics will not be reopened in Lelystad.

This is a difficult matter for many parties involved, but restoring the situation that existed before the bankruptcy doesn’t offer a solution for future demand. Furthermore, it’s neither realistic nor feasible in the short term. In the report, Leerink makes several recommendations. If this Agenda for Healthcare is realized, it will turn Flevoland into a leading region in the sector.

Importance of close collaboration

The bankruptcy of the former MC IJsselmeer hospitals has damaged the citizen’s trust in healthcare (parties) and the extent to which they’re able to really put the public interest in available, accessible, and good healthcare first. Now, researchers observe that healthcare (particularly the networks of healthcare professionals) is being restored in terms of content. The trust of citizens – reflected in local governments, the Flevoland Patient Federation (FPF), and Stichting Actie Behoud Ziekenhuis Lelystad (foundation to promote the preservation of a general hospital in Lelystad) – is still fragile.

Therefore, the explorer of the future proposes to keep analyzing and monitoring the situation carefully, and to continue consulting with all parties involved through Zorgtafel Flevoland (healthcare table Flevoland) in the coming year. The latter is supported by a progress meeting, chaired by the Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport. It also offers the option of addressing bottlenecks and escalating progress-related problems. The Ministry of Health, Welfare, and Sport can use the outcomes of the meeting to inform the Dutch Lower House of Parliament.

Acute healthcare

One of the issues that damaged trust encompasses concerns about accessible emergency care. Before the bankruptcy, patients with an acute, life-threatening condition, such as a heart attack, were sent to the Zwolle-based hospital. This procedure will be maintained. Because of the emergency outpatient department in Lelystad and the local emergency room in Emmeloord, it’s possible to provide care in the area in the case of low-complex emergency conditions.

To relieve pressure on these surrounding hospitals, it’s important to set up an acute care data science team in Flevoland. The team can contribute to the improvement of processes, which can increase the availability and effectiveness of emergency rooms. Currently, the St Jansdal hospital provides the emergency outpatient department at the Lelystad location and the emergency room at the Harderwijk location, which means it’s logical to start with this hospital.

By deploying data and new technology in the right way, ambulance care in Flevoland can take the lead in data-driven process improvement in the short term. This may serve as an example for other regional ambulance facilities in the Netherlands in the long term.

Obstetric care

The disappearance of acute obstetrics in Lelystad means that part of the people in Flevoland need to travel a longer distance in acute obstetric situations. The increase in travel distance means it’s easier to use an ambulance.

A new type of collaboration is needed to keep providing good birth care. Carefully organizing the unchanged demand for care within the context of the altered care provision – both primary and secondary care – is a priority. Recently, new partnerships have already been established between all care providers involved. They have given tremendous effort to reach additional agreements, which has strengthened cooperation and mutual trust.The explorer of the future also recommends that birth care in Lelystad is supported for one year.

The starting point is to offer birth care in the pregnant woman’s area if possible, and to provide it in a clinical setting as quickly as possible if the case in question so requires. Birth care providers are obstetricians or obstetrically active primary care physicians, secondary and tertiary care obstetricians and gynecologists, the regional ambulance facility (only in the case of acute obstetrics), and maternity care.

Care and support for vulnerable groups of people

The growing number of vulnerable elderly people with a complex, often cross-domain demand for care and the increasing health differences between socio-economic groups require far-reaching cooperation between care and welfare organizations and municipalities.

An adapted form of the neighborhood clinic in Amsterdam would be an interesting initiative for Lelystad. This clinic’s target group consists of patients with a combination of geriatric problems and, for example, pneumonia, COPD, heart failure, a bladder infection, or neurological symptoms. The results are positive – patients experience less loss of function, and the number of readmissions and emergency room visits is reduced, among other things. Several parties have now entered into discussions, and the first plans for such an initiative in Lelystad are being developed.

There is also a demand for primary care plus in the Noordoostpolder. Chain partners have signed a letter of intent for the new health plaza to be built in Emmeloord. This care concept will offer room for day treatments, convalescence, and observation beds, among other things. The various parties’ involvement enables far-reaching cooperation.

Furthermore, the number of residents with a chronic condition, which is already relatively high in Lelystad, is expected to increase sharply. One of the numerous action points that should be implemented according to the explorer of the future is the deployment of e-health initiatives. However, it is essential to pay attention to the limited digital and health literacy among part of the population. Finally, it is important for health insurers to support these initiatives – that is, if they don’t already.

Vision for the future of healthcare in Flevoland

In January, after the sudden bankruptcy of the IJsselmeer hospitals last fall, minister Bruno Bruins appointed Leerink. The disappearance of the emergency room and obstetric care caused much unrest in Flevoland. As an explorer of the future, it was Leerink’s job to make a thorough inventory of the healthcare market in Flevoland and to subsequently outline both short-term and long-term needs.

Healthcare vendors want less market and more cooperation

By | Health, News

Purchasing and selling between healthcare providers and insurers is increasingly a strategic activity. New mutual agreements do not merely consist of budgeting and enabling expense claims. On the contrary, both parties contribute their strategic intentions. As a result, healthcare contracting becomes the starting point for joint projects. IG&H conducted a research among hospital healthcare vendors and found that healthcare contracting is increasingly at the heart of the healthcare system. To cope with core healthcare issues, however, more cooperation is required.

Download the Zorgverkoopmonitor 2019 (healthcare vendor monitor 2019) here (in Dutch).

In the Zorgverkoopmonitor 2019, IG&H takes stock with healthcare vendors and looks at the future. Nearly 25 healthcare vendors and finance managers at hospitals and clinics participated in the research. Together, they represent a total revenue of approximately €8 billion.

It turns out healthcare vendors want to set aside twice as much time to discuss policy themes and quality with insurers. Currently, price and volume still dominate more than 60% of all meetings. If it is up to healthcare vendors, 50% rather than 25% of meetings will be about substantive themes, such as the right care in the right place, meaningful care, and a vision of the region.

Approximately half of the respondents have concluded long-range agreements with the largest insurer – and a quarter of them with nearly all insurers – laying a solid foundation for a different type of meeting. ‘Unfortunately,’ not all of these are cooperations between providers and insurers. Part of the long-range agreements are simply concluded because banks require financial security. However, these long-range agreements provide peace of mind and room for a different type of meeting.

There’s a reason why healthcare vendors appreciate insurers bringing their own vision of healthcare to the table. You may disagree on this vision, but it is the main reason why 45% of healthcare vendors consider Zilveren Kruis the most professional of healthcare purchasers, and 25% believe it to be VGZ. According to healthcare vendors, they have set up a proper foundation for healthcare purchasing, and it is now time to give healthcare purchasers more authority and room for customization.

Ultimately, 30% of healthcare vendors consider the affordability of healthcare as the main challenge – especially the gradual transition (25%) to a different healthcare landscape (25%).

Healthcare vendors mainly want realistic financing, and they are willing to contribute to a financial transition. They, too, realize that healthcare should remain affordable for everyone. At the same time, they also need to deal with fixed accommodation and staff expenses, which means they can’t rush into cutting costs.

The art of concluding contracts in a new era

Even though they seem to have conflicting interests at times, healthcare providers and insurers face the same task. Of course, it can be completed through harsh negotiations, but lowering revenues and costs together requires a substantive cooperation.

The latter starts with mutual trust, which is created by truly empathizing with the other party.

The next step is for both parties to define a shared ambition that serves each party’s interests. Develop a vision of the region or certain types of healthcare, look beyond your own organization, and determine what it is you want to achieve together. Set up a joint project group, allow each other access to data, and perform the analysis together. Joining forces will automatically eliminate old behavioral habits. Discussions will no longer be about each letter in the contract but about what is good for the patient, the policy holder, and society. This will ultimately benefit insurers and healthcare providers, too.

By Walter Kien, Senior Manager Healthcare

Considerable shrinkage in mortgage market in the first quarter of 2019

By | Banking, Hypotheekupdate, News

The amount of mortgages issued fell sharply in the first three months of 2019. According to consultancy firm IG&H’s mortgage update, it was the number of first-time and existing homeowners in particular that dropped significantly. “Currently, we also observe a considerable decrease in the number of mortgage refinancers. In 2018, this group was still responsible for the growth of the mortgage market,” says IG&H’s Joppe Smit.

Click here to read the full report (in Dutch).

The average mortgage loan was €316,000 in the first quarter of this year – a 5.2-percent increase compared to the same period last year. This growth is mainly due to the sharp rise in mortgage loans for mortgage refinancers. In the purchasing market, the average mortgage loan remains virtually constant.

Mortgage revenue is shrinking

In the first quarter of 2019, the total mortgage revenue was nearly €22 billion – a 9.6-percent shrinkage compared to the first quarter of 2018, and the largest since 2013. Compared to Q4 2018, the decrease was as high as 22.8%. In previous years, the usual decrease in Q1 was partly due to a reduction in the maximum loan-to-value on the annual limit and the additional growth in the fourth quarter, which compensated for this.

This year, neither of these developments is perceived. “The sharp decline we currently observe is truly a deviation from the trend after years of growth,” says Smit. “Both the relatively limited housing supply and the difficult position of first-time homeowners are to blame for it.”

Growth in large banks’ share

The banks’ share increased by 2 percentage points to 64.1 percent. This growth mainly comes from the three large banks, which saw their combined market share rise by 1.3 percentage points to 51.3 percent. Investment funds enabling non-bank lending also saw their share grow – by 1 percentage point to 18.3 percent.

IG&H further expands its digital transformation practice

By | IGH, News

Consultancy firm IG&H has acquired a highly experienced team of platform technology experts – including senior developers and enterprise cloud architects – in Portugal. The team has more than 10 years of international experience on high-productivity platforms, such as leading platform OutSystems, and is led by Nuno Pacheco.

In the Netherlands, an agreement was reached with Isengard Solutions, as well as OutSystems platform experts and developers, to join IG&H. In the past year, an intensive collaboration with Isengard already showed how Isengard’s software expertise and IG&H’s business expertise were a winning combination in realizing impactful company-wide transformations.

“Our business contacts in retail, healthcare, and finance want to digitize faster. Central to this are mobile applications as well as the renewal of core systems. Through high-productivity platforms such as OutSystems, we can provide them with innovative business solutions considerably faster and at lower cost,” says Jan van Hasenbroek, founder and managing partner of IG&H.

“The track record of our new co-workers in Portugal and the sector expertise of IG&H offer us the opportunity to grow more quickly. By joining forces, we can offer our customers a design, build and run solution, and we will become one of OutSystems’ main technology and business partners in Europe,” says Martin Westra, CEO of Isengard.

From now on, both entities will fall under the name ‘IG&H Platform Services.’ Currently, approximately 100 high-quality experts are already active in the IG&H Technology domain. As further growth is anticipated, IG&H will open a new office in Lisbon and a training center in Coimbra (Portugal) in June.

About Isengard Solutions:

Isengard Solutions focuses on the development of innovative customized information systems and offers consultancy and development services based on the OutSystems Low-Code Platform. Founded in 2017, this young company has evolved rapidly over the past year by building both mobile and end-to-end applications.

About OutSystems:

OutSystems is the fast-growing, leading platform for company-wide applications. It was named a ‘leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise High-Productivity Application Platforms as a Service’ several years in a row. Founded in Lisbon in 2001, OutSystems is now active in 52 countries and 22 industries. Its uniqueness stems from the fact that it applies the power of low-code software development to both mobile applications and business-critical core processes. Find more information on www.OutSystems.com.

About IG&H:

IG&H Group is active in the field of consultancy and technology. As a sector expert, IG&H focuses on retail, finance, and healthcare. Currently, the company has 260 committed professionals who help organizations realize the digital transformation to radical customer focus. IG&H has been recognized as a ‘Great Place to Work’ and has a Net Promotor Score of >60, which is considered very high. Find more information on www.igh.com.

Dutch retailers still rated higher than Amazon and Alibaba

By | IGH, News, Retail, Retail

Coolblue has the best customer experience in the Netherlands, according to research by consultancy firm IG&H among 2000 consumers. De Bijenkorf and Bol.com follow second and third. It is surprising that there are no foreign retail chains in the top 5. “Web shops like Amazon and Alibaba do not yet understand the Dutch consumer”, is what retail experts Joris de Bruin and Evelien Kip of IG&H tell us.

“According to the survey, web shops such as Amazon and Alibaba, which are considered the biggest competitors to Dutch shops, do not yet meet the customers’ demands. They can be experienced as confusing and making a purchase often turns out to be unnecessarily complex. This is partly due to the fact of a perceived language gap, and not meeting the high standards Dutch customers have towards user-friendliness of online stores” retail expert De Bruin says.

Previous IG&H research showed that retailers with a relentless focus on personal attention, the right ambiance and inspiring the customer, are most appreciated. “Online, this is what is meant by a user-friendly, attractive website with decision making support. This must be aimed at providing the customer with the right information in order to make the best choice quickly and carefree. Coolblue does this exceptionally well: good filters, extensive product reviews and top-10 choice lists,” says De Bruin. The top 3 is complemented by Albert Heijn and de Bijenkorf, who inspire the customer and create a good atmosphere as well.

It is also worth mentioning that highly-valued web shops outperform the others by means of surprising customers. De Bruin mentions de Bijenkorf and Coolblue as an example. “de Bijenkorf packages all ordered products in a nice box and puts a bow around it for a premium shopping experience. Coolblue has a different approach and provides the packaging with some helpful tips or a dose of humor. It is this kind of small detail that positively surprises the customer. It surpasses customer expectations and that is crucial for a web shop to stand out in the market”.

“Consumer has high expectations for daily groceries”

It is surprising that the supermarkets score just as high as the middle- and high-end retailers on expectations. “Customers do not make a distinction between ‘daily shopping’ or more ‘incidental’ purchases. In both cases, customers remain to have high expectations”, says Kip. In terms of expectations, AH.nl is number 4 and Jumbo is number 6.

On the seventh place we have welcomed a foreign player: Amazon. “Customer expectations for foreign retail chains are not high. Alibaba in particular has a rather low score. Consumers still associate the brand with long lead times and affordable products. The hilarious videos on YouTube in which curious consumers are surprised with a bad buy only confirm that image”, she says.

“Customers expect little service from discount retailers”

Action is number ten, and a retailer operating in the discount, value-for-money segment. “We see the complete opposite as with the retailers from the more expensive segments; a good customer experience is not what the customer expects. The question is whether that is bad. One customer probably gave the best answer: “Action is only about offering the lowest price.” If they continue to meet their strong price proposition, it will not harm them. However, if the general customer expectations in the area of Customer Experience increase further, the question is whether retailers such as Action can adjust in time”, warns De Bruin.

Written by: Evelien Kip (Consultant Retail) and Joris de Bruijn (Manager Retail).
Photo: CoolBlue

Bas Leerink: Collaboration is the new competition in healthcare

By | Healthcare, News

The healthcare landscape is changing. Third parties are making their entrances, the sector is searching for more collaboration and at the same time feeling the need for specialization. How can the branch find a balance? IG&H Healthpartner Bas Leerink offers his vision with regards to five big challenges.

Leerink joined IG&H as a partner of the Health practice in January. Prior to this, he was chairman of the executive board at Medisch Spectrum Twente, where he was highly praised for helping the hospital emerge stronger from trying times and making the organization more transparent. He has also worked as a director and executive board member at health insurer Menzis.

  • The healthcare landscape is very fragmented. What needs to happen in order to create more unity?

In our healthcare system, many issues depend on each other. The government decides many things, but hospitals and insurance providers also have a big influence. I would like to see all of these parties work together more closely, deciding priorities and choosing a course based on this. At the moment this occurs far too infrequently, as far as I’m concerned.

Since the start of this year, I have been a future scout for the province of Flevoland. I was hired to formulate a vision regarding healthcare in the province starting in 2020. We at IG&H aren’t there to analyse what went wrong during the bankruptcy, but to find out how we can reach an agreement with all stakeholders to continue in the same direction. You can see that there has been much damage done to the balance between municipalities, doctors, insurance providers, and specialists. They need each other in order to be able to help patients, but they aren’t able to find each other at the moment.

I believe that IG&H’s role is to make it possible again. Together with every party involved, we look at how we can leave the past behind in order to be able to once again focus on caring for the patient. That’s what we are doing it for in the end, not in order to sustain an institution. I look for harmony and connection within organizations and enjoy being able to contribute to this.

  • In the past six years, you have been intensively involved as a hospital director in Value Based Healthcare projects. When is this method useful for healthcare institutions?

Because of the focus on regulations and costs, we sometimes lose sight of how we in healthcare can systematically improve the outcome for the patient. The Value Based Health Care method makes sure the focus is on the patient. You should not ask directors or managers to think about this subject, as patients and professionals are able to perform this task much better. As a board, you must help to facilitate and execute these improvements.

In my previous function, we used Value Based Health Care (VBHC) as an improvement tool between professionals of 7 hospitals, united in the Santeon group.  We were able to create multidisciplinary teams that improved outcomes and costs for patients in 7 hospitals for 11 medical conditions. And the improvements were significant! Not everybody is convinced that VBHC is the way formard for health care, and indeed it is not a solution for all problems. But it definitely is a very powerful way to improve outcomes for patients. At IG&H can create added value in these discussions by bringing people together,  And facilitating the creation of improvement dashboards from the diverse systems that are being used in hospitals.

  • Another current issue is the call for specialization in healthcare. What is your take on that?

In every branch of business that is currently developing, there is a call for specialization. That is now also the case in healthcare. An important question in this debate is whether it is possible as a board of directors of a healthcare organization to make sure that every part of the organization you are responsible for functions optimally. Can these specializations develop according to the latest state of the art standards?

Many directors believe that it is possible for hospitals to specialize in various fields. I think that this is not feasible in the end. Take a look, for example, at the field of pathology. You are substantively educated to do that work; it’s a profession. At the same time, this job is very much in development due to technical possibilities, such as digitalization or new molecular possibilities for ideal diagnostic performance, for example. I don’t think that it is possible for every hospital to be at the forefront of these new developments and to be able to offer these to patients.

  • At the same time, we are seeing that more and more commercial parties are taking over specialized issues in healthcare. How should hospitals deal with this?

We are already seeing that certain laboratories are working together with each other, allowing them to bundle their areas of expertise. In the future, more of these new groups will come into being, maybe even from overseas.

This development is approaching and brings a few questions with it. Hospitals are no longer owners of these organizations. That is new –and exciting- for us in the healthcare branch. How will hospitals and other companies come up with offers and in which way can collaboration be productive? It is important to expressly think about the long term and the value for patients with regards to this.

  • It is clear that e-health is going to play an increasingly large role in healthcare. How should the branch respond to this?

You can already see that hospitals are taking steps in this direction. For example, they are creating patient portals, making medical information such as blood test results available at home. In this manner, it’s possible for patients to follow their own care processes.

Big tech players also collect various data, such as the Apple watch. This information can be connected to a personal platform which allows you to see health trends.

I don’t think it will be long before these kinds of trends are represented everywhere. At the moment, hospitals are not able to respond to them. They are stuck in all kinds of ICT systems and packages that prescribe our internal processes.

If they do not respond in a timely fashion to these developments, they will be overtaken by big players and lose control. That’s why it is important that they start thinking now about ways to for the client to also occupy centre stage in the field of technology.

There are various ways to make this possible. At IG&H, we are big supporters of platform technology. That makes it possible to create a flexible shell around the pre-existing ICT structure, allowing fast and effective applications to be developed. This allows you to control the costs and maintain control as an organization. 

Leadership is the key to the successful realization of flexibility

By | News, Organizational transformation

Agile is hip; many organizations have truly embraced this way of working. However: it does not always create the expected flexibility. ‘Agile working means: even more meetings in my schedule!’, managers in The Netherland’s corporate world are complaining. At the other end of the spectrum, employees are not experiencing enough involvement from their managers. What’s going wrong?

Many of the organizations experiencing frustration with the Agile work methods have one thing in common: they are ‘fake-Agile’ working. Whilst teams work in short sprints, direction and management don’t adjust their own work methods. They continue to initiate large projects with changing one-team setups, only to guide them based on budgets, micromanagement and deadlines.

It’s a pity, because if Agile is truly embraced and thoroughly implemented, it has many advantages compared to the traditional (‘waterfall’) working method. Because finished products are frequently validated, this method ensures a quicker time to market as well as increased flexibility. Teams also experience more work enjoyment.

The role of leadership is crucial

Because there is a lack of a communal way of working between leadership and delivery teams, the teams are still being guided following the old method. All this despite the Agile philosophy’s requirement of a different style of leadership. This creates irritation and the frustration experienced on both sides is simply a logical consequence of this.

If an organization wishes to truly work Agile, the leadership must also adjust their behaviour and leadership style.

Five tips from practical experience for more Agile leadership:

  1. Choose consciously and link it to the most important priority

    The choice to work Agile is a transformation which requires behavioural change from everyone, at every level. Are you truly prepared to take this route and make the sacrifice of temporarily working less efficiently before experiencing increased flexibility? Follow and thoroughly live following the method and link it to the most important priority of the organization to show that there is no way back.

  2. Allow yourself help and stick with it

    Transforming is complex and at the moment that it becomes nerve-racking, one tends to fall back into old habits. Change can be unruly and comes with setbacks. Stick with it at times when others may have given up. Where Agile coaching in delivery teams is becoming more common, leaders, on the other hand, are becoming less agile. Leading Agile teams is really different than regular waterfall line management. It’s extremely difficult to unlearn years of trained and performed waterfall management. This is why you should allow yourself a coach!

  3. Make teams successful

    In an Agile organization, multidisciplinary delivery teams are the success factor when realizing flexibility. Therefore, the most important task of leaders is to make their teams successful. Give teams guidelines (guidance) within which they can act autonomously. Develop the teams with regards to independent choice-making. Challenge them with regards to the realization of outcome rather than output. Moreover, it is important to show involvement by being present in sprint reviews. These are the moment to get a feeling for the delivery and to relay new insights to teams.

  4. Stimulate experimenting and client validation

    In many corporates, there is an overwhelming aversion to risk and ‘first time right’ is so engrained that innovation and new functionalities are only released when they’re 100% ready. This is at odds with the Agile philosophy and this old way of thinking frustrates delivery teams as well as hampering flexibility. Therefore, one should stimulate experimenting and the validation of new functionalities with users.

  5. Be brave

    Dare to make mistakes; be brave. Differing ways of working within the same organization- waterfall in the case of leadership and Agile in the case of delivery teams- must stop. Leadership must take the first step towards this. They will need to communicate with one another and their direct-reports in order to show different behaviour, both top down and bottom up.


  6. Partially thanks to technological developments, the speed with which organizations will need to adjust internally to new market situations is only going to increase. Change is the only constant, Agile is here to stay and going back to waterfall is unlikely. Leaders who are inflexible will be overtaken. It’s about time that they become Agile.

    Written by: Johan Makkinga (Manager Organizational Transformation), Myrthe van Stralen (Consultant Organizational Transformation) 

IG&H Best Workplace 2019

By | IGH, News

Once again, consultancy firm IG&H has been voted Best Workplace 2019, ranking in the top 10 in the ‘midsize-employer category.’ The organization achieves an exceptionally high score on camaraderie, among other things – which is all the more striking considering that last year, the company grew from 100 to 150 employees. This expansion didn’t impact intensive collaboration: 97% experience a sense of family or team spirit, and 99% described the working atmosphere as “friendly.”

IG&H provides guidance on end-to-end transformations in the fields of finance, health, and retail. Notable clients of the consultancy firm include Bol.com, ING, and the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology.

“Close group of people with a tremendous drive”

What makes the organization unique is the high degree of camaraderie between co-workers – a domain which earned a 97% survey score rating. Employees state that they can be themselves. They experience a socially friendly, welcoming atmosphere and team spirit. “To find such a large group of people who have such a tremendous drive and ambition to make a difference, combined with very close-knit friendships, is absolutely unheard of,” says a consultant in the survey report.

One of the ways in which the organization fosters friendships between co-workers is by organizing a multi-day company event four times a year. This event revolves around ‘fun,’ ‘training,’ or ‘inspiration.’ Employees are also encouraged to initiate sports-related activities. Last year, a group of employees came up with the idea to participate in a half triathlon in Portugal. Eventually, approximately fifty percent of the organization participated, and several employees traveled all the way to Portugal to cheer on their co-workers.

Secure feeling as a foundation for optimal growth

Rooted in a strong belief that satisfied employees lead to satisfied customers, the organization puts its employees’ development and growth first. The foundation for optimally challenging people is a secure feeling – which, according to the survey, 84% of employees experience at IG&H.

To simultaneously strengthen this foundation and sufficiently challenge employees, IG&H collaborates with the IMD Business School. All partners and directors complete the intensive High Performance Leadership Program at IMD. Additionally, the training institute and IG&H have jointly developed a three-day personal leadership course, which gives employees insight into their behavior and the way in which past experiences affect them – all under the guidance of a coach. These coaches are co-workers who have completed the High Performance Leadership Program at IMD.

As it’s unique for a midsize company to invest this amount of time and money in staff training, the Switzerland-based business school has included IG&H as a case study in its training program. Notable IMD alumni include Mark Rutte (the Dutch prime minister), Paul Bulcke (former CEO of Nestlé), and Ian Charles Steward (Wired).

About IG&H

IG&H operates in the finance, retail, and health sectors. From its Utrecht-based office, the consultancy and implementation firm helps organizations realize the transformation to radical customer focus, setting high standards for itself and its working method. Using in-depth knowledge and a personal approach, IG&H takes its customers by the hand to help them improve the sector.

What is ‘Great Place to Work?’

Once a year, Great Place to Work lists organizations that score well above average as employers. These ‘Best Workplaces’ are determined through a test which uses 58 statements related to trust, pride, and fun. In addition, the survey focuses on nine themes in the employer’s policy, including the onboarding process, development, and remuneration. This year, a total of 38,000 employees spread over 140 different organizations cast their votes and participated in the associated survey.

IG&H Dutch Mortgage Update: Mortgage market growth caused entirely by refinancers

By | Banking, Mortgage Update, News

Dutch mortgage revenues grew in 2018 from 101 billion euros to 106 billion euros, according to consultancy bureau IG&H’s Dutch Mortgage Update. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, the number of mortgages shrinked considerably (8.7 percent). That was the largest decrease since the fourth quarter of 2013. As a result, the full growth in the mortgage market has come entirely from people who are not moving to new homes.

The number of mortgages also fell throughout 2018; by 2,1 percent to a total of 346.000. The average mortage sum few by  grew by 7.2% to 306,000 euros; the highest ever. Whilst the number of starters and existing homeowners in the market fell, the number of refinancers grew from 78,000 to 96,000 in 2018. This makes it the highest number ever. “These signs point to mortgage lenders not succeeding in retaining their existing customers”, says Joppe Smit, senior manager at IG&H. “These signs point to mortgage lenders not succeeding in retaining their existing customers.”

Lowest mortgage revenue growth fourth quarter 2018

The total mortgage revenue during the fourth quarter of 2018 was 28 billion euros; a growth of 2.2% over the third quarter. This is the lowest growth rate during this period since 2011.

Smit: “In previous years, there was additional market growth during the final quarter. This year we will not see as much of this. The lower number of granted mortgages and the smaller growth of the mortgage sums play a role in this. Moreover, the maximum lending capacity in past years was lowered at the end of the year, which always ensured extra volume during the final quarter. The lowering of the capacity did not happen this year.”

The shares of major banks during the final quarter sank to 50%, the lowest point in 3 years. Refinancers were responsible for 8.4 billion euros of the total mortgage revenue during the final quarter. The shares of starters (€5.9 billion) and existing homeowners (€13.8 billion) fell by 12 and 15 percent respectively compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. Foreign parties rose slightly to 4,7 percent. Both the largest grower and shrinker is an insurer this quarter. The market share of Nationale Nederlanden increases by 2.05 percent, while Aegon surrenders 3.31 percent.

Written by: Joppe Smit (Senior Manager), Lisa Klein Goldewijk (Banking Consultant) and Niels Roelofs (Banking Consultant).

How can you get the most out of your employees in three (proven) effective steps?

By | News, Organizational transformation

Do you ever get the feeling that you aren’t winning any battles with your current team? That your employees reject responsibility and lack operational capability? You’re not the only one. IG&H encounters this problem often during client inquiries. With these three simple steps, you will get more out of your employees.

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Step 1 starting: ‘purpose’ as the basis of performance

People have a natural need for development and progress (A. Maslow, 1967). Despite this, only one third of employees in the Netherlands goes with a sense of enjoyment and involvement. That has consequences on the work floor; those who do not feel involved are less likely to work hard in order to perform well. As a manager, you can use this natural need for development by giving the employee’s purpose a place within the team’s objectives.

A large retailer asked IG&H to assist them with this. One team member only showed enthusiasm for a certain type of project. By having a discussion about her personal purpose as well as the manager’s, both parties became more understanding of each other’s ambitions. By doing this, the manager was able to more effectively utilize the employee on projects in line with her goals. In this manner, the company was able to profit more from her qualities and the employee was more motivated and strongly involved with the achievement of the team goals.

Step 2 keep going: ratifying

Influencing and sustaining positive and proactive work behaviour can be done following a simple ABC: A stands for Antecedents, B for Behaviour, and C for Consequences.

In order to ensure that the team members of the aforementioned retailer were able to more effectively attain team goals, a daily stand-up was introduced in collaboration with IG&H; in other words, a precondition (A) in order to help the team to work together optimally and in order to stimulate (C) desired behaviour (B).

During the stand-up, team members were motivated to share help requests (B) via a ‘team standard’ (A). This dictated that colleagues, in these cases, must always offer help. By then ratifying the helpful behaviour (C), the chance that this behaviour is repeated becomes higher.

Around 80% of our behaviour is dictated by a punishment or reward that stems from our approach (Thorndike, 1874-1949). Coaching the application of ‘C’ is therefore crucially important.

Step 3 securing: culture in which making mistakes is allowed

Thereafter, it is important to create a culture in which mistakes are seen as possibilities for learning and growth (C. Dweck, 2012). Through this, employees will try more things out, experiment, and show courage, allowing them to be the best that they can be.

As a manager, you can make time during the stand-up for fuck-ups. Focus on the question of what the individual employees and the team have learned from the mistake. Ensure that an employee is appreciated rather than punished for sharing. It helps if the manager also shares his or her own fuck-ups. Look into the process with the team or the individual; what could have been done better here? Research shows that receiving feedback on the applied strategy works better than feedback on end results. Team members learn more effectively from mistakes, take on more challenges, and enjoy their tasks more (Dweck, 2012).

A successful organization

After following the steps mentioned above, the team of the big retailer worked together with more involvement and motivation, with a growth-centric mindset. The team members turned out to be able to realize team goals in a self-motivated, proactive way using the correct preconditions.

The aforementioned steps to optimization will also make your company’s teams stronger and more effective. Do you want more information? Feel free to contact the Organization Transformation Team at IG&H.

Written by: Eline Reurik (Consultant Organization Transformation) and Myrthe van Stralen (Consultant Organization Transformation).