Data gathering, analysis and improvement is one of AWVN’s main activities vis-à-vis its fee-paying members. AWVN sets about this activity using all the different channels at its disposal: on the website and Twitter, by means of electronic newsletters, by distilling information via databases, by organising webinars, information meetings, seminars and workshops, and by publishing practical guidebooks or brochures explaining changes in the law. You are therefore assured of always having reliable, hard facts and figures and up-to-date information on all conceivable HR issues and the legislation and regulations on social security matters and labour law.
AWVN has a good nose for trends: the rise of economies in other parts of the world, resulting in a need for increased labour productivity in the Netherlands; or the exodus of young talent and the ageing of the labour market, meaning people are forced to carry on working for longer. These are two examples of trends that have become apparent over recent years and that AWVN discerned and pointed to back when they were still incipient, and for which AWVN ultimately devised effective policy measures – social innovation and lasting employability, respectively.
At AWVN policy development is closely interwoven with the paid services. Or rather, AWVN strives to see to it that the methods and tools developed by its consultants can be used and applied directly in consulting practice. Innovation and creativity are key concepts in the development. The unique link between theory and practice at AWVN guarantees that you always have state-of-the-art HR tools at your disposal.
AWVN develops outlook and policy in social matters and places relevant subjects on the agenda. Outlook formulation and policy development focus on new future-oriented HR issues. Recent examples are innovation in labour relations and the relationship between the employer and the flexitime worker. AWVN also constantly highlights policy in respect of social matters to which attention needs to be paid on a permanent basis. One example of this is the employment conditions policy. In the employment conditions memorandum produced at the end of every year, AWVN lists the spearheads of the forthcoming round of collective bargaining – subjects that need to be given attention if they are to be able to continue to capitalise sufficiently on medium-term developments. In this respect AWVN keeps an eagle eye on the main short-term cost item – wages. For wage increases AWVN propagates creative solutions, such as profit sharing: first earn, then share out.
The AWVN members themselves form a strong network. AWVN sees to it that you regularly meet one another at meetings of the various networks, of which there are some twenty in all, at both regional and national level (the national ones focusing specifi cally on a particular subject). The networks are all about members having the chance to meet other people in the same line of business in an informal setting, to examine and discuss socio-economic developments in depth, and to exchange experiences and learn from each other. This generates invaluable contacts – also for AWVN itself. Since just like the digital consultations of members, the get-togethers are also designed as an opportunity for you to voice your opinion. AWVN thus gains a clear idea of what is going on in practice.
Thanks to the cooperation with VNO-NCW, AWVN constitutes an important link between in-company practice and political decision-making. But its numerous other contacts in the institutional world mean that AWVN’s influence extends further than that. For example, AWVN maintains close contacts with the Social and Economic Council, the Joint Industrial Labour Council, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and university institutions. In other words, it is in contact with all the relevant players in the Polder Model, including, of course, other employers’ associations and the trade union movement. Indeed, AWVN has been a valued interlocutor of the trade union movement for over ninety years, and this permanent dialogue with the unions is one of the factors contributing to the peaceful industrial climate that so typifies the Netherlands.