Volunteering for spouses makes happy

Volunteering for spouses makes happy

Companies are doing everything they can to attract talent, many from abroad. Expats or internationals are called this target group. But why do internationals and their partners (= spouses) leave the Brainport region again? The number one reason is because the partner, male or female, does not feel at home here. The departure of a professional costs a company approximately €6,500* per year. It should be possible to do that differently...

Julia Geerts, (recent) graduate of the Business Innovation program, therefore investigated how Samen voor Eindhoven can make volunteer work possible for spouses. With the goal that the spouses (partly because of this) continue to live and work in the Brainport region for longer. Because it has been proven that doing good, makes happy.

Current and desired situation for spouses

So companies are attracting (international) talent. But when it comes to retaining talent, there are still gains to be made. Internationals and their partners do not feel at home, have difficulty integrating and feel a distance to the Dutch culture and labor market. They feel more welcome in the region when they get a chance to master the Dutch language, become part of the community, use their own qualities and get a paid job.

For (corporate) partners such as ASML, Philips and NXP, of Together for Eindhoven, it is desirable that volunteering contributes to talent retention. And that volunteering can be a way to have happy and engaged employees (internationals) in the workplace. Not only so that their own employees, but also their partners are happy and involved. Happy wife, happy life. Happy spouse, happy partner at house 😉

Facts from the research of Julia Geerts**:

  • 69% of spouses are interested in volunteering
  • 77% of spouses have no connection to the region (yet)
  • 70% of spouses want help connecting with region

The spouses program: flexible volunteering

The goal of Samen voor Eindhoven is therefore to offer a program for spouses that responds to the desired situation of both spouses, internationals and (business) partners. The aim is to realize this together with partners from the network and Samen voor Eindhoven.

For spouses, the program involves flexible volunteering. Activities that really match the wishes and needs of these volunteers and vulnerable people in society. Where different cultures come together, connection is created and everyone experiences a happy and fulfilled feeling. Also for (business) partners, the program can match the desired situation. The research has shown that €6,500 per international* per year can be saved on recruitment costs alone.

But now what?

Julia presented her research results to participants from Eindhoven Doet, Eindhoven News, Expat Spouses Initiative, Holland Expat Center, Sioux and TU/e on June 24, 2019. They see this spouses program as an important opportunity to do more for the target group. Together for Eindhoven is ready to now actually demonstrate that volunteering for spouses contributes to retaining talent at companies.

But Samen voor Eindhoven cannot do this alone. By measuring whether volunteering contributes to the desired situations, Samen voor Eindhoven learns from the experiences of spouses. This allows Samen voor Eindhoven to work together with (business) partners on a closer society.

What is it worth for your company or organization to invest in the happiness of your employees and their spouses? Will you take up the challenge with Together for Eindhoven? Please contact

Esther Hofstede: esther@samenvooreindhoven.nl or Julia Geerts: julia_geerts@hotmail.com

Because doing good makes you happy!

*ContactJulia Geerts for more information on the survey results.

** Survey results. 49 respondents (spouses) participated.