Gallup forges partnership with Leeuwendaal to enter Dutch HR market

04 June 2018 4 min. read

US research and consultancy firm Gallup has entered the Dutch market in partnership with organisational consultancy Leeuwendaal. The Dutch firm will train local organisations on leveraging CliftonStrengths – a Gallup training tool that has helped more than 18 million professionals worldwide further their development.

People excel when they nurture their strengths, rather than focus solely on fixing their weaknesses. This is the philosophy of Gallup’s CliftonStrengths. According to Don Clifton, the American psychologist who developed the approach in the 1990's, “there is no more effective way to empower people than to see each person in terms of his or her strengths.”

The CliftonStrengths approach identifies a person's unique combination of 34 types of strength and shows people how to succeed by developing them, whether as individuals, or as separate teams working towards an aligned goal. Interested organisations turn to expert coaches who have completed Gallup's CliftonStrengths learning and development curriculum, helping entire teams maximise their potential

Research shows that a strengths-based approach to leadership and people management improves results. People who know and use their strengths to the most of their ability are: six times more likely to be engaged at work; 7.8% more productive in their role; three times more likely to have an excellent quality of life; and six times more likely to do what they do best every day.Gallup CliftonStrengthsIt is little wonder that CliftonStrengths has grown to one of the planet’s most applied tools for organisational and personal development. To date, over 18 million professionals have used it, including leaders, individuals and teams that want to further their development and improve performance.

Gallup goes Dutch

There is growing demand in the Netherlands for the strengths-based approach, said Ghassan Khoury, Managing Partner of Gallup for the EMEA region. The US giant – known for its polling of US presidential campaigns – decided to partner with a local consultancy to bring CliftonStrengths to the country, rather than open a new office. “Leeuwendaal has been working with the strengths-centred approach for several years already, so we share the same beliefs and speak the same language,” explained Khoury.

That “Leeuwendaal is able to not just train the coaches, but can also support them with the actual implementation,” helped the Dutch consulting firm secure the prestigious partnership. Gallup’s decision to bring CliftonStrengths to the Netherlands was also spurred on by the fact that the consulting market of the Netherlands is estimated to be worth €1.3 billion, with HR consultancy valued at around 15%.

”Organisations that have opted for a strengths-based approach perform considerably better, with Dutch organisations increasingly aware of the benefits”, remarked Edward Hermans, a managing director at Leeuwendaal.

“CliftonStrengths offers insight into an individual's strengths, but to put these insights to practical use requires coaching the individual employee, the team and the managers,” said Hermans. “This coaching can be provided by an external coach, but just as well by the organisation's own (line) managers or HR professionals. Our job is to train and certify those coaches, on behalf of Gallup.”Quote Ghassan Khoury, Managing Partner of Gallup EMEA

A special European partnership

It’s a proud moment for Hermans, who has been following Gallup’s work throughout his career, and for Leeuwendaal and the Netherlands since similar partnerships have only been formed in South Africa and South Korea. The alliance focuses on clients in the Dutch public sector landscape – Leeuwendaal generates over 90% of its revenues in the government, education and healthcare sectors. “We have concluded an exclusive partnership for these three sectors,” said Arjen Kuijten, a managing director at Leeuwendaal.

“The Gallup tools are in our view the best fit for our approach to organisational development, because it ties together people's strengths, the organisation's goals, and the resulting commitment and performance,” he said. “Our goal now is to fully utilise the Gallup tools and the entire underlying research to help organisations become stronger.”

Leeuwendaal – which recently received the CMF Firm certificate, a stamp of quality provided by global industry association ICMCI – has already started training its people on the CliftonStrengths methodology. Nearly 200 employees have been introduced to the technique, while a group of around 30 employees are currently in the process of becoming a certified Gallup coach for the government, education and health care sectors.