Search Report
2015 Sustainability Report
published 2016/07/13

Culture of trust

Trust and appreciation form the basis of our unique corporate culture at VAUDE. Maintaining and continuing to develop this is an ongoing process that we actively promote.

We trust our employees

VAUDE is a highly value-oriented company and we live out these values in our daily interactions. One of our core values is trust: we trust our employees and support, encourage and challenge them so that they are both motivated and able to perform at their own personal best.
This vote of confidence creates the foundation for a trusting and respectful form of cooperation between the company and employees. At the same time, it facilitates growth and development on both sides.

Our culture of trust is based on the assumption that our employees will value this trust, will be committed to their work, and will act appropriately. Specifically, this means that we assume our employees will do justice to the trust that is placed in them and that they will in turn have confidence in the company. We reviewed these assumptions in a study by the University of St. Gallen in 2015, which – in their interpretation – identified VAUDE as a "Trust Organization". See: Satisfied Employees are Motivated

»Our culture of trust is often truly relationship work. It pays off in respectful and creative collaboration.«

Antje von Dewitz, CEO

Trust of all employees

By establishing a culture of trust, we are making a major contribution to securing the future of the company and to employee satisfaction and retention:

  • We understand the fundamental importance of trust for a modern, innovative, and sustainably oriented company. Likewise, we understand the positive importance of trust for human development: employees feel comfortable when they can trust others and feel trusted themselves.
  • Our culture of trust is an essential part of our corporate culture and values, and the two interact with each other.
  • We understand the diverse components that need to be established in terms of a lived culture of trust and are aware of the important role that the company management has in this process.

We are aware that this makes us vulnerable as an organization. In this regard, we rely on our employees and count on them to return this trust. We also have the means to identify breaches of trust and can react appropriately in when needed. In 2015 we developed a process with various focal points and escalation levels for our employees to identify potential conflicts and defuse them in dialog. This process was taken advantage of twice in 2015, which is an indication that the defined process does actually work. More drastic violations are processed with established personnel legal instruments (warning, dismissal).

Furthermore, employees who have a high number of connections with others within the company participate in the training series "Self-efficacy as a basis for trust and innovation". The fundamental idea is that these “culture bearers” become established as trustworthy contact persons. Potential conflicts can thus be identified at an early stage. We have already had good experience with this. For example, conflicts could be identified in teams and defused by means of coaching and team development.

In 2016 we want to better anchor the theme of trust in our company structure than is now the case. One idea brought up In the new idea management program “Steps” was to introduce an employee representative for this issue. We are working in close cooperation with our employees to develop a model of employee representation and introduce it in 2017.

For the trust that we offer, we expect:

  • our executives to understand trust-related aspects as well as to accept and implement their responsibilities in this respect.
  • our employees to deliberately choose to work in a culture of trust and contribute to its implementation.

We are working together to develop our understanding of values and leadership

On our internal communication platform (which is accessible to all employees) we publicize appropriate guidelines explaining our understanding of values and leadership. Furthermore, we discuss this understanding regularly in management training sessions and special training for selected employees. On this basis, we are continuing to deepen our understanding together. More at Training and Further Education

Communicate changes in a timely manner

Employee confidence in the company and its actions must also be justified by the fact, for example, that the organizational changes affecting employees are announced in a timely manner.

We do not have minimum notice periods for this issue. Our executives ensure, however, that changes are communicated in a timely manner. Adequate notice is given before changes take effect. As a rule, these are discussed in various committees in which management is present.

Communicate changes in a timely manner

A culture of trust also requires that, for example, organizational changes that affect our employees be announced in a timely manner.

We have not had minimum notice periods for this issue thus far. Our executives are responsible, however, for ensuring that changes are communicated in a timely manner. Our managers themselves are informed about changes in a variety of committees in which they are represented.

Social Intranet: "Camp"

All organizational changes such as new hires, internal job changes or reorganization of departments are published on the internal online communications platform (Camp), which all employees have access to. There are also changes to labor laws requiring public posting, which are automatically made available annually by the employer library and accessibly published for all employees.

In 2014 we expanded our static intranet and converted it into a social intranet. This means that every employee can actively participate in the internal communication. All content can be commented upon and rated. Furthermore, all employees are able to create their own content.

Our employees as a success factor

For the long-term success of the company in the dynamic, cut-throat competition of the outdoor industry, our employees are of paramount importance. Their commitment, their identification and the development of their potential are important factors for VAUDE.

Good employees need a good environment

As a company, we see it as our job to create the optimal conditions for our employees. These include measures such as company benefits, permanent employment opportunities and assistance in the reconciliation of private and professional life (see Family and Career). All of this helps us to attract qualified professionals or maintain and strengthen our status as an attractive employer.

GRI:   G4-LA4
Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes, including whether these are specified in collective agreements
GRI:   G4-DMA Employment
Disclosure on Management Approach Employment
GRI:   G4-DMA Labor/ Management Relations
Disclosure on Management Approach Disclosure on Management Approach Labor/ Management Relations
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