Search Report
2019 Sustainability Report
published 2020/08/01

Time spent at work is also time spent living

We are committed to making (y)our world a better place. One important component of pursuing our vision authentically is the integration of well-designed employee workspaces. All of us spend a large part of our day at work. Time spent at work is time spent living! As a value-driven company, we are committed to a partnership-based approach on equal footing with our employees that takes their needs into account. We regard this as an important factor for happiness and satisfaction, creativity and corporate success. For our employees, this means collaborative thinking, decision-making, and working in an environment where they feel comfortable.

We enjoy working at VAUDE! A few examples?

  • Our comprehensive employee survey "VAUDE Employment Barometer" conducted in December 2018 confirms above-average levels of satisfaction.
  • Transparency and participation are among the most important aspects of our corporate culture.
  • We have a healthy fluctuation rate of 9.14 and 6.39 (without marginal employees).
  • We promote not only the professional development of our employees, but also their personal development.
  • Balancing our employees’ passion for sports and their physical needs can be combined with their work dayin the best possible way, e.g. through our company health and sports program "Auszeit".
  • Our work spaces are designed to be modern, healthy and to encourage communication.

Want to know the specifics?

Our employee survey confirms a high level of employer satisfaction

We regularly conduct company-wide employee surveys. In December 2018, we conducted the "Employee Barometer" for the first time in cooperation with the Institut für betriebliche Gesundheitsberatung and the Techniker Krankenkasse. This survey will now take place every two years. The differentiated results from this survey, which have been available to us since the beginning of 2019, confirm that in general, the our employees’ level of satisfaction with their work at VAUDE (in comparison with the German average and with selected comparable companies) is above average and that their employer loyalty is far above average.

The working atmosphere and relationships among colleagues are also highly rated. We are proud of the high level of satisfaction and well-being of our employees, and at the same time are happy to take the opportunity to discover further potential for improvement.

In 2019, we took up some of the most important areas for development and implemented measures. Among other things, we provided intensive support to individual departments where certain concerns became particularly clear from the management and human resources departments and implemented adjustments to the management structure and work organization. Not least, this has created opportunities for several employees to develop their skills and to move up or change to newly created positions. The response from employees to the measures has been positive; we plan to repeat the Employee Barometer at the end of 2020, which will enable us to systematically track the effects achieved to date.

Our employee representatives

The democratically elected body consists of five representatives from different areas of the company (commercial and industrial), who initially remain in office for four years. Our employee representatives are in close contact with the management, are involved in decision-making processes, are committed to representing the concerns of the employees and take on a mediating role in conflict situations.

Our employee representatives have an open ear for a wide range of employee concerns.

Transparent communication is a prerequisite for participation and codetermination

VAUDE employees can become actively involved and participate in the company in a number of ways. We believe that well-informed employees who participate in internal company communications will become more motivated and competent.

Within our culture of trust, we communicate transparently regarding as many operations and decisions as possible throughout the company, sometimes via company-wide events, but primarily using our internal communication platform Camp. This platform offers many ways for our employees to participate actively on issues and to contribute their own content.

Idea Management Program: “Steps”

With our new idea management program Steps, employees can quickly and easily contribute their own ideas and suggestions by publishing them on Camp where every idea is welcome to be shared and developed.

The transparent process of review, development, implementation or rejection is supported by 13 company trained "idea scouts and managers" and provides each employee the opportunity to join the discussion and participate in the realization of their ideas.

Fluctuation and consistency in balance: our turnover rate

Turnover is an important metric for VAUDE because it can provide information about employee satisfaction. As a general rule, the lower the rate, the higher the level of employee satisfaction. At the same time, we consider a certain degree of change to be normal and also healthy, as it gives us the opportunity to develop our personnel structure as needs change. One example of this is our goal of achieving an even better gender balance in the filling of management positions – more on this under "Diversity and Equal Treatment".

The turnover rate initiated by employees is calculated using the “BDA-Formel” (a formula from the Association of the German Federation of Employers) and is of particular interest to us because it is considered an important indicator of employee satisfaction. In the period under review, if the departures of marginally employed persons (mainly temporary staff) are excluded in order to increase the informative value, the ratio is 6.39 % (5.97 % in 2018). Including part-time employees, the rate in 2019 was 9.14 %. Employees who initiated a dismissal are always offered voluntary exit interviews with the Human Resources department, so that we can gain as much insight as possible into the reasons for the termination and have the opportunity to influence the causes.

Personal development in professional life

We have long known that employees expect more from their work places than just the salary they receive, and this is all the more true for a value-oriented, sustainable brand like VAUDE. The development of professional skills, but also personal growth and the assumption of responsibility are important motivators for our employees. One focus of our professional training measures is to examine one's own motivational structure, one's own understanding of values, one's own strengths and opportunities to act (self-)effectively. More information on this can be found at Training and Professional Development. We also want to offer as many career development opportunities as possible for our employees. For example, vacant management positions are in the vast majority of cases filled with internal candidates. At the same time, we are open to lateral entries by employees in other divisions. In 2019, for example, 25 employees moved to other positions at their own request.

Finding the best balance between work and physical exercise

Exercise, recreational sports and relaxation directly connected with the workplace is a special feature at VAUDE – one that our employees really appreciate. In addition to our company sports and health program "Auszeit", which is you can read about at "Health Promotion", our large climbing wall, a mountain bike pump track, free e-bike rental and our numerous shower facilities are just some of the things that keep our active employees happy and also make it easier to get started in new sporting activities.

Future-oriented and sustainable working environments

Untreated wood, plenty of light and open design concepts characterize our working spaces that are tailored to the needs of employees. We carried out a comprehensive conversion and renovation project at our company headquarters in 2015 and have been working in modern open-plan offices with many private spaces, meeting rooms, communication areas and lounges since that time. Each workplace is equipped with high quality ergonomic, height-adjustable desks, sophisticated lighting concepts and soundproofing measures.

In addition, many health-promoting aspects were realized during the remodeling projects See Health Promotion as a Matter of Course

»We wanted to create an optimal working environment that responds to individualized professional and personal needs. The new premises foster communication, creativity and teamwork.«

Antje von Dewitz on the objective of the remodeling work

The entire reconstruction took place in accordance with the strictest environmental criteria. The result is a "Green Building" with DGNB certification, in which all aspects of sustainable building are realized, such as ecological building materials or a maximum of energy-efficient building structure. Read more Future-oriented Work Environment.

* Source:

GRI:   103-1
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
GRI:   103-2
The management approach and its components
GRI:   401-1
New employee hires and employee turnover
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