Search Report
2021 Sustainability Report
published 2022/08/01

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 enjoy working at VAUDE! A few examples?

  • Our most recent biennial employee survey, the VAUDE Employment Barometer, conducted in December 2020 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 5.8 % counting marginal employees (4.8 % according to the formula of the Confederation of German Employers' Associations – without marginal employees.)
  • We promote not only the professional development of our employees, but also their personal development.
  • Our employees’ passion for sports and their physical needs can be optimally integrated into their work day with programs such as our company health and sports program "Auszeit".
  • Our work spaces are designed to be modern, healthy and to encourage communication.
  • Our employees are motivated by their identification with our corporate values and our sustainability mission. This is demonstrated, among other things, by the active, passionate participation in joint events such as the "Friday for Future" climate strikes.

Good communication with our employees

We regularly conduct company-wide employee surveys. In late 2020, we conducted our second "Employee Barometer" in cooperation with the Institut für betriebliche Gesundheitsberatung and the Techniker Krankenkasse. The differentiated results from this survey, which have been available to us since early 2021, confirm that in general, 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.

Elected employee representatives

The democratically elected body consists of five representatives from different areas of the company (technical/vocational and administrative), 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 our intranet platform 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. Those who participate can collect "innovation points" that can then be exchanged for small or larger prizes.

Stability and transformation in balance: our fluctuation rates

In light of the Corona pandemic that caused many people to worry about their jobs, we are very grateful that we were able to provide stable employment for our employees and even increase our hires. In 2021, we hired a total of 100 new employees and 5 new trainees, 58 of whom were female and 47 male. This excludes short-term temporary employees and interns.

We filled a total of 21 more positions than in the previous year. As there was no significant increase in fluctuation among permanent employees (see below), this shows the continued growth of our workforce. Of the newly hired colleagues, 49% were under 30 years old, 41% between 30 and 50 years old, and 10% over 50 years old.

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: [resignations initiated by employees / average number of employees]*100) 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 4,8% (4.3% in 2020). Including part-time employees, the rate in 2021 was 5.8 %. Employees who resign are always offered a voluntary exit interview with someone from the Human Resources department so that we can gain as much insight as possible into the underlying reasons and have an opportunity to exert some influence over the situation in the future.


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.

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.

Aiming high during the lunch break – finding a balance between team spirit and athleticism at our climbing wall

Future-oriented and sustainable working environments

Natural wood, plenty of light and open room concepts characterize our workplaces, which are tailored to the needs of the 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

Our corporate mission and values create meaning and unite us

While we enjoy the high standard of our working environment at our corporate headquarters, we are also moving with the times and constantly evaluating our space design in the age of New Work and mobile working (a high proportion of our tasks are now performed from alternative work locations, such as from home). Our goal is to create the best opportunities for inspired and productive work for our employees, depending on their job profile, life circumstances and personal preferences.

See "Future-oriented Working Environments" and “Our Political Stance” for more information.

Fridays for Future

* 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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