VAUDE has a number of highly specialized professional fields and target groups that require focused support. We provide such support through internal or external training as well as internal workshops with the people involved. We also set high standards on the social skills of our employees, based on our corporate culture. This is why we also promote self-efficacy to a very high degree.
The aim of human resources development at VAUDE is both the personal and professional development of our employees, as well as genuinely embodying and anchoring our corporate culture throughout the company at all levels. We offer training courses and workshops in our VAUDE Academy to help us achieve this. The VAUDE Academy also gives our employees a chance to exchange information and develop relationships. The Academy program is available to all employees via our social intranet. Specific groups of employees can also take advantage of highly targeted specialist training and further training in methodological skills. A few examples:
The courses at the VAUDE Academy are free of charge and available to all employees. They offer training on a broad range of subjects including: the conveyance of our vision and values, branch and market content, business management content; issues regarding organization and management, knowledge of products as well as quality and environmental management. Dealing with personal strengths and needs in working life and beyond is an important focus – as a basis for the success, health and satisfaction of our employees.
Our internal training courses are always very popular. Because of our desire to work economically and efficiently, we are pleased when these courses are fully booked with highly motivated groups of participants. By carefully identifying the needs of our employees in a continuous dialogue with them, while aligning ourselves with our binding corporate goals, we can also meet the most important concerns in terms of ongoing education with a lean portfolio. In 2019, we conducted a total of 15 in-house group training courses, (plus instructions in occupational safety, fire protection and first aid, which from 2019 we will no longer report as professional training but as an occupational safety measure) generating 1,674 participant hours - an average of 3.0 hours per female employee and 2.9 hours per male employee. The primary focus in 2018, which is also reflected in the number of hours attended (see below: "Training and further education by employee category"), was on supporting our (primarily junior) managers and the joint ongoing development for training officers and trainees.
** Employee categories:
These figures are based on the professional development offered as part of the VAUDE Academy program. Not currently included in this evaluation are training courses autonomously organized by the company divisions, as well as external professional training courses for individuals supported by VAUDE both financially and with paid leave for the duration of the training.
We are sharpening our focus on promoting individual advanced training that our employees complete with external providers. A prerequisite for this type of training is that the skills acquired or strengthened by the employees can be used to create concrete value for VAUDE. The results are far reaching, especially when it comes to qualifying employees for advancement (e.g. business administration courses run by the chamber of industry and commerce and comparable courses), which enable our dedicated professionals to fill positions that are higher up the ladder within the company. On the basis of individual agreements - and within the framework of the available resources - we finance these advanced training courses partially or in full and grant paid leave from work in some cases beyond the statutory entitlement to training time. In 2019, for example, at least 12 employees took part in such measures and were granted paid leave for more than 46 days. Since no binding company-wide reporting process has yet been established for individual training, the actual figures are probably higher.
As an intensive opportunity for individualized advanced development, we offer individual coaching sessions in which a small circle of external coaches support us; we have been working together with these coaches on a trust-based level for years. Approximately 10 employees benefit from this annually.
Our values and understanding of leadership, which is based on trust, can only be anchored in the company when it is borne and lived by the company’s executives. Therefore, the various foundations and facets of a culture of trust, above all the concept of self-efficacy, form decisive focal points, for example in training courses for managers.
We also offer training courses on these topics for all employees without management responsibility, for example in internal one-day intensive workshops. Our goal is that all employees at VAUDE share the same understanding and can exchange ideas as equals. In this way, we want to sustainably strengthen our culture of trust and enable all employees to play an active, responsible role in shaping our organization.
»Our positive understanding of human nature is an important pillar of our corporate culture. The ability to give and take as equals both requires and strengthens our mutual trust.«
See also Trust as the foundation
In this way, employees receive comprehensive feedback from their managers. They receive orientation as to which skills they can further develop and what opportunities exist at VAUDE. In addition, personal annual targets are agreed in these meetings. Our target agreements and appraisal interviews are based on templates that are available to all managers and employees.
These meetings are documented, the goals are defined and possible action for the coming year is determined.
Giving and receiving constructive feedback is firmly rooted in our understanding of good leadership; our culture of trust creates the foundation that we start from – the understanding that every person intuitively wants to do his or her best. When errors happen, we analyze the underlying conditions together and use the information to find ways to improve and avoid them in the future. Instead of distrusting employees or making them afraid to make mistakes, we rely on trust and the development of shared solutions. “VAUDE managers – and VAUDE employees – deal with the mistakes of employees (or colleagues) constructively: they give constructive feedback. VAUDE management and VAUDE employees admit their own mistakes and accept constructive feedback.
Once per year at the beginning of the new academic year, we have “Azubi-Tage” to prepare our trainees for their time together at VAUDE. For three days, our trainees experience the outdoors, get to know each other, participate in team building exercises and become familiar with the essence of the VAUDE Spirit that will accompany them throughout coming years.
During their training period at VAUDE, they regularly attend feedback sessions with our consultant for personnel development, where they cover issues of academic performance, work at VAUDE and commitment within the VAUDE Community.
Throughout the training period, VAUDE provides extensive insight into the sustainability activities of the company. In this way, trainees can regularly participate in projects on sustainability topics and thus distinguish themselves particularly well.
In cooperation with the regional DHBW Ravensburg University of Applied Sciences, we offer dual study positions in Business Information Systems, Business Administration Industry and Business Administration Textile Management. In 2019, we employed a total of four dual-study students.
The Spirit of VAUDE
At VAUDE, a good training program is not just about professional development; it’s also about personal growth.