Search Report
2022 Sustainability Report
published 2023/08/01

Training and professional development for all employees

Our goal is to meet the high demands of our customers. This involves a willingness to learn new things and adaptability, and we have many opportunities for professional development at on-site at VAUDE. We are committed to supporting our employees in developing their full potential and continuously improving their skills. This is a crucial prerequisite for being well positioned for the challenging market conditions of the outdoor industry and for social and technological change. It also helps us to continue offering our customers what they want in order to live out their dreams with extraordinary products, a spirit of sustainability and inspiration for enjoying the great outdoors.

Our commitment to training and professional development:

  • Our employees spent a total of about 2,700 hours in 16 in-house training courses or modular training programs as well as participating in personalized continuing education. Only the hours that took place during working hours were counted, not those that were performed on a voluntary basis outside of work. On average, each employee participated in 4.1 hours oftraining offered centrally by the human resources department in 2022 (women 4.0; men 4.3). In addition, specific technical training courses were offered by several company divisions.
  • We invest in the academic qualification of dedicated professionals. For example, we support employees who undertake studies alongside their jobs, take external specialist certificate courses or other further education by providing time off with pay or covering the costs of the training, depending on the agreement.
  • Events open to all employees or media made available via our intranet offer many opportunities to learn about professional, strategic, social and day-to-day issues.
  • In the fall of 2022, at the start of the new apprenticeship year, we had 12 apprentices and two dual-study students.

Find out more about our training and professional development opportunities here.

General and target group-specific training on a broad range of subjects

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 many training courses and workshops to help us achieve this.

Our continuing education activities also give our employees a chance to exchange information and develop relationships. These training opportunities are available to all employees via our social intranet. These cover a broad spectrum: communicating our vision and values, technical and industry knowledge, business management content, self-management, communication and collaboration. Specific groups of employees can also take advantage of highly targeted, needs-specific training courses and advanced training for methodological skills. Examples include:

  • (Junior) managers with a special need for guidance in the leadership role as well as effective management tools
  • Project group members with higher needs for adaptability
  • Employees with the task of conducting sensitive discussions in a solution-oriented and respectful manner

In response to the hybrid work culture, which has evolved significantly since the 2020 Corona pandemic, around 60% of our central training events are now held digitally. We decide on a situational basis, depending on the group of participants and the content, whether digital or face-to-face delivery offers more advantages.

Training for all on our culture of trust and self-effective organization

For all employees (whether they have management responsibilities or not), we offer training courses on our culture of trust and self-efficacy, for example in one-day intensive workshops. Our goal is for everyone at VAUDE to share the same understanding and be able to communicate 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. One important aspect is raising awareness of our own role in this context – for example, we rely very much on managers being role models and multipliers.

»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.«

Miriam Schilling, Head of Personnel & Organization

Needs-based training is in high demand

Our internal training courses are always very popular. By carefully identifying the needs of our employees with open communication and 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 2022, we conducted a total of 15 in-house group training courses, some of which consisted of modules that build on one another. A major focus in 2022 was on employees with management tasks in small or medium-sized projects, the training of multipliers for work techniques in the virtual working world and our field sales team. In addition, 40 individual training measures (external training plus individual coaching) were carried out, resulting in around 400 hours of paid training time. In total, around 2,700 hours of paid training time were completed in 2022, an average of 4.1 per person at VAUDE. Women completed an average of 4.0 hours, men 4.3 hours.

In addition to our inhouse training programme, there are numerous opportunities for our employees to inform themselves about the basics as well as highly specialized topics of sustainability management. Those are communicated in the context of our biennial sales meetings, our unique „Green Shape Campus“ event, or the projects of the VAUDE Academy for sustainable business. While aimed at commercial partners, networking partners such as associations and initaitives, and our VAUDE Academy´s consulting customers, our own collegues can often join the (sometimes digitally conveyed) events and let themselves be inspired or brought up to date by our sustainability experts. Due to the decentralized management of those events, we are not yet able to exactly analyze the participation of VAUDE employees in those events.

Training and development by employee category** 

We need your consent!

We use the third-party provider Infogram to check your input. This may collect personal data about activities. Please agree to the use of this service in order to use the charts.

Create your own infographics

** Employee categories:

  • Category 1: upper management – executive board, executive management and division management
  • Category 2: middle management – all division managers
  • Category 3: lower management – all team leaders
  • Category 4: all other permanent employees (permanent = open-ended contract), all employees with a limited contract
  • Category 5 apprentices, interns, dual study students, trainees

Since 2021, the figures have included both in-house training courses conducted at VAUDE and external training courses for individuals, which VAUDE supports financially and by paying wages.

Personalized Advanced Training

In addition to our centrally organized training we support personalized 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 value for VAUDE. 

On the basis of individual agreements - and within the framework of the budgets reserved for each purpose - 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 2022, a total of 40 external training courses were completed by our employees, ranging from half-day motivational workshops to higher education courses of study – with correspondingly varying levels of time investment. We estimate paid time off during regular working hours  to be 400 hours. Due to the fact that many of our employees work with trust-based working hours, the proportion of paid training time to voluntary (or out of private interest) training time cannot always be precisely defined, which is why we often have to work with estimates. 

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.

Regularly scheduled appraisal interviews

Each employee, has an annual appraisal interview with his or her manager. Here, they both review the past year, discuss successes and special challenges and to what extent the respective expectations were met or not met.
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, goals are defined and possible action for the coming year is determined.

Feedback is anchored in the corporate culture

Giving and receiving constructive feedback is firmly anchored 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.

Operational training as part of the personnel strategy

VAUDE is a training company. Each year, five new trainees start a training program to become industrial clerks additional qualifications in international business management,  (some with additional qualification in international business management), IT clerks, warehouse logistics specialists, retail salespersons or textile and fashion tailor. In total, we supervise around 10-12 trainees on an ongoing basis, the majority of which are subsequently hired by the company. In addition, we supervised two dual-studies university students in 2022. 

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 gain experience outdoor recreation, 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.

In addition to the job-specific training content, VAUDE offers a extensive insight into the company's sustainability activities as part of the training. For example, trainees can regularly work on projects related to sustainability issues and thus make a special mark. 

One of our trainees' joint projects is to set up and maintain their own Instagram channel, which they use to report on their day-to-day training or special experiences such as "trainee days," trips abroad, or special internal work assignments.

Since 2020, digital exchange has also proven its worth for our trainees. Video conferencing and mobile working to an appropriate extent supplement the irreplaceable personal contact with trainers and colleagues on site. In this way, our junior employees grow into the changed conditions of the hybrid working world and acquire the necessary skills.

GRI:   103-1
Explanation of the material topic and its Boundary
GRI:   103-2
The management approach and its components
GRI:   404-1
Average hours of training per year per employee
GRI:   404-2
Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs
GRI:   404-3
Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development reviews
Share on
Who writes this report?
Read more