Human Resources

Annual report 2023
Human Resources

“We are a company that considers development key, where talent thrives and leadership from within is encouraged. This helps us attract and retain the best people and to reinforce our image as attractive employer.”

Our people form the heart and soul of our organization and ensure that each and every day, we are able to serve our customers optimally. This is why we consider it imperative that we constantly develop our people and improve our organization. Engaged and motivated employees ensure that we are, and continue to be, a successful company. This is the core of our People Strategy, and we have again made significant progress in this area this year.

Setting personal objectives and meeting with our employees to discuss their development is now happening throughout the entire Van Leeuwen organization and is very energizing. Our leaders bring new insights about their own personal leadership style, cooperation in teams and bring our strategy to life as a result of our highly valued leadership program. In 2023, through an employee engagement survey, all of our employees were given the opportunity to express their opinion about what it is like to work at Van Leeuwen. We are happy with the positive outcomes and have already started working on improvement actions. Listening to our valued people is something we take seriously.

Our 2,469 employees are spread across 70 branches in 32 countries. Women comprise 30% of the total workforce, men comprise 70%. Our employees represent 58 different nationalities and bring in different cultural backgrounds, religions, customs and habits.

Van Leeuwen is an attractive employer as a company with great ambitions and a highly stable player in the market. We stand for a culture in which open and fair communication is key and in which individuals are free to be the best they can be. It is essential that employees understand what their role and contribution is, and that they are appreciated for their commitment. Sharing information, providing direction and clarity, and having the right conversations are important in this respect.

Performance management cycle
With our performance management cycle we aim to support the continuous development process and the achievement of results. The individual and team objectives are derived from the organization’s strategic objectives. On the basis of this cycle we monitor the progress of plans and stimulate the growth of knowledge, skills and capacities of our people. In 2021, we initiated the implementation of the performance management cycle and it was further developed in 2022 and 2023. At fixed times each year, all employees discuss their objectives for the year, as well as their own progress. This creates a structured talent development approach. We promote the growth of our employees through means of open and motivated dialogues about their learning needs, goals and future plans. Our employees take control over their own development, with the support of their manager.

New talent
Also in 2023, we focused on attracting new employees using an innovative approach. With the international expansion of our recruitment website and innovative social media campaigns, we attracted the attention of promising high potentials all over the world who have come to strengthen our team. In 2023, various new colleagues were hired throughout the world. Approximately 70% of these new employees is younger than 40 years of age; 36% is female, which is higher than the current 30% average. Our onboarding process helps new employees to become familiar with all facets of the business. In 2023, we further expanded our successful trainee program for driven young professionals.

Career advancement opportunities
At Van Leeuwen we attach a great deal of importance to having talented, driven employees who are prepared to tackle challenges and occupy key positions. This is why we offer carefully selected candidates efficient coaching to enable them to quickly integrate into their new role. In 2023, we started to develop custom-made development plans for our senior managers, as well as their successors. This way we ensure that our company’s expertise and values are sustainably transferred over the long term. We believe in the importance of continuous learning and developing skills. This is why we offer all employees a broad library of e-learnings, so that everyone, collectively or alone, can continue learning. We are a company that considers development key, where talent thrives and leadership from within is encouraged. This helps us attract and retain the best people and to reinforce our image as attractive employer.

HR digitalization
In 2023, HR, by making use of Workday as its HR information system, supported the business with online learning and standardized, digitalized recruitment and performance management processes for all levels at Van Leeuwen. In addition, key HR KPIs were defined and maintained via a monthly HR dashboard, including personnel numbers, turnover, gender ratios, job vacancies, applications and absenteeism rates. These results are shared and discussed with regional directors in order to determine actions and improvements. This way, the contribution of the HR strategy to the company’s objectives is measurable.

Van Leeuwen aims for balanced gender and cultural diversity levels within the various operating companies throughout the world and in management teams. We continue to be actively committed to an inclusive and diverse working environment.

Leadership program

The Van Leeuwen Leadership program, aligned with the Van Leeuwen strategy, started up in 2022. In 2023, managers throughout the world were brought together to grow as individuals, as well as a team, and to strengthen their leadership capacities. The program rests on our core values continuity, customer focus, innovative entrepreneurship and cooperation within our international network. In addition, new competencies, such as strategic thinking, digital skills and navigating a complex global market are also key. In interactive sessions, our managers explore their own leadership style, as well as their skills in motivating and coaching effective teams, so that on the basis of trust, they can achieve the best results together. The program also focuses on integrating our strategy into day-to-day practice. This investment in leadership development strengthens our managers and forms an essential part of our future strategy. It creates a culture of continuous improvement and innovation to be able to continue to successfully operate in an ever-changing world.

Employee engagement survey

In November 2023, the first online employee engagement survey was conducted. At a response rate of 76%, we received more than 13,000 responses from participating employees; a promising starting point for future initiatives. Collecting and analyzing feedback creates a culture of listening and action, whereby everyone within the organization is involved in change. The survey dealt with various topics, including strategy, workload, performance, objectives, growth and more. One question in the survey was, for example, the following: “How likely are you to recommend Van Leeuwen as employer?” Van Leeuwen’s objectives, management support and the work’s usefulness received a positive rating. All results have been shared with managers and employees, and action plans are being developed. These action plans focus on various aspects, such as improving autonomy and clarifying the remuneration structure. The next employee engagement survey is planned for the third quarter of 2024.