Our people form the most important part of our company. Their knowledge, experience, ambition and drive are determining factors in Van Leeuwen’s success. We therefore give our people all the room and opportunities they need to continue learning and growing. This is why, with our People Strategy, we will continue to invest in our employees in the coming years as well. This way our people will continue to feel challenged and to derive satisfaction from their work. And they may continue to say with pride: ‘I work at Van Leeuwen’.
Our 2,429 employees represent 58 different nationalities while working in 75 branches in 33 countries. Women comprise 30% of the total workforce, men comprise 70%.
Van Leeuwen has a strong position in the market and an engaging ambition for the coming years. We can only achieve this when our people thrive. We do this by ensuring an open working culture with excellent colleagues and leaders. We create an environment in which the role and contribution of our people is clear, we share information and consider the input and opinion of our employees important. In addition, we encourage our people to constantly develop themselves further. We take our people seriously, consider it important to sketch out a clear future and seek an effective dialogue with respect, attention and support.
A culture in which our people are seen and appreciated and in which they do their work with motivation, pride and satisfaction is a key spearhead of our People Strategy. We fully invest in our people. We consider this important. This is why we have an ambitious HR agenda for the coming years in which employee development is a key theme. We will be rolling out a new leadership program. We are offering our employees a new portfolio of e-learning courses. In addition, in 2022 we will initiate a new trainee program throughout the world designed to attract and develop new young talent within our company. This will enable colleagues to continue to develop themselves optimally and to even further improve themselves, each other and the company.
In 2021 we developed various initiatives to enable us to remain a successful company and an attractive employer, for young talent and experienced colleagues alike. We laid down a solid foundation for a new performance management cycle in 2021. With this cycle, we aim to help our people develop themselves further and prepare our company for the future. By creating an open and motivating dialogue between leaders and employees, our leaders will be able to manage Van Leeuwen even better and our people will be able to perform to the best of their ability. We will start to implement the performance management cycle in 2022.
Workday – a state-of-the-art HR digitalization system – is an important part of our People Strategy. Workday facilitates all of the above-mentioned new ways of working. In 2021, additional colleagues in even more countries were connected to the system. Workday is now operational in 19 countries and 1,900 employees have access. We aim to connect the other branches and complete the rollout in 2022.
In 2021, for the second year in a row, the corona-related safety measures put high demands on our people’s flexibility and ability to adapt. They once again tackled all challenges extremely effectively and have shown that they are extraordinarily solution-oriented and flexible. In a very short period of time our people managed to respond to the new market conditions exceedingly well. This has to a great extent contributed to the excellent operating results in 2021.
In 2021, we defined the new Van Leeuwen competencies we need to continue to be the number one pipe and tube specialist. In the future these competencies will be the key focus of all of our HR processes for attracting new people, performance management, development and leadership, and for our Van Leeuwen culture. In addition, Van Leeuwen will increase its focus on the diversity & inclusion and gender equality themes over the coming years.
In 2022, we will initiate a new leadership program linked to our strategy. Together with our managers we investigated what our organization needs for the future. We aim to retain our existing strengths in this respect, such as customer-orientation, innovative entrepreneurship and a ‘can do’ mentality. In addition, we are working on further developing competencies such as strategic thinking, digital skills and operating successfully in an increasingly more complex global market.
In 2021, we also developed a new professional HR community within Van Leeuwen. We strengthened our Global HR team with new regional HR leaders, a new Talent & Development Manager and a Corporate HR Manager for the head office. Our new Recruitment Manager is working on repositioning Van Leeuwen on the job market and is helping us further develop our role as good employer. In 2022, we will initiate our new recruitment processes and launch our new global Van Leeuwen recruitment website.