Objective 2: Talent development

Talent development is one of the four primary corporate objectives of Witteveen+Bos. We are committed to attracting new employees with the right knowledge, harnessing diversity, and educating and developing (top) talent. We are convinced that this leads to competent employees who feel a strong connection to their work, their colleagues, clients, the company, and their own talent development.

Employees: our talents

As at 31 December 2021, Witteveen+Bos employed 1,421 people worldwide. This represents a net growth of 91 employees, or 6.8 %. This growth was primarily realised in the Netherlands and Belgium. Behind this growth lies a staffing dynamic of many new newcomers and leavers, which has led to additional efforts in helping employees find their place in the organisation, establishing mutual connections, and offering support in times of uncertainty. In spite of the circumstances surrounding corona, new employees positively rate working at Witteveen+Bos, even if the nature of contact with colleagues (remote and from home) is experienced as patently different to being at the office. We have endeavoured to accommodate this fact as much as possible.

Witteveen+Bos, too, has experienced the consequences of labour market shortages. The recruitment of new talent and our visibility in the labour market has been aided by the promotion of business courses and open days at universities and colleges, through offering global internships and graduating student positions, and by a more proactive presence on social media.

Learning and development

The corona measures meant that we were not able to hold many physical meetings. Physical classes on offer at our PLUSschool were converted to online lessons. The international World Wide Webinars were well attended and offered employees a glimpse into each other’s international lives. For employees looking to grow, the personal leadership programme was developed and successfully organised. A reflection and development programme was also put together for employees in their late 30s to mid-40s. 2022 will be marked by further expansion of the range of courses we offer and by colleagues learning from one another through intervision and mentoring. Our talent development pillars are learning each day through (project) work, offering varied and changing tasks, and looking for development opportunities within projects.

Working from home and hybrid working

Last year, we managed – working remotely and largely from home – to keep Witteveen+Bos running successfully. From the ‘digital workfloor’, we were able to continue carrying out projects worldwide. This, of course, required flexibility, and it required us to develop digital skills and devise new forms of social contact and ways of offering support. It has since also led to a fixed working from home policy which enables employees to work from home at a suitably equipped home workspace. Our offices have also been equipped to accommodate more hybrid working.

2021 focal point: Engagement

In addition to the preparation and tasks carried out by the departments in connection with working from home and hybrid working, in 2021 the Engagement focal point focused, among other things, on collaborating. The possibility to work from multiple locations (office, project location, client premises or home workspace) brought both challenges and opportunities for forms of collaboration. There turned out to be no one-size-fits-all solution: each situation requires a tailored approach. For this reason, a group of employees created an inspiration document for the focal point with ideas on how to optimise hybrid collaboration. We also paid significant attention as an organisation to vitality, health, happiness at work, safety, and maintaining mutual connections and engagement. Especially in these unusual and challenging times, we recognise the importance of varied work, enjoyable social contact with colleagues, and an inspiring manager. We are putting extra effort into these areas.

In 2022, we will continue paying attention to the global vitality and enthusiasm of our employees, with a focus on maintaining engagement and mutual connections, challenging work, and ensuring a good work-life balance.

Prizes and nominations

By developing both talent and knowledge within our organisation, we can provide maximum added value through our projects and optimal client value. A corollary of this are the awards won by Witteveen+Bos and its employees. 

View the slides below to see how Witteveen+Bos performed in 2021.