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  • Spotlight on talent
  • Key staff figures
  • 2020 Focal point
  • 2020 KPI

Objective 2: Talent development

Developing talent is an important objective for Witteveen+Bos and a direct consequence of our mission. We are committed to educating and developing (top) talent, harnessing diversity and consistently attracting employees with the required knowledge in our many areas of expertise. We are convinced that this leads to competent employees who feel a strong connection with their work, clients, colleagues, the company and their own talent development.

Working from home and vitality

Last year we managed – remotely, largely from home – to keep Witteveen+Bos operating successfully. From the ‘digital workfloor’ we were able to continue carrying out projects worldwide. This, of course, required flexibility, learning digital skills and devising new forms of social contact and mutual support. In 2021 we will continue paying attention to the global vitality of our employees, focusing on maintaining engagement and mutual connection and ensuring a good work-life balance.

Learning and development

Because of the corona measures, we were not able to hold many physical meetings. The 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. 2021 will be marked by further professionalisation of the PLUSschool; we want to strengthen and optimise the way we learn in our daily (project) work.

Employee base

On 31 December 2020, Witteveen+Bos employed 1,330 people worldwide. This represents a net growth of 122 employees, or 10.1 %. This growth was primarily realised in the Netherlands and Belgium. Behind it lies a staffing dynamic of many new additions and reduced turnover. The attention paid to onboarding and development has resulted in new colleagues quickly becoming acclimatised. Despite the circumstances surrounding corona, new employees positively rated (four out of five) the different stages of their onboarding process. This was in spite of the fact that the nature of contact with colleagues – remote and from home – was experienced as different to physical contact at the office.

2020 Focal point: Diversity, inclusivity and shared impact

Our aim can best be explained with a metaphor: it is important for us that everyone working at Witteveen+Bos (‘at our party’) feels at home and develops (‘dances’) and has an influence (‘helps choose the music’). In 2020 we took steps to further strengthen inclusivity and shared impact. For example, we developed an international language policy and paid special attention to inclusive communication. As a result, language differences in everyday interactions within and outside projects could be more freely discussed. We introduced greater transparency into our appointment policy, stimulated a participatory approach to the formulation of plans, and paid greater attention to effective communication among colleagues. 

Measuring talent development

At the start of 2020, we began measuring our talent development objective. We do this by means of three indicators:

  • enthusiasm – intrinsic motivation and drive to perform your work;
  • vitality – the ability to make use of that enthusiasm in a healthy way, with enough possibilities for regulation and adjustment;
  • shared impact – the way in which employees feel that their input matters and influences both the work and the organisation, and the extent to which employees are equally valued and acknowledged.

A survey revealed that, generally speaking, Witteveen+Bos employees are satisfied with their work. Task variation, social support and the challenge of learning new things were factors that contributed significantly to the high scores. Areas to follow up on include providing space for a healthy work-life balance and offering reflection, support and confirmation in terms of development.

In November 2020, a repeat measurement was carried out in which we also looked at the effects of working from home. People experienced both advantages and disadvantages to working from home, but scores for the three indicators (enthusiasm, vitality and shared impact) remained the same. The lack of contact with colleagues and the lower score on social support, however, indicate that working together physically at the office is missed.

2020 KPI

  • The number of interns and graduating students comprises at least 20 % of Witteveen+Bos’s workforce.
  • More than 80 % of employees underwent a performance review in the previous two years.
  • In future partner appointments we will be aiming for 25 % women.


  • In 2020 we worked with 300 interns and graduating students. From a total of 1,208 employees worldwide (as of 31 December 2019), this equals 24.8 %.
  • 60 % of employees underwent a performance review in the previous two years.
  • In 2020, 21 new partners were appointed: 7 women and 14 men. This means that the proportion of women in the new partner appointments is 33.3 %.