Within the context of the statutory requirements in the Non-financial Group Declaration, employee issues include the following material topics: “Appeal as an employer” and “Diversity and equal opportunities” (see materiality matrix).
Appeal as an Employer
With regard to the commercial sector, Vonovia relies on an insourcing strategy, i.e., key tasks along the value chain – from caretaker work to garden maintenance to the carrying out of modernization work – are largely performed by the company’s own employees. Due to the independence from the market that this brings, we are able to exploit synergies, offer a consistently high level of quality, and reduce risks relating to the availability of skilled workers, e.g., trade services.
Accordingly, we consistently refined our human resources strategy during the reporting year, focusing on the three central levers: recruiting, initial and further training, and retaining existing employees.
In the context of recruiting, we rely on a set of measures comprising the further development of the application and hiring process, the recruitment of skilled workers from abroad, and an optimized training concept and targeted further training for technical skilled workers and auxiliary staff.
The training provided by the company itself also plays an important role in enabling us to meet future staffing requirements. We are therefore aiming to maintain a high number of trainees or to increase this further. In 2022, we were able to increase the number of trainees once again, from 561 in 2021 to 617 trainees, thus setting a new peak for Vonovia. Due to the integration of Deutsche Wohnen, Berlin has also grown in importance as a training location. Therefore, a new training center for manual trades is to be set up here, which is scheduled to open its doors in time for the start of the training year in 2023. In Austria, we established the apprentice program in 2021. Thanks to this, in the reporting year, five apprentices were being supported in their training, four of whom have already reached the third year of their apprenticeship. A trainee program has also been set up at BUWOG. At our Swedish subsidiary, particular emphasis is placed on local recruiting and targeted outreach measures, in schools and within the neighborhood, for example, with around 800 young people taking up employment (60 of whom at Victoriahem itself) during the reporting year.
Our recruiting measures are supported by targeted job advertisements and image campaigns that were run via various media channels such as radio or social media. These include our “Hand aufs Werk” format, which was first established in 2021 and expanded in the current reporting year.
Our initiative to recruit skilled electrical installation and landscaping workers from Colombia, which was also launched in 2021 in partnership with the German Federal Employment Agency, led to the subsequent employment of the new skilled workers at several Vonovia locations in the fall of 2022. A second round of the initiative has since been launched in Colombia. The hiring process represents another component of our recruitment strategy, which we intend to expand further in the future.
In addition to recruiting new skilled workers and providing training, retaining existing employees is the third key lever in our human resources strategy. In this context, Vonovia seeks to continually improve from within and to individually promote the potential and talents that our employees have to offer. At our Vonovia Academy, we are developing our employees’ skills and knowledge in an even more targeted way with a view to specific roles, functions and requirements in the workforce and have also expanded our offering to include new training programs, curated learning content and guides. On-demand and e-learning services, such as digital training courses for managers and employees on the topics of self-management, storytelling and leadership issues, are designed to make further training and gaining additional qualifications at Vonovia a more flexible and personalized process overall in the future.
At a time when prices for gas, electricity and the general cost of living have risen substantially, Vonovia wishes to acknowledge the good job that its employees do, while ensuring its own competitiveness as an employer, by paying a compensatory inflation bonus of up to 3,000 euros in total over a period of 24 months in addition to an income-based pay rise. The majority of Vonovia’s and Deutsche Wohnen’s workforce in Germany are eligible for these benefits, which were agreed during constructive discussions with the co-determination committees. During this process, we focused on income groups that are particularly badly affected by rising prices. These groups can expect to see salaries increase significantly in the 2023 calendar year as a result of the combined provisions.
While the pandemic continued to dominate working life and work organization at Vonovia to a large extent in the current fiscal year, the hybrid working models that have been put in place on an ongoing basis since 2021 and our transformation steps towards flexible, digitalized work processes have continued to prove effective in the current fiscal year. Accordingly, the works agreement on mobile working that had already been negotiated between senior management and the works council in 2019 and corresponding agreements for our Austrian colleagues at BUWOG remain in place.
The company’s HR processes support this flexibility through the gradual expansion and further development of digital processes at Vonovia. For example, a range of bundled functionalities such as reporting absences due to illness via an app or digitally recording working hours already make it easier for our employees in many of the company’s departments to work from a location of their choosing.
As of December 31, 2022, Vonovia had a workforce of 15,915 employees (December 31, 2021: 15,871) and 926 apprentices (December 31, 2021: 857). Of these, 3,798 employees and 309 trainees belong to the Care segment and 54 employees to SYNVIA. This is not shown in the table below. Further information on the Care segment can be found in the section ”Homes That Meet Tenant Needs and Demographic Change”.
Employee Key Figures
Employee Key Figures*
Total number of employees
of which female
of which permanent
Average age (total)
People with disabilities**
Total number of trainees**
of which commercial
of which technical trade
- * Total number of employees by headcount, including Deutsche Wohnen (excluding the Care segment and SYNVIA; 2021 incl. SYNVIA). The Care segment comprises a further 3,798 employees and 309 apprentices – 54 employees are accounted for SYNVIA.
- ** Not including Sweden. Germany and Austria taken into account.
Deutsche Wohnen’s processes and systems were integrated into Vonovia’s platform in the 2022 reporting year. Various team-building measures were implemented in both parts of the company in the course of the “Growing Together” integration campaign to bring the two corporate cultures and the employees of both workforces together under one Group roof. Alongside this process, Deutsche Wohnen offered its employees further training, e.g., on how to handle changes within organizations and transformation processes, to support the integration process in a targeted manner.
Vonovia is committed to the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in all areas, particularly with regard to freedom and rights of association. Works councils represent all Vonovia employees in Germany and Austria. Since July 2022, they have also represented Deutsche Wohnen employees.
The satisfaction of our employees is a key concern and thus a decisive indicator for allowing us to assess our appeal as an employer. Since the last reporting year, changes in the employee satisfaction level have been a component of the Group’s key non-financial performance indicator (SPI) and offer a regular indication of the degree to which Vonovia is an attractive employer. Following our comprehensive survey in the last reporting year, this year we once again gave our staff the opportunity to rate Vonovia as an employer as part of a Group-wide interim survey.
Material Performance Indicator – Increase employee satisfaction
Material Performance Indicator – SPI
Target for 2023
Increase employee satisfaction*
Above level of the previous year
- * Excluding Deutsche Wohnen, 2023 target including Deutsche Wohnen.
- ** Referring to survey in 2019 (The comparison over time includes Germany and Austria, Sweden did not participate in 2019).
Unlike in previous years, this year employees were presented with a broader question, allowing them to evaluate their overall satisfaction with their job and report back to us. As a result, for the first time Vonovia recorded a decline of 8 percentage points from the previous year’s increase. We therefore plan to work together to find constructive measures that will help us return to the previous year’s level. We are fully committed to achieving this goal. Up until 2021, Deutsche Wohnen carried out surveys to measure employee satisfaction within its own group of companies. Due to the ongoing integration project, the survey did not take place in the current fiscal year. Once the integration process has been completed, employee satisfaction throughout the company will be measured again – this time including our colleagues at Deutsche Wohnen.
In Austria, the “trust index” increased by 15 percentage points compared to the 2019 survey; this led to certification being achieved in 2021. Having also taken part in the “cultural audit” for the very first time in 2022, BUWOG now officially ranks among Austria’s 40 best employers.
Diversity and Equal Opportunities
Our workforce at Vonovia is as diverse and international as our tenants: While people from over 140 nations have found a home in our apartments and neighborhoods, our Group as a whole employs people from over 80 different countries. They represent many different age groups, religions and world views, have a variety of physical disabilities, come from varying socio-economic backgrounds, and live their lives with a range of gender identities and sexual orientations.
We regard this diversity as a great strength and opportunity, which we support in a targeted manner and whose competitive advantage we aim to harness. By the same token, we regard not being able to meet diversity expectations as a risk for the company, which is why we have included it in our risk catalog. We currently measure this risk as having a low amount of loss and a very low probability of occurrence (<5%).
Even though we conclude from this figure that we have already achieved considerable equality of opportunity and that we embrace and promote diversity within the company, we continuously institute further measures in this context and/or adapt existing measures to reflect changes in underlying conditions. For example, we are updating our seminars on discriminatory behavior and continue to focus more closely on workforce diversity, e.g. through the integration of foreign skilled workers and displaced persons, as well as a high degree of flexibility in working hours so that all employees can structure their working time to suit their current phase in life. In order to more firmly anchor the issue of diversity at the strategic level of the company in the future, a comprehensive range of management development courses – focusing, for example, on the topic of “unconscious bias” – is currently being developed and is scheduled to be rolled out in 2023.
The gradual harmonization of social benefits aims to ensure corresponding equal rights for all employees. For example, our employee share program and a works agreement on mobile working are also in place in Austria. Following the introduction of a new, standardized company pension scheme in 2021, this offer is also available to all Vonovia employees in Germany (including Deutsche Wohnen, excluding SYNVIA and the Care segment). Reconciling one’s family life and professional life is another important issue at BUWOG in Austria, which offers its employees a variety of ways to achieve this balance. BUWOG is planning to seek recertification as a family-friendly company by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Labor, Family and Youth in 2023.
We see women’s empowerment in the company as a special mission, as they – chiefly due to the technical occupations in the field of skilled trades – are considerably underrepresented with a share of 28.2% of the workforce (excluding SYNVIA) as a whole. The SPI indicator “Proportion of women in leadership roles in the first and second level below the Management Board” clearly illustrates that we take care to proactively promote women and give them opportunities to pursue leadership positions and technical occupations. When setting the target – 30% by 2026 – we were guided by the representation of women in the Group as a whole. In Austria, we were not only awarded the equalitA certification for the internal promotion of women in 2021. BUWOG has also held state certification as a family-friendly company since 2017, being most recently recertified in 2020.
Material Performance Indicator – Proportion of women in management positions (first and second levels below the Management Board)
Material Performance Indicator – SPI
Target for 2023
Proportion of women in management positions (first and second levels below the Management Board)*
- * Excluding Care segment and SYNVIA.
- ** Excluding Deutsche Wohnen.
At the top level of management, the diversity concept for the composition of the management and control bodies is set out in detail in the corporate governance declaration.
Establishment in the Company
At Vonovia, the CEO is responsible for HR work, which is established centrally as a shared service within the HR department. In 2021, the shared service approach was transformed into an HR business partner model that continues to be developed on an ongoing basis. From January 1, 2023, this will also include the Deutsche Wohnen subgroup.
Austria and Sweden have their own HR departments. Austria reports to the HR department in Germany via dotted-line reporting, whereas Sweden is still not firmly established in the reporting line. Here, monitoring and reporting takes place as and when required. The Head of HR discusses developments with the CEO on a regular basis. The objectives and focus of HR work are developed in collaboration with the Management Board and are then cascaded down throughout the organization. With the exception of the SYNVIA group and the companies in the Nursing and Assisted Living business area, the organizational integration of Deutsche Wohnen was completed by January 1, 2023 (see Nursing and Assisted Living).