We’ve been connecting people for nearly 140 years. Committed to our promise to enhance society together, our 6,000 colleagues focus on delivering added value for clients while addressing the challenges facing societies. These include the growing world population and the consequences for towns and cities; demand for clean drinking water, water security and water safety; pressures on traffic and transport; resource availability, energy and waste issues facing industry. To sustain a healthy and relevant business and keep enhancing society together, we need to change to become more digital, more entrepreneurial and more commercial. We can do this by having a growth mindset, by being open and agile and by unlocking the full potential of our people.

Over the past year, we have introduced multiple learning paths for roles within our company, including project managers and digital talents. The Finance Academy and Compliance Academy were launched to enable our people to develop specific skills and capabilities in these topics. These are in addition to existing academies, like our Digital Academy which was awarded CPD accredited employer standard at the highest achievable level by KIVI (the Royal Netherlands Society of Engineers). Around 8,000 e-learnings were added to our learning management system, with particular focus on health and wellbeing as a result of COVID-19.

To become more future proof, investing in talent is key. With this in mind, we have developed a future leadership programme and professionalised succession management. These will ensure our leadership pipeline is equipped for future strategic perspectives and that we retain and motivate future leaders through targeted development opportunities.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, maintaining relationships with our people has been a top priority. Regular pulse checks tracked the wellbeing and resilience of employees and identified where we needed to provide additional support. We launched an internal career centre to make efficient use of internal capacity by facilitating match making. Through the centre, managers share needs for temporary capacity in projects. It has proved useful to address unexpected changes in requirements during COVID-19 and also offers opportunities for colleagues to experience different areas of our organisation through applying for projects and job opportunities listed.

Our Leadership expressed appreciation and respect for how colleagues were dealing with the COVID-19 restrictions. “Working from home, even if you have created a good workplace, can be challenging – physically and mentally. I sincerely appreciate each and every one of you for the continued commitment, support and strength you’re showing in dealing with this new reality,” Erik Oostwegel, CEO.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

We are committed to providing a safe and enriching working environment for all. One that allows individual skills, strengths, and perspectives to be heard, used, and amplified, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, or physical ability. We strive for a collaborative, equal environment where everyone feels comfortable bringing their true selves to work. We also encourage a mindset among our leaders that a diverse team makes an important contribution to the successful delivery of business ambitions.

We joined celebrations for International Women in Engineering Day which took place in June. We captured many of the inspiring LinkedIn stories from our accomplished women engineers.

During 2020, we undertook various initiatives towards these aims. For example, we are expanding the remit of our current Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, while working towards a global policy and practices. Also during the year, many of our teams received unconscious bias awareness training. We have appointed a global equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) lead, who heads a network of EDI ambassadors to ensure consistency of implementation of EDI practices, while taking local knowledge, cultural differences and political and socio-economic considerations into account. Employee networks for disability, LGBTQ+ and diverse ethnic backgrounds have been launched to guide best practice and understanding of every individual’s lived experience. These networks are not exclusive, welcoming allies who help drive change to ensure inclusivity towards all employees.

Early in 2021 we will launch our first mentorship programme for female employees in the United Kingdom, striving to reduce our Gender Pay Gap and ensure representation of female colleagues is as equal as possible at every level. We hope to replicate this programme in other countries where there is an imbalance. We continue to encourage more women into engineering through initiatives including recruitment campaigns, career encouragement and greater flexibility following parental leave. Currently 27% of staff in the Netherlands are female. At Royal HaskoningDHV Southern Africa, we are encouraging open conversations around diversity, inclusion and representation. We are aware there is still much to do but we believe a good start is awareness of thoughts, actions and language. In 2020, we sponsored the first virtual GirlCode hackathon. GirlCode seeks to empower girls through technology, encouraging them to get involved with technology design, development and leadership. The non-stop coding event focused on building solutions to challenges connected with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Vietnam our managing director signed a statement of support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) on behalf of HaskoningDHV Vietnam. The seven principles, developed by the UN Global Compact and UN Women, promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in businesses and communities.

A podcast for engineers, enterprises and everyone who imagines a South Africa free from inequality and injustice - brought to you by Royal HaskoningDHV South Africa. In chats with engineers, futurists, technologists and others, we have explored how we can close South Africa’s inequality gap and build a nation that’s accessible, liveable, and sustainable – for everyone.

Engagement and enthusiasm

Employee engagement has improved significantly over recent years, as shown in surveys conducted by external research agencies. In the latest survey, 85% of our employees said they enjoy their work. Employee satisfaction was above benchmark at 80% - an increase of 9% since 2016. More than three-quarters of our colleagues feel proud working for Royal HaskoningDHV.

In 2020 no employee engagement survey has been conducted, but priority was given to the regular pulse checks with particular focus on health and wellbeing of employees in the light of the COVID-19 outbreak.