Annual Report 2019

Social – Employees

Within the Non-financial Declaration, the section on employees groups the topics of initial and further training, health management and occupational health and safety, co-determination, diversity and equal opportunities, work-life balance and the balancing of family and career needs (see Materiality Matrix).

An HR Strategy Focusing on Performance, Responsibility and Growth

Vonovia is growing continuously. Thanks to our insourcing strategy, we are creating jobs with varying requirements with regard to qualifications and involving a large range of duties. There is particular demand for staff to join the technical service and residential environment organization. This means that, in an era in which the labor markets can be described as precarious, Vonovia offers stable and reliable employment with fair wages. As of December 31, 2019, the Vonovia Group had 10,345 employees (December 31, 2018: 9,923). This corresponds to an increase of 4.3%. 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 have been established in all Vonovia Group companies in order to represent employees.

Differentiated Number of Employees (Excl. Hembla)





Total number of employees


thereof women


thereof permanent

9,155 (= 91.0%)

Number of nationalities


Average age (total)

42.45 years

Number of people with disabilities

350 (not including Sweden)

Total number of trainees

473 (= 4.7% of the total workforce; 5.0% with regard to Germany only)

thereof commercial/technical trade




Vonovia needs well-trained, qualified employees to achieve its mission and pursue its growth strategy. Our ability to position ourselves as an attractive employer that takes up and addresses the changing requirements of the up-and-coming generations can be a decisive factor as we compete with other companies for qualified staff. The aim is therefore to meet the mounting and constantly changing requirements, exploit synergy potential and find employees who are a perfect fit for the positions on offer. In this respect, Vonovia uses both in-house and external recruitment, using targeted initial and further training measures to supplement these efforts.

In order to find out just how satisfied our employees are, and to be able to develop as needed in a targeted manner, we arranged for the external service provider Great Place to Work to conduct an extensive employee survey in 2019. We received around 6,300 responses out of a total of almost 8,800 surveys sent out – a participation rate of 72%. Around three-quarters of our employees rate their own job within the company as “very good,” with 81% signaling that they intend to stay with Vonovia for some time to come. Great Place to Work has allocated all of the questions to five key aspects: Vonovia achieves a good score with regard to “credibility,” “respect,” “fairness” and “team spirit” and only falls slightly behind the benchmark with regard to “pride.” The survey also revealed that the rapid growth experienced in recent years has been a challenge. This serves as motivation for us to improve our performance even further.

Training and Education

Vocational training is a key pillar of Vonovia’s recruitment strategy. We offer a wide range of vocational training programs. In Germany, we are currently offering training in 22 locations in 14 different occupations as well as offering dual-degree programs. We offer young parents as well as trainees who are responsible for caring for someone in their family the opportunity to complete their training on a part-time basis, thereby helping them to obtain professional qualifications. We do not have training programs in place in either Austria or Sweden.

Our company employed a total of 473 trainees as of December 31, 2019 (December 31, 2018: 485), of whom 145 were commercial trainees and 328 were technical trade trainees. This means that trainees account for 5.0% of employees in Germany. This makes us one of the few companies in the DAX 30 that has further increased its training rate.

Key performance indicator




Training rate (in Germany)




Vonovia has set itself the objective of keeping employees within the company and developing their potential. Therefore, targeted further training and personnel development programs form a key component of our HR management strategy – both in Germany and in Austria and Sweden. Training courses and programs are tailored to suit our needs and objectives and include training sessions and specialist seminars, management development courses and certified qualification schemes. This allows Vonovia to recruit internally wherever possible. As a result, we attach a great deal of importance to talent management, to ensuring that our top performers stay with Vonovia and to systematic succession planning.

Health Management and Occupational Health and Safety

Preserving the well-being and boosting satisfaction among our employees is something that is important to us. As a result, Vonovia attaches considerable importance to offering employees a work environment in which they are protected against risks and threats to their health while carrying out their work. This applies, in particular, to those departments and trades that are involved in the construction process. Here, the central task is to avoid work-related accidents. The management of occupational safety is conducted through operational coordinators, who are regularly in communication with one another. The occupational safety committees responsible are supported by external specialists in occupational safety and occupational medicine. Threat assessments carried out regularly and reviewed for effectiveness show possible risks and, if necessary, recommend measures to reduce their impact or avoid them altogether.

Furthermore, the company offers health-promoting measures, for example, partnerships with fitness centers, company sports, preventive healthcare programs or health-promoting seminars.

Work-Life Balance

We have been committed to promoting family life for years now, the aim being to allow our employees to strike a balance between family and work commitments by offering a range of tools designed to meet their specific needs. Vonovia’s cooperation with external service providers includes, among other things, childcare services and assistance finding a day care center or care services. Flexible working time models – also for trainees – ensure the required flexibility. A works agreement on mobile working was adopted in 2019, once again increasing the flexibility available. A harmonious balance between family and professional life is particularly important to BUWOG Group GmbH in Austria. As a result, our subsidiary has been participating in the “berufundfamilie” (work and family) audit conducted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Families and Youth since 2017. This is a voluntary government seal of quality that aims to achieve improvements in the awareness of family issues. The seal is awarded as part of a structured audit process. The objective is also to use the audit to achieve positive commercial effects on employer appeal, employee loyalty, motivation and identification, and to minimize staff turnover and absences.

Diversity and Equal Opportunities at all Levels

Vonovia is explicitly committed to a plural society in which diversity is respected and applied in practice. This means that we also give all of our employees equal support. They all benefit from a work environment in which appreciation, tolerance and respect are fundamental values and which is free from prejudice. For us, diversity is also a competitive advantage. We employ people from all age groups, genders, various nationalities and cultures and with a whole range of educational backgrounds. We also employ people with varying levels of disability. The nationalities within our workforce, which represents 74 different countries, alone highlight our commitment to diversity. This is consistent with the diversity of our customers and also has a positive impact on our contact with them.

For us, it is a matter of course that all people are treated equally and their individuality is respected. This allows us to benefit from the different perspectives and ways of thinking which result from our employees’ social, cultural and linguistic backgrounds in a respectful and open atmosphere.

In order to further promote equal opportunities, Vonovia SE is aiming to further increase the proportion of women in management. The company is aiming for 30% women at the first and second level of management below the Management Board by 2021. 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 “Declaration on Corporate Governance” ( and in chapter Corporate Governance)

Key performance indicator




Proportion of women at first level below the Management Board


Proportion of women at second level below the Management Board