Bouwinvest’s internal organisation and Covid-19
In 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic once again had a major impact on the way Bouwinvest employees worked, communicated with each other and their well-being. Working from home was the norm for much of the year. Bouwinvest devoted a great deal of attention last year to ensuring that working from home went smoothly and that people continued to feel engaged in the organisation. It was possible for people to work at the office for a number of periods in the year. This was mainly because the space in the building allowed it and employees really felt the need to get back to the office. Employees were able to use a special app to sign up to work in the office, so we never exceeded the set maximum number of employees and people could see which of their colleagues were present in the office.
Employees were also given access to vitality programmes involving joint online exercise, plus they were kept informed via newsletters and virtual business meetings. Last year, these bi-monthly business meetings took the form of live broadcasts, which were used to exchange information about the organisation, but also to talk to and listen to clients. We also discussed the meaning of the Real Value for Life purpose in detail.
The Business Continuity Team (BCT Team), which Bouwinvest set up in 2020, continued to meet once every two weeks in 2021. Last year, the team focused primarily on the measures required in the office, helping to optimise conditions for working from home, maintaining engagement with Bouwinvest, and ensuring the well-being of employees.
People were able to work at the office if they had signed in using the app. This was subject to a maximum number of people to guarantee a safe working environment. For home offices, Bouwinvest opened a webshop in collaboration with Heath2work, so employees could order office chairs and IT resources. Both the app and the webshop are now permanent, as Bouwinvest will continue with hybrid working. Which means there will no longer be any fixed home-working or office days. Bouwinvest completed its hybrid working policy in Q1 2022. To optimise remote working, all employees received a new laptop with additional options in 2021. Bouwinvest also organised training sessions on working with new digital applications.
Managers followed a workshop on remote management. And the PFB planning cycle devoted attention to achieving a good work-life balance. Bouwinvest also improved the new onboarding programme by adding internal buddies and live programme has been replaced with a video programme about the various parts of the organisation. Absenteeism came in at 1.7% in 2021, slightly higher than in 2020 (1.6%).
Growing management organisation
In line with the increase in invested capital, the management organisation is also seeing steady growth. In 2021, the workforce increased by five FTEs on balance. Last year, 16 employees left the organisation, representing a turnover rate of 7.8%. This turnover rate is relatively low for an organisation undergoing change, and Bouwinvest sees this as a healthy development. At year-end 2021, Bouwinvest had 210 employees. The number of FTEs stood at 196.6, compared with 191.4 at year-end 2020.
The rapid growth in the number of clients, the increase in regulatory requirements and the tight labour market requires further professionalisation of the organisation. The organisation is changing and we will need to accelerate processes and improve communications.
Human Resource Management
HR policy – Shape & Develop
In line with its strategic goals, Bouwinvest has developed a new HR policy, the 'Shape & Develop' programme. Good employment practices are central to this drive and they have been subdivided into the themes Steer, Attract, Engage, Shape, Develop, Unite. Bouwinvest has had a high level of employee engagement for many years and has a strong, people-oriented culture. For the coming years, the strategic objectives call for specific attention to:
Shape – organisational structure, processes, digitalisation
Develop – culture, performance management, leadership and training
The goal of this programme is: the Executive Board of Directors, management and employees create and maintain a people-oriented and inclusive organisation of motivated professionals, interconnected by the organisational mission and vision, and our purpose, with a focus on leveraging their combined knowledge, energy and creativity to create value for our clients.
The biennial employee survey, held in October 2021, showed that the efforts of employees and management to shape the new way of working have been successful. The employees satisfaction score of 7.8 was a good result in our sector, especially when you take into account the obstacles the organisation faced due to the pandemic. Bouwinvest’s score was higher than those of the companies in the benchmark of Effectory, which conducted the survey. The Bouwinvest staff participation rate of 90.5% was considerably higher than the benchmark average of 75%.
Overall score 7.8
Employment practices 7.5
Organisational direction 7.9
Job transparency 8.1
The survey showed that employees recognise and endorse Bouwinvest’s core values and the direction of the company is clear. Employees appreciate the company’s approach to the Covid-19 crisis and, despite the pandemic, engagement has remained high.
The main potential improvement that emerged from the survey was the collaboration between teams and Bouwinvest. Each team will work on its own points of attention and Bouwinvest will work on improving collaboration between the various teams and internal communications.
Controlled remuneration policy
Bouwinvest has always had a controlled and careful remuneration policy, with few variable (performance-related) components, appropriate to our mission and our social role, and within the guidelines set by our regulatory bodies (DNB/AFM). Bouwinvest also follows the Dutch Corporate Governance Code.
Total staff remuneration of employees with permanent contracts at Bouwinvest, including salaries, social security charges and pension contributions, amounted to € 27.3 million in 2021 (2020: € 24.8 million). At year-end 2021, Bouwinvest employed 196.6 FTEs (2020: 191.4 FTEs). The increase in average personnel costs per FTE was the result of indexation effective 1 July 2021, annual personnel salary increases, increased pension contributions and the relatively high salary level of newly recruited personnel. The variable remuneration amounted to € 1.2 million in 2021 (2020: € 1.2 million) and the costs of hiring temporary staff came in at € 1.9 million (2020: € 2.9 million).
Sixty percent of employees qualify for variable remuneration of a maximum of 4% of their gross annual base salary, based on the organisation’s collective performance targets. We agree individual performance targets with the remaining 40%, the more senior positions and the management; for these employees, the total variable remuneration is a maximum of 10% of their gross annual base salary. The Executive Board of Directors bears primary responsibility for the remuneration policy. As of 2021, the members of the Executive Board of Directors will no longer receive any variable remuneration. The Supervisory Board supervises this policy and is advised by the Selection and Remuneration committee.
Renewal of remuneration policy
As announced in the previous annual report, Bouwinvest evaluated the remuneration policy for its directors (Executive Board of Directors and Supervisory Board). As a result of the review, it was decided that the Executive Board of Directors would no longer receive any variable remuneration at all as of 2022 and their remuneration will now consist entirely of their fixed salary. By way of compensation, however, these salaries have been increased. This step is appropriate in the light of Bouwinvest’s social responsibility and is in line with the policy of other pension providers and asset managers and with the needs of society. The renewal of the remuneration policy for Bouwinvest employees is on the agenda for 2022.
Explanation of staff remuneration on the basis of AIFMD remuneration rules
Bouwinvest works on the basis of an AIFMD licence. Below you will find the total amount of the remuneration Bouwinvest paid out to its staff over the whole year, divided into fixed and variable remuneration .
Fixed remuneration (x € 1,000)
Variable remuneration (x € 1,000)
Total remuneration (x € 1,000)
Below you will find the aggregate amount of the remuneration at Bouwinvest, divided into the highest levels of senior management and the staff members whose actions have a significant impact on the risk profile of the investment entity, the so-called identified staff. In 2021, 26.5 FTEs qualified as identified staff (2020: 25.1 FTEs).
Fixed remuneration (x € 1,000)
Variable remuneration (x € 1,000)
Total remuneration (x € 1,000)
You will find an explanation of the remuneration of the Executive Board of Directors and the Supervisory Board in the Remuneration report.
Technology: continuity and continued development
In 2021, Bouwinvest’s people were once again able to continue to work (together) digitally. Both at the office and from home. The actions taken in 2020 once again ensured that IT support functioned properly in 2021. Bouwinvest also devoted attention to the continued development of its technological landscape. For instance, Bouwinvest implemented a new contract register to improve insight into the organisation’s contracts. Bouwinvest continued with the development of a Data Analytics tool, which makes it easier to analyse and report on data. Bouwinvest is made a start on the implementation of a GRC tool to provide better support for the Risk and Compliance departments. The implementation of this tool was completed in Q1 2022. 2021 also saw the start of the development of an Energy Management System (EMS) to gain insight into the actual energy consumption of the buildings in the Bouwinvest portfolio, a process we will complete in 2022.
Other company-wide technological developments are listed under the material aspects 'Cybersecurity and privacy' and 'New technology and innovation'.
Community engagement & sponsoring
Real Value for Life also means that we make an annual financial contribution to certain civil organisations. These charities are a good fit with our core business and are related to the theme:
A roof over your head
As a real estate investor, Bouwinvest provides a roof over the heads of many people, by investing in inclusive and sustainable areas, areas where people want to and can live now and in the future. Via sponsorship, Bouwinvest wants to go a step further and help long-term vulnerable groups who also need good housing. Based on the theme of 'a roof over your head', Bouwinvest makes conscious decisions as to whether or not to sponsor initiatives.
Based on the theme of 'A roof over your head', Bouwinvest has entered into sustainable partnerships with two charities: HomePlan Foundation (since 2014) and The Forgotten Child Foundation (since 2021).
HomePlan was founded in 1997 to provide the poorest of the poor, especially in developing countries, with a decent house, home and future. HomePlan always works with local partners because they know local customs and culture better than anyone. In addition to housing, they also offer aftercare programmes.
In addition to raising funds for construction projects, HomePlan also recruits volunteers. For example, every year groups of volunteers travel to ongoing projects. In addition to our financial contribution, two Bouwinvest colleagues join these annual building trips to help build a number of homes and see for themselves what impact HomePlan's work has on local communities. These trips were temporarily interrupted in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid-19. In 2021, Bouwinvest made a financial contribution of € 6,500.
The Forgotten Child Foundation
The Forgotten Child (Dutch: Het Vergeten Kind) fights for thousands of children in the Netherlands who do not have a safe and loving home, because there are so many problems at home. The foundation wants all these children to feel heard and seen, that they have a safe and stable place to live and can develop positively, so they can take their own place in society. To show that it can be done differently and better, the foundation set up Heppie (t)Huis. This initiative aims to provide a safe and stable home for children who have been placed in foster care and works with a fixed team of social workers. In 2022, a second Heppie (t)Huis will be built in the Veluwe national park. This will be a sustainable timber construction project to which Bouwinvest made a concrete financial contribution. In 2021, Bouwinvest donated € 5,000.
Environmental impact management organisation
Bouwinvest takes a targeted approach to reducing its own environmental impact. The aim is to keep reducing the organisation’s CO₂ footprint and to shift the energy consumption of the head office, in cooperation with the owner, towards the Paris Proof standard of 50 kWh/m2 in the coming years.
Due to Covid-19, Bouwinvest once again made limited use of its own office building in 2021. This together with the few kilometres driven and the few flights taken, means that , as in 2020, the energy consumption and environmental data in 2021 do not give a representative picture. This information can be found in the 'ESG performance indicators' section in the appendices.