Staff, organisation and culture
The Group had 3,377 employees (2,738 FTEs) on 31 December 2018, compared with 3,519 employees (2,849 FTEs) at the end of 2017. The decrease was mainly caused by the restructuring of Matratzen Concord and the sale of the Spanish activities. By contrast, the number of employees in Belgium and Sweden grew due to the addition of new stores, the growth of the number of logistics staff and the expansion of the omni-channel activities.
As part of the new strategy, work is fully under way in the various countries where Beter Bed Holding operates on creating a corporate culture in which achieving agreed objectives is increasingly centralised. This pooling of resources is aimed at winning in the markets where Beter Bed Holding operates. The required winners’ mentality makes Beter Bed Holding an attractive employer for which employees are eager to work. All activities have a successful history that forms a solid basis for continuing to advance the development of the Group, the retail brands and the products. Employees are continually challenged to contribute pro-actively to developing stronger, multidisciplinary teams, on the basis of continuing growth of diversity. Beter Bed Holding also aims to become an acknowledged market leader in the areas of sustainability and corporate social responsibility with its international retail brands. Specific CSR objectives have been formulated for 2020. Beter Bed Holding is actively working towards these.
Both logistics and sales staff receive training on product knowledge and behaviour. In addition, employees are given scope to follow individual training and educational programs. Management positions are filled with local employees in all countries. The company is furthermore aiming for a higher number of women in management positions. As at 31 December 2018, there were five women (26%) in top management positions in the organisation. The top management of Beter Bed Holding comprises the Supervisory Board, the Management Board, General Managers and their management teams.
There were numerous changes in this top management layer during 2018, with new appointments in 14 of the total of 19 positions. For all these appointments, the best suitable candidates were sought on the basis of a description of the role concerned defined in advance. Major criteria included relevant work experience, diversity in terms of gender and nationality, diversity in management styles, international experience and enthusiasm for joining an organisation in which a major restructuring and repositioning were due to take place. Account was expressly taken in this connection of increasing diversity within the top management.
A pro-active, transparent, performance-driven culture is necessary to be able to successfully carry out the transformation. The Group Leadership Team devotes a great deal of energy to this and takes the lead. Great value is attached to developing the local teams on the basis of agreements made centrally. The Group Leadership Team meets on a monthly basis to discuss and where necessary adjust or accelerate the results achieved by the Group and the implementation of the strategy.