A safe and motivating workplace for talented employees

Our market leadership depends on our ability to attract, retain and engage the best people. We strive to provide a safe and motivating work environment where people are treated with respect and offered opportunities for development.

[Re]vitalising our VELUX culture

We are currently pursuing a strategic initiative to revitalise our unique VELUX culture.

We are currently pursuing a strategic initiative to revitalise our unique VELUX culture. Key actions are to improve leadership, support global collaboration and boost passion and performance throughout the organisation.

The [Re]vitalise initiative was kicked off in 2013, starting with involvement of top managers. We have carried out structured reviews of top managers, introduced bonus schemes linked to results as well as behaviour, and our top-100 managers have participated in a new leadership development programme.

In 2015, [Re]vitalise became increasingly more tangible to many VELUX Group employees. A Global Employee Survey was carried out in November 2014 and all employees have been involved in the follow-up process during 2015.

A new Performance and Development Process and tools for the annual dialogue have been developed and rolled out during 2015 and will be further implemented in 2016. From late 2015, People Reviews will be used widely, not only for top managers but also for most non-production employees.

Our VELUX Values – as perceived by our employees

"I think it's important that ideas are alive and that they are coming from the employees."

- Barbara Grilj, Sales Assistant (Slovenia).

"Caring and aspiring for perfection all have a positive influence on you. So, when this trusting relationship exists, it creates a stimulus. I love that every single day is different."

- Zsolt Graczia, Team Leader, LKR-Hungary (Hungary).

"Going through the changes to bring us together as one department has been such an inspiring journey. Whenever I speak about this topic, I light up, I smile, it is contagious."

- Sharon Douglas, Operations Project Manager, VELUX Company Ltd. (United Kingdom).

"My colleagues. They keep me going. It’s a good thing that we are all like family. It’s not just a work atmosphere. We can laugh and joke with each other but still get the job done safely. That’s what gets me through the day."

- Darrell Lewis, Material Resource Specialist (USA).

"I think the reward working with VELUX is freedom for me. I enjoy it here because of the freedom and because of the culture. It gives me a big framework so I can try different things. That’s a great reward for me."

- JinYan Zhao, Market Development and Marketing, VELUX Company. Ltd. (China).

Developing managers

We have launched two leadership development programmes:

We have launched two leadership development programmes:

  • Light Up your Leadership for level-1 managers
  • Passion for Leadership for 400 level-2 managers

In 2015, level-1 managers completed the Light Up your Leadership programme, and 234 level-2 managers participated in the first of three modules in the Passion for Leadership programme. The modules are Passion for People, Passion for Business and Passion for Performance. The training continues in 2016.

Passion for leadership

In 2015, 234 managers participated in the first module of the Passion for Leadership programme. What did the leadership development programme teach them?

Zdenko Durci, Health, Safety & Environment manager at the Partizánske Building Components-SK s.r.o. factory in Slovakia: “Just putting things into words and acknowledging things take you a long way. On this course, I have accepted a number of things that I need to work on. I will improve my way of giving feedback and asking for feedback from my managers. There is no point in delaying feedback, just give it right away. To do this, I must improve my communication skills.

Dmitrijs Astasonoks, Regional Sales Manager from VELUX Latvia SIA and VELUX Lietuva, UAB: “It has opened my eyes. I have gained a greater understanding of who I am, what I need to focus on, not least what I have to do to become a better manager.”

Peder Dines Jakobsen, Manager in Product Development in VELUX A/S: “I will work to become better at involving my team members more and delegate more responsibility. It is better to make the employees run forward instead of wanting to run ahead as a manager.”

Kerstin Vallentin-Hansen, Head of Visuals in VELUX A/S: “The feedback report revealed certain things I must work on and be more aware of. Personal development is a life’s work and I believe this course is a great opportunity to challenge myself – as a manager and as a person.”

VELUX career – from factory floor to general manager

When Jørgen Laursen started at one of the VELUX factories in Denmark back in 1992, it was in a temporary position on the assembly line while he sorted out what his future career should be. 23 years later, he can look back on a long career with VELUX.

I always liked working for the VELUX Group. The spirit of the organisation allows you to develop and pursue a career if that is what you want. My career is certainly proof of that. I came here without any formal education, but still I have been trusted with leadership positions. Besides, the company has paid my education along the way, most recently an MBA from Henley University,” says Jørgen.

He has never been afraid of challenges. After working on one of the assembly lines for five years, he did not hesitate to say yes when he was offered the job as team supervisor. He was the youngest in the team and had to lead 70 colleagues.

Since then, his career has taken him to China, where he spent six years streamlining the production of roof windows and building up a new accessories factory. After China, he was asked to move to Slovakia, where the company put him in charge of establishing a new factory from scratch.

The experience in Slovakia was awesome. Imagine starting with nothing and then building a modern and highly efficient production plant with 350 employees,” says Jørgen, who after Slovakia decided to move on to Poland, when the company needed him there to lead a factory with 750 employees.

I thrive in my job and I am very grateful to the company that I have been given the opportunity to pursue an international career. It is in my nature to seek new challenges, and I am fortunate to be employed in a dynamic company that allows me to explore new aspects of leadership every day,” says Jørgen.

Diversity in management

Our ambition to act as a Model Company implies a natural focus on diversity and on being a rewarding workplace for all employees.

It is our fundamental belief that the composition of the workforce should reflect the composition of society. The VELUX Group is working with many aspects to have more female managers. Among other things, there has been general focus on gender diversity in our employer branding activities and recruitment policy.

The VELUX A/S Board of Directors has set up targets for the number of women on the board. The target is to increase the representation of women on the Board of Directors over the next two years, always founded on the principle of finding the most qualified candidate for the job.

In 2015, 19% of the senior managers in the VELUX Group were female. We recognise that women are underrepresented at senior levels in the company. When recruiting new managers, internally as well as externally, recruiters are requested to present both male and female candidates.

Meet Beáta Őz, General Manager, VELUX Hungary

In Hungary, it is still quite unusual to meet women in senior management positions. I get a lot of positive feedback that my career has brought me to where I am today. Personally, I feel privileged to lead this talented team and build a strong market position for VELUX products in Hungary,” says Beáta Őz.

Since 2010, she has been General Manager of VELUX Magyarország Kft. She worked her way up in the organisation from sales assistant when she first started in 1996, then customer service manager and finally sales manager before she was appointed general manager. Despite her personal success, Beáta Őz is aware of the glass ceiling that prevents women from going all the way to the top of the career ladder.

I think the barriers are mostly within the women themselves. We tend to be less outspoken about our ambitions, more humble and waiting to be seen. Many women are also torn between family and career, and I know from my own situation that without the support of my husband, you wouldn’t find me where I am now.” She believes the new People Review that is being introduced throughout the organisation will reveal the female talent and encourage more female high performers to seek a career.

In her own management team, Beáta Őz has three females and two males, a good balance that creates a dynamic and versatile working environment.

Without stereotyping, it appears to me that men and women bring different perspectives to the table. Men are often more keen to create visible results, whereas women tend to also pay attention to how the results are achieved. Since the VELUX Group is a value-driven organisation, we need both perspectives to be successful.

In Central and Eastern Europe, six out of eight VELUX sales company managers are women.

Organisation and Leadership Principles

Our Organisation and Leadership Principles ensure that managers across the organisation know why and how we operate to execute our strategy.

Our Organisation and Leadership Principles ensure that managers across the organisation know how we organise and lead to execute our strategy.

One Company is the overarching principle for our organisational design. Within this overall framework, we balance local presence close to the customers with global integration to enhance efficiency.

We believe in values-driven leadership. This means that our managers strive to act as role models, using the VELUX Values and the Model Company Objective to guide their decisions and actions.

Our Leadership Principles require:

  • Passion for Business in order to execute
  • Passion for People in order to reach our potential
  • Passion for Performance in order to deliver on our promises.

Global Employee Survey

In late 2014, we conducted our first Global Employee Survey among 8,500 employees.

In late 2014, we conducted our first Global Employee Survey among 8,500 employees.

96% of the employees in scope answered the questionnaire. The Loyalty and Commitment index scored 75, which is above the external benchmark. The Satisfaction and Motivation index scored 67, which is in the medium range, but above the external benchmark.

Since early 2015, managers and teams have worked on the action points resulting from the survey.

The plan is to repeat the survey every second year, next time in 2016, to track developments in loyalty, commitment, satisfaction and motivation in the workforce, globally and locally.

VELUX France receive the ‘Happy Trainees’ label

Following its participation in the largest European study of professional internships, VELUX France has earned the Happy Trainees 2015-16 label, when the company finished third among companies with less than 500 employees.

The students gave feedback on how it is to work in the company and evaluated the company on six dimensions: professional growth, stimulating environment, management, motivation, pride and fun.

We are proud to receive the Happy Trainees label that testifies to the quality of our everyday working environment. Based on the feedback, we will continue our work to improve onboarding and development of students in our work-study programmes,” says Nicolas Bruneteaux, Human Resource Director of VELUX France.

People performance and development

In 2015, we launched a new People Performance and Development Process, which will be rolled out in the entire organisation in 2016.

In 2015, we launched a new People Performance and Development Process, which will be rolled out in the entire organisation in 2016.

The People and Development Process is designed to ensure consistent focus on personal and professional development, linked to our business goals and strategy and based on the conviction that passionate people drive performance.

As part of the People and Development Process, we are launching structured People Reviews and a new Annual Dialogue concept.

In 2015, the new processes were tested among managers and employees and received positive feedback:

“I think the People Review is a fantastic new tool to achieve a shared view of my performance and potential with my manager. With the previous process, you might have gone into the review with the opinion that there is lots to prepare and that sometimes your end goal or real desire may be lost. With the new process, I feel it is quick, simple and talks facts with the end goal in mind,” said Ashley Nelson, Brand Manager at VELUX Company Ltd., our British sales company.

“People Review ensures a more systematic approach to the things we have always done – and that is good for the employees, the managers and the company. As a manager, you want to hang onto the best people in the department. When there are many pairs of eyes looking on, we cannot fall into the temptation of hiding talent in our own group − we are forced to set it free and accept the fact that the career might have to develop elsewhere in the organisation,” said Erik Kjærgaard, Technical Manager, VELUX Modular Skylights.

People development activities

VELUX employees are offered on-the-job training and development opportunities.

VELUX employees are offered on-the-job training and development opportunities in order to build the personal and professional skills required to succeed in their careers and to navigate in the ever-changing business environment.

Our training approach is based on on-the-job training, knowledge sharing, collaboration, internal and external training programmes, workshops, e-learning and job rotation.

In 2015, 1,158 internal courses were completed at the VELUX Learning Centre, compared to 831 internal courses in 2014.

Employee turnover

In 2015, the turnover among production workers was 23% compared to 18.9% in 2014.

In 2015, the turnover among production workers was 23% compared to 18.9% in 2014. The turnover among non-production workers was 11.6% in 2015 compared to 10% in 2014.

The increase in employee turnover is due to the changes we have made in our production set-up.

Changes to our production set-up in 2015

To improve our competitive strength, our manufacturing and logistics functions have undergone a strategic transformation.

To improve our competitive strength, our manufacturing and logistics functions have undergone a strategic transformation. Our goal is to have a globally coherent manufacturing and distribution network that will strengthen our competitiveness without compromising quality and delivery reliability.

We have therefore decided to consolidate our plastics production at fewer factories and have closed down our plastics production in Thyregod, Denmark. Furthermore, we have decided to cease production in Russia because of the economic developments in the country. 

In line with our Model Company Objective, we are helping the affected employees to move on in their working lives.

The Employee Foundation

The Employee Foundation of the VKR Group was established in 1991 to support present and retired employees of the VKR Group and their immediate families.

The Employee Foundation of the VKR Group was established in 1991 to support present and retired employees and their families. It has three main objectives:

  1. To support employees and their close families, typically in the event of unfortunate situations or for education of employee’s children
  2. To support activities in the vicinity of VKR Group companies
  3. To present the Villum Kann Rasmussen Award.

Between 1992 and 2015, more than 3,128 people received financial support from the foundation, either for themselves or for their families. In the same period, more than 1,539 projects in the vicinity of the VKR Group’s companies received support.

Examples of donations to employees made in 2015:

  • In Hungary, an employee and her husband received support for adoption
  • The son of a Polish employee received support for establishment of a wheelchair ramp
  • In France, an employee received support in connection with breast cancer
  • The son of a Japanese employee received support for treatment of mental handicap
  • The wife of a German employee received support for installation of handrails in the home
  • The daughter of a Czech employee received a scholarship for studies in forest and wood technology
  • In Spain, the daughter of an employee received a scholarship for studies to become a teacher.

Examples of local support in 2015:

  • In France, support was granted to buy equipment for a judo club
  • In Poland, support was granted to buy equipment for a children’s hospice
  • In Denmark, support was granted to establish a skater park
  • In Slovakia, support was granted to install an irrigation system for a football club
  • In Belgium, support was granted to install a swimming pool lift for handicap swimming
  • In Hungary, support was granted to buy fitness equipment for a park.

The Villum Kann Rasmussen Award

The Villum Kann Rasmussen Award is presented to employees who, each in their own way, contribute to meeting the Model Company Objective.

The Villum Kann Rasmussen Award is presented to employees who, each in their own way, contribute to meeting the Model Company Objective.

In 2015, on the birthday of Villum Kann Rasmussen on 23 January, 12 employees received the VILLUM KANN RASMUSSEN AWARD, also known as the KR Award. The award pays tribute to the values and vision of the company’s founder and was first granted in 1996. Since then, 237 employees have been honoured. In selecting the recipients, the emphasis is on commitment, loyalty, work performance, imagination, initiative, helpfulness towards colleagues and enthusiasm for the job.

Great honour to receive the KR Award

I felt very happy, proud and grateful to be among the awardees,” said Tommy Dorff Hansen from VELUX A/S when he received the KR Award in January 2015. He received it for his dedication to designing exhibition and product displays and for his ability to think out of the box and create innovative solutions reflecting the VELUX products.

I felt surprised and thrilled that my work had been noticed and to be part of the special group of people who have received the KR Award. It is hard to believe,” said Anna Suchecka from VELUX Polska Sp. z.o.o. She was awarded for her commitment and loyalty to the company and to her colleagues and for being a strong team player who helps and advises others.

I was speechless at first, overwhelmed and immensely honoured to receive the KR Award,” said Peter Wolle from SIG Sonneborn Bauzubehör Industriegesellschaft mbH in Germany when he received the award. Peter was awarded for his commitment to his team and to the VELUX Group, and for his ability to embrace change with an open mind.

Health and safety

We are determined to provide a safe and healthy working environment for our employees. It is our firm belief that safety boosts business performance through increased employee empowerment, reduced accident-related costs and improved productivity.

We apply the OHSAS 18001 management system for occupational health at all production sites. Moreover, we have rolled out a comprehensive Safety Excellence Programme at all production sites in order to build a strong safety culture and bring down the number of work-related injuries.

In 2015, we took the first steps in implementing a new, company-wide safety programme Take Care that comprises safety and ergonomics with a strong emphasis on personal commitment and team effort.

VELUX Safety Policy

The VELUX Group is determined to create and sustain a safe working environment.

The long-term vision of the VELUX Safety Policy is to have zero accidents and incidents.

Our Safety Policy contains five guiding principles for the safety work:

  • Working safely is a condition of employment
  • Management is accountable for preventing accidents and injuries
  • We will always take the time to ensure safety at work
  • We are all responsible for our own safety and for ensuring the safety of colleagues
  • We will ensure that all employees are involved, trained and competent in safety.

Good safety is good business at VELUX Greenwood 

In 2015, VELUX Greenwood Inc. received the “Award of Excellence” for their outstanding safety performance. Beside the honour, the award also meant that the company received a dividend disbursement of more than $300,000 from its insurance company.

It was the sixth year in a row that the US VELUX factory in Greenwood won the award.

We are proud to receive this award as recognition of our strong focus on safety. Good safety is good business and it is important that we all feel safe when we go to work. Due to our performance, our insurance premium cost has fallen by 27% in the past three years,” says John W. Pillmann, President of VELUX Greenwood Inc.

Building a strong safety culture

In 2015, we completed three new standards that will support the ongoing effort to build a strong safety culture.

In 2015, we completed three new standards that will support the ongoing effort to build a strong safety culture:

  • Employee Safety Engagement Standard to strengthen employee commitment to safety
  • Roles, Responsibilities and Safety Performance Standard to strengthen the role and accountability of the line managers in the safety work
  • Workplace Risk Assessment Standard to instill a culture of preventive risk assessment in the daily work.

The rollout of the standards was started in 2015 and continues in 2016 as part of the Take Care safety programme.

Factory in Poland receives safety award

The NB Polska Sp. z.o.o. factory in Namysłów employs more than 700 employees in the production of polyurethane windows. In 2015, the factory was awarded “Employer – an organiser of safe work” by the Regional Labour Inspectorate of the Opole region in Poland.

The award is an appreciation of the factory’s commitment to a safe workplace, especially acknowledging the last three years’ initiatives to improve the safety culture among employees, comply with labour rights and offer social benefits to employees.

Safety performance

Our long-term safety vision is to have zero accidents and incidents.

Our long-term safety vision is to have zero accidents and incidents. In 2015, we had 26 work-related accidents compared to 11 in 2014. This means that the accident frequency increased from 0.9 to 2.2 accidents per million working hours at the VELUX factories and among Danish administrative employees.

In 2015, we were not able to live up to the record-low number of work-related accidents in 2014. Moreover, we are also above our target 1.3. In 2015, the lost-work-hour frequency for accidents was 0.5 lost hours per 1,000 working hours, an increase compared to 0.2 in 2014. Our target remains maximum 0.3 lost hours per 1,000 working hours.

We saw a considerable rise in the number of accidents in 2015 compared to the historically low result of 2014. With our ambition of zero accidents, this is, of course, far from satisfactory. We will, therefore sharpen our focus on accident prevention with a series of safety campaigns at our factories in 2016. Having said that, the 2015 safety figures are still the second best we have ever achieved. And if we compare them with corresponding figures from similar companies, we are noticeably better. But even just one accident is one too many,” says Søren Christian Dahl, Vice President Head of Production.

Safety performance around the world

Seven years without accidents, Denmark

In June 2015, the VELTERM A/S pane factory in Denmark celebrated seven years without accidents. The safe working environment has been achieved through care for each other’s safety and continuous improvements. 

The situations with near-miss accidents that we have experienced earlier taught us a lot. These experiences have been turned into safety rules, procedures and information to ensure that other colleagues will not have similar incidents,” says Torben Erhard Jakobsen, General Manager. 
Thyregod Bygningsindustri A/S, another VELUX production site in Denmark, producing maintenance-free roof windows, celebrated 500 days without accidents in 2015.

For the last two years, we have worked with safety awareness in the factory and administration. We have prioritised the safety training of employees and introduced more visible follow-up on the safety measures. By doing this, we are constantly reminded of safety, which helps us to maintain a high level of safety awareness,” says Jørgen Hansen, Quality and HSE Manager.

Ten years without accidents, France

In February, the employees of the Panes Department at VKR France celebrated ten years without work-related accidents.

All employees have a share in this impressive result. Safety is no longer a constraint, but fun, and it raises the spirit in the team. We are all in this together and take care of each other,” says Etienne Lemaire, Department Manager.

The safety work has also improved the general performance of the department in terms of efficiency and quality.

At the Velsol France factory, the employees celebrated two years without accidents in 2015.

The safety project has been an opportunity to get closer to the employees and to listen to them, which has led to a better understanding between management and employees. The awareness and dialogue about safety has led to safety improvements in the daily work and created a strong team spirit,” says Patrick Moënne-Loccoz, General Manager.


All VELUX manufacturing sites are certified in environmental management according to ISO 14001. We are committed to protecting the environment and continuously work to reduce our environmental impact and use of natural resources.

VELUX Environmental Policy

Our Environmental Policy comprises six guiding principles

Our Environmental Policy comprises six guiding principles:

  1. We design our products so that the environmental impact during manufacture, use and disposal is reduced
  2. Our use of raw materials, water and energy is highly efficient
  3. We constantly work to minimise emissions, waste and discharges from our activities
  4. We maintain high safety standards for our employees
  5. We cooperate with our suppliers, customers and other business partners to improve environmental standards
  6. We constantly seek ways to make our products and manufacturing methods more environment friendly than what is generally expected.

VELUX Climate Strategy

Our climate strategy has a dual purpose:

  • To deliver products that help customers save energy in line with our commitment to Sustainable Living in Buildings
  • To reduce the carbon footprint of our own operations.

The goal of the climate strategy is to reduce our own CO2 emissions by 50% in 2020 compared to the 2007 baseline. We will achieve this by:

  • Implementing certified ISO 50001 energy management at all production sites and VELUX A/S head quarters
  • Investing in energy efficiency
  • Using green electricity to fill any remaining CO2 reduction gap to reach the 2020 goal.

In 2015 we have reduced our own CO2 emissions with 29% compared to our baseline in 2007

By the end of 2015, we had reduced our COemissions by 29% compared to the 2007 baseline. This means that we are nine years ahead of the reduction targets compared to EU targets.

VELUX Energy Management 

In 2015, 14 out of 16 production and warehouse sites in Europe were certified to ISO 50001. In 2016, the energy management certification will be completed by two remaining production sites in the EU and on VELUX A/S level (including also our headquarter).

The energy management activities are based on five principles contained in our Energy Management policy:

  1. Monitor and optimise all significant energy-consuming processes
  2. Continuously improve our energy efficiency and ensure the necessary information and resources to meet our objectives and targets
  3. Inform the employees about energy policy, goals and action plans
  4. Ensure compliance with all applicable legal requirements and other requirements we have committed to in relation to energy sources, energy consumption and energy efficiency
  5. Consider energy efficiency when developing, purchasing or changing significant processes, equipment, machines or buildings.

The payback time of implementing the Energy Management System has been calculated to be less than a year, thanks to a number of immediate energy efficiency improvements related to improved energy practices that reduce the stand-by consumption of machines and processes, and by implementing better energy control procedures.

Waste management based on circular economy thinking

Circular economy thinking has inspired our production for many years in order to make sure all resources that go into our products can be used in a cyclical way

Circular economy thinking has inspired our production for many years in order to make sure all resources that go into our products can be used in a cyclical way.

Governed by the environmental policy, we continuously reduce our use of resources and the amount of waste resulting from our production. All factories apply source separation in their waste handling to ensure maximum recycling.

Waste products are typically wood, steel, aluminium and glass. In 2015, our major waste fractions were disposed of in the following way:

  • 72.3% was recycled
  • 25.7% was used to produce energy by incineration
  • Around 0.5% of our waste contains varnish and is classified as hazardous waste and sent for special waste treatment
  • The remaining 1.5% is sent to landfill.

Despite the effort to bring down waste volumes, there are still certain minor waste fractions that are not suited for recycling due to the nature of processing. New opportunities for recycling are continuously explored together with suppliers and recycling companies.

Closed-loop production at factory in Hungary

Waste is high on the agenda in Europe, where concepts like Circular Economy, cradle to cradle and closed-loop production all tap into the idea that waste should be avoided, e.g. by using waste from one process as raw materials in other products. Through the environmental management systems at our production sites, the VELUX Group has been working on utilising waste from our production for other products.

At the VELUX Magyarország LKR Korlátolt Felelősségű Társaság factory in Hungary, all major waste streams have been mapped and analysed in order to make sure that valuable raw materials are recycled and nothing goes to waste. The result is 100% recycling of wood, glass and aluminium.

Wood waste at our factory in Hungary 

100% of the wood waste is turned into renewable energy or recycled into other products.

Water management

In 2015, water consumption at our factories was 112,000 m3 compared to 128,000 m3 in 2014.

In 2015, water consumption at our factories was 112,000 m3 compared to 128,000 m3 in 2014.

Due to the nature of our production, wastewater from production companies is predominantly sanitary wastewater sent to sewage treatment and, to a lesser extent, wastewater from cleaning and washing of components. A very small amount of wastewater/sludge, e.g. collected from periodic special cleaning processes of equipment, is included in the 0.5% waste we disposed of for special waste treatment.