Boskalis aims for a balanced composition of its staff. We need a good balance between entrepreneurial ‘thinkers and do’ers’ and a steady supply of talented and qualified employees at all times. That means that attracting, developing and retaining talent is a top priority for our company.
Boskalis has various ways of retaining employees and holding their interest. In addition to an open business culture that enables employees to develop their talents as well as providing scope for innovation and entrepreneurship in many areas, staff are given plenty of opportunities for personal development during their career. The growth of the company and the new divisional structure present a wealth of career perspectives for our employees, providing opportunities for transferring to another division in addition to the development of opportunities within the division.
We maintain close relationships with various national and international maritime training and other educational institutions with the aim of attracting potential employees to our industry. In the Netherlands we give guest lectures, offer internships and develop specific courses. As a member of the Dutch Association of Hydraulic Engineers we are involved in the PhD course in coastal and hydraulic works. We also maintain regular contact with international maritime colleges, including those in the Baltic states, Russia and the Philippines.
Training and development
Boskalis offers talent opportunities for further development at three different levels.
Trainee programs for young talent
As a leading international company that undertakes high-profile projects we hold a great attraction for young people. We offer a trainee program for graduates with a technical or financial/economic background who are further trained at our company under the supervision of a mentor. They are introduced to a wide range of our business activities and follow training modules to increase their knowledge and develop their personal skills. With 500 applications of new graduates in 2015 Boskalis is clearly an attractive employer on the labor market. Of these between 20 and 25 trainees were selected. They are currently gaining experience on various projects in different teams within the divisions during three six-month periods.
Young Professional programs
In order to expand our knowledge and expertise, we attract experienced young professionals. In addition, we invest in developing the competencies of our own young professionals, for example in the areas of planning, calculation, risk management and contract management. Our training portfolio is constantly developing so that we can continue to meet the needs in the market. In 2015 we again selected nine young professionals for the Boskalis Offshore Professional Program, which involves imparting knowledge specific to the offshore sector in modules based on actual Boskalis cases. In addition, a group of six cost engineers are following a two-year post-graduate degree in their field, with this program also combining the learning experience with working practice. Boskalis also launched an ICT Young Professional program, aimed at implementing change processes. Six employees are taking part in this program with the objective of further professionalizing the ICT department and enabling it to expand in order to accommodate the wishes and needs of the growing organization.
Management Development programs
Leadership and personal development is a constant point of attention within the organization. Developing personal leadership, building an internal network and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship are important core values in our management development programs. In 2015 22 employees participated in the Boskalis Staff Development Program. The target group consisted of experienced staff department professionals of various nationalities. The objectives of the program were: ‚
developing as a ‘Business Partner’ within Boskalis;
understanding and enhancing personal qualities and development;
increasing personal influence and effectiveness with regard to stakeholder management;
increasing synergies with other disciplines and internal and external clients;
learning to influence without power.
Other management development programs include the Boskalis Operational Development Program, aimed at project workers and managers of all divisions, and the Boskalis Leadership Development Program, aimed at senior managers. For our fleet we have the Boskalis Maritime Development Program for captains and chief engineers, and for talented first officers there is the Boskalis Maritime Leadership Course.
A complete overview of courses and training programs can be found in the special Boskalis training guide, which is widely available.
In addition to courses and training programs we regard the mutual exchange of knowledge as an important path for development. Boskalis offers various initiatives that promote knowledge sharing, for example the Meet the Expert sessions, where specific topics are discussed in detail for and by Boskalis staff, and the annual Boskalis Innovation Challenge (see page 48) of this report and Report of the Board of Management/Organizational Developments/Research and Development of the 2015 Annual Report.
Competence and performance management
We track the competence development of our employees using a new competence management model developed in 2014 and 2015. We use the competence profile to determine actions for the further development of the employees’ knowledge and skills. This means that we always have an accurate picture of where the competences are adequate and where gaps still remain, as well as a good grasp of whether the competence development is in line with our strategy. Points for development identified during performance reviews are fed back to the employee in question and logged in the system. The majority of our employees are given an annual or semi-annual competence or performance review, with a frequency of at least once every two years for the remaining employees. The performance management process was revised in 2015 and will be supported by an online module in 2016.