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Our people are key to our continued success and growth. We aim to create a safe, healthy, stimulating and energising workplace, where our employees can perform to the best of their abilities. In an environment where talented technical specialists are scarce, it is crucial that we attract the right people and empower them to perform.

InputStrategic prioritiesChallengesOutput
3,040 internal employeesPursue organisational excellenceAttracting new talented employees in GermanySustainable employee engagement
Specialised know-how and expertiseDecline of work safety performance, especially with respect to our contractorsLTIF of 3.6


Our employees

Our Empowered by You! vision sets out the direction of our HR policies and strategies for our employees and organisation. It identifies four key areas that will drive performance and personal growth. These areas are talented employees; inspiring leaders; stimulating climate and teamwork for excellence. We connect our employees’ personal ambitions to our strategic goals to fulfil our mission and commitment to society. Our core values and brand values guide us in all we do: quality and integrity are an integral part of our vision for our employees and for TenneT as a whole.

Number of internal employees3,0402,8872,700
Number of external employees631568396
Male employees (%)78%78%78%
Female employees (%)22%22%22%

More than 80% of employees are covered by collective bargaining agreements. For more information about our employees per country, click here.

In 2016, our total number of employees increased, reflecting the growth of our investments in offshore and onshore projects in Germany and the Netherlands. We expect staff levels to increase again in 2017, but at a slightly slower rate.

"We have so many projects on the go – we need to build EUR 25 billion of assets in the coming years. The well-being and mind-set of our people is crucial in our job to empower society, which is why we continuously invest in mutual trust and mutual empowerment."
Urban Keussen, Vice-chair Executive Board TenneT

As technology continues to transform the workplace, we are considering what this means for TenneT. We hosted internal workshops based on the Oxford study ‘The future of work’, during which we explored what certain technologies mean for our company, our people and the way we work. Some jobs may cease to exist; while others will be created. We will share the outcome of these workshops with TenneT’s senior management and plan accordingly. To manage our ever-changing workload, we need to remain agile, which includes through how we deploy flexible external and internal staff. We strive to enhance the sustainable employability of our employees and encourage exchanges between our Dutch and German colleagues. Our health and vitality programme 'Always Energy' also encourages our staff to adopt a healthy lifestyle. We believe that resilient employees create a resilient organisation and a better work-life balance they can cope with the challenges they face in their jobs and private lives.

"Since we deal with similar challenges on our stations on both sides of the border, sharing of knowledge, experiences and personal views has proven to be very valuable and motivating."
Johanna Bars, employee TenneT Germany

We reward our employees for their work by offering an appropriate package of salary, pension and secondary benefits. To illustrate the difference in remuneration between the highest full-time salary and median fulltime salary at TenneT, we have calculated the ratio of fixed salary, variable remuneration and pension benefits. For 2016, this ratio is 7.0. The variable remuneration of our directors and employees is based on purely financial as well as non-financial performance, which includes our grid availability and safety performance.

Monitoring and improving the performance of our teams and individual employees is an important element of our Empowered by You! vision. We support this through such things as the annual performance management cycle, development and training programmes and the Power to Perform programme which seeks to enhance performance culture in the company. The Executive Board performs an annual review of TenneT's senior management, including succession planning, and discusses the results of this review with Supervisory Board's Remuneration and Appointments Committee. During 2016, the Executive Board evaluated its own performance with the support of an external advisor. The advisor attended several board meetings and conducted interviews with members of the Executive Board, Supervisory Board and senior management. This evaluation was discussed among board members in late 2016 and with the Supervisory Board early in 2017. The Executive Board will adress the areas for improvement revealed by the evaluation in the future.

Crowdsourcing to identify opportunities for business and society

As an innovative company that is always eager to learn, we are constantly on the lookout for new and better ways of doing things. Our 'TenneT's Zukunft' project aims to foster creativity and innovation at TenneT and highlight the link between our social responsibility and our business. Following a successful launch in the Netherlands in 2015, the programme was introduced in Germany in 2016. We invited employees to help us solve the business challenges TenneT is facing e.g. the development of the transformer station of the future, facilitating a positive influence on public opinion, and how to use data in our daily work. Three teams have been working on the best ideas to solve these challenges and they will present their results using the true value approach, balancing the financial, social and environmental impact.


One of our top priorities is to ensure the safety of everyone involved in our activities, both employees and contractors alike. We continually strive for zero work-related incidents. Our quantitative goal for 2018 is to have a combined lost-time injury frequency (LTIF) for employees and contractors of below 1.0.

The disappointing trend in 2016 confirms that improving our safety performance year on year is getting more difficult and that more effort needs to be made to achieve our goal of becoming a safety leader. We deeply regret that an employee of our contractor Liandon was fatally injured in a work accident in February 2016 at a 150 kV substation jointly operated by TenneT and Liander.

Management is giving the increase in LTIF its full attention. To eliminate work-related incidents and accidents, we are doing our utmost to implement what has been learned from past incidents. As such, we have a process to make sure incidents are thoroughly investigated. Also, we raised safety awareness even further and enhanced our safety culture with the introduction of life-saving rules for employees and contractors. While the rules themselves are not new to the organisation, they are accorded a special status with any violations being investigated and the possibility of consequences for the people involved. During the year, 89% of our employees completed an online training session to familiarise themselves with the six life-saving rules.

One of our greatest safety risks concerns the safety of people working on our construction sites, specifically the many contractors working there. Our contractors are an integral part of our operations and their safety performance is of high importance to us. Safety is integrated in our procurement process and is a key consideration when we select contractors and assess their performance. We regard our contractors as our “partners in safety”. To increase their safety awareness and enhance a culture of safety we use the Safety Culture Ladder, which is a requirement in the selection phase of a tender as described in the 'Safety by Contractor Management' programme.

For more information about safety by contractor management, click here.

Our challenges relating to employees

1In Germany in particular, we need to attract talented new employees to help us realise our ambitious investment programme and overall strategy.We are redefining our employee value proposition. We proactively approach potential candidates and encourage colleagues to be ambassadors for our brand and motivate potential employees by telling them about the value of their work and their contribution to the energy transition.
2The decline of work safety performance in 2016, evidenced by the rise in LTIF in 2016, especially with respect to our contractors, raises concerns and calls for additional actions to reach our target of 1.0 in 2018.We strive to contract top safety performers for our projects. We are looking for contractors who take safety just as seriously as we do, and we monitor their safety performance when performing their work.

Looking ahead

Keeping our workforce fit for the future will remain high on our agenda. Identifying and retaining scarce talent with the right expertise and making sure our existing workforce has the right skills to deal with the challenges are crucial to our business and succession development. At the same time, the organisation needs to balance growth and efficiency.