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Dura Vermeer strategy activation: Waarmakers!

Dura Vermeer strategy activation: Waarmakers!


About Dura Vermeer

As one of the ten largest construction companies in the Netherlands, Dura Vermeer develops and realizes projects in construction and infrastructure, both on behalf of third parties and under its own management. The company is organized in divisions in which operating companies in the field of project development, construction, maintenance and renovation, road construction, railway construction, participations and facilities are housed. Dura Vermeer employs approximately 2,700 employees. Dura Vermeer works in a distinctive and innovative way, often in collaboration with parties that offer leading, integrated and sustainable solutions for a variety of construction tasks.


The challenge

Dura Vermeer was on the eve of updating the strategy at the end of 2018. In order to really bring the strategy to life, the implementation had to be done differently this time: in interaction with all employees and not as has been done before, top down and with a high degree of independence and interpretation by divisions and operating companies. This is easier said than done, because Dura Vermeer has a divisional structure with operating companies that have a high degree of autonomy.

The implementation process would have been successful if both office and construction site employees:

  • were aware of the new strategy
  • knew what it entailed
  • knew what it meant for them in their daily work
  • and especially when they could discuss this with each other and all employees themselves initiate new initiatives to achieve the objectives.


Hoe wij geholpen hebben

In accordance with our method, we designed a nine-month process together with the Dura Vermeer strategy team for the translation of the strategy into the operation. Important principles were the implementation of the strategy at various levels, the decentralized formation of operational plans, the same time cycle and format for the divisions and operating companies for drawing up the operational plans. We have supported this process by means of:

  • strategy visualization
  • facilitated workshops at different organizational levels for creating insight, understanding and ownership
  • various support tools and means of communication
  • the StrategyBox and
  • standardizing operational plans.

By visualizing the strategy, it became easy for everyone to tell the corresponding story and employees could clearly indicate where they could contribute. Supporting tools were visualization - digital and physical - of the crucial parts in the strategy, facilitated mutual interaction and a tailor-made StrategyBox.


The outcome

The StrategyBoxSession was designed in such a way that the "activators" of Dura Vermeer (a group of ambassadors consisting of management team members, team leaders, executives and enthusiasts) could execute workshops with their people themselves. For example, more than 75 workshops took place throughout the country in a period of about six weeks. The more than 75 energetic "StrategyBoxSessions" resulted in: Understanding of the challenges, strategic themes and next steps for all 2700 employees of Dura Vermeer. Practical input from the employees to successfully shape the operational plans, so that a long implementation process at division and operating company level was actually no longer necessary. Valuable insights for further refining the strategy.


“Of course there was some doubt on the part of the Board of Directors to interact with the employees in this way. Especially the time it would take was a point of doubt, especially at a time when construction exploded with work. Ultimately there was the conviction to do things differently than usual. And there was no regret afterwards. The energy that working with the StrategyBox gave was unprecedented among employees. The involvement and new ideas are enormous. Ask any Dura Vermeer employee what the innovation ambitions of our company are and he will tell you all about it. The biggest gain, in addition to involvement, is that employees feel heard, serious and understood and really have had the idea that something was done with their input during the StrategyBoxSessions. I am convinced that this aspect has contributed to where Dura Vermeer is now: calm, stable and progressive. Chapeau to GroupMapping for immersing ourselves in our strategy in this creative way. ”


Glenn Metselaar, head of Corporate Communication and member of the Strategy team 'De Waarmakers'



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