Connecting with our people

Why it matters

Our 12,000 employees represent the face of DNV GL with customers and other stakeholders all over the world, every day. The relationships we develop with our customers are based on trust in our technical ability and the integrity and personal conduct of our people. Our values — WE CARE, WE DARE, WE SHARE — are beliefs that shape our performance. These ideals are the behaviours expected of all of us and are important for achieving our purpose and vision.

Our aim is to attract, retain and develop people who are committed to our purpose, vision and values. We see diversity within our workforce as a way of delivering excellence and we recruit the best people regardless of their background. This is backed up by an attractive employee-value proposition and varied development and career opportunities. By continuously developing our people’s competencies, we enhance the skills and expertise we offer to our customers.

Progress in 2019

After facing a challenging financial reality for a number of years, with associated headcount reductions, we experienced a more stable and sustainable situation in 2019. Although headcount fell slightly in 2019, this was due to the divestment of the KEMA Laboratories in the Energy business area.

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Looking ahead

DNV GL launched a new vision and revised values in January 2020. We will run various initiatives throughout 2020 to embed the new vision and values across the organization. A new DNV GL Strategy will also be introduced in 2020 and we will review our current people policies and principles to ensure they are aligned with and support our new vision, values and strategy.

Our people-related governance documents will be revised and simplified in 2020 to enable a more empowered organization. We will also review the DNV GL compensation and benefits approach and we will revise our short-term incentive / profit share system for implementation in 2021.


As a professional services provider, we rely on the knowledge and skills of our people to deliver our products and services. We strive to foster a company culture with people who are committed to our purpose, vision and values.

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Case study

A new approach to employee engagement

In the past, DNV GL conducted annual Engagement Surveys to test employee engagement and highlight areas of positive performance and areas for improvement. In July 2019, we shifted our global approach to a Pulse survey methodology. Compared to annual engagement surveys, the Pulse survey approach is more frequent and more agile. Annual surveys only provide a snapshot of employee engagement and do not identify issues in a timely way, meaning it can be slow to establish corrective action and changes can only be measured a year later.

In contrast, the Pulse methodology allows much more frequent engagement leading to swifter responses. Our Pulse surveys are aligned with regular manager-employee check-ins, which were introduced earlier in 2019, and are intended to be part of the day-today operation of our business areas, rather than an annual project.

The Pulse survey includes 21 common questions asked to all DNV GL employees. Individual business areas can ask additional questions based on their specific needs. Each business area has set different survey frequencies, ranging from weekly to every second month. With more frequent surveys, fewer questions are asked per survey. Currently, the DNV GL response rate is 83%, which is close to the benchmark of other companies.

The benefits of DNV GL Pulse surveys include:

  • More regular, open and honest communication between managers and their teams
  • Enabling employees to provide regular feedback to managers on what’s working and what needs improving
  • Allowing employees to anonymously share comments with their managers, which managers can acknowledge or respond to without the identity of the employee being disclosed
  • Providing managers with real-time feedback through dashboards, allowing them to identify issues as they arise and to address them swiftly, together with their teams
  • Allowing managers and their teams to track changes in engagement over time, to see if what they are doing is making a difference in their team
  • Tracking the DNV GL Transformation Index and the DNV GL Resilience Index.

Feedback received so far from managers and employees suggest the benefits outlined are being delivered at the local level. Results are also actively being used by senior management to track the development of business areas and the company as a whole.