German corporate websites still among the best in Europe
This year, the trend of German companies performing among the best in Europe remains, as they have the third-highest average score among all ranked countries. The performance especially stands out when it comes to presenting Careers information.
In this year's Webranking study, we evaluated the corporate websites of the largest 63 listed companies in Germany for how well they are meeting the various needs of their stakeholders.
The average score for German companies has increased since last year, from 45.3 to 48 points (out of 100). Only Finnish and Italian companies perform better, with average scores of 56 respective 52 points.
It is good to see that the score of German companies is increasing, as it is more important than ever to provide communication that caters to the needs of all stakeholder groups.
When summarising the German results, we notice:
German companies continue to be among the European top performers, and they have improved their average scores.
The companies stand out in Careers, where many other countries struggle. They are, for example, good at presenting both their approach to working from home and work-life balance.
About us information is a challenge for the companies, as they need to become better at presenting their business models. Only 9% of the ranked companies provide this.
Outstanding Careers information
German companies generally perform well when it comes to positioning themselves as attractive employers. This stands in contrast to other ranked countries, where we see that companies usually struggle to meet jobseeker expectations. The companies have, on average, received 52% in the Careers section, while the European average is at 42%.
The companies stand out when it comes to informing about flexible working in both presenting their approach to working from home and how they support their employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This is a good sign considering that 86% of the respondents of our Careers Survey 2022 find information about the company's approach to working from home important. 87% find the approach to work-life balance important.
Today jobseekers have higher expectations of companies on how they can help them combine their private life with their work life. As working from home has become the norm for many people, keeping work and personal lives separate has become harder. Because of this, companies need to give concrete examples of how they support their employees in maintaining a good work-life balance.
Deutsche Telekom are one of the best-performing German companies in Careers, and they also provide a dedicated Work-Life section. The section offers many examples of initiatives and benefits created in order to support work-life balance. They even have in-house services at their offices to help employees with everyday errands, such as getting a haircut.
Information about the company is a challenge
An area where the German companies don't perform as well as in other sections is in providing enough information about their companies. A comprehensive About us section should include everything from an overview of the company to the business strategy and the company's history.
One of the most essential pieces of information that should be presented in this section is the company's business model. Every year we notice in our Captial Market survey that an explanation of the business model is one of the most important things to present. 89% of the respondents find it important.
In short, a business model is a company's plan for making profit. Because of this, the business model should clearly explain how a company creates value. 87% of the respondents of our Capital Market survey find information about value creation important. Business models also help companies earn capital, attract talent and inspire management and personnel.
Not as many German companies as you could expect present their business model on their corporate website. Only 9% of the ranked companies present this, which compares with 16% of the Europan companies (which also isn't a good number). In order to make it as easy as possible to find, the business model needs to be presented on the website as well (in addition to the Annual Report).
The German top performer BASF present specific business models for each of their business segments, offering great insight into how each segment generates value. Information about how sustainability is integrated into each business segment's business model is also given.
BASF, Deutsche Telekom & Henkel the top performers
BASF continue to be the German top performer for the sixth year in a row; since 2016-2017. This year they have improved their score by 4.8 points, further strengthening their position. BASF offer great financial reporting information, as well as a detailed about us section.
Deutsche Telekom have climbed one placement from third to second place thanks to an improved score by 8.7 points. As mentioned earlier, they offer good Careers information. An online CSR report presenting extensive sustainability data is also provided.
Henkel have dropped one placement on the German top list since their score has dipped by 1.6 points. Competition is getting tougher, so they need to make sure that they keep up with their high-performing peers. Still, Henkel offer an informative corporate website with, for example, a detailed sustainability section.
E.ON the best climber
E.ON are the German company that have improved their score the most since last year. It has improved by 12.8 points. They have made an effort to update the website which has yielded great results. Their strongest performing areas are the homepage and sustainability.