Our employees advance human progress by solving complex problems and promoting our culture of innovation and inclusion. We encourage them all to pursue careers that align with their individual aspirations, skills and passions. To maximize our potential throughout the Group, we aim to create an environment that inspires our current employees, attracts new talent and helps us to continue to learn and grow.
Our approach: A career with purpose
To ensure our ongoing success, we are focusing on the future by creating meaningful impacts and building needed capabilities. At the same time, we must respond to changing demographics and adapt to the behaviors and expectations of the highly competitive talent market. Therefore, in 2022, we enhanced our talent acquisition strategy with a more personal, employee-focused approach. Our goals include reinventing our talent sourcing approach to build targeted and integrated pipelines and effectively recruiting diverse talent to our organization.
Our trainee programs are designed to assess and hire early-career talent who show exceptional potential. We believe vocational training is an effective way to meet current and future demand for qualified professionals.
Supporting our employees’ professional and personal development helps us to meet our strategic objectives, driving our success as a company. In a fast-paced environment of continuous growth and innovation, we want to cultivate and develop the capabilities of our employees. As a result, our employees benefit from a diverse learning and development portfolio. In addition, our dedicated management programs help our leaders to promote accountable and inclusive behaviors and educate them on driving sustainable business value and performance.
We have designed our compensation structure to provide valuable benefits to our employees and their families. Our reward system recognizes the uniqueness of our employees while providing flexibility wherever possible. Through our competitive compensation structure, we aim to be attractive to future employees in particular. Additionally, our international employee mobility programs create an environment suited to the needs of a rapidly evolving workforce.
We have revised our talent retention approach by tailoring our retention efforts more strongly to different target groups and countries as well as striving to create an inclusive environment that sparks our employees’ creativity and growth.
Roles and responsibilities
Group Human Resources (HR) supports and advises all business sectors and Group functions within our organization regarding our human capital, especially topics related to recruiting, vocational training and advanced training. Across all our sites, HR employees work with leaders from various functions and business sectors to employ strategies that engage our people in line with Group-wide HR guidelines and requirements, including attractive compensation models and benefits. Every two to three years, we conduct internal audits to ensure that we implement our guidelines effectively.
The Chair of the Executive Board and CEO is responsible for Group Human Resources. Our Chief HR Officer, who leads the HR function and oversees all our HR activities, reports directly to her. Our Business Services unit oversees the operational tasks of HR work, such as drafting contracts and payroll accounting. The Chief Financial Officer is responsible for this unit.
All employees can access their personal data via our HR4You digital platform, which aligns our basic HR processes globally. For instance, the platform enables employees to participate in online training courses or apply internally for vacant positions.
Our commitment: Structured development
Our High-Impact Culture, founded on six behaviors, is integrated into all HR processes, from recruitment and training to feedback processes. We regularly inform executives and employees about these behaviors through global campaigns.
Our People Development and Learning Policy provides a Group-wide framework that guides employees in managing their professional growth. It defines requirements for our development opportunities, roles and responsibilities. The associated processes are described in our People Development and Learning Standards.
Our flexible work guideline details our approach to evolving work environments and our aspiration to create a more agile organization. For example, employees can choose their desired working location (with the agreement of local guidance, teams, and managers) provided it is appropriate for their work activity. In addition, we aim to better support and recognize the well-being of carers around the world by creating a carer-friendly workplace.
Attracting and inspiring key talent
Our overarching goal is to attract qualified employees and retain them over the long term. Therefore, we continue to focus on measures that improve the way in which we introduce new employees to our company culture.
In this context, we launched a recruiting initiative for our leaders to become brand ambassadors within their professional networks. Through this program, we support our leaders in engaging in dialogue with their peers and communities about our culture and the opportunities for professional development offered by our company.
Additionally, we are continuously reviewing our application process and hiring manager enablement to maintain a fast, quality-driven process.
A competitive compensation structure
We reward the performance of our employees in order to maintain a competitive edge in attracting qualified professionals. Within our Group, we base compensation on the requirements of each position and each employee’s respective performance. We make no distinctions based on gender or any other diversity criteria.
To ensure we maintain a competitive compensation structure, we regularly review our compensation policy based on data analyses and industry benchmarks. This enables us to compare internal factors and market requirements in equal measure. Before making changes to our compensation structure, we consult with key stakeholders such as employee representatives.
In 2022, we introduced a sustainability factor into our Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP). More information on the LTIP can be found in the Compensation report. Along with our competitive benefits and rewards program, we also introduced a new global car policy in 2022, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions by encouraging the use of electric vehicles and supporting charging points.
In addition to competitive pay, we also offer attractive benefits. For example, our benefits4me package contains offerings primarily funded by the company, such as company pension plans, U.S. healthcare, prevention and health-related benefits as well as other services, for instance leasing offers for bicycles or IT hardware to meet the multifaceted needs of our global workforce.
Nurturing a global mindset
To broaden the diversity of thought within our teams, we offer multiple international assignment opportunities to enable our employees to experience different cultures, mindsets and ways of working. In 2022, we intensified our focus on international assignments by launching a new policy to promote the opportunity to gain international experience and increase flexibility for employees and their managers.
Furthermore, we have established a policy that allows employees – under certain conditions and in adherence to compliance measures – to work remotely for personal reasons outside of their country of employment for up to 60 days within a 12-month period.
Unlocking our potential with education and professional development
We have implemented a holistic learning and leadership portfolio, which we are continuously enhancing in accordance with the principles of our High-Impact Culture and set of behaviors in order to foster greater levels of accountability, inclusiveness and engagement. Our learning portfolio also helps our employees to understand and embrace the principles, values and behaviors of our corporate culture.
We endeavor to support our employees’ personal and professional development in line with their strengths, skills and behaviors. Therefore, we provide ample opportunities for the functional and technical upskilling required in the various areas of our organization. We recognize that employees need to develop capabilities for the future and acquire skills to adapt quickly to changing markets and organizational needs. Beyond cultural and soft skill learning and development opportunities, functional training, such as digital upskilling or scientific training, provides additional opportunities for development in specific areas.
Furthermore, our Development Advisor tool provides specific learning and development resources. For example, employees can find eLearning courses, formal training offerings, self-facilitator toolkits, and text proposals, which they can use to compile their individual development plans. Different filter criteria help employees to find learning offerings based on their specific needs. It is recommended that employees shape their development plans with components covering formal training (10%), opportunities to interact and learn from others (20%) and learning by doing (70%).
Our employees can also book learning offerings, such as e-learning courses or in-person training, via our learning management system. In 2022, about 7 million training courses were completed. Additionally, we encourage our employees and leaders to take courses via the LinkedIn Learning platform.
We have integrated individual and team learning programs into our global learning and leadership portfolio. The Empower Your Team program introduces our leadership culture and the basics of leadership, such as decision-making, feedback, motivation, and emotional intelligence. Empower Your Organization is aimed at more experienced leaders and focuses on the capabilities needed to shape our culture, covering topics such as inclusiveness, psychological safety and transformation. About 1,100 of our leaders participated in these courses in 2022.
Our company´s University is our leadership development program for executives and collaborates with best-in-class business schools, including Stanford GSB in the United States and INSEAD in France. Established in 1999, approximately 590 of our executives worldwide have participated in the program, enhancing their skills and professional development via state-of-the-art leadership learning methods, content and tools. Senior leaders taking part in our company´s University also have several touchpoints with early-career, high-potential individuals in our second flagship program, the International Management Program (IMP). The IMP identifies and nurtures talented people who show potential to become our senior leaders of the future.
Supporting the next generation
We believe in the value of investing in the next generation of talent, not just to build a diverse talent community, but also to develop the skills needed to continue to deliver our products.
As part of this aim, we use the strength of our brand to create sustainable talent pipelines through a diversified series of sources. Career events, university relations, social media, and other online platforms such as Candidate Relationship Management are some of the channels we use to attract, maintain and build relationships with our diverse talent community.
We also support talents in joining our organization through various internships and relationships with universities around the world. One example of this is our Healthcare business sector’s Co-Op program with Northeastern University, Massachusetts, USA, where students gain first-hand experience with our manufacturing and R&D processes, readying them for a successful career.
On the global level, we run our GoGLobal and OLDP (Operations Leadership Development Program) traineeships. We build relationships with students from multiple disciplines and academic researchers who show great potential and are interested in roles within our company. Each year, we take in approximately 20-25 new trainees across functional areas such as In-house Consulting, Marketing, Commercial, Global Healthcare Operations, Quality Regulatory and Compliance, Research and Development, Procurement, Finance, and Human Resources. We offer our trainees mentoring, training and development opportunities.
We have been steadily increasing our focus on vocational training. For example, in 2022, we started the construction of a new Learning Center at our global headquarters in Darmstadt. With a capacity for around 600 apprentices, it will enable us to house almost all our vocational training occupations under one roof. We are investing € 70 million in this new Learning Center, which is set to open in 2024.
In 2022, a total of 205 young people in Germany started their vocational training. The overall focus was on scientific and technical occupations. During the same period, a total of 181 young people successfully completed their apprenticeships at our Darmstadt site. In addition, we offer programs for refugees and young people struggling to enter the labor market, preparing them for subsequent vocational training.
We also continued to engage in the “Afrika kommt!” program offered by the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), which trains experts and leaders from Africa. In supporting this initiative, we are helping to build a pool of regional partners that promote economic cooperation between Germany and Africa. In 2022, ten participants successfully completed the program and we have selected thirteen new candidates for the eleventh intake, starting in February 2023.
Balancing work and personal life
We recognize the importance of work-life balance and the need for flexible working models. Accordingly, we have seized the opportunity to rethink our working habits – including when, where and how we work – in order to create the most engaging and productive working environment. As part of this process, in 2022, we completed the rollout of our Flexible Working policy, with 38 countries now using a respective model tailored to their local requirements and legislation.
In 2022, we implemented several initiatives to enhance our support for carers and parents at our company. In addition, whether our employees are the primary or secondary caregivers of children, we offer them various options to plan the first years with their child. For example, we have extended paid parental leave for both primary and secondary caregivers to eight weeks in Mexico and to six weeks in Switzerland. In India, we have also implemented a leave policy for secondary caregivers. Overall, we provide support in line with local laws and regulations as well as our Global Benefits guidelines.