Working at Bayer: Excellent Perspectives
Our business success is based to a large extent on the knowledge, skills, commitment and satisfaction of our employees. As a modern international employer, we offer our employees attractive conditions and wide-ranging individual development opportunities.
The key to this is our highly effective system of vocational and ongoing training, which we are continuously extending. Alongside professional training, we focus on conveying our corporate values (LIFE) and establishing a dialogue-oriented corporate culture based on trust, respect for diversity and equality of opportunity.
That plays a part in employee satisfaction － along with our responsible approach to structuring working conditions, which includes fair and respectful treatment at work, a transparent, competitive and equitable compensation system, company pension plans, the ability to combine working with family commitments, flexible worktime arrangements and a working environment that fosters health.
On December 31, 2017, Bayer employed 99,820 (2016: 99,592) people worldwide. In Germany we had 31,620 (2016: 30,603) employees, which was 31.7% of the total Group workforce (2016: 30.7%).
Number of Bayer Employees by Segment, Dec. 31, 2017
High Level of Vocational Training
Vocational training plays a key role at Bayer in order to meet the need for skilled employees. We provide sound training in more than 20 different occupations and offer more vocational training places than required to meet our needs. In Germany alone, around 1,145 young people embarked on a vocational training course at Bayer in 2016. In addition, Bayer offers trainee programs in Germany in areas such as financial management, human resources and engineering. Furthermore we give young people an opportunity to gain an early insight into a practical work environment. Overall, we provided some 2,800 professional internships for students around the world in 2016.
Bayer pursues a sustainable human resources policy. The objectives and principles are based on our corporate values, known by the acronym LIFE, which are valid throughout the world. LIFE stands for Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency. These values encapsulate the core elements of our corporate culture, which combines a strong focus on performance and development with a high degree of social responsibility. At the same time, they are a simple and practical guide for employees in their work.
A key aim of our personnel development strategy is to create an environment where all employees have the opportunity to develop their full potential. In the spirit of “lifelong learning”, we help employees in all fields broaden their knowledge and skills and keep up with the latest changes throughout their working lives. Support ranges from knowledge sharing and peer learning to programs that take up new trends and perspectives. On average, employees at our significant locations of operation received 22.1 hours of vocational and ongoing training in 2016.
Advancing Knowledge and Leadership Skills
Fostering employees’ individual abilities, talents and strengths is another key factor for Bayer’s future success. Sustained success is only possible if we create working conditions that allow all employees to utilize their talents optimally and therefore contribute to innovative solutions. We therefore actively support lifelong learning as part of our philosophy of people development and managing demographic change. Our aim is to empower all employees to broaden their knowledge and skills and keep up with the latest changes throughout their working lives.
At the heart of our ongoing training concept is the Group-wide Bayer Academy, which bundles our extensive continuing education offerings for employees and which was once again honored with the renowned Brandon Hall Group Excellence Award in bronze in 2016. Alongside systematic development of managerial employees, it offers continuous professional training through various functional academies.
Diversity and Internationality
Group target 2017: continuous improvement in employee engagement.
Thanks to our wide-ranging business activities, we offer employees throughout the Group good opportunities for development. Vacancies throughout the Bayer Group, from nonmanagerial right up to senior management level, are advertised via a globally accessible platform. In 2016, around 11,700 vacancies in 63 countries were posted here. International assignments are also an important element in employee development. Around 1,000 employees around the world participated in international assignments in 2016.
A diverse employee structure is vital for our company’s competitiveness. By embracing diversity we improve our understanding of changing markets and consumer groups, gain access to a broader pool of talented people and benefit from the enhanced innovative and problem-solving abilities that are demonstrably associated with high cultural diversity. Mutual understanding and a gender and cultural balance, especially at management level, are important success factors. We have an inclusive approach: diversity is integrated into all relevant human resources processes and driven forward by the management.
Present and future employees attach great importance to achieving a balance between employment and their personal and family lives. In many countries our commitment in this area goes well beyond the statutory requirements. We offer our employees flexible working hours and support in child care and caring for close relatives.
In 2015, Bayer introduced uniform conditions for short-term mobile working in Germany through a new General Works Agreement with the Works Council. In addition, employees in Germany can convert part of their salary into free time through the “BayZeit” long-term account. There are similar programs in other countries as well.
Bayer enables both men and women to take parental leave. Since national parental leave regulations vary widely from country to country, we only compile data for our significant locations of operation. These represent a selection of countries in which we generate around 81 percent of our sales. 1,621 women and 687 men at these locations took parental leave in 2016. By the end of the year, around 1,583 employees on parental leave had returned to work.
Employee Compensation and Benefits
Our compensation system combines a basic salary reflecting performance and responsibility with elements based on the company’s success, plus extensive additional benefits. Adjustments based on continuous benchmarking make our compensation internationally competitive.
We attach great importance to equal pay for men and women, providing fair and competitive compensation and informing our employees transparently about the overall structure of their compensation.
Alongside attractive compensation for their work, Bayer contributes to the financial security of its present and former employees after their retirement.
Respecting Employee and Human Rights
As a socially responsible company, Bayer has long been committed to upholding and supporting human rights at various levels. The Bayer Human Rights Position is rooted in a binding Group-wide directive. We respect the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and are a founding member of the UN Global Compact. Our mission, life values and Corporate Compliance Policy commit all employees around the world to fair and lawful conduct toward staff, colleagues, business partners and customers.
We believe regular feedback is necessary for the continuous development of our employees and our organization and that it helps us adapt to changing requirements. Alongside our performance management system, we use 360° feedback. This insight from colleagues and business associates is designed to foster the performance and leadership behavior of our employees and support their professional development.
Our most important feedback tool at the corporate level is our Group-wide employee survey. Every two years, this gives us competent feedback from our employees on our strategy, culture and working conditions. Since the last survey in 2014, we have launched a variety of initiatives and improvements worldwide to overcome the shortcomings identified in specific areas. The next employee survey is scheduled for spring 2016.
Bayer Senior Experts Network － The Knowledge Retention Initiative
The Bayer Senior Experts Network is designed to utilize the knowledge and potential of retirees by employing them as consultants on important projects. Retirement is the start of a new phase in an employee’s life. It also involves changes for Bayer when the experience of long-serving employees, their expertise and broad general overview is suddenly no longer available to the company. This loss of knowledge will even increase in the future by demographic change. To counteract this problem, Bayer launched the Bayer Senior Experts Network (BaySEN) initiative at the end of 2010.