Talent Management and Managerial Staff
Another focus of our personnel-development activities is identifying and grooming young potential for specialist and management tasks. What is more, we continually develop the skills of our current specialists and managerial staff.
The aim of our talent-management process is to identify and foster talent at an early stage. It also helps us fill important positions with highly-qualified in-house candidates in the medium and long term. The talent-management process is directed at executive personnel and all other employees above the standard pay scale. The employees’ performance and potential are discussed on the basis of uniform criteria at conferences held during the annual talent-management cycle. Prior to the conferences, perspectives are gathered at a management level, from supervisors and internal customers. The conferences initially take place within a corporate sector (business division, corporate department or subsidiary) and are subsequently conducted across corporate sectors. During the annual performance review, employees and supervisors discuss the strengths and optimization potential identified at the conferences and jointly determine development measures. This groupwide approach allows us to offer employees in small units and at subsidiaries prospects, too.
When the talent-management program was introduced in 2013, a three-year pilot phase was agreed. In 2016, we were able to report that, over the course of three years, the performance and potential of close to 3,000 employees had been discussed annually at more than 560 conferences. During recent few cycles, over 50 percent of high potentials and some 20 percent of growing potentials pursued development measures in the course of a year that ultimately enabled them to take up new positions. The development of specialists has been given considerable attention since the 2016 cycle. A 2015 survey of the group targeted by talent management showed that three-quarters of participants considered the process to be logical, and two-thirds felt the talent-management goals were worthwhile. 80 percent of participants there felt that talent management promoted a strong, open feedback culture.
We use a wide range of instruments in developing managerial staff. This ranges from company-specific, internal group programs, to individual measures, for example coaching or team development, all the way to outside advanced-training courses.
Selecting Managerial Staff
In addition to the information gleaned from talent management, whenever possible and suitable, we use various diagnostic techniques to determine the capabilities an employee already possesses and to identify those which can be developed to enable that individual to assume a leadership role. These techniques determine the strengths and potential of the employee and provide individualized assistance. For example, standard-payscale employees who are recommended for or apply for a position as shift leader or certified industrial foreperson can attend a Potential Analysis Workshop. Above-standard-payscale employees with an outstanding track record are invited to take part in a profiling interview. This provides them with a development recommendation as they enter their specific development process.
WACKER systematically and continually develops executives, so that they can deal with the varied challenges they encounter. We offer our employees comprehensive programs adapted to the needs of the respective target group. For employees new to management, this includes the mandatory “Start Leading@WACKER” and “Effective Management 1” courses. Employees with several years of managerial experience in disciplinary supervision can deepen their knowledge with the “Effective Management 2” seminar.
In 2015, we launched two new types of development programs for experienced managerial employees. The “Learning Company” seminar allows participants to assume different leadership roles within a fictitious organization and obtain feedback on their performance from experienced instructors. During the “External Peer Reflection” program, managers can exchange ideas with leaders at the same hierarchical level in other companies.
In 2016, WACKER launched a new, international program for high potentials and newly appointed executive personnel (OFK) – the Executive Development Program. It aims at creating a joint leadership identity, developing the participants’ potential and strengthening their management and leadership skills. Over the course of a year, the program, which comprises several modules, offers a platform for exchange, feedback and peer consulting among managerial employees.
In 2016, we revised all programs for managerial employees on the standard payscale, from filling supervisors to certified industrial master craftsmen, for newcomers and experienced staff. WACKER thus offers continuous executive development up to the executive-personnel (OFK) level.
WACKER encourages internal networks for specialists and managerial staff. These networks promote knowledge transfer and exchange of information across departmental boundaries. Examples include the “Neu-Wackerianer” network for new employees and a network for young female managerial staff who have taken part in a Munich-based cross-mentoring program. WACKER has participated in this program since 2005. Our goal is to help prepare women with management potential for leadership positions, with the aim of increasing the number of women in top management. This 12-month program involves an experienced manager acting as mentor to a female mentee at another company. Seven young female managers from WACKER took part in the program in 2015 and 2016. WACKER’s OFK executives acted as mentors to other companies’ female employees. Since the program began, a total of 34 young female managers have taken part in the cross-mentoring program.
Alongside the cross-mentoring program, WACKER offers an internal mentoring program that is open to both male and female employees. Here, executives act as mentors to young above-standard-payscale employees.
All WACKER managerial staff, whatever their level, receive feedback on their management style when they hold annual performance reviews with their employees. Since 2015, executive personnel and management employees can obtain management feedback. Employees and/or colleagues submit their responses via an online tool, which are then evaluated anonymously. Following the evaluation, there is the chance to discuss, with support from a coach, the results in one’s team and to develop an action plan if necessary.
Since 2015, third-level management (FK3) employees have also been able to avail themselves of the Leadership Versatility Index® (LVI) feedback tool. The LVI supports the identification of strengths and areas for improvement and offers a comparison between self-assessment and external assessment. The tool also allows for a 360° view.