The number of employees at WACKER grew in 2008. On the reporting date (December 31, 2008), the Group had 15,922 employees worldwide (December 31, 2007: 15,044), up 5.8% year on year. This increase is primarily due to polysilicon-production expansion at our Burghausen site, strategic expansion projects in China and integration of former APP employees. Personnel expenses also rose to €1.09 billion (2007: €1.01 billion), up 7.0% year on year. These expenses included outlays for social benefits and the company pension plan amounting to €220.8 million (2007: €190.3 million).

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Personnel Expenses







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In addition to their fixed base salary (which includes vacation and Christmas bonuses), WACKER employees receive variable compensation – a voluntary bonus to both pay-scale and above-pay-scale employees. It consists of profit-sharing and a salary component based on personal performance. For 2008, the profit share for domestic employees at WACKER’s chemical divisions equaled 12.5% of their annual salary.

The German chemical employer association (BAVC) and the mining, chemical and energy industrial union (IG BCE) agreed on a new collective-bargaining package in April 2008. The package is valid until 2010 and has a total duration of 25 months. The first stage entailed salary increases of 4.4% effective April 1, 2008. In addition, employees received a one-off payment of 0.5%. In the second stage, which runs 12 months, salaries will increase 3.3% effective May 1, 2009. Base salaries for above-pay-scale employees rose 4.3% effective July 1, 2008.

12,110 WACKER employees (76.1%) work in Germany and 3,812 employees (23.9%) elsewhere in the world. Employee numbers in China – where we expanded production capacities for silicone and polymer products – grew by a notable 133. In Germany, employee numbers rose by 486, primarily due to capacity expansion at our WACKER POLYSILICON division. Some 350 former APP employees in Germany, the USA, South Korea and China were integrated into the WACKER Group.

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Number of Employees on December 31, 2008





































Due to our divisions’ production plants, WACKER has a large contingent of industrial employees (55.3%) – about a sixth of whom are women (14.8%).

WACKER has always prioritized vocational training. In fiscal 2008, 193 young people began their training at WACKER or at its Burghausen Vocational Training Center (BBiW). In total, the company employed 643 trainees (2007: 616), of whom 559 were in scientific and technical disciplines and 84 in business administration. Following the completion of their training, they have a good chance of receiving a permanent job. In 2008, we were able to offer all suitable and interested trainees a job. In total, 96 were kept on. Established by WACKER, the BBiW is a public foundation that also serves to train individuals from some 30 partner companies.

Number of Trainees Grows Once Again

To recruit young management talent, WACKER offers a General Trainee Program for university graduates. Currently, five graduates are participating in the 18-month program. Our Siltronic division has a separate trainee program. There, eight trainees are focusing on supply-chain management and production.

WACKER employees should never stop learning, and should continually expand their expertise. We seek to cultivate employees according to their strengths and career paths. Performance reviews, held at least once a year, afford employees and supervisors the chance to agree on development measures. This approach applies to all employees, from standard pay scale up to top management. In 2008, over 65,000 e-learning sessions were completed and 10,200 participants took part in seminars, advanced training courses and conventions.

In addition to the advanced training offered to employees, personnel development also identifies and fosters young management potential for leadership responsibilities. This uniform process is conducted groupwide. In 2008, 15 junior employees with “Executive Personnel” potential completed their management training. 13 newly appointed executives took part in the “OFK Management Circle,” a custom WACKER program on strategic management. In total, WACKER invested €7.2 million in personnel development and advanced training in 2008 (2007: €6.2 million).

In markets with strong competition, companies particularly profit from their employees’ ideas and improvement suggestions. WACKER’s idea management in 2008 posted a record number of suggestions and ideas submitted, generating its highest-ever calculable benefits. In all, 5,808 suggestions were submitted, a gain of over 30% (2007: 4,440). The calculable benefits in fiscal 2008 equaled €13.5 million (2007: €7.6 million).

WACKER’s Idea Management Provides Calculable Benefits

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Idea Management at WACKER






















Number of improvement suggestions






Calculable benefit

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WACKER’s company pension fund is an important component of employee compensation. The fund covers all WACKER sites worldwide, except for regions where legal provisions are inadequate or the statutory pension appears sufficient. In Germany, WACKER offers its employees an attractive company pension plan via its Wacker Chemie VVaG pension fund, which was established in 1928. WACKER offers its employees an attractive company pension plan via its Wacker Chemie VVaG pension fund. The fund has some 15,800 members and provides pension payments to some 6,900 retirees. The average pension paid was around €630 per month. WACKER matches employees’ annual pension contributions. In addition, employees have the opportunity to enlist in a private plan that minimizes their tax burden while saving for retirement. WACKER contributed an unplanned total of €55.0 million to domestic and international pension funds in fiscal 2008.

Average Age (bar chart)

WACKER has been addressing demographic change intensively since 2006. The average age of employees was 42.2 on the reporting date (permanent staff). We have specified ten goals to maintain our long-term innovative and competitive strength. Our measures range from employee health programs to basic and advanced training aimed at career flexibility. We want to remain attractive to current and future employees via our exemplary social benefits and performance-oriented compensation. Another goal is long-term employee retention. The fluctuation rate in 2008 was 2.9% groupwide, and in Germany just 0.9%. The average length of service is 16.8 years.

Job applicants are increasingly interested in measures to enable a work/family balance. In 2008, WACKER was one of the first companies to join Germany’s “Family as a Success Factor” business network. A central platform for companies and associations, the network – a joint Federal Ministry of Family Affairs and German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK) initiative – is committed to a family-oriented management approach.

The success of WACKER’s personnel policies was confirmed by external examinations in 2008. In an analysis by Germany’s Association of Chemical-Industry Executives (VAA), we once again took a top spot by ranking third. Our Chinese subsidiary, WACKER Greater China, was voted “Top Employer 2008” in Greater Shanghai. Companies were rated on their leadership style, personnel-development programs, company goals and strategies. However, we are not resting on our laurels. In terms of personnel marketing, our strategy is to enhance recruiting efforts for applicants from fields vital to our success, such as engineers. In 2008, for example, WACKER held a summer course for process-engineering and chemical-engineering students to provide insight into engineering tasks at a chemical company.