Talent Management and Managerial Staff

Another focus of our personnel-development activities is identifying and grooming young management potential. What is more, we continually develop the skills of our current managerial staff.

2013 marked the launch of a new talent-management process at WACKER. The aim is to identify and foster talent at an early stage, so that WACKER can 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 payscale. The employees’ performance and potential are discussed according to 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. In 2014, we rounded out the first cycle of the talent-management process with the Executive Board conference on succession planning.

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, who then receives 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 Management Development Center. In 2014, this was superseded by the profiling interview. During the one-day development workshop, employees participate in various role plays and determine the focus of their future development (leadership, expertise or project).

Executive Development

Executives are not necessarily born leaders. They must systematically and continually work on their skills, in order to deal with the varied challenges they encounter. We therefore offer our employees comprehensive programs adapted to the needs of the respective target group. Until the end of 2013, this included the First-Level Management seminar for employees that have assumed management tasks for the first time, and the Advanced Management seminar for experienced managers. The programs were set up as modules, and covered the most important areas of expertise: leadership, communication, personality and an entrepreneurial mindset. Each module explored management from a different perspective.

In 2014, both seminars were superseded by new formats tailored to the participants’ individual requirements. For employees new to management, we developed 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.

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. Five young female managers from WACKER took part in the program in 2013 and 2014. WACKER’s OFK executives acted as mentors to other companies’ female employees. Since the program began, a total of 27 young female managers have taken part in the cross-mentoring program.

Alongside the cross-mentoring program, WACKER introduced an internal mentoring program in the period under review that is open to both male and female employees. Here, executives act as mentors to young above-standard-payscale employees. The new program was well received in 2014 with six tandem mentoring relationships.

All WACKER managerial staff, whatever their level, receive feedback on their management style when they hold annual performance reviews with their employees.