Talent Management and Managerial Staff

Another focus of our personnel-development activities is identifying and grooming young potential for specialist and managerial 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.

WACKER introduced a unified talent-management program in 2013. Some 150 conferences take place every year at which the performance and potential of close to 3,000 employees are discussed. In general, around 60 percent of high potentials and 25 percent of growing potentials pursue development measures in the course of a year that ultimately enable them to take up new positions. The 2018 global employee survey showed that more than 70 percent of employees believe that WACKER offers ample opportunity for personal development.

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-pay-scale employees who are recommended for or apply for a position as shift leader or certified industrial foreperson can participate in a development workshop, during which we can provide them with targeted career-development support.

Executive Development

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.

WACKER has an international program for high potentials and newly appointed executive personnel (OFK) – the Executive Development Program. It aims at creating a joint leadership identity across divisions and regions, 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.

WACKER encourages internal networks for specialists and managerial staff. These networks promote knowledge transfer and exchange of information across departmental boundaries. Examples include the “We, the WACKER Group” events for new employees as well as 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 2017 and 2018. WACKER’s OFK executives acted as mentors to other companies’ female employees. Since the cross-mentoring program began, a total of 39 young female managers have taken part in it.

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-pay-scale employees. A total of 29 mentees have taken up this offer since it was launched in 2014.

Feedback Culture

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

Third-level management (FK3) employees have 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.