Human Resources

Our employees are our most important resource. Therefore, ALTANA promotes their professional development, prepares them for positions of leadership, and enables its staff to participate in the company’s success to motivate them to stay with the company on a long-term basis. We put particular emphasis on recruitment of young talent, specialists, and managers.

ALTANA’s Employees: Our Most Important Asset

ALTANA is one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies with great innovative strength. The some 6,200 women and men working for ALTANA companies worldwide demonstrate above-average qualifications and commitment. The culture of our group, defined in ALTANA’s Guiding Principles, is informed by our four central values: openness and trust, appreciation and empowerment to act.

ALTANA offers its employees further training opportunities, promotes their professional development in a targeted manner, and supports their health with special preventive measures. This helps make us a more attractive employer. Our current employee survey from 2017, in which four out of every five employees participated, once again shows how successful these measures are.

The Intranet-based survey shows the reasons for ALTANA’s employees’ high satisfaction. Contributing factors include the work environment, the quality of the tasks, as well as the staff’s identification with the company and its Guiding Principles. All in all, the employees’ overall satisfaction is high. With a value of 5.89 on a scale of 1 to 7, the result is above the industry benchmark of 5.51. The values for “commitment” were also in the upper range, at 5.82.

Human Resource Development and Talent Management

In 2016, the ALTANA Group established the Keep Changing Agenda. Among other things, it states that from 2020 around 70 percent of all leadership positions should be filled internally. Another focus is the increased internationalization of management. The success of this approach became apparent in 2017. ALTANA has already filled a number of vacant top-management positions in the Group internally. In addition, it transferred parts of its global functions from Germany to other regions.

In 2017, ALTANA further harmonized its human-resource development program worldwide. The program “Fokus führen” (Focus on Leadership), originally developed for Germany, was also implemented in Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and the U.S. It conveys ALTANA’s management instruments and guidelines to the participants and enables them to carry out annual employee talks, the compass dialog (see next page). Next, the program will be rolled out in China, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as in French-speaking countries and Latin America.

For managers, this program is supplemented by a new format called Leadership PitStop. This format promotes international exchange between selected managers, enabling them to discuss personal challenges and develop new approaches to the issue of leadership.

By introducing a Group-wide talent-management function, ALTANA has created an important prerequisite for identifying existing leadership potential in its companies across the regions. ALTANA is currently examining an overall concept for worldwide talent management. With it, all instruments, from recruiting, employee development programs, and assessment centers to the next career step, are to be interlinked. ALTANA’s Human Resources department evaluated the Talent Development Process (TDP) as well as the online assessment for recruiting. Both instruments have only been used in Germany thus far.

Within the framework of two pilot talent conferences held in Germany and the U.S. in 2017, potential talents were evaluated and found Group-wide and measures for the further development of these employees developed. The ALTANA Management Challenge (AMC), an assessment center with 65 participants from across the globe, also contributed to better identification of potential up-and-coming managers. During the Challenge, some development measures and concrete career steps were already established. The participants in the next Management Development Program (MDP) and the regional Development Program (DP) were also identified in this way. The several-month programs have proven to be valuable networks within the ALTANA Group for promoting exchange between regions and subsidiaries.

ALTANA initiates specially developed dialogs for all employees to promote staff development. They include a progress dialog, which the disciplinary superiors carry out at least once a year with each staff member. The progress dialog serves to assess the performances of the employees and paves the way for agreeing on targets with the employees.

If a work contract specifies that the target agreements impact the compensation of the employee in question, the target agreement dialog is supplemented by a target achievement dialog. The superiors carry out the latter dialog with the employees at least once a year as well. The three dialog elements together constitute the ALTANA compass dialog.

Women in Leadership Positions

With the Keep Changing Agenda, ALTANA has set itself the goal of significantly increasing the number of women in leadership positions. At the end of 2017, around 30 percent of ALTANA’s employees in Germany were women, but only 23 percent of the managers were female. To improve this ratio, ALTANA launched a project back in 2015 in which experienced managers serve as personal mentors for potential female managers over a period of several months.

In light of the success of the mentoring project, ALTANA continued it with 29 new tandems at different sites in Germany and examined whether the project can be rolled out Europe-wide.


In the 2017 fiscal year, ALTANA’s online recruiting was ranked among the top 30 in Germany for the third time. In 2017, the Potentialpark Group again examined 140 companies within the framework of its online talent communication study (OTaC). ALTANA improved again in the year under review, finishing in 16th place in the overall ranking (previous year: 17th place).

The ALTANA Group uses different proven instruments to recruit university graduates. In addition to the Deutschlandstipendium – Talent meets sponsorship program, they include cooperation with Rhine-Waal and Niederrhein universities. Here, ALTANA primarily promotes IT courses of study to arouse the enthusiasm of this professional group for the company. Among other things, the students have the opportunity to do an internship in the ALTANA Group.

ALTANA has participated in the Deutschlandstipendium for eight years. The 28 scholarship holders, who in the year under review were enrolled in various courses of study, not only received financial support. During a two-day meeting at the company’s headquarters in Wesel, they learned more about ALTANA’s corporate culture and had the opportunity to gather information about internships, degree theses, trainee programs, and mentoring offers.