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ALTANA gears its activities to long-term and sustainable growth. We can only achieve this goal together with our competent and committed employees. We therefore promote the professional development of our staff, prepare them for leadership positions, and enable them to participate in the company’s success. We put particular emphasis on the recruitment of young talent, specialists, and managers. Our corporate culture has once again proven its worth in coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
Corporate Culture as the Basis for Success – On Site and Virtually
Of overriding importance for ALTANA’s corporate success are its highly qualified, motivated, and dedicated employees. They are our most important resource. So during the coronavirus pandemic it was all the more important to ensure the health and performance of each individual, both at our sites and regarding the significantly intensified mobile work at home. Even before the pandemic, ALTANA had set an important course and implemented IT interfaces, secure cloud solutions, and video conferencing technology throughout the Group, as well as pushing ahead the digitalization of many processes in the company. These advancements enabled us to switch to mobile work mode literally overnight. From remote in-house training using graphic tablet computers for trainees to virtually conducted executive assessments – working together largely on a digital basis quickly became the new normal. And our employees mastered this task with flying colors, which staff at the Wesel site confirmed in a survey. On average, they gave 4.5 out of 5 stars in response to the question of how well they had dealt with mobile working. In our view, this result reflects much more than just good technology and equipment. The real basis for success is our living corporate culture, in which appreciation, openness, empowerment to act, and trust were firmly anchored even before the pandemic.
Expansion of Digital Further Training
As an attractive employer, we offer our more than 6,500 employees worldwide opportunities for individual training and provide targeted support for their professional development.
In the year under review, we introduced a new electronic learning platform in the SuccessFactors HR management system. The first digital training courses have already been successfully completed via the new platform. The international rollout will take place at the beginning of 2021. Apart from e-learning, the new learning platform includes other forms of training, which will enable us to offer employees a broader and more global range of training in the future as part of a digital learning culture. In addition, we created further framework conditions to drive the further development and digitalization of HR processes in connection with the HR transformation that began in 2019. For example, all assessment centers and leadership checks that ensure the quality of personnel selection at ALTANA were revised as planned in the year under review and adapted to the competence model introduced in 2019.
Human Resource Development and Talent Management
One focus of the ALTANA Group’s human resource strategy is to secure the next generation of talent. Special emphasis is placed on the establishment of consistent and global promotion of internal talent. The continuous optimization of human resource development programs, close accompaniment of talent, and the identification of development measures and perspectives are decisive factors here.
A key element of ALTANA’s management culture is cooperation in international networks. This is also reflected in all ALTANA human resource development programs and talent measures. Despite the pandemic, in 2020, too, we succeeded in maintaining these cross-company and crossnational networks via digital channels and by further developing the talent management process. Talent conferences were held very consciously to give employees a clear signal that their development is a high priority despite challenging framework conditions.
As part of e-learning sessions on remote leadership, managers received tips on how to maintain personal contact with employees even at a distance. Digitally conducted orientation meetings supported the integration of new employees. For 2021, we have set ourselves the goal of combining the opportunities gained from extensive mobile work with the concepts that proved successful in the past and that are based on personal networks.
Women in Leadership Positions
Diversity in leadership positions is an important goal of our Keep Changing Agenda. At the end of 2020, the share of women in the ALTANA Group’s workforce in Germany was 30.0 % and the proportion among the Group’s managers in Germany 22.7 %. ALTANA’s medium- to long-term goal is to increase the share of women in leadership positions in the entire ALTANA Group to the percentage of women in the company’s worldwide workforce.
The initiative LEADING WOMEN @ ALTANA is providing important impetus. It includes a mentoring program for women that prepares women who have potential for a possible leadership role and accompanies women who have taken on a leadership role for the first time. The mentoring program makes an important contribution toward increasing the share of women in leadership positions.
The twelve-month program involves teams of two consisting of a mentee and a mentor who meet at regular intervals. During the meetings, the male or female mentor shares his or her knowledge and experience with the mentee. The mentoring program encompasses a kickoff event, including training, and subsequent face-to-face meetings of the tandems. To be able to continue the program in 2020, the training of the two-person teams took place virtually. During the training, the mentees sharpened their mentoring goals while the mentors refreshed their knowledge of the interviewing and mentoring process. Normally, the twoperson teams exchange information on site. In the reporting year, the meetings took place predominantly online. In the future, virtual exchanges will further enrich mentoring alongside face-to-face meetings.
Online formats also became increasingly important for recruiting in the year under review. For instance, initial interviews in the selection process were partly held digitally on account of the pandemic.
BYK introduced a new online assessment test. The main target group is high school students who are interested in an apprenticeship or a dual study program at BYK. The test, which is used for a total of eight different professions, gives applicants additional insight into practical work. Aside from information about the company and the apprenticeships, trainees also have their say, reporting on their personal impressions at BYK.
For the recruitment of young talent, the ALTANA Group has successfully relied on close cooperation with universities for many years. Particularly noteworthy is the close cooperation with the Young Chemists Forum (JungChemiker-Forum, JCF), a scientific association for chemistry students and doctoral candidates. In the 2020 fiscal year, ALTANA was in close contact with various regional forums of the JCF, which organize a wide variety of events ranging from seminars, excursions, and job fairs to conferences lasting several days. Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, however, the focus in 2020 was on digital exchange. In the summer, ALTANA and the JCF Aachen offered an online lecture within the framework of university marketing for the first time. Other online lectures followed, such as a talk on corporate venturing and startups, which ALTANA organized together with industrial chemists from the University of Münster. In Asia, too, university marketing measures continue to gain in importance. In 2020, BYK Japan organized an exchange with Kobe University in Japan with ALTANA’s support. The focus was on reports by employees about their entry and career paths in the ALTANA Group.
In the year under review, ALTANA supported students from STEM courses and human resource management with a Deutschlandstipendium scholarship for the eleventh time. The almost 30 recipients not only received financial support, but could also experience ALTANA in person or virtually within the framework of various events, enable themselves to be considered for internships and degree theses, take advantage of mentoring opportunities or take part in specialist seminars.
Our recruitment activities received several awards in 2020. ALTANA’s recruiting via online channels again achieved top results in both the BEST RECRUITERS and the Potentialpark studies. In addition, we again received the “MINT Minded Company 2020” seal. This award is presented by audimax MEDIEN GmbH in cooperation with the “MINT Zukunft schaffen” initiative. The latter honors companies that promote young talent in the fields of mathematics, information technology, natural sciences, and technology in a special way. ALTANA also scores in trainee marketing: Together with Ausbildung.de, Potentialpark conducted a representative survey of more than 6,000 students and rated 125 employers for student-friendliness. In the ranking of the Azubi-Comm Study 2020, published for the first time, the ALTANA Group was among the TOP 30 employers across all sectors with the most student-friendly apprenticeship marketing in Germany.