Our employees play a key role in the sustainable development of our company. Their expertise, skills, and commitment ensure that we remain competitive and innovative. Our goal is to create an attractive, inclusive workplace that recognizes the individual performance and actively promotes the potential of a diverse workforce.
Training and education
The changes in our working world require an agile and dynamic approach to work and thus a high degree of flexibility and willingness to learn. This makes it all the more important to foster our employees’ personal strengths and invest in their long-term development. To this end, we offer comprehensive training and development opportunities that also support lifelong learning.
More information on the key topic of training and development, as well as knowledge and learning, can be found in the Combined Management Report in the section entitled “People at Beiersdorf”.
We want to be an attractive employer for our employees and offer them a safe, attractive, and inclusive working environment where everyone feels they belong and has the same opportunities to succeed and do their best work. We believe that this includes open dialogue across all levels in the spirit of participation and involvement, the achievement of jointly set goals, and a responsible management culture. It is particularly important to us that our employees form an emotional bond with our company, so we regularly review this using global employee surveys.
Further information on the results of these surveys can be found in the “People at Beiersdorf” section of the Combined Management Report.
Diversity and inclusion
We are convinced that a diverse workforce enriches our teamwork enormously. This is because different perspectives and experiences not only make us more innovative, they also boost our competitiveness, make us more creative, and help us to better understand and take into account the needs of our consumers. Diversity and inclusion are thus not only actively promoted but form a core component of our business strategy.
The global D&I roadmap formulated in 2021 and further refined in the reporting year supports us in creating a culture rooted in diversity and inclusion. It encompasses a number of strategic priorities that are presented in more detail in the “People at Beiersdorf” section of the Combined Management Report. This section also contains the relevant key figures, such as the percentage of women in management positions and the number of management vacancies filled internally.
Training and education
Competition for employees with scientific and technical backgrounds is constantly on the rise within our industry. The advance of digitalization and internationalization is also changing work requirements and methods. We are meeting these challenges with comprehensive education and further training programs, as highly qualified, committed, and performance-oriented employees represent a decisive competitive advantage for tesa. In addition, a wide range of training and development opportunities help to ensure that high potentials enjoy working for us long term.
The tesa Group offers its own training at its production facilities in Hamburg and Offenburg; we are also planning to roll out such a training program for tesa SE’s corporate headquarters beginning in 2023. The focus here is on technical professions, for example chemicals technician, electronics technician for industrial engineering, industrial mechanic, machine and plant operator, and mechatronics technician. In addition, we offer cooperative degree programs and vocational training programs in business-related fields, such as plastics and elastomer technology, electrical engineering, and IT systems integration.
Our goal is to hire our trainees upon completion of their training for the long term. This is also reflected in our retention rates: In Hamburg, 79% of the trainees who completed their training in 2022 were retained, while in Offenburg the retention rate stood at 54%.
In order to identify and fully tap our employees’ potential, we offer them a wide range of professional and personal development opportunities. Our programs are designed with specific target groups and areas of expertise in mind and include, for example, basic training for new employees. All employees can take advantage of in-person and online training courses, for example on compliance, occupational safety, sales, as well as management and leadership. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have expanded the number of online courses offered in order to provide employees with a variety of options, even when they are working from home. In addition, courses from the digital learning platform LinkedIn Learning complement our own programs.
Diversity and equal opportunities
Different perspectives help us to better understand the needs of our customers and at the same time increase tesa’s innovative spirit. That is why we are committed to greater diversity and equal opportunities.
When filling new positions, we make a point of hiring employees with different cultural backgrounds. The share of non-German nationals in the workforce increased by 3.1 percentage points to 8.7% between December 2020 and December 2022. We want to consolidate this trend and, for example, advertise all vacancies for certain higher-level positions exclusively in English
In the coming years, we are going to step up our efforts to promote gender equality within the workforce and in leadership roles. We have set ourselves the target of having women account for 30% of the first level below the Executive Board and 35% of the second level at tesa SE by mid-2027.
Attractive working environment
An appealing environment can contribute to employee well-being. That’s why our workplaces are equipped with ergonomic and contemporary furniture and equipment, such as height-adjustable desks and modern lighting and ventilation concepts. In addition, we offer employees a health management program at our corporate headquarters in Norderstedt. This program includes ergonomic counseling, colorectal cancer screenings, a health club, and massages. Company medical care as well as internal and external psychosocial counseling and support are also part of the health management program.
In addition, our employees at our headquarters in Norderstedt can, among other offerings, take advantage of a cleaning service, visit regular market stalls to purchase regional fruit and vegetables, and utilize various mobility concepts. For example, they have the ability to charge EVs and e-bikes at a company charging point and park rental bikes from Hamburg’s “Stadtrad” initiative at a station on site. Employees also have the option of leasing bicycles through a subsidized program.
Occupational health and safety
Beiersdorf bears a great responsibility for workplace safety and the health of our employees. That is why we view the two as a comprehensive, holistic, and preventive management task. Our strategic objective is therefore to reduce the number of accidents at work to zero and avoid work-related illnesses as well as undue physical and psychological stress factors. To achieve this goal, we conduct regular audits to determine how we can make our workplaces even safer and healthier.
Our accident frequency rate (AFR) documents all accidents at work that result in at least one day’s absence from work. In the Consumer Business Segment, our AFR sank in 2022 to 0.5 accidents per million hours worked. This represents a 45% reduction in AFR compared to the previous year. We are particularly pleased to report that 73% of our production centers operated completely accident-free throughout all of 2022. At tesa, the AFR of documented accidents resulting in at least one day of absence at ISO 14001 certified sites stood at 3.6 per million working hours worldwide in the reporting year (2021: 4.1).
The risks to our employees still associated with the COVID-19 pandemic are integrated into our safety and health management activities. Our local teams continue to monitor the situation, comply with local legislation, and adapt protective measures whenever necessary.
Driven by our Care Beyond Skin business purpose and guided by our core values, we are committed to reducing potential safety risks and incidents. Our Global Occupational Safety Department is responsible for managing safety at the workplace, but we also count on the cooperation of all employees at our sites.
Our occupational health and safety strategy applies worldwide. It encompasses our most important current measures and programs and serves as a basis for our sites to develop their own local implementation plans and measures. We monitor the progress of these measures using indicators at a global level.
As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we focus on reducing the main risks associated with slips, trips, falls, forklift operation, and machine operation. Within the framework of our behavior-based safety program, we encourage all employees to participate and provide feedback. We focus on ensuring that our employees make each other aware of both misconduct and exemplary safety implementation.
In 2022, we further increased our global standards and focused on defining work methodologies for technological innovations such as collaborative robots (COBOTs). In addition, we expanded our requirements for key activities such as warehousing and forklift operations. This helps our managers integrate safety and health protection into day-to-day operations.
To ensure that we have a robust safety and health management system that enables continuous improvement, we conduct external audits every three years at each site; these are consistent with our internal Environmental and Safety Management Audit System (ESMAS) (see “Respect for human rights” section). ESMAS is based on the two internationally recognized standards ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) and ISO 45001 (occupational health and safety management systems).
We are pursuing the implementation of our strategy and continue to expand the programs that strengthen our health and safety management system. In 2023 we will continue to focus on reducing the number of accidents related to the main risks in our operations, while simultaneously implementing new best practices and programs that are designed to lead to improvements in work permit procedures, machine safety, and the movement of materials.
Occupational health and safety management are firmly enshrined in the tesa organization. In addition to statutory regulations, our internal management system in the field of occupational safety is based on our group-wide occupational safety and health policy (“tesa Policy on Occupational Safety and Health”), which was adopted in 2022. This policy encompasses six key areas: crisis and emergency management, health care, risk assessment and evaluation, accident prevention, fire and explosion prevention, and facility safety. The policy replaces the Occupational Safety Guidelines that had previously been in effect.
The occupational safety and health policy is complemented by company regulations and specific directives at each site. They stipulate, for example, that employees must be informed about and made aware of safety risks and potential hazards through instruction and training at regular intervals. The objective is to enable employees to prevent accidents and avoid health hazards through correct, responsible behavior.
The occupational safety and health policy also apply to subcontractors carrying out work at our sites. In the respective occupational health and safety committees and annual Management Review, the Executive Board evaluates incidents each year together with the Occupational Safety Department. On this basis, management initiates new measures to improve employee safety and reduce work-related health risks.
Systematic approach to occupational safety
Our occupational safety management focuses on our ISO 14001-certified production sites, as these represent a greater risk for accidents and increased health impairments compared to our administrative offices. In our Sustainability Agenda, we have laid out an ambitious roadmap that states that by 2025, all tesa sites that already have an environmental management system in accordance with ISO 14001 should also achieve ISO 45001 certification in occupational health and safety.
In 2022, the BG RCI (German Employers’ Liability Insurance Association for Raw Materials and the Chemical Industry) audited the tesa sites in Hamburg and Offenburg and awarded them the “Sicher mit System” (“Systematically Safe”) seal of approval. This marks another milestone for occupational health and safety at tesa. The seal of approval demonstrates that occupational health and safety has been systematically integrated into the respective site’s management system.
We employ our own occupational safety specialists at all ISO 14001-certified sites. At the same time, we specifically promote international dialogue between these specialists. They discuss material occupational safety and health risks at annual in-person meetings or virtual conferences. In addition, they initiate joint projects, set standards, and share their experiences. This approach contributes to the continuous improvement of accident prevention at tesa.
Ad-hoc risk assessments are also carried out at tesa. These form the basis for selecting or designing work equipment, materials, processes, workplaces and workflows in such a way that technical and organizational deficiencies can be avoided and employees can perform their duties in a safe and healthy manner. But changes to machinery, equipment or workspaces, as well as new acquisitions and process adaptations, can also have an impact on our employees’ safety and health. Safety inspections are already carried out when equipment is procured and brought into service, and hazards are systematically identified and risks assessed in consultation with expert employees.
If we identify a security risk in this context, we take appropriate preventive or corrective action. On occupational safety committees, safety experts, employee representatives, as well as members of management discuss the material results of risk assessments and define satisfactory measures. Furthermore, regular inspections and evaluations take place, and we carefully incorporate the insights gained from these. Further preventive measures are rapidly implemented as required, while our relevant health and safety documentation is regularly updated.
We also have detailed regulations in place governing how we handle hazardous substances. Together with the Corporate Regulatory Affairs Department as well as Research & Development and production managers, the Occupational Safety Department designs tesa-specific processes for the handling, labeling, storage, and transportation of hazardous materials. Employees who work with certain hazardous substances undergo routine health examinations. In addition, equipment and tasks are audited at regular intervals for their safety and emissions. Our emergency management procedures define the actions to be taken in the event of an accident with hazardous materials.
In 2022, we continued to focus on fire safety. For example, we held evacuation and fire extinguishing training sessions for fire safety assistants at our production sites. In addition, a fire extinguishing exercise was held at tesa headquarters. During this exercise, employees had the opportunity to learn about fire safety in the workplace and what to do in the event of a fire under the guidance of an expert.
During the reporting year, tesa Manufacturing Hamburg GmbH held an extensive occupational health and safety day. At this event, all employees were given the opportunity to learn about personal protective equipment, noise exposure, and how to recognize and secure pinch points. Employees were also able to take advantage of colorectal cancer screenings and participate in vein screenings and immunization counseling.
In 2023, we will implement ISO 45001 certifications at the tesa SE Norderstedt and tesa Manufacturing Hamburg GmbH sites in accordance with our roadmap for the occupational health and safety management system.