Employee development –
challenging and rewarding talents

In a highly competitive environment, a strong commitment to high performance is vital for Henkel’s success. By applying globally uniform talent management and development processes, and a compensation system based on our “Development Round Table” meetings, we ensure that our managerial staff of about 9,000 receive clear and differentiated feedback, as well as recognition for outperformance.

As VP Human Resources for Central and Eastern Europe, Dr. Zuzana Schütz- Halkova consults with our top-level managers in the region during their “Development Round Tables” (DRTs). In the course of these highly interactive annual meetings, line managers discuss the performance, the potential, and the career opportunities and related development requirements of their employees.

“Each year, we hold about 50 DRT meetings covering the entire Central and Eastern Europe region. These are our forum for discussing the performance of our managers within their spheres of responsibility, and also possible areas where we can further support their development,” explains Schütz-Halkova. The employees concerned subsequently receive comprehensive feedback from their line managers in an appraisal meeting. The two participants then agree on the individual development measures required. “I’m particularly proud of the fact that these annual DRT meetings provide all our managers around the world with the same career development opportunities,” says Schütz-Halkova. “My HR colleagues conduct the process in exactly the same way in all the countries and regions in which Henkel operates.”

Enhancing our performance-based feedback culture

The measures derived from the DRT meetings help to identify, further develop and effectively deploy talent within Henkel. In the Central and Eastern Europe region (CEE), for example, more than 160 employees were identified for assignment to international postings in 2011. As well as organizing numerous specialist and management seminars – often using our “CEE Academy” platform – we also supported the advancement of around 100 managerial staff in our eight development centers.

An important aspect of the DRT system is the identification of performance differentials among our employees through in-depth discussion and evaluation by a group of supervising managers. Based on this differentiated assessment, we are able to offer above-average rewards for excellent performance.

“At Henkel, we have established a culture that promotes open feedback combined with a strong focus on performance,” explains Schütz-Halkova. And the example set by managers is important for further extending its reach. For management means not only assembling and further developing good teams, it also means dealing with all employees fairly on the basis of mutual trust and respect. It is essential that we encourage each member of the Henkel team to take full responsibility for their contribution, clearly identifying areas for improvement and appropriately rewarding success.

A meeting of the Cosmetics/Toiletries team for Central and Eastern Europe: Dr. Zuzana Schütz-Halkova (second from the right) advises Vice President Cosmetics/ Toiletries Georg Höbenstreit (fourth from the right) and his team at a DRT that she and Monika Rauscher (standing) organized.

“Our aim is to properly assess performance, identify potential and provide the best development.”

Dr. Zuzana Schütz-Halkova
Vice President HR for Henkel Central and Eastern Europe