Our people, our culture, our future – in our eyes, employees and corporate culture guarantee the success of our company. Groundbreaking solutions and pioneering technologies can only be created in an inspiring environment that allows freedom and encourages trusting cooperation across national, business and departmental borders. As at December 31, 2018, Continental had a total of 243,226 employees of more than 150 nationalities in 60 countries and markets. Their performance and satisfaction are key components of our business success.
Our ambition for our relationship with our employees is based on a holistic perspective, whereby they are to be respected, their achievements appreciated, and their skills and abilities developed to the best possible extent. The supreme principles for HR work and the treatment of employees are provided by Continental’s four corporate values:
- Trust: We give and receive trust.
- Passion To Win: We want to win.
- Freedom To Act: We grow by exercising freedom responsibly.
- For One Another: We create the highest value by being there for one another.
The corporate values are complemented by a Code of Conduct, which includes fair working conditions and is a globally binding directive for all employees.
We bundle the strategic activities of HR work in two strategic areas:
- We group projects and initiatives that help us meet our considerable need for employees with the right skills and abilities – now and in the future – under “Industrialize Best Fit.”
- “Enable Transformation” bundles projects and initiatives with which we support the digital transformation at Continental in order to make the most of the opportunities presented by digitalization.
Local HR (Human Relations) departments at the individual locations, experts at our global centers of expertise, and HR specialists working in the divisions and business units comprise a global HR network that works toward the attainment of these goals. They are coordinated via global committees comprising central HR functions, the HR managers of the divisions, the HR managers of the countries and the Executive Board member responsible for Human Relations.
We are proud of the diversity that our employees bring to our company worldwide. Together, we want to use diversity – for example, in terms of gender, culture and religion – to gain different perspectives on innovation and performance. To this end, we must find, recruit, inspire and develop talented individuals.
Key elements include the aim to increase the proportion of female managers to 16% by 2020 and to 25% by 2025. Another element for both transformation and employer attractiveness is making work more flexible. Since 2016, we have laid the foundations for flexible working conditions, which are developed locally. These include mobile working, part-time and flextime, and sabbaticals. Potential can thus be used more appropriately, professional and private lives unified more individually and, ultimately, employees better motivated and acquired. More satisfied employees are also usually healthier and more productive. This is also helped by the various occupational health and safety activities, which are implemented in particular in local management systems.
Significant projects and processes that we advanced in the reporting year were
- the enhancement of the global process for strategic workforce planning,
- the certification of leadership development in accordance with ISO 29990,
- the worldwide introduction of Microsoft Office 365 and new tools and platforms for digital and mobile collaboration,
- the global implementation of talent management conferences for salaried employees,
- the introduction of a global digital platform for learning and training (Learning Management Solution), such as for software engineers as part of a Software Academy, and
- the simultaneous increase in certifications for occupational safety management systems and the transfer to the new ISO 45001 standard.
For the upcoming changes at Continental, the Executive Board, Corporate Works Council, the corporate committee of executive representatives (Konzernsprecherausschuss der leitenden Angestellten), and the trade unions IG BCE and IG Metall adopted “Continental in Motion,” a key benchmark paper and alliance for the future for Germany, which is the common basis for the organizational realignment. A comparable paper was also adopted at European level. For more information on reorganization, see the Structure of the Corporation and Corporate Strategy sections.
Results and performance indicators
In the reporting year, the number of employees worldwide rose by 3% to 243,226. Germany and India posted the largest absolute growth rates. Despite the difficult market environment in the years to come, Continental’s workforce will keep on growing through acquisitions and organic growth. Long-term workforce planning is based on the corporation’s strategic workforce planning system, which is conducted on the basis of the employees recorded in the HR data system and covers 97% of the total workforce. Over a five-year horizon, the strategic HR planning system analyzes how employee numbers will develop and which disciplines will be required – including where and to what extent they will be required. For example, Continental’s software and IT functions will thus be growing substantially. At present, we already have about 19,000 employees in this area. We prioritize further training, development and placement of our own employees via the internal job market. In order to retain and develop our own talented employees, talent management conferences were held for over 80,000 salaried employees, at which individual potential and areas for development were assessed and measures defined. A target-group-specific approach is essential to additionally find and recruit the right external candidates in areas where they are needed. At the end of 2018, Continental used over 40 career-related social media accounts in 14 networks and 15 countries for this purpose. In addition, the selection processes use a range of diagnostic methods such as interviews, assessment centers, personality scales, cognitive tests and simulations to assist the selection of candidates. Around 240,000 online assessment centers were carried out around the world.
We are systematically increasing our efforts to make work more flexible. In the 21 largest countries, with over 95% of the workforce, employees can make their ways of working more flexible. The range of opportunities is determined by the specific operational possibilities of the respective workplace. In the reporting year, various models began to be developed at 22 production locations to expand these opportunities more specifically in the production environment, including flextime regulations and mobile work.
A comprehensive overview of the results achieved from the employees’ perspective is also provided by the annual employee survey OUR BASICS Live, which asks a representative sample of our employees about various topics. In the reporting year, the participation rate was on a par with the previous year at 74%. 82% (PY: 84%) of those surveyed said they were proud to work at Continental. 86%, and thus the same proportion as in the previous year, identify with our corporate values. 64% (PY: 63%) agreed that our values are put into practice every day, and 85% (PY: 86%) indicated that they have enough energy for their everyday work. As in the previous year, 71% stated that professional and private lives are easily compatible at Continental, for example, thanks to flexible working models. However, the feedback also includes aspects that are assessed critically, which the Executive Board takes very seriously. Trust in the decisions of the top management fell slightly compared with the previous year to 67% (PY: 70%). The findings of the employee survey are analyzed at various levels in order to derive improvement measures.
The percentage of occupational safety management system certifications (ISO 45001 or similar) was already at a level of around twothirds of the total workforce as at December 31, 2018.
|Dec. 31, 2018||Dec. 31, 20171|
|Total number of employees (total workforce)2||243,226||235,473|
|thereof own employees (permanent staff)||228,922||219,687|
|Apprentices in Germany||2,180||2,155|
|Female employees in the total workforce3||27.5 %||27.2 %|
|Female employees in management positions3, 4||14.8 %||13.4 %|
|Average years of service to the company3, 5, 6||9.1||9.1|
|Fluctuation, unforced5||6.3 %||5.7 %|
|Sickness rate5||3.3 %||3.2 %|
|Accidents per million working hours5, 7, 8||3.4||3.2|
For more information on employees, see the Economic Report, the Report on Risks and Opportunities, and the “Employee Benefits” section in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements.