Further training for employees

METRO GROUP is determined to promote lifelong learning among its staff as a way of responding to current and future challenges in retailing. The following training methods are used in our company:

E-learning is the most effective way to train a large number of learners. Today, most of the sales lines as well as various METRO GROUP companies use this method to provide instruction on product knowledge, product presentation and sustainability. More than one million modules in 40 different languages have been completed since 2009.

Seminars allow interactive communication with other participants and are ideal for smaller groups that are led by an experienced trainer. This method is applied to convey in-depth knowledge, hone skills, rehearse behaviour and profit from personal feedback. Increasingly, local trainers conduct on-site seminars to ensure a high degree of practical relevance.

On-the-job training is conducted locally at the respective workplace and places the instructional content in the actual business context. This involves the transfer of newly acquired knowledge, new skills and conduct to daily workflows.

Webinars are a virtual form of seminars. The content is communicated online through presentations, demonstrations and discussions. This form of training aims to provide information about standards and processes and to encourage participants to contribute their own comments.

At METRO Cash & Carry, for example, the House of Learning is responsible for employee development programmes. Since its founding in 2004, it has continuously expanded its programmes and adapted them to the needs of daily business. The focus is on the qualification of employees and managers who work in sales, purchasing, marketing and finance. During the reporting period, METRO Cash & Carry conducted a total of 333,709 e-learning courses with 247,636 participants and 327,562 participant hours. In addition, 34,770 seminars or on-the-job training sessions were completed by 299,796 participants in over 2,312,563 participant hours. In total, there were 369,376 training sessions with 550,827 participants and 2,646,203 participant hours.

The training content of the House of Learning is comprised of the corporate strategy, successful activities and guiding principles of METRO Cash & Carry. There are a total of six teams of experts for management skills, marketing, operations, purchasing, systems and finance. The experts develop the training solutions together with didactics specialists. In addition to the methods described above, the House of Learning team continuously explores new training concepts, including self-organised learning environments, educational games and simulations. Moreover, the unit pursues the goal of establishing a learning culture within METRO GROUP by, among other things, creating an open learning platform.

The other sales lines also invest in further training for their employees. At Real, for example, another 58 employees successfully completed the programmes offered by the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry that qualified them as specially trained employees for quality baked goods or for fresh fish and seafood delicacies. At the end of the reporting period, around 600 Real employees had taken part in the two qualification programmes.

Media-Saturn’s e-learning programme that offers product and technical training to store employees was nominated for the Human Resources Excellence Award – one of the most prominent honours for human resource management in Germany – in the knowledge management category and achieved second place in December 2013.

Embedding the guiding principles

During the reporting period, the process of cultural transformation was advanced in particular by METRO Cash & Carry. The goal is to increase value for customers. The effort is based on the guiding principles developed in 2012:

  • Customer orientation
  • Global entrepreneurship
  • Success through excellence
  • Trust in our people
  • Authentic leadership
  • Sustainability

During the reporting period, these guiding principles were further integrated into personnel programmes and processes as part of employee development. By taking this approach, we provide support to the company’s new direction with the aim of creating a corporate culture characterised by mutual support, individual responsibility and personal growth.

As part of Leadership for Growth workshops conducted by METRO Cash & Carry, around 91,000 employees and managers from 26 countries talked about cultural change. All of the employees in 18 national subsidiaries completed the workshop – from top managers to store employees. This is the first step in the change process. The aim of Leadership for Growth is to hone the ability of each individual employee to manage himself or herself and to create the necessary conditions for cultural change.

In the next step, twelve national subsidiaries of METRO Cash & Carry started the follow-up workshop Leadership for Growth 2 for managers in administrative positions and stores during the reporting period. The workshop focuses on developing management skills that effectively improve cross-departmental collaboration. Twelve additional national subsidiaries plan to begin conducting the workshops in the next few months.

The company’s other sales lines are also systematically working to shape and fuel cultural change. At Real, for instance, managers in administrative positions and hypermarkets are participating in Leadership for Growth workshops as well. Galeria Kaufhof, on the other hand, actively supports employees during the sales line’s transformation from purely stationary to multichannel sales. To this end, more than 1,000 training sessions were held between July and November 2014. They aimed to pique employees’ interest in the topic of multichannel sales and train employees to use tablets to advise customers according to their needs.

Employee commitment

One critically important element in our effort to measure our staff’s morale and commitment to our company is the global employee survey that we regularly conduct in the countries where METRO Cash & Carry does business, in the cross-divisional service companies and in the headquarters. As part of the follow-up process, executives obtain in-depth insights into the survey results, discuss these with their teams and develop measures to improve employee commitment. In the reporting period, the data were collected for the seventh time. In the company units that were surveyed, 87 per cent of employees responded to the questionnaire. A total of 100,000 employees participated – more than ever before. The results of this effort: since the last survey, the commitment score has increased from 66 per cent to 72 per cent and was thus significantly above the 58 per cent Global Retail Benchmark of Aon Hewitt. This score shows the share of employees that are committed to the company. Commitment means that these employees are proud of their company and speak positively about it, they are loyal, feel a connection to the company and demonstrate above-average levels of dedication. The positive trend can be attributed to both an intensive succession process and to the group-wide initiatives we use to increasingly promote a focus on innovative ideas and encourage the recognition of our staff.