Responsibility for our employees

Our 249,150 employees are responsible for the success of METRO GROUP and its sales lines. Their dedication and the decisions they take in their everyday work generate added value for our customers and for society. In keeping with our sustainable approach to corporate management, we therefore see it as our duty to create and maintain an attractive, fair and safe working environment. We strive to appreciate the individuality of our employees, foster their diversity and strengthen their personal responsibility. In this way, we are able to offer them the support they need to successfully implement our corporate strategy.

Offering fair working conditions

METRO GROUP has made a commitment to its employees to comply with the company’s self-imposed guidelines for fair working conditions and social partnership. One of the instruments used to ensure transnational, social employee involvement is the Euro Forum, the European works council of METRO GROUP. As part of our commitment to providing fair working conditions, we have also reconfirmed the joint declaration with the UNI Global Union, an international union federation with more than 900 affiliated organisations through which it represents over 14 million employees in 150 countries. This underscores METRO GROUP’s commitment to the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Recognising diversity as a value

In everyday business, it is our employees who are confronted with the widely varying needs and demands of our customers and other stakeholder groups. In order to ensure that they are well equipped to deal with these, we have made diversity a key component of our strategic personnel management and our corporate culture. As early as 2013, METRO GROUP joined the Board of Charta der Vielfalt e. V., a trade association that works to promote a non-discriminatory work environment. In addition, we are creating an environment in which diversity is recognised as a value and in which our employees are given the scope to contribute and further develop their individual expertise. Inclusion and diversity are fundamental principles for METRO Cash & Carry as well as the root of three key philosophies: “Lead, Link and Live”. With “Lead”, managers are encouraged to foster understanding for inclusion and diversity within the organisation and to set an example with their leadership. “Link” involves connecting global measures with the activities of both decentralised and centralised units. “Live” means putting these principles into practice in everyday business through such things as employee networks and events and by incorporating them in everyday business decisions.

Supporting the change in corporate culture

Our sales lines are constantly working to shape and drive the change in their corporate cultures so that they can optimise their response to changing market requirements. At METRO Cash & Carry, the cultural change is being supported by the “Leadership for Growth” workshop series. The aim is to increase each employee’s self-management ability while making them aware of their potential for professional and personal development. In the financial year 2013/14, approximately 91,000 people from 26 countries took part in these workshops. At Real, head office and hypermarket managers participate in the “Leadership for Growth” workshops. Meanwhile, Galeria Kaufhof actively assists its staff with the process of changing from stationary-only retail to multichannel sales with a training and information offensive that is tailored to its employees’ needs under the slogan “MCR – Mehr Chancen realisieren” (Seizing more opportunities).

Strengthening personal responsibility

We believe that corporate responsibility delivers the best – and most visible – results when it is understood as a shared responsibility. That is why it is our goal to make each employee aware of the impact their individual actions have on sustainability and to strengthen their personal responsibility by sharing knowledge. Our sales lines use various information formats for this purpose. In the reporting year, for example, an e-learning module was developed that can be adapted to the specific requirements of each sales line and which helps to make employees aware of the links between our sustainability approach and our everyday business. METRO Cash & Carry also took advantage of the Top Management Conference 2014 to explore the significance of sustainability for the company. Galeria Kaufhof’s management conference in June 2014 saw the presentation of the brochure “Gemeinsam Verantwortung tragen” (Sharing responsibility), which was subsequently made available to all staff in Germany. This brochure gives employees an overview of the wide range of sustainability projects conducted by the company and calls on them to take part. Real included a flyer about the company’s sustainability efforts with its employees’ payslips. In addition, our sales lines gave purchasers training on specific issues, such as compliance with social standards, and provided them with general information on sustainable purchasing requirements, such as those which apply to fish and palm oil.

A comprehensive overview of the group’s efforts for our employees and METRO GROUP’s personnel policies, as well as the associated key figures, can be found in the METRO GROUP annual report, chapter 6 of the group management report, “Employees”. We also publish staff figures relating to sustainability under Key performance indicators: Employees.