Executive development and succession planning

At METRO GROUP, systematic executive development is a central responsibility of the companies’ general managements as well as of the strategic management holding company, METRO AG. By taking this approach, we ensure that the skills and expertise of our managers are methodically honed to meet our company’s needs and strategic goals. Furthermore, we can systematically offer international career paths to our executives – regardless of the sales line or segment in which they work. Our career planning processes also enable us to identify the right candidates for key positions in the company and support them. As a result, we can fill vacancies from our own ranks. In the reporting period, the in-house succession rate for the top-management level – that is, in particular managing directors of group companies as well as divisional heads of METRO AG – was 86 per cent.

Individual job performance reviews

Once a year, we conduct an individual job performance review with our top managers as part of the RESULTS & GROWTH process. The objective of these reviews is to better measure progress and abilities as well as to create a feedback culture that focuses on individual job performance and professional growth. At the beginning of each financial year, priorities are defined as a way of providing direction. These goals are reviewed during a half-yearly interview and modified when necessary. At the end of each financial year, the job performance review is held. This meeting includes a feedback interview that covers both the achievement of the priority goals and observance of leadership principles. In various other companies, annual job performance reviews are carried out with most managers and employees.

Systematic succession planning

As part of the recently introduced Leadership Talent Review, succession planning is conducted for our core positions once a year. During this review, we examine the skills, abilities and experience of every potential succession candidate and rate these individuals in terms of a position’s particular responsibilities. The process ensures that we identify and support suitable candidates for key positions at an early stage. During a subsequent professional development evaluation, employees and their supervisors jointly create a subsequent career development plan and determine targeted measures. As a result, the Leadership Talent Review acts as something more than a succession-planning tool. It also serves as a systematic, long-term development process for candidates for top positions in our company.

Programmes for management development

We have made the professional development of our managers a high priority at all of our companies. To help to train and qualify current and future managers at METRO Cash & Carry and the headquarters, we developed three new programmes during the reporting year: “Impact”, “Connect” and “Excellence”. Each programme is designed to address the different needs of respective groups. Our instructors are drawn in part from the ranks of our own top managers. In addition, we bring in international partners and experts to ensure that the topics and issues covered by the programmes always reflect the latest findings of research. These external partners include the Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in Fontainebleau, France, and the London Business School, England. During the reporting period, more than 100 future and current managers took part in the programmes.