Further training for employees

We are determined to promote lifelong learning among our staff as a way of responding to current and future challenges in retailing.

The House of Learning department provides customised personnel development measures, learning solutions and services for the METRO AG management holding company as well as the METRO Cash & Carry sales line. The focus is on employees and executives in the store operations, sales force, delivery, offer management, marketing and finance departments. The training content targets the implementation of corporate strategy and guiding principles as well as the promotion of personal development and decision-making skills. Thanks to a sophisticated cascading process, all training programmes can be translated, adapted to local circumstances and – in the case of seminars and on-the-job training courses – delivered by internal full-time and part-time trainers.

Training courses at METRO Cash & Carry and METRO AG

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E-learning-module

Seminars and on-the-job training

Total

Number

439,384

24,091

463,475

Participants

401,753

246,929

648,682

Participant hours

518,278

1,728,375

2,246,653

Training costs (€/participant)

4.69

77.43

32.38

At Real, 23,901 participants completed 12,114 participant hours of training through e-learning modules during the reporting period. In addition, a total of 4,182 participants became qualified through seminars and on-the-job training, completing a total of 53,949 participant hours.

In order to evaluate the dovetailing of corporate strategy and personnel development, the House of Learning department commissioned the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD). Six different criteria were taken into account in the analysis: purpose, positioning, governance model, mandate, design and range of services.

In addition, the EFMD examined the extent to which the House of Learning department is equipped for informal and social learning. It determined that the organisational structure, processes and working methods are excellently designed and thus highly efficient. During the reporting period, the House of Learning already followed the recommendations to use a computer-aided learning management system as well as to initiate informal and social learning arrangements to complement the formal training methods. The department established a learning platform on the social intranet, which all METRO GROUP employees can access. It contains both formal training programmes as well as informal learning sources, among others, in the form of online articles, videos and online courses, which are accessible to a large number of participants. The online courses combine traditional forms of knowledge transfer with forums in which trainers and students can communicate with one another. Furthermore, the department promotes social learning within various moderated groups of experts. In addition, existing programmes are being continuously improved to enhance efficiency and take participants’ expectations into consideration to a greater degree.

With the objective of increasing the efficiency of administrative processes in international personnel development, we are gradually introducing the SAP LSO Learning Solution learning management system to the METRO GROUP headquarters in Düsseldorf as well as in the METRO Cash & Carry countries. At the end of the reporting period, the system was already being used in 23 national subsidiaries.

The other sales lines also invest in further training for their employees. In order to meet the challenge of the digital transformation in retail, Media-Saturn initiated the Digital@Campus event during the reporting period: in November 2014, the sales line invited employees at the Ingolstadt headquarters to test the latest digital products and participate in more than 30 lectures about the future of digital retail. Moreover, Media-Saturn launched the Digital Fit seminar series. Every month, topics such as search engine marketing or the “internet of things” are offered to an international group of participants.

As part of its freshness campaign, Real held 22 successful qualification events for executives and employees of its bakery. Topics such as the new snack concept and the quality of baking were at the forefront of the events. In total, around 600 Real employees took part in this qualification measure.

Embedding management principles and change in corporate culture

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 centricity
  • 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. With these principles, we are supporting the transformation of the company. The aim is to establish a corporate culture that is characterised by increased diversity, stronger networking, mutual integration and support, cooperation on an equal footing and by the responsibility of the individual.

As part of Leadership for Growth workshops conducted by METRO Cash & Carry, around 112,000 participants from 26 countries addressed cultural change at a personal level. All employees in all national subsidiaries have now 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 in turn to create the necessary conditions for cultural change. During the reporting period, 24 national subsidiaries of METRO Cash & Carry started the follow-on workshop Leadership for Growth 2 for managers in administrative positions and stores. The workshop focuses on developing management skills that sustainably improve cross-departmental collaboration. Another national subsidiary plans to begin conducting the workshops before the end of 2015.

Employee engagement

A key instrument to determine the engagement of the workforce and their loyalty to the company is our global employee survey. We conduct it regularly in the countries in which METRO Cash & Carry operates, both at the service companies and at METRO AG. During the reporting period, the survey took place for the eighth time, this time with the motto “Your opinion. Our dialogue.” Around 98,500 employees in the company units surveyed participated, corresponding to a rate of 88 per cent. Since the last survey, the level of engagement – which indicates the degree of solidarity, pride in the company, loyalty and motivation – rose by 3 percentage points to 75 per cent. Thus the level is significantly (17 percentage points) higher than Aon Hewitt’s Global Retail Benchmark. This positive development can be attributed, on the one hand, to an intensive follow-up process: managers receive detailed insight into the survey results and discuss these together with their teams to develop suitable measures to raise the level of engagement. On the other hand, we established group-wide initiatives that we use to increasingly promote a focus on innovative ideas and encourage the appreciation and recognition of our staff. A comparative study, which was prepared in collaboration with Aon Hewitt, reveals that employee engagement has a positive effect on customer satisfaction and thus for the first time demonstrates the business impact of the level of engagement.

In order to integrate the experiences, the knowledge and the creativity of its employees, Media-Saturn launched the ideas management programme Ideas4Us in July 2014. Since then, more than 400 ideas have been submitted. In August 2015, our sales line set up a new platform on which ideas can be submitted digitally and processes can be controlled more efficiently.