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 decision-making skills and personal development. 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 trainings










Participant hours




Training costs (€/participant)




At Real, a total of 37,095 participants were trained using e-learning modules during the reporting period. This corresponds to 18,948 hours of study. Furthermore, a total of 4,715 employees, excluding trainees, were trained over a period of 46,522 programme hours in the form of seminars.

In the reporting period, the digitisation of study arrangements and training administration was expedited further. Through our open learning platform on the social intranet, we offer access to digital study content for all employees in the METRO Cash & Carry sales line and the management holding company METRO AG. This content includes e-learning modules, moderated expert and study groups, thematically arranged online-learning sources, a digital library for summaries of business literature, and internally developed online courses on company-specific topics. Through this platform, we actively promote self-paced learning, independent of time and place, as well as an exchange of information between our employees. Furthermore, we have also provided system-integrated course units for customers.

With the help of the global learning management system SAP Learning Solution, we further increased the number of online and offline course units during the reporting period. We also set up a comprehensive strategic reporting system in addition to the one for operational reporting. While operational reporting releases detailed key figures in real time for training administration in day-to-day business, strategic reporting aggregates meaningful indicators on advanced training. These key indicators are linked to other SAP HR systems, thus supporting the long-term planning and monitoring of internal advanced training.

In financial year 2015/16, advanced training options were conceived and implemented for METRO Cash & Carry. Their content-based focus is closely linked with the company’s strategy. They include, among other things, qualification initiatives on the topics of food service delivery and Horeca customer service, as well as for the interdisciplinary understanding of financial context.

A central focus for advanced training in all sales lines is the digitisation of the workplace. At METRO Cash & Carry Germany, this topic is the focus of the trainee project “Trainees as Digital Ambassadors”. This initiative began with the first “METRO trainee camp”. A total of 835 trainees from all training years, 241 accompanying persons and the management of METRO Cash & Carry Germany camped together on a scout training site in northern Hesse. In various workshops and challenge activities, the trainees grappled with the digital world, in the form of an app-based quiz and a competition on Instagram, for example.

In October 2015, Media-Saturn staged the event “Digital@Campus” for a second time, involving all employees from its office location in Ingolstadt as well as selected international colleagues from the international subsidiaries, in order to promote the company’s digital transformation. The programme included more than 30 lectures on the topics “Internet of Things & Living Tomorrow”, “Smart & Digital Retail” and “Start-ups, Digital Culture & Collaboration”. Furthermore, the employees were again able to try out the latest digital products and to participate in workshops and panel discussions. As part of the event, start-up companies competed for a place in the Media-Saturn Spacelab programme. The “Digital Fit” initiative, launched in 2014, was also continued successfully. Within the framework of this seminar series for an international group of participants, the monthly programme included topics such as big data and smart analytics, crowdsourcing as well as virtual and augmented reality.

With a view to the digitisation of commerce, Media-Saturn’s German subsidiary developed a new concept for Media Markt and Saturn. It is based on the so-called blended-learning approach. The e-learning platforms “Saturn Online Akademie” and “Fit mit Media Markt” are becoming the core of all advanced training activities in the process. The objective is to combine online learning, information exchange and experience in the seminar room with the practical experience of the participant’s working environment. Under the slogan “Digital First”, Saturn in Germany has been providing every employee with information on products and technology, organisation as well as innovations and sales techniques, on its e-learning platform since the end of 2015. Media Markt has also been following this approach since 2016. Steadily rising user numbers prove its success. Trained learning companions and on-site trainers in the stores are an important part of this strategy. Together with managers, they ensure that training content is transferred to the workplace.

The Greek subsidiary of Media-Saturn developed and introduced the “Internal Trainers Programme” in financial year 2015/16. As part of this programme, 31 selected store employees were trained and qualified as experts during the reporting period in order to promote company initiatives, such as the Media Markt Club, and to develop the necessary skills as trainers in areas such as multichannel marketing, customer relationship management and tablet use.

Our Real sales line also follows the blended-learning approach for training. During the reporting period, the individual seminar modules within the training programme were therefore linked to prepared and evaluated e-learning units, so that the trainees could broaden their knowledge not only by attending seminars, but also by using digital media.

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. 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.

By now, nearly all employees in the countries in which METRO Cash & Carry operates have completed the “Leadership for Growth” workshop. This has been 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, about 8,900 executives from 25 national subsidiaries of METRO Cash & Carry participated in 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.

Media-Saturn launched the “Leadership for Change” programme in financial year 2015/16. The aim of the programme is to accelerate the transformation process and cultural change as well as drive the process of digitisation and customer orientation. A series of events has been held to prepare the top 100 executives for the imminent change. Starting in autumn 2016, the process will be extended to all multipliers (country and store managing directors as well as the heads and department managers at the holding company). In addition, a large number of measures have been initiated at the national subsidiaries to raise awareness for customer orientation among store employees in particular. In the process, HR provides national-level training for store management teams in particular, teaching them to derive measures from the net promoter score, an optimised metric used to measure customer retention; in addition, HR conducts covert test purchases and broadly based sales trainings.

Employee engagement

A key instrument to determine the engagement of the workforce and their loyalty to the company is our global employee survey, METRO Voice. We conduct it regularly in the countries in which METRO Cash & Carry operates, both at the service companies and at METRO AG. Under the slogan "Your opinion. Our dialogue", about 106,000 employees were invited to participate in the survey during the reporting period. 88 per cent of employees at the participating company units took part in the survey. The level of engagement – which indicates the degree of solidarity, pride in the company, loyalty and motivation – reached the 75 per cent mark again during the reporting period and as such markedly exceeds the score of Aon Hewitt’s Global Retail Benchmark (60 per cent). 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.

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 800 ideas have been submitted. Regular activities are conducted to motivate employees to submit ideas. In addition, employees can use the platform to assess ideas or learn more about their implementation in the idea blog.