Shaping the digital transformation

Electrification, autonomous driving, connected urban mobility: It’s not just our products that are changing fast – lots of things in the company are changing too. We are digitalizing our value creation process – and thus our work. We are becoming increasingly cooperative and agile, finding new ways to bring work and private life into harmony, and accompanying our employees on their individual career paths.

Boosting our attractiveness as an employer, forging ahead with digitalization

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The success of Daimler AG and its subsidiaries is largely dependent on the skills and commitment of its employees. Around 300,000 people promote our company’s success worldwide by contributing their expertise and ideas to their respective tasks and work processes and by helping to make improvements and create innovations. Trust-based relationships with employees are therefore more than just an ethical and legal requirement for us – without them we would not be able to conduct our business successfully.

Particularly in times of change, cooperation between the workforce and management is of great value. We are currently experiencing how digitalization is increasingly permeating all areas of the economy. As a global automotive group, we see ourselves as driving this development forward. We also want to be our industry’s leader in terms of digitalization. This process of transformation affects our workplaces just as it does our products. As a result, it is vital that we bring our employees with us on the path into the digital future. We therefore see it as our task to equip them with the essential abilities to master the challenges of digitalization and to remain competitive.

Partnership with the employees

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We structure our decision-making processes in a manner that ensures transparency for our employees, and we also enable them to participate in decision-making processes. We work together with our employees as partners, respect their interests, and get them actively involved in the company. We have established how we take on responsibility in our employee relationships in our policies and company agreements.

Voluntary commitments and policies

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We have issued our own Group-wide Principles of Social Responsibility, which are based on the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) work and social standards. Our employees are provided with information about these principles. We operate the BPO whistleblower system to punish violations of the principles. It receives reports of suspicious cases and directs the subsequent investigations according to the respective area of responsibility.

Furthermore, Daimler recognizes its social responsibilities and the ten principles on which the UN Global Compact (UNGC) is based. As a participant in the UNGC, we commit ourselves, among other things, to respect key employee rights, ranging from the provision of equal opportunities to the right to receive equal pay for equal work.

Company agreements

Within the framework of the ongoing dialog between the corporate management and the employees’ association, employees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG have been given a job-security guarantee for the period until 2029. As a result, terminations for operational reasons are excluded on principle until December 31, 2029. This agreement applies to employees who have remained at Daimler AG, as well as all employees who were affected by a transition of operations resulting from the new Group structure and who did not contest their transfer to the new organization.

Various (company-wide) agreements grant our employees extensive rights and define additional rules and regulations. These agreements address topics such as mobile working, family leave, reductions in working hours, and home health care.

Principles of remuneration

We remunerate work in accordance with the same principles at all Group companies around the world. Our Corporate Compensation Policy, which is valid for all groups of employees, establishes the framework conditions and minimum requirements for the design of the remuneration systems. Internal audits are conducted on a random basis to make sure these conditions and requirements are met. In our desire to offer salaries and benefits that are customary in the industry and the respective markets, we also give consideration to local market conditions within the specified framework. The salaries are determined on the basis of each employee’s tasks and performance, and in line with the employee’s qualifications and experience.

In setting the remuneration of the employees we are not guided by gender or origin, but exclusively by the employee’s function and responsibility. Employees who have complaints regarding remuneration can report these to their respective manager. If the questions cannot be resolved satisfactorily in this way, employees can contact their HR department or the Works Council. In companies subject to collective bargaining agreements, such as Daimler AG, the agreements that have been reached grant employees additional rights, including the right to object to their placement in a specific salary group or to the results of their performance assessment.

Management and remuneration instruments

We support managers and employees in their tasks with made-to-measure standardized management tools. These tools help us to support cooperative working practices and to measure the results of our actions.

We have introduced the “My Contribution” tool for Level 1 to 4 managers as part of the new Performance Management. Together with their teams, our managers define the contribution they can make to safeguarding the success of the company. Here, in order to also focus on the corporate goals when determining the effect on remuneration, the bonus is exclusively determined on the basis of the company’s success. This applies to Level 1 to 3 executives worldwide and to Level 4 managers at many Group companies.

We have established the NAVI process for non-production employees below Level 4 at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG. NAVI is a standardized leadership process consisting of initial leadership discussions, reviews conducted during the year, and final discussions. In the course of the discussions, the manager and the employee agree on quantitative and qualitative targets and generally also agree on a personal development goal. Depending on the individual’s function and management level, the goal agreements can also include diversity and compliance targets. Whether and to what extent the goals are achieved is reviewed annually. This performance is discussed in management conferences in connection with leadership and work performance and the employee’s development potential. Finally the results are personally discussed with the respective employee by the manager. Agreements are also reached regarding the employee’s professional development.

We conduct income reviews for employees and managers on a regular basis. The associated integration rounds with the managers in question are carried out under the direction of the human resources units in a manner that ensures salary decision-making transparency. This is done in order to prevent any possibility of discrimination. The remuneration guidelines and tables for employees paid according to collective bargaining wage tariffs, for example at Daimler AG, can be viewed on the Social Intranet. We are now providing employees with additional information regarding the implementation of Germany’s Remuneration Transparency Act. This includes information that shows employees the various remuneration components of comparable groups of all genders.

In employment relationships subject to a collective bargaining agreement Daimler AG and its subsidiaries usually offer additional voluntary benefits that are agreed upon with the respective employees’ representative bodies. These benefits include employer-funded contributions to retirement benefits and, in many cases, profit-sharing agreements for the respective company as well. For example, the eligible employees of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG will receive a profit-sharing participation of €597 for 2019. In addition, as an expression of gratitude and as recognition for the commitment shown in 2019, a one-time recognition bonus in the amount of €500 has been agreed on for this scope of application. In addition, our employees can avail themselves of the services of a wide variety of sports facilities and social amenities, ranging from daycare centers to the counseling service for people in extreme situations.

Flexible workforce strength thanks to temporary workers

In 2015 the provisions of the works agreement “Safeguarding the future of Daimler” were extended for a further four years, until the end of 2020. They allow for a maximum personnel flexibility of eight percent. These provisions enable us to adjust our workforce strength to take account of economic fluctuations and the changes in demand on the automotive markets, which today are greater than ever before. Our concept: Temporary workers supplement the permanent workforce; they do not replace it. The hourly wage we pay temporary workers in the commercial and industrial units corresponds to the wage offered to newly hired employees with temporary or permanent contracts in the same units. It is based on the master/ERA collective bargaining agreement for the metalworking industry in the state of Baden-Württemberg and is adapted in line with the requirements of the job profile in question. Temporary workers at locations with a higher personnel flexibility receive an additional shift supplement corresponding to the rules of the metalworking and electrical industries. Furthermore, they are granted bonuses and Christmas money in accordance with the collective agreement and operating conditions of the temporary employment agency.

Constructive collaboration with unions

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Our employees have the right to organize themselves in labor unions. We also ensure this right in countries in which freedom of association is not legally protected. We work together constructively with the employee representatives and the trade unions. Important partners here include the local works councils, the European Works Council, and the World Employee Committee (WEC). Collective bargaining agreements apply to the majority of our employees throughout the Group. Such agreements apply in particular at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG. In jointly constituted committees, we regularly inform the employee representatives about the economic situation and all of the key changes at the Group. We conclude agreements with the respective workers’ representative bodies concerning the effects of our decisions on the employees. In Germany, comprehensive regulations to this effect are contained in the Works Council Constitution Act. We notify our employees about far-reaching changes early on.

Responsibility for good human resources management

The Human Resources (HR) unit is divided into nine Subunits. Seven of these are active as business partners of Mercedes-Benz Cars, Mercedes-Benz Vans, Daimler Trucks and Buses, Daimler Mobility AG, the central divisions, and the Region Greater China. In addition there are two cross-sectional units: for Labor Policy and Law, and Human Resources Development; and for HR Services and Organization.

The leadership of the Human Resources unit and the position of Labor Relations Director are held by a member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG. The Human Resources unit adopts a strategy enabling it to offer innovative and efficient solutions for the Group. The objective is to obtain a competitive workforce, excellent leadership, and profitability and to support a culture of diversity and empowerment. The Human Resources & Labor Relations Director’s management team regularly monitors the implementation of the strategy and decides on supportive measures.

Targets and progress measurement

We can only be successful as a Group if we attract, develop, and retain qualified employees. That’s why we want to remain attractive worldwide as an employer and to motivate our employees to top performance in the new digital world. Our management staff plays a key role here, so it is crucial that we anchor outstanding leadership capabilities within our management. In addition, we want to take on our social responsibility and let diversity flourish in our global company.

We want to reach these overarching goals by employing efficient processes. One of the control tools we use is our HR Scorecard, which uses key performance indicators (KPIs) concerning for example demographic development, diversity, and employer attractiveness. This enables us to evaluate the sustainability of human resources measures and processes in the individual areas of action. These are derived from our HR Strategy. HR eData Manager Reports serve as another control tool. These reports are available to all managers as a self-service feature. They contain KPIs and detailed information on the respective areas of responsibility.

8.1 HR Strategy 2025

How we further boost employer attractiveness

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We have introduced numerous measures and programs that allow our employees to organize their working times flexibly in line with their individual situation. We also offer all employees opportunities to continuously refine their skills and qualifications and to integrate new work methods and learning techniques into their daily activities.

Reconciling work and family

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In 2019, 4,783 employees of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG took up the offer of parental leave including partner months. Of these, 78 percent were male (2018: 82 percent). We offer our employees in Germany 705 places in company daycare centers. In addition, we can turn to cooperation partners to arrange a further 200 childcare opportunities. In addition, we also offer places for children from refugee families in Stuttgart and Kassel. We have also set up parent-child rooms at several locations and offer childcare services at business events. We are also continuing to expand our range of places in daycare centers at new locations.

We have created further offers to help Daimler Group employees within Germany better reconcile their professional and private lives.

For example, our employees can also stay abreast with events at the Group during parental and family leave via the Social Intranet and can access the internal job exchanges using their private computers. We also support mothers and fathers by using checklists during the transition to parental leave, for maintaining contact in the meantime, and for ensuring a smooth reentry into active professional life. In addition, there are regular information events and experience-sharing opportunities for expectant parents and employees on parental leave. A particular feature at Daimler in Germany is customized coaching to prepare mothers and fathers for their upcoming reintegration into the Group. Specially trained personnel are available in the HR Service Center to answer questions related to parental and family leave, reductions in working hours, and home health care.

Flexible working arrangements

Today’s living and working conditions require working times to be flexibly organized in accordance with individual needs. In many cases, this can contribute to improvements in the performance and satisfaction of employees and managers. For this reason, we support them with a wide range of flexible working options that make it easier for them to reconcile their work with their personal lives. Examples of these options include mobile working, reduced working hours, and job sharing. Furthermore, employees have the opportunity to leave the company for a number of years with a guaranteed option to return – for example, to take a sabbatical, study for a qualification or care for relatives.

Job sharing

Daimler promotes job sharing, in particular for managers who share a task while working part-time. This is especially helpful for managers who wish to better reconcile professional and private life. Job sharing has also proven to be a successful model for the Group. A tandem job share with two people uniting their mixture of experience, strengths, and networks brings better results.

In order to enable job sharing, a target group-related internal matching platform has been in existence since 2015 and was joined by a job-sharing community in 2019. Part-time forums and regular meetings help participants to have discussions and get to know one another.

The number of tandem job shares at the management levels has increased threefold within the last three years. There were 210 tandem job shares in 2019.

Leadership 2020 – further development of the management culture

In order to remain successful in the future, we work constantly to improve our management culture and the way we cooperate. This is why we launched the Leadership 2020 initiative in 2016. Employees from more than 23 countries and all levels of the hierarchy, and of all ages and genders, have participated in the process of shaping our future management culture.

Eight Leadership Principles were developed in this way in a Group-wide participative process: Pioneering Spirit, Agility, Purpose, Learning, Empowerment, Co-Creation, Customer Orientation, and “Driven to Win.” These principles are intended to make the Group faster and more flexible and boost its innovative potential. That’s why they are also core elements of our feedback processes (“My feedback”). The Leadership Principle Pioneering Spirit, for example, is concerned with driving forward our vision of sustainable mobility with creativity and an inquiring mind.

We know that we have to recognize new challenges early on and master them quickly in order to be successful in a global and complex world. This aspect is described by the Leadership Principle Agility.

We have also set up eight sub-projects known as “game changers” within the framework of our “Leadership 2020” initiative. These are Feedback Culture, Performance Management, Best Fit, Digital Transformation, Swarm Organization, Decision Making, Incubator, and Leadership Role and Development. The game changers are geared toward questioning and changing procedures and structures that range from decision-making processes and organizational structures to work methods and tools. Three examples of how we have interpreted the game changers for our work are outlined below.

The HR development system IMPULSE

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We have brought together the concepts developed for the game changers Performance Management, Feedback Culture, and Best Fit in our HR development system IMPULSE, which has been in use for all executives and Level 4 management staff since 2019. An essential focus of the system is on the ongoing individual further development of all managers. We put the tools in their hands to enable them to actively drive this development forward themselves. One example of that is “My feedback.” Managers receive feedback from their supervisors, the employees, and their colleagues as part of this feedback process. They can utilize this feedback to improve their leadership and social skills.

Digital transformation

The game changer “Digital Transformation” aims to optimally exploit the opportunities offered by the digital transformation. It is intended to enable employees and managers to actively shape the future in their respective areas of responsibility. The active phase of the game changer “Digital Transformation” was completed in February 2019. The approaches introduced during this phase included for example “Reverse Mentoring,” in which “digital natives” shared their knowledge with experienced managers, or the “Digital Collaboration Tool Compass.” Following the conclusion of the game changer we transferred these approaches into the line organization of the Group.

Swarm organization

By 2020, a growing part of our workforce is expected to work in “agile” structures, including swarms across all levels of the hierarchy. Swarms are created wherever complex questions arise and the answer is not yet foreseeable. New virtual and connected tools and forms of work are needed for this. Two idea exchanges are available to our employees on the Social Intranet: the idea management platform for process improvements and the “Crowd Ideation Platform” for new business ideas. We also operate an incubator for business ideas in the form of the “Lab1886.” In this way we provide at four locations on three continents the infrastructure, the resources, and the project support required in order to rapidly develop and launch new business models on the market.

The “Leadership 2020” initiative will continue over the next few years as “Leadership 20X”. In addition, the Board of Management regularly discusses the progress of the Leadership 20X initiative and decides what measures still need to be taken.


Daimler made the digital transformation a key component of its sustainable business strategy at an early date. In 2011 we launched the DigitalLife@Daimler initiative, with which we support the digital transformation in all business divisions at Daimler and forge ahead with digital topics in an integrated manner and across all units. This requires good ideas and new formats of cooperative working. The task of the DigitalLife@Daimler initiative is to bring together both ideas and people and to make innovations visible and drive forward their implementation internationally, across disciplines, and beyond organizational structures. We follow the four lines of advance #transform, #ideate, #collaborate, and #change.

  • We want to use #transform to position the Group as the “Automotive Digital Leader” via a strategic model. To this end we forge ahead with topics such as artificial intelligence that are meaningful for the entire Group, identify digital trends, and ensure that digital knowledge is sustainably anchored internally and is passed on.
  • We use #ideate to support and tap into creativity, both within the Group and beyond the confines of the company. Internally we use formats such as “DigitalLife Open Spaces,” “Innovation Camps” or “Creative Play” workshops to substantiate and validate ideas. All employees can evaluate, comment on, and even – with the help of initial project budgets raised by crowdfunding – fund ideas on the Group-wide “DigitalLife Crowd Idea Platform.” As part of the DigitalLife Campus, our global hackathon series, we work with digital talents on real problems and bring the best teams into a wider exchange with Daimler – either as development partners or as future employees of the Group.
  • The purpose of #collaborate is to intensify connected collaboration and to boost our agility and innovative power. To do so, we are making our own work transparent on the Social Intranet and supporting networking, for example via the “Working Out Loud” methodology, qualifying Community Managers, and providing orientation via a “Digital Collaboration Tool Compass.” We are promoting intergenerational learning and bringing managers together with “digital natives” through “Reverse Mentoring.”
  • With #change we are supporting lifelong learning as a way of preparing employees throughout the Group for the coming cultural and technological transformation. We are promoting an open working culture by using formats such as “Fail’n’Learn Nights.” The “DigitalLife Days” provide an insight into digital projects while simultaneously offering professional development opportunities for our employees. The 2019 DigitalLife Day focused on sustainability and efficiency through digitalization.

The Social Intranet at Daimler

In 2018 we standardized the internal digital world of news, collaboration, and information at the Daimler Group with our Daimler Social Intranet. This enables employees to use personal profiles to communicate with colleagues, collaborate in virtual workspaces, and network with people at any Daimler location worldwide. The Daimler Social Intranet creates new possibilities for cross-functional and cross-departmental cooperation and open, and dialog-oriented communication.

The Daimler Social Intranet helps employees to successfully shape the digital transformation. It also enables them to put the new Daimler leadership principles into practice and experience the company’s cultural transformation at first hand.

Global Employer Branding

Our Global Employer Branding provides the basis for making talented new job seekers aware of our company and recruiting them. Our career website and our social media channels (DaimlerCareer on Facebook, Instagram, and Xing, as well as Daimler AG on LinkedIn) support all activities in the area of employer branding. We are also attracting further attention to Daimler as an employer by implementing target group-specific and image-enhancing advertising measures. One example of this is the “Next Big Thing” video campaign, which is targeted at experts in the field of IT and artificial intelligence. We have also published the “Insights” interview series and the “People of Change” film series in order to present an authentic picture of the working world at Daimler. Alongside these media measures, personal interaction with interested job seekers, for example at national and international career fairs, is especially important to us.

How we evaluate the effectiveness of our management approach

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Our Group-wide employee survey is a key indicator of where we currently stand from the point of view of our employees and what we need to do to improve the company in the future. The survey is conducted every two years, after being fundamentally reworked in 2018. It showed that seventy-five percent of the employees who participated reported that they are satisfied or very satisfied with Daimler as an employer and that they are proud to work at Daimler. 71 percent saw digitalization as an opportunity for themselves; 55 percent reported that their working environment supported them in acquiring or deepening the skills required for the digital transformation. The next employee survey will take place in the fall of 2020.

Our employees’ loyalty to the company is also expressed by the average amount of time they have worked for Daimler. This has risen slightly in the reporting year and has reached 16 years (2018: 15.8 years). In Germany, employees had worked for Daimler for an average of 19.5 years at the end of 2019 (2018: 19.4 years). The comparative figure for Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG was 20.4 years (2018: 20.2 years). Daimler employees outside Germany had worked for the Group for an average of 10.9 years (2018: 10.6 years). In 2019, our fluctuation rate amounted to 6.0 percent worldwide (2018: 4.9 percent).

Fluctuation rate (in %)
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Parental leave – Entitled employees*
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Employees on parental leave*/**
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Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG


Return rate 99.9%.




















Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Tel.: +49 711 17 0

Represented by the Board of Management: Ola Källenius (Chairman), Martin Daum, Renata Jungo Brüngger, Wilfried Porth, Markus Schäfer, Britta Seeger, Hubertus Troska, Harald Wilhelm

Chairman of the Supervisory Board: Bernd Pischetsrieder

Commercial Register Stuttgart, No. HRB 19360
VAT registration number: DE 81 25 26 315