People

Partnerships with employees

We view ourselves as our employees’ partners

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Our employees are the key to our Group’s success: Around 288,500 people promote our company’s success worldwide by contributing their expertise and ideas to our work processes and by helping to make improvements and create innovations.

Particularly in times of change as we are experiencing today, respectful and trusting cooperation between the workforce and management is extremely important. Changes are affecting not only our products but also our workplaces. In order to ensure that we remain competitive over the long term, we want to equip our employees with the skills they need and help them address the challenges associated with the transformation.

How we shape our collaboration

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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.

How we organize and manage our Human Resources unit

The Human Resources (HR) unit is divided into seven subunits. Five of these are active as business partners or “HR partners” of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz Cars & Vans, Daimler Trucks & Buses, Daimler Mobility AG, and Daimler Greater China. In addition there are two cross-sectional units: for Labor Policy and Law; and for Human Resources Development, HR Services and Organization.

Our Human Resources Strategy is designed to ensure that we can offer innovative and efficient solutions for the Group. The objective is to obtain a competitive workforce, modern leadership, and profitability and to support a culture of diversity and inclusion.

We employ state-of-the-art HR instruments in order to achieve these goals. For example, we use our HR-eData Manager Reports as a control tool. These reports contain KPIs and detailed information on managers’ respective areas of responsibility and are available to all managers for their respective area of responsibility online via a Social Intranet app.

30 | HR Strategy 2025

HR Strategy 2025 (Graphic)

We have committed ourselves to binding work and social standards

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. We established our Whistleblower System BPO a number of years ago in order to ensure that we can employ a fair and adequate approach to investigating reports on incidents that pose a high risk to the company and its employees. The Whistleblower System BPO receives reports of suspicious cases and directs the subsequent investigations. High-risk rule violations include, for example, offenses relating to corruption, breaches of antitrust law, and violations of anti-money laundering regulations, as well as violations of binding technical provisions and environmental protection laws.

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 respecting key employee rights, ranging from the provision of equal opportunities to the right to receive equal pay for equal work.

Our company agreements are based on continuous communication with employee representatives

Corporate management and the employee representation maintain an ongoing dialog. The rights of our employees are defined in various (company-wide) agreements, which address topics such as mobile working, family leave, and home health care.

For example, 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. In addition to this agreement, corporate management and the employee representation concluded a company-wide agreement in July 2020 that will make it possible to reduce labor costs in the period until the end of December 2021. This agreement was concluded in response to the various challenges associated with both the transformation of the automotive industry and the covid-19 pandemic. The company-wide agreement applies to all employees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG, and Daimler Gastronomie GmbH in Germany. The agreement, which went into effect on October 1, 2020 and remains valid until December 31, 2021, provides for reduced working hours with no wage or salary compensation until the end of September 2021. In addition, employees have agreed to forgo special one-time payments. The Board of Management, the Supervisory Board, and senior executives are also doing their part to help reduce costs.

The global covid-19 pandemic presented companies and employees with many challenges last year, and it continues to do so. With this in mind, the Board of Management, in consultation with the General Works Council, decided to issue a special one-time “coronavirus bonus.” The bonus was paid to all employees subject to collective bargaining agreements as well as to team leaders at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, the Daimler Mobility division, and all subsidiaries in Germany. This special payment is meant to mitigate financial and personal hardship and honor the great dedication and flexibility displayed by the workforce during the crisis. Certain employees outside of Germany also received an appreciation bonus.

We collaborate constructively with unions

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Our employees have the right to organize themselves in labor unions — regardless of whether freedom of association is legally protected in the countries in which they work. In this regard, 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 exist for the majority of our employees throughout the Group. Such agreements apply to all employees subject to collective bargaining agreements at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and other units at the Group. 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 — as is the case with the current company-wide agreement in Germany on safeguarding employment and reducing labor costs. In Germany, comprehensive regulations to this effect are contained in the Works Council Constitution Act. We notify our employees of far-reaching changes early on.

The covid-19 pandemic: Working under changed conditions

The conditions under which all of us at the Group work have changed dramatically at all of our locations around the world since the start of the covid-19 pandemic at the beginning of 2020. We feel this change directly in our digital work processes, especially those related to mobile work and the safety measures we have taken in response to this pandemic.

We began formulating behavioral recommendations and defining precautionary measures for dealing with epidemics or pandemics many years ago, and all of the associated processes are continuously adjusted, updated, and further specified. Our measures here are guided by the latest recommendations and information issued by the Robert Koch Institute, the World Health Organization (WHO), Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, and other institutions. On this basis, and in response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus at the beginning of 2020, we also made several far-reaching decisions during the year under review.

The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. Corporate management therefore decided last year to suspend most of our production operations and all activities in selected administrative departments in Europe for an initial period of two weeks, from March 23 through April 3, 2020. As the covid-19 pandemic worsened, short-time work was then introduced in Germany on April 6. The Group took this step in response to the wide-ranging effects of the coronavirus and the increasingly negative impact the pandemic was having on the economy and society. Only necessary basic functions were excluded from this measure, as well as work on strategic projects and key topics for the future. All of these measures helped Daimler protect its employees and slow the spread of the virus. At the same time, the suspension of operations enabled Daimler to prepare for a phase of temporarily lower demand, and thus safeguard the financial strength of the company.

Certain locations began gradually resuming operations at the end of April 2020. In order to protect our employees, the company has taken precautions to prevent infection and agreed with the General Works Council on a comprehensive package of measures. These include hygiene and cleaning standards as well as rules for individual behavior in the workplace. A global campaign was also launched to make managers and employees more aware of issues relating to the pandemic and provide them with information on specific measures and rules that help protect them against infection. For example, employees at all of our locations around the world were given information on how to best protect themselves against SARS-CoV-2 in various types of situations. Our employees also continue to work from home wherever possible.

Leadership 20X: We are continuing to develop our management culture

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We believe that the interplay of our strategy and our corporate culture offers our company a key competitive advantage. We therefore work constantly to improve our management culture and the way we cooperate. This is also why we launched the Leadership 2020 initiative in 2016: More than 1,000 employees of all ages from over 23 countries and various units and levels of the hierarchy have participated in the process of reformulating the ideas behind our Leadership Principles. We have also created a framework for changing the culture at our company. For example, we have aligned our processes for human resources development and decision-making, as well as our organizational structures and work methods and tools, with our new management culture. We want to continue this work with Leadership 20X in the years to come as well.

The conduct of all employees at the Daimler Group continues to be based on and guided by our eight Leadership Principles: Pioneering Spirit, Agility, Purpose, Empowerment, Customer Orientation, Co-Creation, Learning, and “Driven to Win.” These principles are intended to make the Group faster, more effective, and more flexible and boost its innovative potential. This is why they are also core elements of our HR processes.

Among other things, we have created a human resources development tool for our managers. This online tool is available to all executives and Level 4 management staff. Among other things, it includes a feedback process that allows managers to request feedback and utilize it to further develop their leadership skills and improve their performance. The managers receive the feedback from their own supervisors, their employees, and selected colleagues who assess them on the basis of the eight Leadership Principles. The HR development tool also includes additional instruments such as a controlling tool for defining and monitoring work priorities. This tool helps managers and employees define, modify, and monitor specific contributions and metrics associated with the implementation of unit strategies.

Functions and responsibilities determine remuneration

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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. Among other things, this policy stipulates that salaries are determined on the basis of the requirements of each employee’s tasks (taking into account factors including their knowledge and abilities, responsibilities and decision-making scope) and in some cases their performance. In other words, gender, ethnicity, or other personal attributes have no bearing whatsoever on salary decisions. Internal audits are conducted annually on a random basis to make sure selected aspects of the policy are complied with. 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. No significant violations of our Corporate Compensation Policy are known to have occurred during the reporting year. We conduct income review discussions for employees and managers on a regular basis. The discussions 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 and compliance with all data protection regulations. The discussions also address employee development potential.

Employees who are not satisfied with their remuneration can speak to their manager. If the employee and the manager fail to resolve the issue, the responsible human resources unit or works council can be brought in.

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 tools motivate and create transparency

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

With the implementation of the ERA remuneration framework agreement in 2007, we also established a standardized leadership process for non-production employees below Level 4 at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG in Germany.

This process consists of an annual initial discussion, a review, and a final discussion. In the initial discussion, managers and their employees agree on goals, targets, and areas of focus for work. Expectations regarding work performance and qualification measures can also be defined in this discussion. Further conversations take place in the middle of the year in order to determine how much progress has been made and if necessary formulate measures that can help support the employee in question throughout the rest of the year.

Progress is then assessed again at the end of the year, as are the employee’s work performance and development potential. All of these aspects are also discussed by the responsible management team.

Finally the results of the standardized leadership process are discussed with the respective employee by the manager. Agreements are also reached regarding the employee’s further professional development.

A single regulation regarding performance-based remuneration applies to employees at Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG (including their subsidiaries): In accordance with the remuneration group as defined in the supplemental collective bargaining agreement for services, a target annual salary is contractually defined; this salary consists of a fixed (80 to 90 percent) and a variable (10 to 20 percent) component. Despite the existence of the variable component, the high proportion of the fixed component ensures sufficient financial planning security. A performance assessment/target achievement process (PA/TA process) is conducted each year to evaluate the employee’s performance and target achievement. Employees below Level 4 define individual goals and targets with their respective managers at the beginning of each year. During an interim review discussion and a final discussion at the end of the year, managers and employees then determine the extent to which the goals and targets have been achieved. This procedure promotes transparent communication between managers and employees in a manner that is appropriate for the subject: The PA/TA process helps managers and employees formulate reasonable goals and targets that both can accept. It also increases transparency and thus acceptance of the remuneration system.

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 also providing employees with additional information in order to comply with Germany’s remuneration transparency act. This includes information that shows employees the various remuneration components of comparable groups of all genders.

Employees at Daimler AG and its subsidiaries who are subject to a collective bargaining agreement are usually also offered voluntary benefits that are agreed upon with the respective employees’ representative bodies. These benefits include employer-funded contributions to retirement benefits and options for employees to participate in an employee-funded retirement benefits system. In many cases, employees who are subject to collective bargaining agreements can also participate in profit-sharing arrangements at their respective company. In addition, our employees can avail themselves of the services of a wide variety of sports facilities and fitness centers — as well as social amenities ranging from daycare centers to counseling services.

Flexible working-time arrangements give employees more freedom

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Increasing digitalization is having a positive effect on life balance. It is enabling people to arrange their working hours more flexibly — under consideration of their specific needs as well. This in turn is helping to increase the performance and satisfaction of our employees. For this reason, we support managers and employees with a wide range of flexible working options that make it easier for them to reconcile their work with their personal lives in the most effective manner possible. Among other things, we offer our employees options for mobile working, reduced working hours, and job sharing, and we also give them the opportunity to take an extended leave of absence.

Since December 2016, all employees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, and Daimler Brand & IP Management GmbH & Co. KG have had the right to work remotely if their tasks and assignments can accommodate this. Details regarding this right are included in a company-wide agreement.

Daimler also offers a variety of part-time work arrangements — for example, employees can reduce their working hours and spread their daily, weekly or monthly hours over a period of one to five days.

Daimler promotes job sharing, in particular for managers who wish to share a task or position while working part-time. This is especially helpful for managers with challenging family situations who wish to reconcile their professional and private lives more effectively and continue to develop professionally by sharing a job. A tandem job share with two people uniting their mixture of experience, strengths, and networks brings better results when complex tasks need to be performed and/or management responsibility needs to be assumed by more than one individual. Three internal part-time work communities were set up in 2015 in order to facilitate the search for a tandem partner. These communities bring together potential partners from Levels 3 and 4, as well as all employees below Level 4 and production employees. Part-time work forums and regular meetings also offer those interested in job sharing the opportunity to get to know each other and exchange information and ideas. There were 194 tandem job shares at the management level in the reporting year, which means 388 managers shared a position and/or a task.

Employees can also make arrangements with the company to take a sabbatical lasting between three months and a year, with a reinstatement guarantee.

Employees who wish to obtain additional qualifications — including pursuing a course of study at a university — can make arrangements with the company to take a three to five-year leave with guaranteed reinstatement.

Life balance

We offer various types of working-time arrangements and other options to support employees who have children or relatives they need to care for. For example, we offer our employees in Germany 660 places in company daycare centers. We can also arrange a further 200 or so childcare opportunities at various locations in Germany. Parents who are interested in alternative daycare options or need a tutor for their children can turn to our cooperation partners. We have also set up parent-child rooms at several locations for situations in which children need to be brought to work.

Daimler Group employees in Germany can take advantage of a variety of programs that facilitate their reentry into the company after family and parental leave. For example, our employees can stay abreast with events at the Group during parental and family leave via the Social Intranet and also access the internal job exchanges. We also support mothers and fathers by using checklists during the transition to parental leave, by helping them maintain contact in the meantime, and by 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. These events were held online in the reporting year due to the covid-19 pandemic.

A particular feature at Daimler in Germany is customized coaching and online mentorship platforms to prepare mothers and fathers for their upcoming reintegration into the Group. Specially trained personnel are also available in the HR Service Center to answer questions related to parental and family leave for employees at Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, and Daimler Truck AG. A total of approximately 4,962 employees of Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG, Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG were on parental leave in 2020, of whom 75.7 percent were men.

A job, children, and taking care of old or sick family members or relatives — an increasing number of employees at Daimler are facing such a triple burden. Daimler has therefore further expanded its internal support programs relating to care by establishing a partnership with an external care consulting firm. Since April 2020, employees at Daimler have been able to obtain advice on the phone or in person — 24/7 and 365 days a year. In addition, plans call for an external care provider to offer consultation services once a month at several company health insurance fund locations in Germany. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, these consultation services have only been available at three locations to date — in Bremen, Untertürkheim, and Sindelfingen. Employees have also been able to obtain advice online since November 2020. The external care provider also offers consultation at employees’ homes, and employees made frequent use of this service during the reporting year. We have held several online events as well on issues related to authorizing power of attorney, financing, and other care topics that are important today — and these events were very well received by our employees.

Employees who would like to take care of a family member or relative full-time can leave the company for a period of time beyond that defined by legal provisions — for up to four years with guaranteed reinstatement.

How we assess 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. We conduct the survey every two years, most recently in 2018 after it had been thoroughly reworked. We were unable to carry out the employee survey in 2020 due to the covid-19 pandemic, but we will be conducting it in 2021.

Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG and their subsidiaries conduct an employee survey every two years in line with the guidelines defined by the Great Place to Work Institute. These surveys ensure that the companies receive extensive feedback from their employees, which helps the companies continuously improve their management and corporate culture and further develop their work culture within the framework of the transformation process. The surveys also serve as a basis for the selection of the winners in the annual Great Place to Work Award competition. During 2020, Daimler Mobility AG was once again named one of Germany’s best places to work, and the company is also recognized internationally as an attractive employer.

Our employees’ loyalty to the company is also expressed by the high average amount of time they have worked for Daimler: This rose slightly in the reporting year and has reached 16.4 years (2019: 16 years). In Germany, employees had worked for Daimler for an average of 19.8 years at the end of 2020 (2019: 19.5 years). Daimler employees outside Germany had worked for the Group for an average of 11.5 years (2019: 10.9 years). In 2020, our employee turnover rate amounted to 5.8 percent worldwide (2019: 6.0 percent).

We use our annual “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue” to obtain additional important feedback from our stakeholders in business, government, the scientific community, and other areas. These dialog events feature various working groups in which we examine and discuss current and future issues related to sustainability. The 13th “Daimler Sustainability Dialogue” at the beginning of November 2020 took place online due to the covid-19 pandemic. Among other things, the “Employees and Integrity” working group at the digital event addressed the question of the extent to which management culture and integrity form the pillars of sustainable company success in times of crisis in particular. The results of the Daimler Sustainability Dialogue are incorporated into other activities related to integrity and leadership.

Fluctuation rate (in %)
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Europe*

 

 

 

4.6

5.0

thereof Germany

3.1

3.4

3.7

3.5

4.5

NAFTA*

 

 

 

12.7

8.9

Asia*

 

 

 

7.9

6.4

Rest of world

10.4

7.5

5.5

5.7

7.8

Total

6.7

5.1

4.9

6.0

5.8

*

New report starting point (values only available from 2019)

Parental leave – Entitled employees*
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Men

118,171

117,800

118,025

117,375

117,189

Women

20,209

20,928

21,814

22,074

22,989

Total

138,380

138,728

139,839

139,449

140,178

*

Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG; new from 2020: including Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG in Germany

Employees on parental leave*/**
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2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Men

1,999

3,130

3,192

3,733

3,756

Women

805

823

685

1,050

1,206

Total

2,804

3,953

3,877

4,783

4,962

*

Daimler AG, Mercedes-Benz AG, Daimler Truck AG; new from 2020: including Daimler Mobility AG and Mercedes-Benz Bank AG in Germany

**

Return rate 99.9%

Provider/Privacy

Daimler AG Mercedesstraße 120
70372 Stuttgart
Germany
Tel.: +49 711 17 0
E-Mail: dialog@daimler.com

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