dormakaba offers fair working conditions in which our employees can leverage on their strengths and build their skills. We foster an engaged workforce where we strive to have the right people in the right roles.
Why it matters
Our success is based on the performance of our employees. It is their dedication that helps us maintain and further develop our global competitive position, which is why we have a strong people-focus in our corporate strategy. As a company with employees in over 50 countries, we must ensure an engaging working environment in order to be an employer of choice for current and prospective employees. We must also ensure that we treat employees fairly and with respect in accordance with our company values, and that we provide them with equal opportunities and fair remuneration.
Read about how our colleague Tobias Röll is creating more awareness about accessibilityLaunch story
A key element of our corporate strategy is that we continuously shape a productive and equitable working environment and foster an atmosphere of trust. As we strive to have the right people in the right roles, dormakaba offers fair working conditions in which our employees can leverage their strengths and build their skills. This leads to an engaged workforce and helps to avoid risks, such as loss of know-how and personnel shortages. Our approach toward our employees is governed primarily by our Code of Conduct as well as by country-based labor regulations and the local employee handbook, where available.
Our Human Resources (HR) management team is spread globally – in addition to Group HR, there are HR professionals at the segment level and HR representatives at the local market level. Group HR bundles strategic issues based on our corporate strategy and the needs of local HR representatives, and develops best practice programs accordingly. These programs can then be customized and implemented in each segment and region to respond to local market requirements and conditions. The local HR representatives also develop and implement individual initiatives and programs suited to the needs of their employees, helping to react to the different local customers and markets as effectively as possible. We continue to invest in technology and business applications that allow us to more effectively deliver services to our employees, including a Group-wide HR data management system launched in the financial year 2017/18.
Due to the local nature of employment practices, our segments and regions develop employment policies according to local requirements. Labor regulations and business needs have to be taken into consideration to find the best and most sensible solutions on a local level. For the sake of transparency, however, an overview of best-practice policies across the Group is found below.
Policies (additional to Code of Conduct)
% employees covered (Group-wide FTE)
Health and Safety Policy
Employee Counselling and Discipline Policy
Equal Opportunity Employment Policy
Equal pay for equal work Policy
Drug free/Alcohol free Workplace Policy
Training and Professional Development Policy
Open Door Policy
Flexible Working/Home Office Policy
% employees covered (Group-wide FTE)
Vacation and holidays*
Health Insurance benefits for employees
Other special leave offerings*
Health Insurance benefits for employees’ families/dependants
Financial contribution to external training
New employee referral bonus
On-site fitness classes or gym discounts
Maternity, paternity or parental leave*
% of countries implementing**
Provision of protective equipment to all impacted employees
Regular assessment of individual performance
Provision of skills development training
Training of relevant employees on health & safety
Annual medical exams
Employee representatives or employee representative body (e.g. works council)
Flexible organization of working time
Working time reduction measures
Official measures to anticipate or reduce layoffs and associated negative impacts
Communication on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Equal pay for equal work audit
Employee Assistance Program (counselling)
Awareness training to prevent discrimination/harassment
Training on freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
Dependent care support
Measures to promote gender and/or minority inclusion
*Beyond legal requirements
**Even if not country-wide
To provide employees with an employment and working environment in which they can thrive, dormakaba focuses our activities on the following four areas:
- Engaging our employees
- Creating an inclusive and diverse workforce with equal opportunities
- Fair remuneration and benefits
- Employee attraction and retention
Read also about the importance we place on Training & Education here.
Engaging our employees
High employee engagement has been proven to lead to increased productivity, decreases in workplace accidents and improved customer satisfaction. A key method to support employee engagement is to ensure a culture of open dialogue across the organization.
In the financial year 2017/18, dormakaba launched the first Group-wide employee survey, called dormakaba dialogue. In January 2018, 72% of our employees in 52 countries anonymously participated in the survey, which was available in 18 languages. The aim of the survey was to gauge employee engagement and performance enablement. The latter focuses on, for example, whether employees feel they have the required skills, tools and information they need to do their jobs effectively.
The survey revealed strengths as well as room for improvement on a global level. One key strength is that managers and employees are perceived to act according to the dormakaba values. The relationships between managers and employees are in general characterized by our value and brand promise: Trust.
Employee Engagement Index (%)
Performance Enablement Index (%)
IBM Global Norm*
*The IBM global norm is a composite of employee responses from 400 companies across organizations from all industries and all geographies. It provides comparative results that represent the average scores across all organizations in the IBM norm database running employee surveys for multiple years.
Based on the overall global results, the Executive Committee has identified the following fields of action and commitments:
- Encourage and demand closer collaboration between departments;
- Continue to work on constructive leadership behavior;
- Encourage ownership and accountability to improve work processes; and
- Define ways to help people work within the operating model (e.g. through training).
In the financial year 2018/19, team leaders were asked to discuss the results in dedicated team sessions to develop actions on leadership behavior, team topics, processes and infrastructure as needed. HR representatives trained team leaders throughout the company on how best to communicate the results and develop their action plans. Communication materials, such as posters, stickers and PowerPoint templates for cascading results and defining team actions were made available. Stickers with the slogan “I am a result of dormakaba dialogue” were designed for items specifically purchased or put in place as a result of the employee engagement survey.
On top of the global actions highlighted above, over 800 teams worldwide worked with their survey results and launched more than 2,200 team actions. Actions implemented at the segment level were communicated in a series of intranet articles and newsletters. To measure the efficacy of the ongoing actions, a follow-up global survey is planned for February 2020. In addition to the global employee survey, segments and regions have local solutions to gather employee feedback and to address employee concerns and grievances.
Examples of such activities in the financial year 2018/19 included:
- In China, as part of the post-acquisition integration of the Commercial Building Physical Access Solutions (PAS) business from Beijing-based Cambaum Group, we conducted four rounds of engagement surveys. After seeing dips in employee engagement, follow up actions were planned considering the actual need to engage team members. As a result, a new training program was implemented, focusing on company culture and branding, product knowledge, order processing and sales skills.
- Access Solutions (AS) AMER in Canada conducted two alignment workshops with its Montreal managers to explain the business objectives and develop common ones, with the goal of fostering teamwork and breaking down silos.
- AS EMEA in France implemented a value recognition program “les victoires de dormakaba” to recognize and applaud colleagues who bring our dormakaba values to life in their daily work life. Employees can nominate colleagues based on their demonstration of a behavior related to one of our five corporate values – Customer First, Courage, Curiosity, Performance, and Trust. The nominations are then screened and validated at a local senior management meeting once every month. The winners receive a diploma, an invitation to the French senior management meeting, and a gift voucher.
Creating an inclusive and diverse workforce with equal opportunities
Our global presence and operations in various markets mirror our commitment to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce. As our Code of Conduct states, we respect the equality of people and cultures. In the financial year 2018/19, female employees represented 31% of the total workforce. At 54%, the majority of employees represented in this report are between 30 and 50 years of age.
The topic of diversity and equal opportunity is driven by local activities. Examples of activities in the financial year 2018/19 included:
- Key Systems business unit in Colombia has historically employed a high number of temporary workers from external employment agencies. In order to further equal opportunities, some of this workforce has recently been progressively included into the same working terms and conditions as the direct employees, e.g. participation in a bonus system and entitlement to the same number of holidays. Other employment conditions for temporary workers are substantially aligned with those of regular employees.
- Grupo Klaus S.A. in Peru was acquired by dormakaba in May 2018 and is still in an integration phase within the Key Systems business unit. Prior to acquisition, the company was a privately-owned family business, based in Villa el-Salvador and located on the margin of one of the poorest areas of Lima. In order to support the inclusion of a diverse workforce, transportation for night shift workers and a welfare program were established. A dedicated room within the business was established for breast-feeding and nursing.
- Skyfold, which is located in Canada and is part of the Movable Walls business unit, offers a tailored external training program to develop female leadership, and to promote gender diversity and development. The program is called “L’effet A”, where A stands for ambition. It covers topics such as reinforcing trust, negotiation, drive, influence and inclusion.
- In our AS APAC manufacturing facility in Taishan (China), many employees live in the dormitory during their working shift and are not able to look after their families, especially their children, when they are working in the plant. To ensure a safe and healthy summer vacation for these children, Taishan founded a summer kindergarten in the year 2017. Children 6 to 10 years of age can join the summer campus and are taught by university students. There are various events and courses offered to the children such as traditional culture, Wushu, music and arts.
Board of Directors
Fair remuneration and benefits
dormakaba aims to establish fair compensation that is determined based on the job function and relevant local market benchmarks. It is not influenced by personal attributes such as age, nationality or gender. The global grading system ensures that functions are evaluated in a consistent manner across the organization. In addition, we provide locally specific benefits and welfare programs. As stipulated in the Group Directive Compensation, we refrain from offering excessively low wages (i.e., wage dumping). Examples of our fair remuneration and benefits activities in the financial year 2018/19 included:
- Access Solutions (AS) EMEA in the Middle East and Africa linked annual salary increases to performance ratings in order to better reward strong performers. The business also launched the High-5 program, a peer-nomination recognition scheme that rewards employees for demonstrating company values. The first round of the High-5 program was implemented at a regional level, with 5 regional winners every six months. A local version of the program within each country will be launched to create an atmosphere of local team celebration.
- Key Systems business unit recently established the welfare program “Colsubsidio” in Bogota, Colombia. Based on employer and employee contributions, it provides a variety of flexible benefits such as vouchers for infant food and medical care, cultural and sporting initiatives for children and families, facilitated loans for house/car purchases. Additionally, the business unit implemented a bonus system for all employees, based on sales and profitability targets. A private transportation service is provided for employees living further away to facilitate transportation in a heavy traffic environment.
- AS DACH segment has an “equal pay for equal work” policy in place, according to national legislation in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Further, in Switzerland, an annual salary survey is carried out by an independent third party, as is standard practice for all companies with membership to Swissmem – the Swiss association of mechanical and electrical engineering industries. The analysis compares all the salaries of the member companies who use Switzerland’s general collective agreement as a basis for employment.
Employee attraction and retention
We provide our employees with long-term professional development opportunities in order to attract and retain an experienced workforce. This is vital to the company’s success. When filling open positions, promoting from within our own workforce is preferred.
Examples of recruiting and career opportunity activities in the financial year 2018/19 included:
- Access Solutions (AS) APAC in Suzhou (China) found it challenging to recruit shop floor workers, so they launched the Manufacturing Technical Trainee program, which facilitates the transition of college students into an industrial employment setting. In the financial year 2018/19, approximately 20 trainees from college schools were given the opportunity to participate in a six-month internship program at the dormakaba manufacturing site in Suzhou.
- AS AMER implemented more specific approaches to supporting employees whose jobs were eliminated or relocated. These approaches include a Standard Severance Policy, which goes well beyond the legal requirements in the USA; and a standard approach to outplacement support, which is designed to enhance the employability of workers who were separated from employment with dormakaba through no fault of their own.
In financial year 2018/19, a total of 1,194 employees left the company and 1,411 joined in the reporting scope. This corresponds with rates of 10% and 12%, respectively.
Employee fluctuation in Asia and the Americas was higher than in other regions. This is attributed to restructuring measures, and relocation of manufacturing activities in the Americas. The higher fluctuation in Asia Pacific is to be expected based on regional workforce trends. In addition, in China, employees are usually appointed on the basis of fixed-term labor contracts before being eligible for an indefinite contract. This results in a temporal shift of the fluctuation rates for Asia Pacific and to a certain extent overall, since employees with permanent contracts joining and leaving dormakaba are counted only after their contracts have been converted (usually after the completion of two consecutive fixed-term contracts, in accordance with Chinese Labor Contract Law).
The workforce aged under 30 years shows higher joining and leaving rates compared to the other age groups. This is consistent across all regions, and congruent with findings from a study on general workforce turnover trends periodically conducted by human resources consulting firm Mercer.
- Fluctuation is calculated with permanent staff.
Our most significant achievement in the financial year 2018/19 was the continued internalization of our corporate culture and values at the local level, as well as further engaging with our employees on our values. We have significantly improved our global employee master database, which has allowed us to gain additional insight on the workforce structure and related trends. We also ran an in-depth analysis of where the company stands as an employer and developed an Employer Branding strategy. Our biggest challenge, however, remains in that we are a highly diversified company in terms of geographic distribution, size of sites and local challenges. This is why we have planned to further strengthen cross-country and cross-entity collaboration and communication which will be measured in the next round of our employee engagement survey in early 2020.
On a Group-wide level, we will begin implementing a uniform orientation process across all countries and segments, and we will roll-out initial actions based on our Employer Branding strategy. We will continue to seek feedback through the second round of our global employee engagement survey. In addition, we will continue to constantly review our compensation practices.
Access Solutions (AS) DACH is rolling out an eRecruiting system in Germany to automate and optimize the recruiting process in order to be more transparent and efficient. A similar roll-out is planned for the Americas and is under consideration for the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region.
Further, a home office policy is being developed to better balance family life and career in Germany, while in China, the focus is on completing succession planning. In Singapore, an Employee Assistance Program will be launched to support employee emotional wellbeing by offering talks and counselling sessions. MEA is establishing a grading structure to analyze “equal pay for equal work” and to design realignment measures. The region will also introduce a “spot recognition program” that rewards employees for going the extra mile with outstanding contributions to the business.
Creating awareness about accessibility
Our colleague Tobias Röll, an employee in the marketing department for Entrance Systems and a disabled representative at dormakaba, is working to create more awareness about accessibility. He is acting as an issue influencer under the Hashtag #moveforward.
Tobias says, “People see my wheelchair, and see only my wheelchair. They think only that I am handicapped. But I’m not – it is my environment that makes me disabled. Anyone can make a difference, whether they can walk or not. That’s why dormakaba and I want to point out accessibility barriers in public and private spaces. We want to draw attention to people with disabilities. And we no longer want to accept discrimination.” Tobias is 33, married and a proud father. He is a paraplegic and comes into daily contact with accessibility barriers. Under #moveforward he shares his personal experiences – for example, when he is building a house or is on holiday – on various social media channels and takes his followers with him on his many journeys.
#TobiOnTour: buildings are tested for accessibility; videos and photos from the road
#TobiTrifft: interviews with decision makers or affected people
#TobiCheckt: critical product tests, exchanges with product developers and managers
#TobiInformiert: information and stories from everyday life
In his posts, Tobias is hoping to raise awareness of the challenges that people with disabilities have to master every day. He also wants to highlight how it is possible to improve our collective quality of life through publicly accessible buildings and workplaces (both structurally and technically) in such a way that everyone can lead a self-determined, independent life. This is particularly true for children, senior citizens or people with physical disabilities who struggle to open doors – which often represents a basic barrier to everyday life. Free movement in public or private buildings, as well as unhindered entry and exit, especially in the event of an emergency, is a prerequisite and often regulated by law. This applies to hospitals, nursing homes, government buildings, hotels, schools, shopping centers – anywhere where building accessibility issues could inhibit free movement. “Accessibility is no longer a technical problem. Accessibility is a question of attitude”, emphasizes Tobias.
Website: moveforward.dormakaba.com – Facebook: Moveforward Tobias Röll – Instagram: @moveforwardtobiasroell – YouTube: #moveforwardtobiasroell