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 human resources colleagues have protected the health of our employees during the Covid-19 pandemic in this interview our Senior Vice President Group Human Resources, Mirja BeckerRead interview
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 in larger countries. Group HR bundles strategic issues based on our corporate strategy 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 Learning Management System.
Due to the local nature of employment practices, our segments, regions and countries 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
The above data stem from the policies, benefits and measures survey and data collection from the financial year 2018/19. An update was postponed to the financial year 2020/21 to support our HR colleagues focus on crisis management during the Covid-19 pandemic and its fallout.
To provide employees with a working environment in which they can thrive, we focus 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 February 2020, all dormakaba employees around the globe were invited to participate in the second round of dormakaba dialogue, which was available in 19 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 high response rate of 80% shows that a vast majority of dormakaba employees used the opportunity to provide feedback – a substantial increase compared to the already strong participation rate of the survey conducted two years ago (72%). The global results show a positive development across all 25 survey items that were included in the previous survey. According to the external partner who facilitates the survey program, such a consistent improvement is rarely seen with global companies.
Employee Engagement Index (%)
Performance Enablement Index (%)
dormakaba dialogue 2020
dormakaba dialogue 2018
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.
The survey revealed both strengths as well as room for improvement on a global level. One key strength continues to be that managers and employees show a high level of orientation toward the dormakaba values in their ways of working, especially regarding trust between managers and employees. Compared to the previous results, employees feel more appreciated for doing a good job and experience a stronger sense of being “one company”. The latter has a high impact on employee engagement.
On a global level, the Executive Committee has identified the following focus topics:
- The level of priority given to the dormakaba value Customer First in our day-to-day decisions should increase even further.
- Although there was strong progress and improvement, the quality of teamwork and collaboration between departments at dormakaba continues to have further scope for development.
- While the results show that significantly more praise and recognition for doing a good job is being given, we want to continue to consciously drive activities that support such practice.
Just as in the first round of the program in 2018, each team is once again asked to discuss their results in a team session and jointly develop a few meaningful actions to improve their direct work environment. And, while developing action plans is important, following up on them is key for success. Therefore, follow-up communication materials, such as posters, stickers and PowerPoint templates for cascading results and defining and following up on team actions have been made available again. 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.
In addition to the global employee survey, segments and regions have local solutions to gather employee feedback and to address employee concerns and grievances, and to encourage employee engagement.
Examples of such activities in the financial year 2019/20 included:
- In Southeast Asia, a group of employees has been nominated to connect with the rest of the staff in defining and implementing diversity, entertainment, recreation, welfare, and well-being initiatives at the workplace. Some of these have included a Safety Day, yoga sessions, celebrations of local festivals, and a sports tournament. In Singapore, an Employee Assistance program offering employees free counselling was launched.
- The manufacturing facility in Ennepetal (Germany) underwent a transformation program, including a new organizational setup and management team. To reach and support all colleagues through this change, a comprehensive communication package was provided explaining the market development and competitive environment and describing the vision, targets, strategy and measures based on corresponding values and behavior.
- In addition to dormakaba dialogue, Key & Wall Solutions installed suggestion boxes in Vittorio Veneto (Italy) and Montreal (Canada) to allow opportunity for further and more frequent feedback from employees. There are Employee of the Month or Team of the Month programs in Australia, Colombia, India, Malaysia and Peru.
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 2019/20, female employees represented 29% of the total workforce. At 55%, 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 2019/20 included:
- In Taiwan, AS APAC has invested in improving the living conditions and safety standards of the foreign workers’ dormitory, as part of a renovation to make the facility more earthquake-resilient. The renovations to the dormitory included a 25-point environment and safety assessment by an external agency. Foreign workers were included in the renovation plans and were able to give feedback to their needs, which resulted in additional electrical systems being installed.
- In Germany, AS DACH has continued to support the #moveforward campaign to raise awareness of accessibility barriers in public and private spaces and to confront inaccessibility as a form of discrimination. More than 200 people with disabilities are employed in Germany.
- AS EMEA launched a gender diversity program, with the aim to promote more women from within the own ranks, especially in commercial and general management positions. An internal survey assessing the current status of gender diversity showed that there are a number of unconscious biases prevalent in various areas of the business that should be addressed. A series of interventions to start addressing the diversity challenges is now being developed, including a review of recruitment processes to remove gender biases in job ads and interviews, increased focus on female talents in career progression and development, actions to strengthen the self-affirmation of our female talents, a Workplace Allies scheme, and female peer networks, conferences and events.
- Key & Wall Solutions celebrated cultural diversity by observing national and religious holidays and organizing Family Days. In Malaysia and Australia, team lunches are held at various times through the year where employees bring a dish that is representative of their cultural heritage to share with other members of the team and to reflect on different customs. On Family Days in Germany and the USA, all employees can show their children and relatives where they work and what they do in their role.
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 2019/20 included:
- AS AMER harmonized management bonus program and sales incentive programs for all operations in the USA and Canada. “Equal pay for equal work” policies are in place, according to national legislation in Brazil and Mexico, which address situations in which men and women have the same job type. In Canada, the Pay Equity Act is expected to come into force in 2020. dormakaba has begun to establish a pay equity plan accordingly.
- In Singapore, AS APAC has voluntarily pledged to the Fair@Work Promise started by the Tripartite Alliance. This is a commitment to fair employment practices based on the five principles of merit-based and non-discriminatory recruitment, respect for employees, fair opportunity for training and development, and fair rewards and incentives, and adherence to labor law.
- Key & Wall Solutions conducted an internal assessment on the employment conditions of migrant workers in Malaysia to ensure that benefits are the same as other employees. Across the segment, an analysis of job grades and related benchmarks was performed. Similar positions are compared to ensure horizontal equality.
Employee attraction and retention
We provide our employees with long-term professional development opportunities in order to attract and retain a qualified 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 2019/20 included:
- In Latin America, AS AMER implemented an Internal Opportunities Program, a way to encourage the offer of open positions preferably for internal candidates, with a view to further develop our talents. Across the segment, we also implemented years of service recognition, where employees receive a gift of their choice when they complete 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years with the company. It is a way of rewarding employees for their dedication to the company and encouraging other employees to stay with us.
- In Germany, AS DACH has established a new role to manage and strengthen the apprenticeship program, and to encourage best practice sharing across the various sites in the country. We currently have apprentices at six locations in Germany. In recent years, we have hired between 20 and 30 apprentices each year, with around 95% being offered a permanent role once the apprenticeship was completed.
- Key & Wall Solutions achieved their goal of starting a “Bring a Friend” campaign in Germany. Employees can advertise job vacancies to friends or close acquaintances. Employees receive a financial incentive if a recruitment is successful. Key & Wall Solutions also offers a mentoring program by senior leadership for recently nominated managers, to support them in their new roles.
In financial year 2019/20, a total of 1,545 employees joined the company and 1,835 left in the reporting scope. This corresponds with rates of 10% and 12%, respectively, which was a higher leaver rate than joiner rate. The leaver rate is higher compared to the previous financial year (financial year 2018/19: 10%), whereas the joiner rate is lower (financial year 2018/19: 12%).
To address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic related business impact, dormakaba has initiated a Group-wide cost savings and restructuring program in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2019/20 to adjust capacities and cost. Measures are wide-ranging and include using up overtime and vacation balances, a significant reduction in temporary staff, a widespread hiring freeze, and the use of short-time work. As a company, we have made extensive efforts to forestall immediate job cuts where possible. Yet despite our efforts, we ultimately also had to include a sizeable reduction of headcount in these measures.
We did not take this step lightly, and we have aimed to treat our outgoing colleagues with dignity and respect throughout this process. For example, we have offered severance packages, prolonged notice periods and offered outplacement support to help employees through the transition in line with or beyond local labor laws. These have been difficult decisions, but also necessary for securing the sustainable, long-term success of our company – and ultimately aiming at job security for our remaining employees.
Employee fluctuation in Asia and the Americas was higher than in other regions. This is attributed to restructuring measures related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and consolidation of manufacturing activities in the Americas. In a normal year, 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.
Human Resources representatives across the globe have been an integral part of local, segment- and Group-level crisis management during the Covid-19 pandemic. They have been at the forefront, helping to define guidelines and specific measures such as strengthened safety precautions in the production environment and for sales staff and service technicians, transition to home office, travel restrictions, providing employees with informational material on safety precautions and safe behavior to avoid the spread of the virus, tracking the health and well-being of employees, and continuously communicating updates to related measures, stay-at-home policies or lockdowns set by local governments. The Covid-19 pandemic has slowed regular human resources processes and plans for the second half of the financial year 2019/20, and we expect to continue to feel the impact on our plans and strategies well into the financial year 2020/21.
Nonetheless, we still made progress in several areas. We conducted the second round of dormakaba dialogue, as outlined above. We continued the rollout of our Employer Branding strategy with various measures, including the campaign “Faces of dormakaba”. The campaign, which launched in May 2019, gave all employees the opportunity to participate in a video contest for a chance to be selected as one of the Faces of dormakaba and to represent the company in recruitment marketing material. Over 140 employees from across 23 countries joined the contest. Throughout the financial year 2019/20, the marketing material and internal branding material were published, and a relaunch of the dormakaba career website was completed.
We had also planned to roll out a uniform orientation process across all countries and segments. This has been achieved for all new employees of Key & Wall Solutions, and in the Pacific region within the AS APAC segment.
AS DACH has successfully rolled out an eRecruiting system in Germany to automate and optimize the recruiting process in order to be more transparent and efficient. A similar rollout was carried out for AS AMER and Key & Wall Solutions in Canada and the USA and remains under consideration for other regions and countries.
In the financial year 2020/21, we expect a continued impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our business activities, though we have low visibility on the future development. We will continue to use a wide range of tools for managing the impact on our workforce, including using up overtime and vacation balances, a widespread hiring freeze, and short-time work. In addition, we will finalize the announced headcount reduction (as outlined in the Annual Report), while simultaneously monitoring demand, capacities and increasing the workforce if and where needed.
We will also work to maintain the integrity of core management processes to provide stability and orientation for our employees. This includes continued focus on dormakaba dialogue, succession planning, leadership development programs, performance management, and prioritizing constructive and collaborative behavior in our culture.
The experiences of remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic showed us that there are different ways to work successfully, including from a home office. AS AMER therefore aims to implement an official Flex Workplace Policy, to give employees more flexible options for working both in the office and from home as well. Similarly, a new project “New Work@dormakaba” is being setup in Switzerland, where a step-by-step approach to the world of Work 4.0 will be made, addressing topics like annual working time and more flexible forms of work, etc.
Gender diversity initiatives planned in AS EMEA include flexible working policies, raising awareness of unconscious biases and fostering helpful norms, an additional calibration session for female talents that will focus on development and support of individualized career paths. Further improvements to the technician recruitment process are also planned in AS EMEA, in order to refine the technical aspects (theory and practical) within the interview process and the recruitment of apprentices. In Switzerland, an equal‑pay analysis and audit will be carried out in line with new revisions to the Swiss Gender Equality Act.
Key & Wall Solutions plans to integrate migrant workers as permanent employees in Malaysia and to continue the assessment of talents who are internal candidates for succession into senior leadership roles, offering coaching, mentoring and other development initiatives.
Going the extra mile for our employees during the Covid-19 pandemic
Interview with Mirja Becker, Senior Vice President Group Human Resources, dormakaba
Covid-19 has changed many aspects of our lives – in the way we work, we live, how we interact with each other. Since the onset of the pandemic, protecting the well-being of our employees and their families has been paramount. “Our primary concern and focus has been first on ensuring the health and safety of our employees and second on keeping the impact on our business and customers as limited as possible,” Riet Cadonau, Chairman and CEO, has said.
We sat down with Mirja Becker, SVP Group Human Resources to hear about how the company has worked to protect the health of our colleagues around the world.
Can you tell us about how the crisis organization was set up and the role of human resources?
Due to the dynamic situation in this crisis, with largely different local impacts, human resources representatives on country levels have played a critical role, helping to define early and thorough guidelines and precautionary measures to protect our employees. The HR Leads were appointed as single points of contact for all Covid-19 related matters within their segments. The HR and Operations Leads from every segment took part in the Group Crisis Taskforce (lead by the General Counsel) and held weekly alignment calls as the primary coordinating body, also exchanging best practice.
What kind of measures were put in place?
We issued global guidance for instance on travel restriction, provided employees with informational material on safety precautions and posters to remind everyone on hygiene and social distancing rules to avoid the spread of the virus. Masks were distributed and in some locations body temperature was checked. Protective shields and personal protective equipment for employees in the production lines, plus adaptations to shift plans, team-splitting and procedures to minimize personal contact were put into place. Our efforts paid off in that we had a relatively low number of infected employees worldwide so far, and we continue along this path.
In addition, “Tables for one” was the theme in our canteens, and there was frequent cleaning with disinfectant throughout the buildings. And, for example, when our large manufacturing facility in China was ramping up again as public transport was still not running – we arranged a “door-to-door” bus transfer for around 50 employees and their families from their hometowns.
How did the pandemic affect training and employee engagement initiatives?
On-site training shifted to webinars via our Learning Management System. To support the transition to home office, a toolbox was provided with a set of guidelines and suggestions on, for example, how to stay connected to your team, leading in a crisis, and information on IT infrastructure, hardware and software.
Transparent and frequent communication on related measures, stay-at-home policies or updates on local government responses was important to reassure and minimize fear. This open communication was appreciated, and it was not long before colleagues around the world started sharing pictures of their new work environment on our internal social media channel under the hashtag #onedormakaba – whether on-site in the production lines with plexiglass shields between stations or on-call providing customer service wearing personal protective equipment or in home office with the family pet in the background. The posts brought a sense of support, encouragement and community in these challenging times.