Good employer


Attractive employment conditions and opportunities for personal and professional development are the key factors for making a company attractive for employees. The Company places particular emphasis on forward-looking human resource development.

Human resource development

Human resource development is an important anchor point of the KION Group’s new HR strategy, which it completed in February 2016. Its core aim is to make even better use of the expertise of all employees, but also to promote high-potential employees in an even more targeted way. In principle, all employees can access human resource development measures. Furthermore, the KION Group attaches great importance to succession planning for key positions. To achieve this aim, in 2016 it also began to develop a process which it plans to implement from October 2017 onwards.

Critical to the KION Group’s success is its ability to always fill specialist and management positions with qualified employees. This is why securing and developing new talent remained a major focus of its Group-wide HR work in 2016. In the reporting year, it began to develop a range of Group-wide talent-management measures which it already started to implement in 2017. By the summer of 2017, existing competence models will have been consolidated into a uniform Group-wide competence model. In addition, with its new executive-level leadership programme it will produce a systematic development programme which it will use from the end of 2017 onwards.

In terms of talent management and its training and development programmes, the Group companies work together closely. This enables it to systematically identify and develop employees requiring training, high-potential employees, high-performers, and experts in key functions. The individual operating units and Group companies also offer comprehensive training programmes. For many years now, the STILL Academy has offered subject-specific and interdisciplinary training courses. At Linde Material Handling, an academy also promotes the targeted development of expertise, particularly in sales and service.

The strategic aim of Dematic’s talent-promotion activities – and this also applies to the other operating units – is to increase employee involvement by equipping them with functional knowledge and complementary skills. This is achieved through a clearly communicated, coordinated and integrated approach. Dematic trains its management personnel to lead and to make use of available technologies to offer its global workforce relevant training in a timely manner, to assess potentials, further develop skills and in doing so to prepare these employees for the company’s future.

Leadership and promotion

In a company, commitment and motivation are primarily the result of clear leadership based on the company’s values. The understanding of leadership in the KION Group is clearly set out both at Group and operating unit level. In 2017 it will communicate how it has consolidated and updated this understanding into a uniform Group-wide management guideline and will accompany it with training courses. Powerful tools such as 360° feedback and targeted projects support executives in performing their duties. In particular, the recently updated talent management system is now closely interlinked with the Company’s performance management system, and plays a key role in this respect.

Around a third of the workforce* (65.8 percent; excluding Dematic) receive regular performance and career-development reviews.


As at the end of 2016, Group-wide 580 apprentices1 (end of 2015: 571) were preparing for their professional future at the KION Group. The share of apprentices in Germany has remained virtually unchanged for many years now at over 4.5 percent1. Depending on respective personnel requirements, a wide range of opportunities are open to apprentices once they complete their training.

Training is organised at a local level to suit local requirements. In Germany alone, the KION Group currently offers apprenticeships in 22 occupations such as production, industrial and construction mechanics, mechatronics engineers or technical model builders or industrial managers. Besides traditional vocational training, it offers programmes combining vocational training with a degree course in partnership with various universities.

Other Group companies at various locations in Europe and beyond also train young people. Among them, over 20 years ago Linde Forklift Truck Corp. Ltd. in Xiamen, China, opened a training and development centre where young people complete a dual vocational training course based on the German model.

1 incl. Dematic


All KION Group employees are remunerated in a fair, market-driven and performance-based way, irrespective of gender or nationality. Each national company reviews the remuneration of its individual employees annually and, if necessary, it adjusts it to take into account the individual’s performance, level of qualification or change in circumstances.

As remuneration models and other benefits are closely aligned with local labour market and statutory – especially tax and social insurance – regulations, they vary across the Company depending on the region. In many countries, particularly in Europe, wage and salary levels for many employee groups are regulated by collective bargaining agreements. At all of the KION Group’s locations worldwide, it complies with statutory or, where applicable, collectively bargained minimum wage requirements. Owing to its employees’ often very high level of qualification, remuneration is usually well above the minimum wage level. Depending on local conditions, additional benefits such as an occupational pension, insurance cover and healthcare may supplement employees’ compensation.

Following the KION Group’s successful stock market listing in 2013, in 2014 it launched the KION Employee Equity Programme (KEEP). It initially covered Germany, and was expanded in 2015 and 2016 to include further countries. In fiscal year 2016 around 1,100 employees took part in the programme, which is equivalent to around six percent of the eligible workforce. The total participation rate since KEEP was launched is around 17 percent. Over 75 percent of employees had access to the programme as at the end of the reporting year. In 2017 it plans to give employees in other countries the opportunity to participate in the Company’s development through this programme.

Diversity and equal opportunities

At the KION Group every employee is valued and treated equally irrespective of their ethnic background, skin colour, gender, beliefs, political opinion, origin or social background. These principles are laid down in the KION Group’s minimum employment standards, which apply globally and across all of its locations. In the reporting period it was not notified of discriminatory behaviour nor any other instances of non-compliance with its employment standards.

The KION Group is meeting the challenges of demographic change in a way that satisfies local requirements and organisational possibilities. To encourage a healthy work-life balance, the KION Group offers flexible working time models. Its employees in Germany also have access to its parental leave option. In the reporting year, 435 female employees and 544 male employees globally* (> Table 24) made use of this and similar options.

Employees who took parental leave G4-LA3

Table 24

31/12/2016; 90 consolidated reporting entities; based on headcount; excluding Dematic

Employees in parental leave






Gender not available


Globally, in 2016 the KION Group* employed 568 people with a disability – over two percent of its workforce. The KION Group’s companies also provide these employees with a working environment that offers them suitable employment opportunities.

As is typical for a mechanical engineering company such as the KION Group, the share of women in terms of its overall workforce, particularly in management positions, is still relatively low. The share of female employees in the KION Group remained virtually unchanged in 2016 at 16.3 percent (previous year: 16.1 percent).

In Germany, the law requires the Executive and Supervisory Boards of publicly listed companies to set targets for the share of women in the Executive Board as well as in the two management levels below that. For the respective targets and further details, see the Corporate governance section of the Annual Report 2016. Furthermore, binding targets are set for the share of women in the management levels of Linde Material Handling GmbH and STILL GmbH. In principle, the KION Group aims to increase the share of women in management positions. A challenge arises for the KION Group as a technology company from the fact that it has often failed to hire female engineers owing to the lack of female graduates in technical professions. However, it will address the topic beyond gender-specific issues with its upcoming development of a diversity strategy designed to eliminate potential diversity-specific barriers to career development.

The KION Group sees itself as a global supplier with intercultural expertise. This is proven by the fact that as at the end of 2016, people from 83 different countries were working for the Company. The international nature of the Group is also evident in the appointment of the Executive Board, the management committees and the national companies. The KION Group staffs local management positions predominantly with executives from the particular local area. It also encourages international collaboration between employees through its KION Expat Programme, which allows employees to change to another country where the KION Group is represented.