Creating a Premier Employee Experience
Ensuring a positive and impactful employee experience is a key focus of our people strategy. We do this through listening to feedback from our employees, offering opportunities for flexibility, and focusing on well-being.
- Employee listening: After the successful launch of the ‘Employee Listening Survey’ (‘ELS’) to all corporate and retail employees in 2021, we expanded the survey into distribution centers (‘DCs’) in the first quarter of 2022. This was the first time the entire DC population had had the opportunity to complete such a survey, and the participation rate was 53%. With the holistic results gathered from the entire organization, we were able to identify three key global themes to drive our next steps: Feedback, trust, and career advancement. Throughout 2022, these themes remained at the heart of our strategic HR initiatives and inspired the creation of our ‘ELS’ Ambassadors, i.e., representatives of regions and functions who ensure our global themes are integrated into local initiatives, while also addressing specific findings in their market or function. The ‘ELS Ambassadors’ will be integral in the rollout of the next iteration of the ‘ELS,’ planned for the first quarter of 2023.
- Health management: We strongly believe that physical, mental, and social well-being are of equal importance and are the cornerstone of sustainable performance. With this holistic approach, we aim to provide the best possible conditions for our employees to ensure their well-being, safety, and health. Focusing on prevention, education, and support, our comprehensive and inclusive portfolio caters for the diverse needs of our employees. Our employees have access to a wide range of sports activities, events, and facilities. We have corporate gyms at many locations around the world, including Herzogenaurach, Portland, Gurgaon, Shanghai, Dubai, and Manchester. Many of our office buildings have lockers and showers, allowing employees to cycle to work and include sports in their working day. To meet employee needs in a hybrid work set-up, programs are both local and virtual to support teamwork and a healthy lifestyle. Offerings range from hybrid sports classes, medical and psychosocial consultations (in-person and virtual), and tools for digital disconnection, to carefully curated sessions on life topics. Today, with a gradual extension, almost all adidas employees around the world have access to an Employee Assistance Program. In addition, 2022 saw the launch of several pilots across Germany aimed at elevating our approach to health. These include a certified peer program on psychological first aid, an ergonomic program for our distribution center employees, and a tailored three-year plan for our dual students and apprentices to support a healthy start to their working life.
- Return to office: In 2022, we were able to reopen several offices around the world, including our Herzogenaurach headquarters, where we introduced our new hybrid workplace concept as of May. We implemented a range of measures, such as vaccination centers, crisis management support, and training to ensure the ongoing safety of our people and to limit the risk of infections in the workplace. In our own retail stores, we implemented safety protocols and trainings to ensure the safety of all employees and customers, and we will continue to do so. For more than two years, China had maintained the world’s strictest covid measures. During the severe lock down period in Shanghai, we implemented a special assistance program for all employees. We also provided food, expat support, and unlimited psychological care for employees in all other cities in mainland China.
- Health and safety: Managing the health and safety of our global workforce remains a priority for us. Our infrastructure, assets, and operations comply with ISO 45001, and we regularly conduct internal and external audits to ensure a healthy, safe and secure work environment for all employees. We monitor our performance closely in order to measure our progress toward our targets and to identify areas for potential improvement. Our training and guidelines on health and safety have been successfully implemented and scaled throughout the organization. In 2022, we recorded a Lost Time Incident Rate (‘LTIR’) of 0.44 (2021: 0.40), as well as, unchanged to the previous year, a zero Occupational Illness Frequency Rate (‘OIFR’) and zero fatalities for own employees. For external, contracted workforce, we recorded an improved LTIR of 0.67 (2021: 0.97), and one work-related fatal accident (2021: 0). We initiated thorough investigations to understand the exact root cause enabling us to take all measures and actions necessary to prevent similar accidents in the future.
- Work-life integration: We aim to harmonize the commercial interests of the company with the professional, private, and family needs of our employees. Our work-life integration initiatives and programs include the provision of flexible working times and locations, personal development, and leadership competence related to work-life integration, as well as family-oriented services:
- Family and childcare: In addition to providing flexible working opportunities and sabbaticals, we maintain a family-friendly environment and infrastructure. At our headquarters in Herzogenaurach, we provide parent-child offices and a bilingual childcare facility, ‘World of Kids,’ with 270 places. We also run children’s camps to support working parents during school holiday. In Herzogenaurach alone, 445 children attended these camps during 2022. The ongoing pandemic required a considerable degree of flexibility to meet individual needs in some locations. In China, for instance, adidas provided food and 1.5-hour lunch breaks during lockdown to help employees care for their families.
- Parental leave: For parental leave and re-entry, programs are in place to provide employees with advice early on and options for their return to work, also taking into consideration flexible working hours and work locations. In Germany, employees on parental leave are guaranteed their original positions, which are only filled temporarily. In the US, in addition to regular parental leave for new parents (up to ten weeks at home, 70% of their salary), adidas offers an extra two weeks of paid parental leave. Furthermore, our special parental bonding leave provides parents with the opportunity to stay home for up to six months within the first twelve months after the child’s birth or placement. While unpaid, it offers parents the opportunity to stay home longer and take care of their new arrival and new life together. Latin America provides for an extended parental leave approach across the market, with mothers having 24 paid weeks in total to spend with their children, while fathers/partners have 20 paid days in total. In addition, mothers can work fewer hours for one month immediately before and after their maternity leave period.
- Flexible work: Our worldwide off-campus-working approach, which allows our employees to work up to 40% of their working hours from home, was expanded in January 2022 to enable short-term remote working from another location (domestic or international). This new approach is called ‘Work from Anywhere.’ Having experienced the importance of social and personal interaction first-hand during the pandemic, we want to provide flexibility to support employees’ unique needs and experiences.
- Commitment to impact: Together with our employees and partners, we act on our core belief that through sport we have the power to change lives by fostering genuine connections with the communities we serve and affect. To maximize this positive impact, we create volunteering programs and company-matched fundraisers that encourage our people to actively engage and bring our core belief to life.
In 2022, teams across all markets took part in multifaceted volunteering initiatives under a new ‘Community & Social Impact’ framework, listening to the respective communities’ needs and promoting a culture of co-creation. Our projects ranged from sports coaching in safe places for women and girls trying out new and diverse activities to skills-based support such as mentoring refugees to help them unlock their potential in the labor market. Collectively, adidas employees performed 3,570 hours of voluntary work1, engaged in 28 different virtual or real-world projects, and/or supported 34 non-profit organizations or social ventures. In 2022, adidas continued to run fundraising campaigns where we matched employee donations. Our employee fundraiser ‘Support for Ukraine’ raised more than € 120,000 by matching our employees’ contributions and was one example of how we demonstrated our collective and united support as one adidas family in 2022.
1 Excludes 'ERG' and individual hours of voluntary work. While for 2021 we only reported projects curated and managed by the adidas Global Community & Social impact team, 2022 numbers include global data.
Under the ‘Lifestyle’ category, we subsume all footwear, apparel, and ‘accessories and gear’ products that are born from sport and worn for style. ‘adidas Originals,’ which is inspired by sport and worn on the street, is at the heart of the ‘Lifestyle’ category.