Wacker

HR Strategy

“Integrated Talent Management as strategic success factor”

Initial situation:

Why Talent Management – or why common sense was not that common

The Wacker Group of companies is a technology leader in the chemical and semiconductor industry. Wacker drives technological innovations and the development of new products for global key industries. Furthermore, Wacker provides solutions and innovations for a broad range of sectors. Currently there are more than 17,000 employees at 125 locations in over 100 countries.

On the one hand continuous growth, the dynamic interplay between regional and divisional responsibilities across Wacker’s global business and the demand for qualified technical and managerial staff are all increasing the complexity of the business. On the other hand, demographic developments and the scarcity of specialist talents are already noticeable in many areas. Even though a large number of HR tools exist within the different business units, a system for identifying and developing high-potential employees that spans Wacker’s business areas and country markets is currently lacking, additionally, systematic needs assessment and succession planning programme is missing.

To ensure that key positions continue to be filled in the future, it was time to realign Talent Management at Wacker with support from the Promerit AG.

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Wacker Factsheet

Objectives:

The project objective was to develop a group-wide set of tools to ensure the availability of suitable candidates in order to fill key functions and to take on demanding tasks. The intention was to support strategic group and departmental targets directly, and to increase Wacker’s attractiveness for new talents.

Ultimately, HR aimed to make a direct contribution towards increasing the Wacker Group of companies’ competitiveness.

The project’s goal and measure of success was to make the new Talent Management programme a benchmark across the sector.

Approach and Services of Promerit AG:

Promerit supported the Wacker Chemie AG in all phases of the project, from the strategic realignment of Talent Management to the conception of processes and tools and their implementation within a new IT solution based on SAP.

Strategic focus of the new Talent Management programme

At the start of the project, the Promerit AG carried out interviews with management and HR domestically and abroad to identify the business challenges and expectations of a future Talent Management program at Wacker. On this basis the Talent Management objectives were defined, which determined the framework for future tools and Group-wide standards.

Designing processes & tools within Talent Management

Following this, the conceptual foundations were laid. Amongst other elements, this included developing a Group-wide competence model encompassing talent criteria, as well as an internationally standardised job architecture as the basis for planning staffing requirements and cross-functional development opportunities. In addition, processes and tools in performance management, Talent Management as well as strategic personnel requirement and succession planning were reengineered. Throughout the project it was ensured that the needs of the international units – particularly China and the US – were taken into account.

Business and technical implementation of the new Talent Management approach

After completing the conception phase, the new Talent Management programme was realised in two streams:

The new, cascaded talent and succession conferences were carried out throughout the group for the first time, with support from Promerit. The cross-organisational function conferences turned out to be very successful.

In parallel, system implementation based on SAP was tackled with the support of the Promerit HR-IT Consulting. A Scrum-based, tri-phase approach was used to implement a central employee profile as well as succession planning and employee appraisal meetings. This project approach developed by Promerit HR-IT makes results quickly visible; the constant integration of each department during the implementation phase was also ensured. Technical gaps in the standard software were bridged with Promerit Templates: These allow users to define developmental goals and measures during an employee appraisal meeting, transfer them into the employee profile, then follow up and maintain them there all year round. For succession conferences, Wacker utilised a display developed by Promerit that gives rapid access to the information required for each succession situation.

Klaus Hofmann, Director of Central HR: “We have achieved our goal of creating a Group-wide practice which is being applied by managers and employees. Promerit has enabled us to establish a best-in-class Talent Management programme. In the end, the interplay between strategic/conceptual work and the realisation into processes and information systems was convincing for us.”

Client benefits:

The new Talent Management programme changed Human Resources at Wacker fundamentally. The main actors are managers with an HR function as executors and drivers. This has been a clear win for the entire organisation because key positions can now be filled more effectively. Talented employees at Wacker are also benefitting, as they can now be promoted and supported more consistently than before.

Advantages of the new Talent Management programme:

  • Early detection of individual and structural succession risks
  • Increase in the quality of job placements through clear identification of requirements and more internal candidates
  • Cross-organisational transparency and mobilisation of high-potential staff
  • Stronger performance alignment and differentiation
  • Commitment to career and succession planning
  • Open, qualified feedback and on-the-job developmental measures
  • Internal and external increase in employer attractiveness for high potentials
  • User acceptance thanks to user-friendly system support

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