HR Strategy

Talent Management at PUMA AG

Since the 90s PUMA has written an extraordinary success story. Starting with 1.000 employees in 1993, the company has now grown to more than 11.000 employees worldwide. In 2006, e.g., more than 2.600 positions were newly created.

Following its mission “to be most desirable sports lifestyle company” PUMA, situated in Herzogenaurach, has grown from a manufacturer of sporting goods to an international company.

HR had to match up to this change. It was necessary to turn the HR organization, which was characterized by its medium-sized business structure and, therefore aimed at an administrative HR organization, into a powerful unit. This unit needed to be able to support the fast growth as well as the international success by offering modern HR instruments.

Talent management is the core of the HR strategy, which was developed in cooperation with Promerit.

It contains a rigid evaluation and development of employees, an accurate succession management as well as a consistent alignment with key positions and critical talents. This is not only done isolated in separate locations, it is also carried out globally.

Puma Factsheet


Promerit supported PUMA during all project phases, beginning with the strategy definition and ending with the implementation:

Phase “Strategy”: The restructuring of HR started with the definition of the HR strategy which was derived from the business strategy. In a next step the main HR instruments and their requirements were defined, the HR organization was revised and a worldwide consistent framework was developed which defined central and local responsibilities.

Phase “Planning”: Definition of a Competency Model:
During the next phase existing positions were combined to job families and requirements connected to each job family were defined systematically. These were used later on to compare them to the existing competencies of each position incumbent who were evaluated during special assessments.

As a basis, an overall competency model for PUMA was developed. The necessary framework of competencies and operationalisations was derived from PUMA’s specific strategic requirements. The identification of potential as well as development measures aimed at enhancing employees’ strengths and closing qualification gaps is done based on this framework.

Furthermore, the company’s key positions were identified. Independent of hierarchy level and function all relevant positions for the company’s success were analysed. Together with potential, this information is necessary for succession management.

Process and System – To ensure a standardized global transition into a controlled Talent Management operation, all relevant processes were transferred into a yearly management cycle and represented electronically.

Instead of implementing isolated talent management modules a talent management system which could also be used in an international surrounding was defined.

This system can be enhanced by adding single modules which combine the main talent management instruments in an adaptive way:

  • Objective setting and performance appraisal
  • Competency management and – assessment
  • Talent identification
  • Development planning and retention risk
  • Identification of key positions
  • Succession management and
  • Electronic CV

All processes were defined conceptually during the project and realized as “people@puma” using Stepstone ETWeb. In a first step a German pilot was carried out involving international units.

The following international roll-out was done step-by-step beginning with the US, UK and finally Hong Kong.

Services of Promerit AG:

Promerit provided the following services to support the project:

  • Strategy development and the definition of a long-term talent management roadmap
  • Definition of detailed business processes for objective setting, performance and competency assessments
  • Identification of key positions and development of a competency model
  • Support in software evaluation
  • Support in realizing the processes in ETWeb
  • Design of further, enhancing instruments like talent pool, management round tables and board conferences
  • Definition of conceptual fundamentals and cross topics like job architecture and reporting
  • Change management and communication
  • Roll-out strategy

Client benefits:

PUMA did not only aim at representing existing processes in software. Actually, implementing a system was the starting point for creating global standards using common talent management processes and for defining them initially.

By introducing this important instrument, PUMA laid the cornerstone for integrated talent management instruments. Today, based on the HR roadmap derived from the HR strategy the bordering processes are gradually being defined and carried into the organization. From managing potential over succession management up to recruiting, all processes are being integrated into the talent management instrument successively.

By offering extensive expertise on talent management, Promerit was the ideal partner for PUMA from the beginning. They offered valuable support during all phases and in all questions connected to talent management: starting with defining the strategy to selecting the system as well as its implementation up to the definition of bordering instruments.

This holistic support guarantees that the separate modules fit together conceptually and technically – worldwide integrated talent management.

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