Leadership in Times of Change
Strong leadership and a commitment to continuous development drive value creation at Clariant. The company believes that creating a collaborative working environment based on trust and appreciation is vital, particularly in times of change. This inspires and motivates teams to continuously learn and cultivates a high-performance culture.
1. Leading people in transformative times
People at Clariant are working in a fast-paced environment. In the midst of a rapidly changing market and advancing digitalization in the industry, the company is adjusting its portfolio and redirecting its strategy. These developments require flexibility and willingness from every employee to continuously develop their skills. For leaders, empathy, change management competencies, and end-to-end thinking are now a prerequisite to motivate and inspire people in times of change and uncertainty.
These developments also impact how people work together and require adjustments in leadership. For example, as employee location loses importance, remote leadership skills become more crucial; as digitalization increases the availability of information, organizations must promote collaboration and skill-building. In addition, Clariant’s focus on innovation and the ambition to grow the continuing operations requires advanced competencies and an upgrade of commercial skills. Clariant’s leaders need to identify each employee’s potential to contribute to these goals and support them to turn these capabilities into strong performance.
»In times of change, empathy and change management skills are prerequisites of strong leadership.«Klementina Pejic Head of Group Human Resources
2. Implementing the People Excellence strategy at the regional level
Clariant rolled out its People Excellence strategy in 2017 to promote an organizational culture of learning and development and ensure high performance in times of fundamental change. Since 2018, Clariant has cascaded this strategy down to the Business Units and the regional level. This included identifying key opportunities and challenges in people-related processes, such as recruiting or skills development, as well as supporting key leaders in the Business Units to develop organizational change and customized support measures, from recruiting to building competencies.
At Clariant, strong leadership and sophisticated human resources processes go hand in hand. Different human resource functions thus play a key role in implementing the identified measures, such as a new talent management initiative, an innovative recruitment campaign, or improvements to the performance management system.
3. Fostering continuous learning and promoting internal talent
For Clariant, continuous learning and development is crucial to maintain a high level of competitiveness and advance employees on their career path. The company helps employees cultivate interpersonal as well as technical skills at all levels and focuses on shaping new leaders to ensure continuity and build organizational knowledge. To do so, Clariant relies on a well-developed talent management program, which includes structured talent identification and review processes, diverse formal and informal talent development measures, and career management.
To make it easier for high-potential candidates to evaluate their future career opportunities, Clariant launched the Capability Development Program in 2018. It provides leaders with clarity on competence requirements for various job levels and offers an assessment process to identify development opportunities based on transparent criteria. In 2019, leaders of three additional functional areas were incorporated into the program: finance (pilot project in Asia), operations, and human resources. This contributed to a high success rate regarding internal talent development. In 2019, Clariant promoted internal candidates into 87% of senior management positions and filled 90% of group management positions from the internal population.
4. Advancing efforts in employer branding
Positioning Clariant as a preferred employer and retaining employees are business imperatives, given the global hunt for talent and the rapidly evolving skill requirements. Clariant thus aims to provide challenging positions across functions, foster individual learning and development, and recognize the efforts of its employees through appreciation programs.
For Clariant, being a preferred employer means offering a fair and healthy work environment and promoting team collaboration. Clariant also encourages and values diversity of thinking and acting. By hiring and promoting people of different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds, and career paths into key positions, Clariant lays the foundation for long-term success.
To secure a strong position in business-critical segments of the talent market, which include digital talents and talents with skills in social entrepreneurship, Clariant expanded its partner network in 2019 to include the Impact Hub in Basel and renowned universities. Clariant also revised its job ads and careers portal to be brand-consistent, adding a new company description and links to additional sources about the company. These measures helped increase the share of internal applications by 30%. In addition, Clariant recorded a very high talent retention rate of 93% in 2019.