Empowerment through Leadership

Strong leadership is at the core of Clariant’s high-performance culture. Through fair and authentic behavior, Clariant’s leaders underscore the value of trust and collaboration, creating a work environment that motivates employees to continuously learn and achieve ambitious personal and organizational goals.

1. Evolving requirements for leadership

Fast-evolving markets, digitalization, and Clariant’s strategic redirection are among the biggest challenges for people working at Clariant. The effects of these developments are manifold: skill requirements are rapidly changing; agile project management is increasing uncertainty in daily working life; people are more geographically scattered and change jobs more frequently; and employees are increasingly seeking jobs with a purpose.

These developments impact the ways people work together and require adjusted forms of 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. Above all, change management skills and end-to-end thinking are becoming a prerequisite for motivating and inspiring people in these transformative times.

2. People Excellence provides the basis for high-performance

Clariant fosters a culture of learning and development throughout the organization to ensure outstanding performance in times of fundamental change. In 2017, it developed the People Excellence Strategy Initiative, which was rolled out systematically in 2018 in all and will be cascaded down to the regional level in 2019. Updated people strategies were defined in a process that involved the leadership teams in the global units. First, the business landscape was analyzed and major success factors for successful strategy execution were defined. Subsequently, key opportunities and challenges, as well as their root causes, were identified, allowing Clariant to derive improvement measures and define requirements for peoples’ capabilities, mindsets, and behaviors. Major strategic themes were thus translated into organizational change and customized support measures, from recruiting to skills development.

The People Excellence Strategy Initiative has three main components: it provides clarity on the major requirements and development needs for Clariant’s leaders, including communication skills and strategic thinking; it identifies solutions such as training programs and moderated workshops that address those systemic challenges and development needs; and lastly, it translates these solutions into concrete human resource measures, such as training in communication or recruitment strategy to target missing 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, which could be a new talent management initiative, an innovative recruitment campaign, or improvements to the performance management system.

3. Promoting continuous development and managing talent

Clariant pays close attention to continuous learning and development. This is not only crucial to stay competitive in rapidly evolving markets, but also central to motivate and advance employees on their career path. Clariant focuses on developing the interpersonal and technical skills of all employees, regardless of their employment level and experience. To ensure continuity and enhance organizational knowledge, developing internal talent and shaping new leaders is critical. In this regard, the global talent management program is a success story. The program includes structured talent identification and review processes, diverse talent development measures, such as internal mentoring or the Pioneer Program, and career management. In 2018, Clariant was able to fill 84% of open management positions with internal candidates.

Pioneer Program
The Pioneer Program enhances organizational understanding as well as leadership and communication skills of aspiring leaders by exposing them to short-term assignments outside of their area of responsibility.

4. Strengthening Clariant’s position as a preferred employer

Given the global hunt for talent and the rapidly evolving skill requirements driven primarily by globalization and digitalization, retaining people is a business imperative. Employees are at the core of Clariant’s sustainable value creation and constitute the company’s most valuable asset. By providing challenging positions across functions, promoting the individual development of every employee, and showing appreciation for efforts made, Clariant strengthens its position as a preferred employer.

»We empower our employees by supporting their development and by encouraging them to take risks.«

Klementina Pejic Head of Group Human Resources

For Clariant, being a preferred employer means offering a healthy working environment that is fair and consistent, encourages learning and evolution, and promotes team collaboration. As a preferred employer, Clariant encourages and values diversity of thinking and acting. By hiring and promoting people with different genders, ages, cultural backgrounds, and career paths into key positions, Clariant lays the foundation for addressing the key challenges created by globalization and digitalization.