Employee Engagement and Well-being

Clariant’s people are an invaluable competitive factor in developing, improving, protecting, and delivering products and services. Long-term success is only possible with motivated and highly skilled employees who create value for the company and its stakeholders. Therefore, Clariant is committed to providing a company culture of learning, engagement, and appreciation for employees on all levels. The company strives to be an employer of choice, attracting top talents to help it deliver lasting results.

Management approach

Management approach

Employee engagement is a responsibility of each leader at Clariant, as trust in the leadership team is a strong driver of engagement. Each leader must give clear directions by explaining strategic decisions and the implications of everyone’s responsibilities; provide the necessary infrastructure; and implement consistent processes. Clariant’s performance management is also part of the leaders’ responsibilities. To support their work, Group Human Resources has established strong processes for talent acquisition, onboarding, performance management, and talent management in all regions.

Human resources management is central for all business areas and all regions of Clariant. Efficient recruitment and onboarding processes help new employees quickly contribute to the implementation of the company’s strategies. Globally, Clariant’s operational and strategic Human Resources departments comprise 204 employees.

Talent management ensures a consistent and structured talent pipeline for each management level and the best fit between role requirements and individual capabilities. The functional area »Senior Management & People Development,« with a staff of 30 people, holds the main responsibility for attraction and development of talent.

Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance program

Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance program

The Clariant Academy encompasses all global learning offerings designed to support Clariant’s strategy and promote common language and values across the organization. A global nomination process for the Clariant Academy programs ensures that all relevant employees participate in the training programs. In addition, Clariant offers local trainings, social learnings such as learning communities, mentoring, peer coaching, and on-the-job learning opportunities.

The training offering is based on the »70:20:10 model« from Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger, which corresponds to a proportional breakdown of effective learning. The Individual Development Plans for employees generally include 10 % coursework and formal training, 20 % interaction and peer exchange, and 70 % challenging assignments to promote learning on the job. Overall, training covers technical and functional skills, safety and sustainability, personal development, leadership, law/compliance, IT skills, and general management skills.

Within the Clariant Academy, global trainings targeted at business, leadership, and functional skills offer a standard curriculum for each level in the organization. Furthermore, the annual training catalog with a focus on leadership skills and personal development includes recommendations for external classes.

Global and regional learning policies describe how Clariant supports the education of all employees. These policies include budget frameworks and study assistance guidelines. Clariant increasingly adds offerings to enhance digital learning and virtual self-study learning opportunities. New virtual learning elements include micro­learning videos, a virtual self-learning hub with recommended content sorted by business type or skill, and guided learning nuggets on topics such as time management and resilience. In addition, most of the Academy programs are now available as virtual trainings. Employees can choose between fully virtual, blended (virtual plus face-to-face), and fully face-to-face settings depending on the personal needs and restrictions based on travel and meeting guidelines.

Overall, 11 956 employees participated in a training recorded in the central learning management system MyLearning, for a total of 164 523 training hours. This development can be attributed to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic: Clariant replaced a majority of in-person trainings with virtual events and added new offerings for these kind of trainings. The average number of training hours per employee significantly rose to 13.8 hours per employee. Each female employee had an average of 17.0 hours, while male employees averaged 12.6 hours of training per year. At Management Level 1–5, 18.1 hours per person were recorded, whereas local managers, professionals, and employees completed 13.5 hours of training.

In 2021, 690 employees benefited from four Clariant Academy programs. New virtual sessions were introduced, with time invested in their design and implementation. Overall, training participation related to safety and sustainability (24.0 %), legal and compliance (15.7 %), functional skills (21.3 %), IT skills (7.7 %), personal development (26.6 %), and leadership (4.7 %). These figures include trainings beyond the Clariant Academy. In 2021, the average feedback score for Clariant Academy trainings was 5.0 (with a maximum possible score of 6.0).

Average hours of training per year per employee

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2021   2020 1   2019   2018   2017
Number of training hours   152 565   11 957   164 523   113 190   205 861   234 240   192 435
Male   n.a.   n.a.   108 996   75 372   140 548   167 734   n.a.
Female   n.a.   n.a.   55 526   37 818   65 277   66 506   n.a.
Management Level 1–5   n.a.   n.a.   12 345   8 897   19 318   26 679   n.a.
Local managers, professionals, and employees   n.a.   n.a.   152 178   104 293   186 543   207 561   n.a.
Number of employees participating in training (headcounts)   10 275   1 681   11 956   12 630   13 891   15 791   9 720
Average hours of training that the organization’s employees undertook during the reporting period   14.9   7.1   13.8   9.0   14.8   14.8   19.8
1 80 % of in-person trainings had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Performance, talent, and leadership programs

Performance, talent, and leadership programs

Clariant offers a wide range of formal and informal programs so that employees can achieve their full potential. The People Excellence strategy links these programs closely to business needs and implements them effectively and efficiently. The strategy specifies requirements for the successful execution of the corporate and business strategies: It breaks down business challenges into people-related measures that address existing shortcomings in a focused manner. These measures include individual development plans according to managerial feedback, capability development programs to identify strengths and gaps, and development centers where talents are evaluated to create visibility for their careers.

Performance management programs

Performance management programs

Clariant’s performance management process ensures that strategic business objectives are translated into day-to-day activities. Employees have one-on-one meetings, referred to as »performance dialogs,« with their supervisors to identify objectives, areas for improvement, development actions, and opportunities to leverage strengths and celebrate success. To guarantee consis­tency of performance ratings, calibration sessions are part of the performance management process.

The performance review includes goal setting, ongoing feedback, mid-year reviews, and a year-end performance review. This review is partially retrospective and partially forward-looking, and may also cover potential progression over a number of years. The »MyPerformance« tool documents goals and keeps track of the individual performance progress. The outcome of the individual performance review is the basis for employee development and compensation development. In 2021, the performance manage­ment process covers 56 % of all employees. This means that 7 514 employees followed a standardized performance management process.

Percentage of employees receiving regular performance and career development

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2021   2020   2019   2018   2017
Total number of employees who receive regular performance and career development reviews (headcounts)   6 294   1 220   7 514   7 335   10 063   10 350   10 300
Management Level 1–5   n.a.   n.a.   732   658   776   819   900
Local managers, professionals, and employees   n.a.   n.a.   6 782   6 677   9 287   9 531   9 400
Male   n.a.   n.a.   5 285   5 125   6 687   7 611   n.a.
Female   n.a.   n.a.   2 229   2 210   3 376   2 739   n.a.
Percentage of total employees who receive regular performance and career development reviews (%)   n.a.   n.a.   56   55   58   58   51
Male   n.a.   n.a.   51 1   50 1   50 1   55 1   n.a.
Female   n.a.   n.a.   74 1   73 1   91 1   93 1   n.a.
1 The percentage is calculated based on the total number of employees in the respective group.
Talent development programs

Talent development programs

Clariant evaluates and develops all employees through a structured talent management process that follows transparent indi­cators. These indicators include achievement motivation, analytical skills, adaptability and flexibility, and self-reflection. Broad learning measures and learning circles allow employees to exchange views across units and to show their capabilities to peers and senior management.

Additionally, Clariant maintains a strong talent pipeline. A structured succession planning system identifies, develops, and retains internal talent. This system ensures successful short-, medium-, and long-term succession planning, the availability of candidates, and a diversity of profiles for leadership roles on a global level. Line managers nominate employees for a talent pool based on a high level of performance and a fast track record.

In 2021, the organization held 57 talent reviews with more than 1 000 talents and mapped 142 Senior Management roles with potential successors. In addition, seven global job family talent pools were analyzed. This process identifies possible succession gaps and mitigation measures per region. As a result, seven job family career paths were designed. These career paths illustrate the necessary steps for managers and talents to move to a new position within the organization.

Clariant’s dynamic placement process is reflected in a 41 % promotion rate for senior managers in 2021. In the general talent popu­lation, the average tenure in a certain role before promotion is around four years. With 90 %, the talent retention rate remained nearly at the high level attained in 2020. Clariant promoted internal candidates into 86 % of Senior Management positions and filled 91 % of Group Management positions with the internal population.

Clariant increasingly seeks the so-called »hybrid« skillset – a combination of digital know-how and more common, industry-specific skills that is hard to find in the market. For this reason, the in-house Digital Enablement team, which is a part of Digital@Operations under the Group Operational Excellence umbrella, identifies skill gaps and implements training programs for employees. These programs focus on digital tools, technologies, and agile methodologies. As a result, Clariant is less dependent on external expertise and creates an enabled, motivated, inspired, and future-ready workforce.

Informal learning and development initiatives include learning communities, peer coaching sessions, and a coaching program led by an externally certified consultant that focuses on behavioral change. To maximize the benefits of all programs and initiatives, the company will target several aspects in the coming years. These include: identifying talents early on; increasing the visibility of development opportunities; connecting leaders across business units and service units to create synergies; enabling talents to be the protagonists of their own career development; and improving change readiness.

Leadership programs

Leadership programs

Clariant’s »Capability Development Program« helps leaders to identify requirements for various job levels and development opportunities at organizational and individual levels. In 2021, the focus was on employees from the Human Resources department, the Commercial department of the Business Unit Catalysts, and the Finance department, with over 200 individuals proposed for evaluation. Since the program relies on face-to-face exercises, schedules had to be adjusted according to local COVID-19 restrictions. Despite these challenges, 251 employees were able to participate, a higher number than in 2020 and 2019.

The »Innovation Talent Management Review« (ITMR) initiative identifies talents, develops key innovation skills, and assigns inno­vation professionals to suitable business units. As a part of ITMR, Clariant has defined career paths for its innovation professionals and developed a learning curriculum focused on innovation-­specific topics. Since 2018, the initiative has reviewed around 200 talents, mapped 50 roles, and collected more than 60 proposals for learning measures. Clariant completed the fourth ITMR round in 2021.

In the »Mentoring Program,« younger professionals get the opportunity to team up with experienced leaders to strengthen leadership skills and encourage knowledge transfer across functions and age groups. Since its inception, more than 120 mentees have participated in the program.

The »Team Effectiveness Program« helps leaders apply measures that enhance trust within their teams, improve the quality of decision-­making, and strengthen the execution of commitments. Clariant specifically designed this program to help leaders build high-performing teams.

The following trainings were not held in 2021 due to meeting and travel constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • The »Authentic Leadership Training« provides communi­cation skills for successful and inspiring leaders. The participants attend either the »Executive Performance Training,« which is designed for cross-functional groups of six people, or the »Inspirational Leadership Creative Communication Program,« which is open to larger groups.
  • The »Frontline Leadership Training« is designed for production managers and shift leaders. It covers basic leadership instruments that enable managers to effectively lead and motivate teams and manage change. A dedicated learning manager facilitates this interactive training, which repeatedly receives outstanding reviews from participants.
  • The »Pioneer Program« was established in 2017 to enhance organizational understanding as well as leadership and communication skills of aspiring leaders by exposing them to short-term assignments outside their areas of responsibility.
Employee engagement and retention programs

Employee engagement and retention programs

Performance excellence comes from challenged, empowered, and rewarded teams. That is why Clariant conducts various employee engagement and retention programs. They aim at enhancing motivation, commitment, and employee performance. Their overarching framework is Clariant’s thoroughly phrased purpose. In 2021, Clariant was able to mitigate early-leaver risks and lower costs per hire, thereby supporting overall cost-saving targets.

Clariant’s strategies for employee engagement include regular communication on the direction of the company, involvement of employees in strategy sessions, recognition programs, career opportunities, and personal development. In 2021, Clariant analyzed this strategy prior to the definition and rollout of its new purpose and will further revise the strategy and include its insights.

Clariant’s employee engagement and retention programs also improve its external reputation as a preferred employer, increasing the interest of potential external candidates.

Work environment

Work environment

Clariant’s global employment policy was a­dopted in 2018. It includes key principles and minimum standards for working conditions and labor practices. These standards ensure a fair, trans­parent, and discrimination-free work environment. The policy commits to equal development and promotion of all people across every organizational level and age group. Employment agencies and contractors doing business with Clariant are also obliged to adhere to this policy.

Promoting workplace health and well-being is a local responsibility at Clariant that is addressed by tailored programs in the different regions. Clariant is a member of the »Future of Work« and »Healthy People, Healthy Business« initiatives of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. The company offers free psycho­logical counseling and stress management trainings in many countries. Employee assistance programs analyze and evaluate mental strain, educate employees on mental health risks, and ensure the development of relief strategies for affected employees. In 2021, Clariant reviewed health and well-being offerings in every country to identify and adapt related offerings for employees.

Awards and benefits programs

Awards and benefits programs

Clariant has a comprehensive Recognition Program that ack­nowledges strong results with a variety of rewards. They range from monetary awards for outstanding achievements and efforts – for example, leading projects or initiatives – to non-financial awards in the form of vouchers or presents – for example, for supporting colleagues in busy times or for project contributions. Awards and recognitions can be provided to, and be initiated by, all employees in alignment with the global framework and the MySuccess platform.

Clariant’s Global Benefits Policy, adopted in 2018, contains key elements like benefits related to retirement, flexible work arrangements, death, travel, accidents, healthcare, and well-being. It also acknowledges country-specific circumstances and is updated regularly to account for developments in benefit landscapes. Clariant’s employees are also offered a range of benefits designed to enhance work-life balance. This includes fitness facilities and contributions to external fitness programs, flexible working hours, home-office arrangements, childcare facilities, contributions to external childcare, and support for employees who take care of elderly family members.

Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

Benefits provided to full-time employees that are not provided to temporary or part-time employees

In the company benefits provided by Clariant, there is no intentional differentiation based on the type of employment contract. This does not exclude differences that depend on the individual case and local circumstances, such as local legislation, local industry standards, or cultural expectations. The relevant criterion in this case is the customary market standard.

Local programs for stress management

Local programs for stress management

In addition, Clariant’s Employee Assistance Program offers free counseling by external specialists for stress related to work, as well as burnout or personal crises. Flexible work arrangements can be made both for work-related stress management and for unrelated extenuating circumstances.

Support for drug addiction and programs to quit smoking

Support for drug addiction and programs to quit smoking

In the event of drug addiction, Clariant has established a procedure for treatment through medical plans and, if necessary, inpatient treatment. Voluntary programs to help employees quit smoking have been introduced at some sites. Clariant conducts an assessment of the health habits and specific health problems of all employees and updates local programs based on these findings.

Talent attraction

Talent attraction

For talent attraction and development, Clariant abides by its global talent acquisition policies (Recruitment Policy, Global Recruitment Agency Policy, Onboarding Policy, and Employee Referral Policy). The policies clarify and specify the roles and responsibilities of the hiring manager, recruiter, and other human resources personnel to ensure an efficient, effective, and professional talent acquisition process. More specifically, highly trained talent acquisition teams partner with the business units to identify and select the best external talent. Employer branding programs create awareness in the job market and attract potential candidates.

Moreover, line managers are trained in the »License to Hire« program to ensure they make the right hiring decisions. For years, Clariant has filled at least 80 % of open positions at the Management level with internal candidates. Dedicated talent managers review potential talents, manage talent review sessions, create individual development plans, and participate in internal placement decisions. They also organize so-called »talent engagement sessions« to give internal talent visibility and exposure to senior managers and to receive feedback on corporate culture topics.

Through Clariant’s referral program, employees receive a cash reward if they recruit new candidates who are subsequently hired.

Clariant strives to attract people who are aligned with its values and meet the defined role requirements. In 2021, Clariant hired 1 438 new employees (381 women and 1 057 men). With 37.8 % of new hires, Europe accounted for the largest share of new employees, followed by Asia-Pacific, which accounted for 29.4 % of new hires.

At the same time, 1 556 employees left Clariant, 435 of them female and 1 121 male. Of them, 40.4 % left in Europe, and 24.6 % in Asia-Pacific. The turnover rate per FTE was at 11.3 %, compared to 10.3 % in 2020.

New employee hires and employee turnover

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2021   2020   2019   2018   2017
Total number of new employee hires (in headcounts)   1 356   82   1 438   918 2   1 570 1   2 142   1 983
Male   990   67   1 057   647   1 080   1 453   1 412
Female   366   15   381   271   490   689   571
Under 30   585   42   627   393   744   985   969
30-50   694   38   732   464   750   1 045   922
Over 50   77   2   79   61   76   112   92
Europe   535   9   544   304   561   751   622
Latin America   228   36   264   156   317   359   341
Middle East/Africa   37   2   39   31   61   93   130
North America   167   1   168   92   273   436   402
Asia-Pacific   389   34   423   335   358   503   488
Employees who left (in headcounts)   1 363   193   1 556   1 522   1 817   2 047   1 991
Male   957   164   1 121   1 085   1 322   1 515   1 448
Female   406   29   435   437   495   532   543
Under 30   326   27   353   393   461   540   603
30-50   662   55   717   668   915   970   839
Over 50   375   111   486   461   441   537   495
Europe   535   94   629   505   544   588   658
Latin America   231   38   269   310   398   358   400
Middle East/Africa   27   3   30   39   78   142   90
North America   241   4   245   297   433   536   424
Asia-Pacific   329   54   383   371   364   423   419
Turnover rate (%)   n.a.   n.a.   11.3   10.3 3   10.3   11.1   11.0
1 The decline in new employee hires was due to a hiring freeze in 2019.
2 The decline in new employee hires was due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the divestment of Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary .
3 Excluding data from the discontinued Business Unit MasterbatchesMasterbatchesThese are plastic additives in the form of granules with dyestuffs or other additives used to dye or alter the properties of natural plastic.View entire glossary from H1 for better comparison. Including these statistics, Clariant’s 2020 turnover rate is 11.2 %.
New ways of recruiting

New ways of recruiting

In 2021, Clariant strengthened agility and pragmatism in the recruiting and development processes. The company used digital tools more intensely to continually fill business-critical positions. It also invested the time needed to develop trust with candidates due to the pandemic. Clariant’s digital interviewing platform facilitated the application process for candidates from around the world. Techniques like videoconferencing and asynchronous video interviews offered flexibility for both applicants and hiring managers, saving time and costs.

Utilizing digital interview techniques for recruiting allowed Clariant to evaluate a higher volume of candidates in 2021. Digital recruiting creates an environment that reduces inherent biases. This fosters high-quality hiring decisions from a more diverse pool of talents. Furthermore, talent attraction often relies on predefined profiles targeting limited talent pools, which can lead to the exclusion of high-potential candidates who are not effectively evaluated. Moving forward, Clariant will redefine and prioritize critical skills and create a flexible employee value proposition that corresponds to a wider audience.

Acquiring and retaining expertise to ensure a successful digital transformation remained a focus in 2021. The pandemic pushed growth in this area at an exceptional rate. Changes that usually take years under usual circumstances were introduced and adopted within a matter of months. This had an impact on the daily operations and on the skills and competencies required to fulfill these day-to-day tasks.

In order to keep up the momentum, Clariant engaged in various formats and started to use additional channels. These activities included strategic partnerships with renowned universities and institutions, such as the Impact Hub in Basel, as well as partici­pation in virtual lectures, tech talks, and working circles.

Increasing flexibility during COVID-19

Increasing flexibility during COVID-19

Keeping employees engaged and motivated in times of change and upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic was one of Clariant’s major objectives in 2021. The company issued a global flexible Remote Working Policy in the reporting year, which provides guidance in finding the right work-life balance. According to their tasks and in alignment with their line managers, employees can work from home for up to two full working days per week, or a maximum of 40 % of their working hours. The line managers may set specific weekdays when all team members are required to be present in the office.

Clariant also switched talent development procedures to a digital learning landscape with multiple new offerings and redesigned existing trainings. Where needed, traditional face-to-face dis­cussions were replaced with combinations of virtual/face-to-face or completely virtual formats to not interrupt the continuous growth of Clariant’s employees.

The pandemic has reinforced the value of holistic change frameworks that can adapt to a variety of developments. In 2020, Clariant had started the initiative Change Management@Clariant to enable organizational transformation projects while main­taining agility and smooth operations. In 2021, as part of the initiative, Clariant implemented different change interventions and an overarching rollout plan with the support of an external agency in order to increase employee engagement, information flow, transparency, and motivation.

Employee feedback

Employee feedback

Clariant offers diverse platforms to collect employee engagement feedback. For example, in certain periods, monthly team baro­meter evaluations measure the atmosphere and progress during change and transformational activities. Individual comments are possible to establish new ideas or to suggest further activities. Functional feedback surveys are another frequently used option to check in briefly on the organizational pulse.

Biannually, Clariant conducts pulse surveys with a specified target group randomly selected from the global workforce. Compared to former engagement surveys, this format covers more strategic and Clariant-specific topics and establishes why people want to work for Clariant. The survey results are used for organizational development and help Clariant position itself as an employer of choice.

In 2021, there was a specific pulse survey related to the Clariant purpose. It revealed that Clariant’s overall strategy, goals, and sustainability strategy are well understood and supported by Management. A clear majority of responding employees feel safe and energetic at work and enjoy their work. In 2022, Clariant plans to return to conducting annual full-fledged employee surveys in collaboration with an external partner. The metric in focus will be the employee net promoter score (eNPS), which calculates how many people are likely to advocate for the com­pany. Clariant aims to be in the top quartile until 2030.

Evaluating the management approach regarding talent attraction and development includes analyzing the results and impact of diverse talent management initiatives. The feedback collected after each training course is systematically reviewed. For example, Clariant conducts briefing and debriefing calls with participants of leadership trainings. In addition, a feedback survey is sent out directly after the training, followed by a survey after three months to evaluate the impact on daily work. Other evaluations include competency assessments for key position holders, management appraisals for external or internal placement of key positions, and yearly performance evaluations. All evaluations are documented, transparently shared, and followed up on with individual development planning.

Ratios of standard entry-level wages by gender compared to local minimum wage

Ratios of standard entry-level wages by gender compared to local minimum wage

Clariant pays wages and salaries that are determined by local, relevant competitive market data rather than by legally defined minimum wages. However, as prescribed by Clariant’s global Employment Policy, minimum wage standards always have to be adhered to by local human resources departments.

Proportion of senior management hired from the local community

Proportion of senior management hired from the local community

At the end of 2021, 58 % of all senior managers (Executive CommitteeExecutive CommitteeManagement body of joint stock companies; at Clariant the Executive Committee currently comprises four members.View entire glossary and top four management levels) were citizens of – or had an indefinite right to reside in – the country where they were employed. Within the European Union, citizenships of all member states are considered »local.«

Proportion of senior management hired from the local community

    Total 2021   2020   2019   2018   2017
Percentage of Senior Management at significant locations1 of operation who are hired from the local community (%)   58   60   60   57   75
1 All relevant Group companies except those in North America, where no nationality data is recorded
Parental leave

Parental leave

Clariant promotes family-friendly job opportunities. All mothers are guaranteed a comparable position upon their return to work for up to one year following the birth or adoption of a child. For the two years following the birth or adoption, Clariant grants all parents a minimum of ten days of paid leave for family purposes in addition to their standard annual vacation.

Considering that all permanent employees of Clariant are theo­retically entitled to this provision, this would extend to all 10 370 men and 3 004 women for 2021. In 2021, 176 mothers and 273 fathers took advantage of this opportunity. In the same year, 472 employees returned to their workplaces, of which 139 were female and 333 were male.

Parental leave

    Total 2021   2020   2019   2018   2017
Total number of employees who were entitled to parental leave, by gender (in headcounts)   13 374   13 235   17 223   17 382   17 687
Male   10 370   10 191   13 497   13 613   13 986
Female   3 004   3 044   3 726   3 769   3 701
Total number of employees who took parental leave, by gender (in headcounts)   449   445   643   732   644
Male   273   317   432   464   482
Female   176   128   211   268   162
Total number of employees who returned to work in the reporting period after parental leave ended, by gender (in headcounts)   472   471   599   689   611
Male   333   318   419   466   477
Female   139   153   180   223   134
Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes

Minimum notice periods regarding operational changes

Clariant complies with all local statutory and operational requirements regarding the provision of information to employee representatives and employees. All employees are promptly informed of all significant operational changes. In addition, Clariant provides regular and ad hoc information to all employees via the intranet as well as information letters from the CEO and Management in all relevant languages. Corporate information sessions such as town hall meetings take place regularly.