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Personal development enhances organization's performance

With its systematic personnel training and development activities underpinned by a transparent competence model, the Group targets continuous improvement of its employees' expertise and skills. This not only raises the organization's performance overall, but also the motivation and confidence of every single employee.

With targeted measures, employees can improve their performance in the workplace and grow their expertise beyond the requirements of their current job profile. Apart from a large number of classroom training courses, more and more web-based training courses are being offered in different languages, particularly in the Group's own retail business, which allow standardized training of employees worldwide. More than 33,000 web-based training courses were successfully completed in the past fiscal year (2012: 16,000).

Apart from this, the personal development of individuals is supported on a case-by-case basis through transfers to other departments or functions both within the Group's headquarters and to subsidiaries abroad, by expanding the area of competence or through promotion to management positions. The career path of every manager is systematically supported with advice and by continuously fostering personal, methodological, specialist and leadership-related competencies.

Supplementing the leadership career path, the concept of the specialist career path was introduced in 2013. This gives high-performing and talented employees the opportunity to build up their expertise over the clearly defined development stages of a specialist career path. A training program designed for specialists was introduced to equip employees on this career path with the expertise and methodological skills they need.

In order to assess and clearly document the performance, competencies and development potential of each individual, all supervisors conduct annual feedback conversations with their employees. During the talks, tasks and personal objectives for the year ahead are set and training and development needs to meet these goals defined.

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