The workforce

Slight decrease in the number of employees

On December 31, 2016, the Daimler Group employed a total of 282,488 men and women (2015: 284,015). Contrary to the forecast included in Annual Report 2015, the number of employees decreased by 1 % despite an overall increase in production. This was primarily caused by the headcount reduction at Daimler Trucks due to weak demand in major markets. The number of 170,034 employees in Germany remained at the prior-year level (2015: 170,454). Employee numbers in the United States decreased to 21,857 in 2016 (2015: 24,607), and the number of employees in Brazil decreased to 9,782 (2015: 11,669). At the end of 2016, Daimler employed a total of 10,535 men and women in Japan (2015: 11,002). (See graphic B.42) Our consolidated subsidiaries in China had a total headcount of 3,696 at the end of the year (2015: 3,155). At the end of the year under review, Daimler AG employed a total of 148,704 men and women (2015: 151,183).

B.42 Employees by region

Workforce numbers at the Mercedes-Benz Cars and Mercedes-Benz Vans divisions increased in 2016. The acquisition of Athlon by Daimler Financial Services led to a sharp increase in workforce numbers at that division. Daimler Trucks experienced a decline in workforce numbers in the year under review. The number of employees at Daimler Buses was just below the prior-year level. (See table B.43)

B. 43 Employees by division

  2016 2015 16/15
Employees (December 31)   % change
Daimler Group 282,488 284,015 -1
Mercedes-Benz Cars 139,947 136,941 +2
Daimler Trucks 78,642 86,391 -9
Mercedes-Benz Vans 24,029 22,639 +6
Daimler Buses 17,899 18,147 -1
Daimler Financial Services 12,062 9,975 +21
Other 9,909 9,922 -0

Around the world, we have combined in-house services, such as those for financial processes, HR, IT and development tasks, sales functions and certain location-specific services, into shared service centers. Some of the shared service centers are not consolidated because they do not affect our financial position, cash flow or profitability; those companies employed approximately 6,800 men and women at the end of 2016, like a year earlier.

The Group’s total workforce also does not include the employees of companies that we manage together with Chinese partners; at December 31, 2016, they numbered approximately 19,500 people (2015: 19,000).

Attractive compensation

Our employees receive market-rate wages and salaries and additional benefits such as company pension plans that also conform to market practice. We also let our employees share in the success of their respective companies. For example, in April 2017, eligible employees of Daimler AG will receive a profit-sharing payout of up to €5,400 for financial year 2016 — the second-highest such payout in the company’s history. In April 2016, we issued a profit-sharing payout of €5,650 for financial year 2015.

Number of years at Daimler

During the year under review, the average period of time that our employees had been working for Daimler increased slightly compared to the prior-year level to 16.3 years (2015: 16.0 years). In Germany, employees had worked for the Group for an average of 19.5 years at the end of 2016 (2015: 19.4 years). The comparative figure for Daimler AG was 20.1 years (2015: 19.9 years). Daimler employees outside Germany had worked for the Group for an average of 11.3 years (2015: 10.9 years).

Slight increase in average age of our employees

The average age of our global workforce in 2016 was 42.7 years (2015: 42.5). Our employees in Germany were 44.2 years old on average (2015: 44.0). Employees who are 50 years old or older currently make up about 39 % of our permanent workforce at Daimler AG. On the basis of current assumptions, this proportion will rise to about 50 % over the next seven years.

Leadership 2020

Our business is changing at an unprecedented speed. This development is affecting not only technology, the legal framework and customer requirements, but also the way we work and communicate with one another, as well as forms of management. In order to remain as successful in the future as we have been over the past 130 years, we need to undergo an internal cultural transformation and develop a new management culture. This is why we launched the Leadership 2020 initiative in January 2016.

To get the program started, we selected 144 managers from 24 countries and all management levels and asked them to develop proposals for a new management culture at Daimler. After being divided into eight teams around the world, the participants worked separately on developing new management approaches, but were given no specific instructions for this task. They ended up defining eight thematic areas — referred to as game changers. These game changers take the form of processes and procedures that question, alter or even break down established structures in order to facilitate a new management culture. We also defined eight leadership principles that will form the basis of our future management approach and guide the actions of both employees and managers.

The initial results from the working groups are now being implemented. For example, decision processes were standardized and simplified; this demonstrates that we are placing greater trust in our employees. In addition, a Daimler Campus Community innovation network has been created to establish an exchange between numerous existing institutions, processes and initiatives related to innovation, and to strengthen the networks between them. In this way, we are nurturing our most important asset — our pioneering spirit.

Within the framework of Leadership 2020, members of the management staff will have additional opportunities for further development. The objective is that the right employees are working in the right positions at the right time at Daimler. A new, digital and global job platform offers interested parties access to all vacant positions worldwide. The remuneration system is also being revised. In the future, bonuses are to be oriented to the success of the Group, and no longer dependent on individual target achievement. This is intended to make senior executives feel more responsible for Daimler’s success, and to measure their success less in terms of personal goals.

For more information about Leadership 2020, see Leadership 2020: together into the future

Successful employee survey

We conducted a Group-wide employee survey once again in 2016. The survey is a key indicator of where we currently stand from the point of view of our employees, and of what we need to do to improve the Group in the future. In September, nearly 263,000 employees in more than 40 countries were invited to participate in the survey and express their opinions to us. The outstanding participation rate of 76 % underscores our employees’ interest and their willingness to actively help shape Daimler’s further development. Overall, the results of the survey were much better than those from previous years. For example, employee commitment is above average in comparison with external benchmarks. The careful and detailed analysis of the results began in early December. The analysis will identify areas where action needs to be taken in order to achieve sustained improvements for the benefit of the Group and our employees.

Mobile working

Employees are increasingly demanding more flexible working hours in line with the requirements of a modern lifestyle. In response to this development, Daimler’s top management launched an initiative in 2015 together with the Group’s General Works Council, the IG Metall trade union and the Fraunhofer Institute. This initiative featured surveys and brought together executives and employees for a broad dialogue that addressed employees’ experience with mobile work and identified the associated regulatory requirements and limitations. The process led to the creation of a new forward-looking Group-wide agreement that went into effect on December 1, 2016. The agreement stipulates a right to mobile working, provided the tasks in question permit it. In general, greater flexibility and autonomy for employees, as well as an extensive culture of trust, enhance the attractiveness of Daimler as an employer.

Work and family

We help both male and female employees to manage career and family responsibilities in line with their individual situations through the implementation of numerous company agreements, flexible working conditions and working-time models, and the provision of daycare services and services for caring for family members. We also give employees the opportunity to take time off for continuing education, the pursuit of personal interests or the care of family members by offering sabbaticals, nursing leave and similar programs that go beyond legal requirements.

Diversity management

The statement “Diversity shapes our future” underscores the importance of diversity management as a strategic factor for success at Daimler. The various skills and talents of our workforce enable us as a global company to effectively reflect the diversity of our customers, suppliers and investors around the world.

Increased proportion of women in management positions

As early as 2006, Daimler committed itself to raising the proportion of women in senior management positions at the Group to 20 % by the year 2020. The proportion of women in such positions has continually risen in recent years to reach 16.7 % at the end of 2016 (2015: 15.4 %). Our instruments for supporting the targeted promotion of women include mentorships, special events and training measures, as well as employee networks.

In order to fulfill the requirements of new legislation on the equal participation of women and men in management positions, the Board of Management has set targets for the proportion of women at the two executive levels below the Board of Management, and a deadline for achieving those targets. In setting all targets, we have taken industry-specific circumstances into consideration. Further details are provided in the Corporate Governance Report of this Annual Report.

Securing young talent

Daimler takes a holistic approach to securing young talent. Our “Genius” initiative gives children and teenagers valuable insights into future technologies and information about jobs in the automotive industry. Along with technical and commercial apprenticeships and courses of study at the Cooperative University, we also conduct various activities that address young talents. In addition, we offer extensive possibilities to personally interact with the company via social media, hackathons, competitions and internships. After completing their college degrees, graduates can directly join our company or launch their careers at Daimler by taking part in our global CAReer training program.

We had 7,960 trainees worldwide at the end of 2016 (2015: 8,307). A total of 1,883 young people began their vocational training at Daimler in Germany during the year under review (2015: 1,871). The number of people we train and subsequently hire is based solely on the Group’s needs and its future development. In 2016, 88 % of Daimler trainees in Germany were hired after completing their apprenticeships (2015: 84 %).

Employee qualification

We provide our staff with training and continuing education opportunities throughout their careers in order to safeguard the long-term innovative capability and outstanding performance of our workforce. Our range of qualification measures includes practical training courses, seminars, workshops, specialist conferences and financial support for employees who conduct a course of study while continuing to work. In Germany alone, we spent €131 million on the training and qualification of our employees in the year under review (2015: €126 million). On average, every employee spent three days on qualification courses in 2016 (2015: four days).

Assistance for refugees

Since 2015, Daimler has been off ering “bridge internships” for refugees who have good prospects of staying in the country in order to support their professional integration into the German labor market. The process of selecting refugees for the program is carried out in close cooperation with the Federal Employment Agency and local job centers in Germany. More than 500 refugees have completed or are currently participating in bridge internships at all Group locations in Germany. The 14-week internships include alternating days of German language instruction and production work. Experience to date has shown that the internships can lead to jobs in Germany but that additional language skills often need to be acquired as well. Daimler has also created 50 additional trainee positions for young refugees with a good knowledge of German. These positions are being gradually filled. For information on other assistance for refugees see Compliance programs.

Social responsibility
Environmental protection