Employee advancement and development

  • Attracting, promoting, and retaining the best employees worldwide are the core elements of human resources work
  • Internal talents are systematically identified and supported on the basis of employee dialogues promoted with the talent management processes

Attracting and developing talents

Part of GNFK StartIn order to attract and recruit new talents, the Schaeffler Group relies on target group-oriented measures in employer branding and vocational training marketing. Specific measures include:

  • Participation in information days and events
  • Partnership-based and sustainable cooperation with universities, student bodies, student associations, and organizations
  • Main sponsor of Formula Student Germany for many years

An annual talent management process takes place to systematically monitor the development of internal talents. The basis of this process is the Employee Development Dialogue (EDD) between employee and manager. In this dialog, behavior, performance and development are discussed. In 2020, the EDD was postponed by a quarter, due to a new Performance & Goal Management approach as part of the “Digital HR” initiative was set to start in January 2021. The performance review for 2020 and the goal setting discussion for 2021 take place in a joint meeting between employee and manager. The new performance approach has replaced the former EDD.

During the “Global Talent Review” (GTR), managers get together to discuss and calibrate employee assessments. Part of the GTR is also the strategic succession management to ensure a sustainable talent pipeline for key positions at Schaeffler. Talents are identified at an early stage and get the tools and development to design their career professionally and personally.

As part of the “Digital HR” initiative, the existing systems and processes are being expanded globally with the launch of “SAP Success Factor”, and further professionalized on a digital basis. The global rollout of the modules on “Recruitment”, “Onboarding”, “Performance & Goal Management” and “Succession & Development” started in 2020.

Distribution of employees by region1)

Distribution of employees, regions (pie chart)

1) The regions represent the regional structure of the Schaeffler Group.

Part of GNFK End

High-quality training opportunities



Part of GNFK StartQuality training and the development of young talents has always been a high priority in the Schaeffler Group. In 2020, the company employed 2,724 apprentices1) (prior year: 3,078) at 50 locations in 16 countries worldwide. They are prepared for new challenges in pioneering projects – e.g. using augmented reality concepts in the form of virtual welding simulators and 3D printer construction. Working with the , additional pilot projects were launched in 2020 to develop qualification opportunities associated with . New job profiles were also incorporated into the apprentice program portfolio and take the company’s technological developments into account – e.g. in the areas of mechatronics, electronics, and IT.

The Schaeffler Group also offers a variety of study opportunities, including the dual study, and “Two in One” study in collaboration with technical colleges. The study programs cover both technical and business topics, ranging from mechanical engineering, automation and computer science to the automotive trade, as well as tax and commercial law.Part of GNFK End

Reinforcing digital learning

A new feedback system for apprentices and students was rolled out in 2019 as a fundamental basis for successful learning. It was continued in 2020 and focuses on bilateral exchange and comprehensive evaluation of specialized, methodological, social and personal skills. The global rollout will be completed in 2021. Due to the unique learning requirements resulting from coronavirus restrictions, apprentices around the world have increasingly been working with digital media. In addition, didactic concepts that support problem-oriented, self-organized and social learning as well as learning with digital media have been developed in project groups across multiple locations and in collaboration with business students at universities. For example, an “IT basics” training course which apprentices can complete in a learning app. In 2020, the Schaeffler Group implemented an apprenticeship management system at 17 training locations to promote a modern learning environment. Global rollout will continue in 2021. The shared platform for apprentices, students and trainers makes it possible to digitally manage apprenticeship processes.

Initial training in Vietnam

In October 2020, the Schaeffler Group started training qualified young employees in Vietnam. One class of 20 apprentices commenced initial vocational training in collaboration with the renowned Lilama College. The global network of trainers worked closely together to develop the Schaeffler apprenticeship model in Vietnam, promoting the transfer of knowledge across country borders.

Qualifying trainers

Part of GNFK StartWell-qualified young professionals require well-qualified trainers. All trainers in Germany are familiarized with new learning methods, the use of modern media in day-to-day training, and the special expectations of generations Y and Z as part of a modular qualification program. At the beginning of 2019, the qualification program was also launched in Eastern Europe. Tailored trainer qualification programs are being developed for use in the Schaeffler regions of the Americas, Greater China, and Asia/Pacific in 2021. All of the trainer qualification measures aim to prepare them for a role change “from teacher to coach” and for the opportunities provided by digital learning.Part of GNFK End

Apprentices, students, and trainees1)








Apprentices, total2)







of which, students, total3)







Trainees, total








Unless otherwise indicated, the employee figures refer to the reporting date of December 31 of the respective year.


People with academic or nonacademic qualifications.


Dual students, master’s degree and “Two in One” students. The “Two in One” study program combines a bachelor’s degree with vocational training. Due to a change in the collection methods, there are no global data for 2019 and 2018. Figures have so far only been collected for Germany. The values for the number of students in Germany can be found in the Sustainability Report 2019.

Training employees independent of time and place

Part of GNFK StartOver the past three years, the has developed a variety of Fit4 qualification programs in order to support the required re- and upskilling of employees. The programs consist of modular training options with defined learning paths that consider the target groups’ different backgrounds and areas of experience. The “Fit4Mechatronics” program is currently being offered with around 111 training courses, providing research and development engineers with knowledge about mechatronics and electronics. The has also been an AZAV2)-certified educational institution since December 2019, meaning the Schaeffler Group can offer employees retraining qualifications and continued professional development through the Skills Development Opportunities Act (QCG).

99.8 %

coverage of Learning Management System3)

The new conditions resulting from coronavirus require a high degree of willingness to change when it comes to digitizing training content. For example, around 30 % of the classroom training sessions originally planned in Germany were offered in digital learning formats in the reporting period. The new forms of learning are available through the internal Learning Management System (LMS), as are the classic classroom training sessions. Apart from Russia, the global rollout of the LMS was successfully completed at the end of 2020. The system is therefore available in 53 countries for a coverage rate of 99.8 %3) (prior year: 93.0 %) of the total workforce. Overall, 193 online training courses were globally available to employees (prior year: 134). 7,351 people (prior year: 27,906) also took part in classroom training sessions in Germany in the reporting year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a majority of the classroom training sessions were translated into virtual formats. Compulsory classroom training sessions were also held in accordance with applicable hygiene measures.

Qualification and training1)








Online training courses, total







Participants in e-learning courses, Germany2)







Participants in face-to-face trainings, Germany








Unless otherwise indicated, the employee figures refer to the reporting date of December 31 of the respective year.


Increased use of e-learning offers due to the coronavirus pandemic and compulsory online training courses increase the number of participants.

Part of GNFK End

Leadership & Corporate Values

Part of GNFK StartAs part of the “Leadership & Corporate Values” initiative, the Schaeffler Group introduced six Leadership Essentials. They describe the behavior managers should exemplify across all levels in daily collaboration. The following measures were taken, e.g. to implement the Leadership Essentials within the company:

  • Upward feedback in which managers see how well their employees live up to the guidelines
  • Standardized and global 360 feedback provides managers with a comprehensive form of feedback on the six Leadership Essentials from their manager, employees, colleagues, and other collaboration partners. The 360 feedback is voluntary and anonymous
  • Alignment of all executive training content with the Leadership Essentials

To support the company transformation, change management offers for managers have been revised and adapted in line with the current increase in tailored needs. A global leadership program has also been developed for the department to support managers in their role of leadership during the transformation.

The new “Leadership Campus Talk” format, which is designed to give managers the opportunity to reflect on and share information about current topics of relevance, was also introduced in the reporting period. Managers around the world actively took advantage of the digital pilot event in October, which runs under the motto – Unleashing the Power of Inclusive Leadership”.

Developed in 2019 in collaboration with employees and managers as from different regions, the “Employee Essentials” were successfully communicated and are expected to be rolled out in all four Schaeffler regions in 2021. The “Employee Essentials” will also be integrated into all relevant HR processes in 2021, including Performance & Goal Management and training courses.

The aforementioned Leadership Essentials, “Employee Essentials”, and the accompanying communication and implementation measures were developed in close collaboration with the corresponding members of the extended Executive Board.Part of GNFK End

More information on diversity and equal opportunity.

1) Includes people with academic or nonacademic qualifications.

2) The Further Training Approval Ordinance (AZAV) is a regulation of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

3) Relating to employees.

Schaeffler Academy
Schaeffler Academy combines all personnel development activities at Schaeffler worldwide. It supports strategic corporate objectives, promotes a culture of lifelong learning, and enables employees to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Industry 4.0
Refers to the integration of industrial production with state-of-the-art information with communications technology.
Schaeffler Academy
Schaeffler Academy combines all personnel development activities at Schaeffler worldwide. It supports strategic corporate objectives, promotes a culture of lifelong learning, and enables employees to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Schaeffler Academy
Schaeffler Academy combines all personnel development activities at Schaeffler worldwide. It supports strategic corporate objectives, promotes a culture of lifelong learning, and enables employees to achieve their personal and professional goals.
Abbreviation of “electric mobility”: mobility that is powered by electricity. This includes electric and hybrid vehicles. Ranging from high-voltage hybrid modules and electric axles through to wheel hub motors – the Schaeffler Group offers a broad range of products for the age of electrified powertrain architectures
Diversity with respect to aspects including gender, ethnic origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, and religion.