Employee empowerment and participation play an important role in managing employee relations within the adidas Group.
The Group has established works councils at adidas in Germany and other European subsidiaries. The members of the works councils are elected by the workforce.
Currently, three representatives of the works council are also members of the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board advises and supervises the Executive Board in the management of the adidas Group. It is involved in all decisions of fundamental importance to the Group and is responsible for appointing and dismissing members of the Executive Board. This so-called 'co-determination' structure is mandatory under German law.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Works council representatives participated in various local and international stakeholder meetings as well as in several conferences and seminars where the topic was largely 'Corporate Social Responsibility'. Examples of these meetings are:
- Regional meetings facilitated by Social and Environmental Affairs
- adidas Group stakeholder dialogue in Hong Kong with Group representatives (SEA, Sourcing, Communication) and business partners (suppliers as well as transport and logistics service providers)
- Meeting with representatives of the Hans-Böckler Foundation (affiliated to the German Trade Union Federation) to discuss general CSR-related topics; participants included adidas Group representatives from SEA, Corporate Communications and the Works Council
- Seminar on CSR organised by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation; participants included employee representatives of various companies and trade unions
- Conference on CSR organised by the Hans-Böckler-Foundation; participants included politicians, academic representatives, journalists, media (TV), employee representatives of various companies and trade unions.
Group Works Council Germany
This works council represents all our sites in Germany, including our Headquarters in Herzogenaurach.
In 2007, it was actively involved in a range of staff-related projects. Depending on the type and subject, the works council played a critical role in exercising its development support, feedback, consultation and approval function.
The works council paid special attention to the following initiatives:
- Implementation and alignment of revised remuneration structures and bonus schemes
- Roll-out and implementation of the new Employee Code of Conduct
- Revised Personal Evaluation and Planning (PEP) system rolled out to all employees in 2007
- HR tools for personnel planning and development
- Alignment of relevant HR policies and agreements post Reebok integration.
In 2007, the Executive Management issued a formal note to Line Management to stress the important role and value of staff representatives for the company organisation.
Works Council Reebok Germany
The relocation of the German Reebok Sales Organisation (separate legal entity) from Unterhaching to Herzogenaurach required elections to ensure a full-size works council for this establishment. The elections were held at the end of 2007. Two members of the works council of Reebok Germany are also members of the adidas Group works council.
European Works Council
The European Works Council (EWC) currently consists of nine delegates from six European countries. Germany, as the country with the largest number of employees, has four delegates on the council, including one member from the works council Reebok Germany.
The fruitful collaboration between the European and HQ works council and the SEA team continued in 2007. Members of the HQ works council, the EWC and representatives of the Trade Unions are regularly updated on progress of the compliance programme.
At the annual EWC summit, the main topics discussed were:
- Management updates on sales and staff development in the European region
- Implementation status of global HR tools (Performance/Compensation System)
- Harmonisation of internal agreements
- The management letter on recognition of staff representatives
- The Employee Code of Conduct.
The European Works Council held elections in March 2007.
Employee participation outside Europe
Creating effective communication channels throughout the regions at Liaison Office (LO) and factory level is a constant challenge.
Our internet-based 'Ask the Management' forum gives employees throughout all regions an opportunity to raise concerns and post questions to top management.
More direct communications are being established in the sourcing offices throughout Asia. We are setting up employee committees who regularly meet with management to review staff issues. This initiative was piloted in the Guangzhou LO. Now in its fifth year, the committee has incorporated elected representatives from apparel, accessories and gear as well as the footwear sourcing department.
The committee has dealt with a number of issues, including:
- Organising transport to our operations centres
- Providing medical insurance for staff located in different cities
- Improving the housing accumulation fund and social retirement fund coverage
- Introducing flexible working hours in the LO
- Choosing the venues and activities for company outings
- Conducting sports matches for staff and proposing other activities.
In 2007, the committee held four representative meetings, one of which was without management participation. Ten employees were elected in May 2007 to represent 388 local adidas, Reebok and Rockport employees.
Our Hong Kong office has also set up a staff committee that discusses relevant topics for employees.
- Our internet-based 'Ask the Management' forum gives employees throughout all regions an opportunity to raise concerns and post questions to top management.