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Training and Development

Training and Development

We want all of our employees to achieve their personal best.

For this reason, employees are offered a wide variety of learning and development opportunities that build on their strengths, grow their skills and help them to overcome individual challenges. Our highest priority is to match individual employee aspirations with our organisational needs.

Learning and Development

Our employees are our game-changers.

For this reason, employees are offered a wide variety of learning and development opportunities that build on their strengths, grow their skills and help them to achieve their best. Our highest priority is to ensure employees are not only constantly improving their performance but also learning to support their future careers within our Group.

Our Learning Campus is the centre of learning within the adidas Group. The Learning Campus is comprised of an online portal with learning opportunities that employees can access any time they need as well as physical spaces for learning, working and collaborating. The online Learning Campus includes self-paced learning activities, video content and group learning activities accessible to all employees. This reflects our ‘New Way of Learning’ – providing resources that support on-the-job learning, social and collaborative learning, and in-person learning activities. The Learning Campus is also 100% open-source – employees are invited to create content as well as share their own learning with their colleagues.

People Managers develop their capabilities to excel in their role through targeted Fit to Lead programmes

Future directions will see investment in learning technologies for mobile applications enabling employees to access learning opportunities where and when they need them, in addition to learning apps that build collaboration and support employees in Creating the New. 


Commitment to leadership excellence

We focus on elevating our leaders’ strengths, in particular how leaders create the right environment for our employees to be inspired, committed and motivated.

We therefore continue to have a strong focus on investing in the way we work and lead across our global leadership teams. At the beginning of 2014, over 85 global leadership teams (700 leaders) took part in a ‘Leadership Journey’. These journeys include intensive sessions of self-reflection of mindsets, and 360° feedback. The focus during the remainder of the year was to sustain the journey and embed in daily leadership routines.


To reach their personal best, our Group’s employees are offered a wide variety of learning opportunities, building on their strengths, improving their skills and overcoming their own challenges. Our highest priority is to match individual employee aspirations with our organizational needs. As such, we continue to build our integrated talent management process, incorporating performance, succession, development and learning opportunities to enable our employees to reach their potential at every stage of their career.


The quality of current and future talent and leadership within the adidas Group is key to our success. With specifically designed talent management tools, we identify talents at all levels of our Group who have the potential to become future leaders or key players within the organisation. In order to prepare them for more complex future roles, they participate in targeted development programmes and have tailored individual development plans.

​Talent Carousel: As a Group, we want to develop the best leaders of tomorrow. Leaders who through confidence, creativity and collaboration are able to inspire these qualities in others and are also able to bring forward fresh perspectives and disruptive thinking to drive creativity and innovation. This is why, in 2015, we introduced a new development programme, called the Talent Carousel. This programme offers cross-functional and cross-cultural career experiences to prepare future leaders in a VUCA world. The first participants got the chance to take on new roles within Brand or Sales in a different location to their current position for two years. During this period, they can expect to learn new skills related to the position (functional knowledge), learn about a new culture, develop new networks, connect with other carousel members and experience coaching & mentoring opportunities. Most importantly: Talent Carousel candidates will also get a detailed plan on how to bring to life their career aspirations. After the period of two years, the participants can choose out of three options:  1) continue with the programme and choose another destination and role, 2) stay in the local organisation or 3) return to the original location. 2015 was just a pilot. This year we will have more spots in even more departments.

Trainee programme: The Functional Trainee Programme (FTP) is an 18-month programme providing graduates with an international background and excellent educational credentials the opportunity to start a functional career within the adidas Group. The programme comprises six three-month assignments in various departments. At least one of these assignments takes place abroad. At year-end 2015, we employed 27 participants in our global FTP (2014: 41).

Apprenticeships and internships: Our development programmes are complemented by apprenticeship and internship programmes. The adidas Group apprenticeship offers young people who want to join our Group directly out of school the opportunity to gain business experience in a two- to three-year rotation programme. The programme includes vocational training in retail, industrial management and IT, as well as integrated study programmes. At the end of 2015, we employed 63 apprentices in Germany (2014:60) and 40 integrated study programme students (2014: 52). Our global internship programme offers students three to six months of work experience within the adidas Group. At the end of 2015, we employed 553 interns in Germany (2014: 524).


To further drive a high-performance within the adidas Group, we use a performance management approach called ‘The Score’. It brings target setting, employee development and performance appraisal under one common process. The Score also brings focus, simplicity and alignment to the setting of team goals and individual targets. Each employee is evaluated and receives feedback at least twice a year.


The adidas Group succession management approach aims to ensure stability and certainty in business continuity. We achieve this through a globally consistent succession plan which covers successors for director level positions and above. We conduct regular reviews to ensure individual development plans are in place to prepare successors for their potential next steps.