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People & Culture

What We Believe In

What We Believe In

In a company that prides itself on diversity, where 160 nationalities bring their uniqueness to work each day, our values unite us. Our values of COURAGE, OWNERSHIP, INNOVATION, TEAMPLAY, INTEGRITY and RESPECT are closely tied to our culture and ultimately are the essence of our identity. Our values offer clarity on the essential behaviors and mindsets that we value in our colleagues and represent the attitude we want to see in each other. Values show us what is important help us achieve our best performance.

The adidas values series

Check out this series of stories on the adidas Values and what they mean to us.

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If you want to evolve the culture of any company or team, you need to start with leadership. Leaders at adidas act as role models, empowering all people to realize their possibilities. It’s important to grow all employees to act as leaders and all people managers to empower their teams so that everyone can realize their possibilities in our company. However, it is important to note that we are not only talking about line managers with direct reports. This is relevant for everyone. We all have the ability to role model and inspire by taking ownership, showing courage and driving innovation to make a real impact on our company.

Our ambition is to inspire and nurture talented and diverse leaders who exemplify our leadership behaviors while our development offerings focus on developing the leadership behaviors and essential skills needed to ensure our continued success. We undertake different initiatives to elevate and enhance our leadership pipeline:

Leadership development experiences: Our portfolio of leadership development experiences is designed for every level of management across all markets and functions. They include our ‘People Leader Experience’ (‘PLE’), ‘Manager Development Experience’ (‘MDE’), ‘Director Development Experience’ (‘DDE’), and ‘Executive Development Experience’ (‘EDE’). These interactive learning experiences support the development of leadership skills that are directly linked to the participants’ current roles and responsibilities as well as being aligned to our values.

Leadership groups: Our leadership groups consist of the ‘Core Leadership Group’ (CLG) and the ‘Extended Leadership Group’ (ELG). The CLG partners with the Executive Board, leading the execution of our business strategy while the ELG collaborates across markets and functions, leading the execution of our strategic initiatives. Furthermore, the ELG drives continuous improvement and consistency throughout the organization.

High-potential programs: We invest in selected high-performing and high-potential employees through three dedicated programs: ‘Global High Potential Group’ (GHIPO), ‘Local High Potential Group’ (LHIPO), and ‘Future High Potential Group’ (FHIPO) program. Our ‘GHIPO’ and ‘LHIPO’ programs enable us to identify and develop global and local high-potential leaders who have the ability to take on more complex and demanding responsibilities at a higher leadership level. The programs are designed to build peer relationships and to give participants cross-functional and cross-cultural exposure. The ‘FHIPO’ program enables us to identify and develop selected high-potential employees at an early stage in their careers. The program is designed to build on participants’ skills, further evolve their capabilities, strengthen their behaviors, and expand their business perspective.


We continue to promote a high-performance culture by developing our employees. We offer a wide range of learning and development opportunities, including online learning resources and interactive learning experiences that provide personal and professional growth opportunities for our workforce. Our investments in digital learning and development opportunities, such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Circus Street, and Arizona State University, offer equitable access to learning content and just-in-time upskilling and/or reskilling.

The key pillars of our extended learning and development offerings are informal learning and mentoring. Our informal learning is supported by platforms where employees can network and connect across the organization based on shared learning goals and/or interests.

Career Development at adidas

At adidas, we are committed to driving development opportunities for all our employees. Find out how we’re taking this to heart.

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The key focus of our rewards strategy is to attract, retain, and motivate individuals through remuneration and benefits that are inclusive, fit for purpose, and competitive in the marketplace – thus enabling us to achieve our strategic objectives. To promote a high-performance culture, it is essential that we focus on performance management to ensure fair and equitable reward and recognition.

Performance management: #MYBEST is our global performance development approach and a key enabler of our high-performance culture. #MYBEST has three elements to encourage regular high-quality conversations between employee and line manager, and to ensure goals are set and reviewed quarterly. A formal performance evaluation takes place twice a year, with employee development being the focus of every monthly ‘Touch Base’ conversation. We continue to work on making the performance evaluation and potential assessment processes more equitable and to further develop our line managers’ capabilities to engage in meaningful performance standard conversations. As we implement the new values into #MYBEST in 2023, we will focus on the adoption of these values and how they are lived.

Total compensation management: Compensation at adidas has a dual focus of ensuring employees are compensated fairly and equitably for the role they perform, while also creating a culture of rewarding performance. The adidas total compensation management philosophy enables educated compensation decisions based on external market reference and internal equity. It also takes into account the skills, experience, and responsibility of each individual. Our variable compensation programs engage and motivate employees by reflecting their activities’ input, while driving a culture of high-performance. To do this, adidas offers the following variable compensation plans: 

  • Short-Term Incentive program, 
  • Profit participation programs, 
  • Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) for senior management.

Benefits: At adidas, employee benefits take the form of monetary or non-monetary programs that supplement wages or salaries on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. Programs can be offered globally, regionally, or locally and can be statutory or supplemental. They comply with legislation or local market practice and are based on benchmark data.

Cross-border employment: adidas invests in international relocation to fill local skill gaps, enable knowledge transfer, develop talent for a more diverse workforce, enable location strategy, and enforce our learning culture. Our aim is to support the success of our business through a relocation of talent that will both enhance the employee experience and align with our business purpose.

Stock Purchase Plan: Participation in the Stock Purchase Plan is open to employees in Germany, the US, the Netherlands, and Greater China (China mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong). This amounts to access for almost half our global workforce (excluding Retail).

Careers at adidas

If you love sport and want to change the world, see if one of our global positions might be the right fit for you.

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