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We know that our people are crucial to our success. Becoming the global leader in the sporting goods industry depends on the potential, dedication, knowledge and performance of our employees and the excellence of our leaders.



Our ambition is to be the employer of choice both for our current and future employees because this will lead to business success. Our ‘employer of choice’ status continues to garner worldwide recognition and enables us to attract, retain and engage industry-leading talent to sustain the company’s success and growth. In 2018, adidas locations around the world leveraged our employer brand attributes for attraction, retention and engagement strategies. This work contributed to several top rankings worldwide, including the Glassdoor and LinkedIn Best Employer rankings, as well as Best Employer in Digital Talent Communication. This has also helped us to attract some of the industry's top talent.

Bringing our corporate mission to life requires commitment. We are convinced that strong commitment from our workforce is dependent on strong commitment from our leaders to drive a highly motivated and engaged workforce. In addition, we continue to support leadership excellence with best-in-class tools by conducting regular pulse checks and employee experience surveys to identify, monitor and track our employees’ opinions on their work environment. 

Kicked off in June 2017, People Pulse is adidas’ new approach and system platform for measuring the level of employee satisfaction with the experience adidas provides as an employer. People Pulse allows for the monthly measurement of employeeNPS (eNPS), one of the company's KPIs determined by the Board. The calculation logic of the eNPS score is identical with brand NPS: Based on the main question ‘On a scale of 0-10, how likely are you to recommend adidas as a place to work?’, the total share of detractors (responses below 7) is deducted from the total share of promoters (responses scoring 9 and 10), producing the eNPS score. People Pulse is specifically tailored to adidas’ needs as well as its Creating the New strategy and People Strategy. 

In 2018, we saw People Pulse gain significant traction, to a point where it is now fully embedded within the organization globally. 90% of eligible employees participated at least once over the course of the year. We place a major focus on delivering an effective insights-to-action process, which was achieved through a change of cadence from monthly to quarterly tracking as of July 2018 for additional depth of insights, centralized tracking of action plans and the creation of a global People Pulse Ambassador community to facilitate sharing of successes and best practices.

In 2019, we saw the quarterly People Pulse continue to be leveraged as an important feedback channel from corporate employees to the company. In March, we reached similar levels to the all-time high response rate of the previous year, with 67% of employees responding. On average, our eNPS remained stable in 2019 compared to the previous year. Reports with detailed results and scores were provided to the Executive Board and leaders down to Board –4 level. Employees have access to the overall company results via our global intranet. Result recipients continued to review, cascade and openly discuss the results and drive action on identified areas of improvement.

Click here for more information on People Pulse in our 2019 Annual Report.

We believe that a robust and state-of-the-art internal communication platform is essential for driving employee engagement and fostering learning as well as open collaboration within our organisation. We use an enterprise collaboration platform called ‘a-LIVE’, which brings the intranet, online collaboration platforms and important system applications under one roof. It allows departments and teams to quickly build and edit their own internal collaboration and communication platforms and connects users across departments as well as locations. It encourages employees to share knowledge, collaborate and discuss current topics.


We can talk about strategy and becoming the best sports brand in the world all day long, but we would get nowhere without the people who give their best and make it happen every day: our employees.


For this reason, we want to make sure that every single employee regardless of race, age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity feels welcome at adidas AG, is proud to be part of this company and can go on to change the world of sport for the better. The next great idea or innovation that will change the world of sport will come from those who are allowed to be their true selves and follow their dreams and ideas to the finish line without artificial boundaries in their way.

When you make ‘diversity’ one of your core values, you have to follow up on it all the way through. We aim to be a diverse company on every level and in all aspects, including gender, race, nationality and generation, and to build a creative and innovative workforce that celebrates differences and experiences across borders of any kind. For this reason, we have taken a proactive approach to increase and promote diversity within our company: In addition to our already established practices, since June 9, adidas has made a series of new commitments to create an environment that celebrates diversity as a whole and practices inclusion. These cover our hiring processes, training and special networking groups among many other diversity measures. You can review the full list of global commitments and those specifically targeted at North America HERE.

We make it a priority to understand why every employee is part of our company, what their needs are and how we can help them to be their best. We want to provide a choice to each and every one of our people that enables them to find their own way within adidas based on their individual background and not force-fitting them into a pre-selected path that is not flexible and transparent. That is not the world we live in anymore. We change lives through sport every day and we start with our own people.


We believe in mixed leadership teams. Already in 2011, adidas proactively set itself the goal of increasing the number of women in leadership positions in the coming years. Specifically, the percentage share of women in management positions is targeted to be increased globally from 31% today to 32% in 2020. As of December 31, 2019, female representation in leadership positions amounted to 34% on a global level. The target figure of 32% for the year 2020 has thus already been exceeded. The company will continue to intensify its efforts to remain an attractive employer in the future, with a particular focus on a long-term approach for equal participation in leadership positions.

Being a diverse company is not limited to inside our walls. We actively participate in conferences in Germany such as ‘Women & Work’ as well as ‘Sticks & Stones’ and ‘Rambo’ in the US to ensure that our all-encompassing diversity strategy appeals to and supports all genders and orientations. And speaking of support, our active memberships in both ‘Catalyst’ and the ‘Diversity Charter’ allow us to acquire new knowledge and further demonstrate our commitment to promote diversity in our workforce and society. In addition, we regularly check up on our efforts by participating in benchmark surveys such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Corporate Equality Index Survey to ensure that we are on the right path. The index benchmarks companies’ workplace policies and practices according to how inclusive and equitable they are for the LGBTQ community, and we are proud to have achieved a perfect score of 100% in 2016.

We believe that diversity can be a game changer. It represents our consumers, our values, and the world we live in. It is the trigger to endless creativity and the key to long-term success. When individuals with different experiences and backgrounds, those who see the world a little differently, come together in one unit, it will make all the difference and enable us to break through walls that seemed unbreakable. The world is a remarkably diverse place with endless opportunities when you do it right. This is the world we at the adidas AG want you be part of.


When filling leadership positions in the company, the Executive Board takes diversity into consideration and especially aims for an appropriate consideration of women. The Supervisory Board is also convinced that an increase in the number of women in leadership positions within the company is necessary to ensure that, in the future, a larger number of suitable female candidates is available for Executive Board positions. The Supervisory Board thus supports the company’s initiatives to foster diversity and inclusion and promote women in leadership positions.

Pursuant to the ‘Law on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Leadership Positions in the Private and Public Sector’, the Supervisory Board determined target figures for the percentage of female representation on the Executive Board, including corresponding deadlines for their achievement, and the Executive Board determined such target figures for the first two management levels, including deadlines for their achievement, for adidas AG: 

  • The target figure for the Executive Board is 1/7 or 14.29%. The deadline for achieving this target figure is June 30, 2022.
  • The target figure for the first management level below the Executive Board is 24% and 30% for the second management level below the Executive Board. The implementation period for both targets expires on December 31, 2019.

In accordance with § 96 section 2 sentence 1 AktG, at least 30% of the members of the Supervisory Board have to be female and at least 30% have to be male. The shareholder representatives and the employee representatives have each resolved in accordance with § 96 section 2 sentence 3 AktG that this minimum quota shall be fulfilled separately for the shareholder representatives and the employee representatives. As at December 31, 2018, a total of four Supervisory Board mandates of the company were held by women. The minimum quota required is fulfilled both by the shareholder representatives and the employee representatives. The next election of shareholder representatives to the Supervisory Board will take place at the Annual General Meeting of adidas AG in May 2019. The list of candidates proposed to the shareholders will comprise at least two female shareholder representatives.

UK Gender Pay Gap report 2019

Following the new legislation which requires companies with more than 250 employees to publish calculations annually showing how large the pay gap is between male and female employees. 

Our gender pay gap is currently 15 per cent, and while that is under the UK average of 17.9 per cent, we are determined to improve. However, the key factor in creating this disparity is the fact that we have fewer women in senior positions, and this is something we have been actively addressing since 2011 when we introduced targets to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions. 

Gender Pay Gap

  • Mean gender pay gap: 15%  
  • Median gender pay gap: 8% 

Bonus Pay Gap 

  • Percentage of men and women receiving bonuses: equal – 86% each 
  • Mean bonus pay gap:  54%
  • Median bonus pay gap: - 2% 

Proportions of males and females in each quartile salary bracket

Upper quartile: Men 65.4% / Women 34.6%

Upper middle quartile: Men 52.7% / Women 47.3%

Lower middle quartile: Men 53.6% / Women 46.4%

Lower quartile: Men 54.2% / Women 45.8%

Further analysis of our figures shows that the percentage of men and women who were rewarded for their work with a bonus in the last year was exactly the same, and at 86 per cent it was far higher than the national average of 35 per cent. 

We have reduced the gap at adidas by 3.3% since last year. We have also paid into our global goal by increasing the proportion of women in senior management positions to 32 per cent, 18 months earlier than our original target date.
We have succeeded in reducing the gender pay gap over the past year, but one does still exist and that is something we will continue to address. The main reason for the continued gap is the higher number of men than women in senior roles, where salaries and bonuses are higher. To achieve equality at all levels of our company, we need to focus on establishing an environment that discovers, develops and supports future female leaders

We are tackling this important issue with a renewed focus on encouraging, supporting and rewarding our female talent – giving women exciting and fulfilling careers in which they feel truly valued. 

At the global level, we are digging deeper into the data we have to identify any potential barriers to diversity and more importantly opportunities for improvement.




This is valid for every kind of workplace, including machine workplaces in production areas, home office workplaces for administration functions and workplaces in our stores. As a global company, our operations must comply with a wide range of different legal and cultural imperatives. Naturally, practices and procedures will vary from one facility to another, depending on the structure of the facility, but the core requirements remain the same.

The adidas AG’s health and safety management focuses on the following core areas:


At adidas we put our people at the heart of everything we do. Thus, we support our employees by providing the best possible conditions to ensure that they feel good and stay healthy. To achieve this, we defined our goal to create the best environment to guide our people towards an energetic and balanced life.

We aim for a holistic approach including people’s physical, mental and social well-being (cf. WHO definition of health). 

Therefore, our health concept is structured in the four pillars mindset, nutrition, movement and recovery that we try to address within our health offerings.  

  • Mindset is about dedicating oneself towards a goal with a full understanding of what it requires to accomplish it.
  • Nutrition provides the foundational support to fuel the mind and body, and maximize performance.
  • Movement is essential for improving performance. It’s about moving your body better.
  • Recovery allows the mind and body to re-energize and prepare for the next day’s activity.

With our various sport facilities at the campus in Herzogenaurach, we support our employees to be active whenever it fits their schedule. With FlexiTime, our flexible working hours model based on trust, our employees can do sports whenever they wish. A stadium, football pitch, beach volleyball courts, tennis court, basketball court and a bouldering and climbing tower invite our employees to active breaks or ends of the work day. Moreover, the sport facilities are used for team-building events and by employees of all job levels. 

To support our employees to make an active journey to work, we have installed a safe and dry bicycle parking area within our car park. With changing rooms that include lockers and showers, we support our employees who make their way to work by bike and thereby benefit both their health and sustainability. 

Our Company Sports department in Herzogenaurach organizes a variety of sports activities and events for employees and is aiming for a healthy adidas community. Courses offered include a large variety of health and sports classes such as yoga, back stabilization, football, etc. But also workshops and events like skiing, hiking or trips to football matches are very popular among our employees. In 2018, the Company Sports team organized 503 courses and events with more than 7,600 participants. 

Employees in Herzogenaurach, Portland, Boston and at other subsidiaries have access to a corporate gym. 

We have an almost 4,000m2 GYM in Herzogenaurach, including five course rooms, a huge training area, a Reebok CrossFit Box and an EXOS training room. We unite several training philosophies under one roof. Modern equipment and first-class trainers make the GYM a special place where employees have lots of fun and meet new people. A place for health AND fitness. This bridge between performance-oriented training and personal health management is very important to us.


Nutrition is more than just food. Just like our holistic health concept, the topic of nutrition is made up of many different pillars and teams that work on this complex topic. In order to develop a common foundation, we agreed upon the following ten joint nutritional principles. 

  1. Purer is better
  2. Colorful is powerful
  3. Protein renews
  4. Good fat is good fuel
  5. Complex keeps you going
  6. Feed your gut
  7. Hydrate right
  8. Choose sustainably
  9. Find your balance

In November 2016, adidas received the Corporate Health ‘Special Award for healthy nutrition’. The CHA is the most renowned award in corporate health management in Germany. This award not only honoured the extraordinarily good and high-quality food offered on the Herzo campus, but also the integration of our nutrition concept into the overall strategy.

With our strategic partner B.A.D. as an occupational health and safety service, we are able to offer various medical services to our employees that go far beyond the legal requirements of occupational medicine. Two company doctors offer various medical services on-site, such as vaccinations, medical check-ups or ergonomic workplace adjustments.  An anonymous and free telephone consultation service is available 24/7 to help our employees in difficult situations. Further we offer personal help from certified psychologists and social pedagogues. Our Integration Management Programme after long-term sickness aims at supporting our employees after a lengthy absence from work.

At our health centre at the HQ in Herzogenaurach there are two certified physiotherapists available for our employees, offering various treatment techniques, e.g. manual therapy, medical training therapy, massages or lymph drainage. 

Corporate Health Award 
Our holistic health approach is not only well-received by our employees, but is also recognized by outside industry experts. 

The Corporate Health Award is the best known and most successful initiative in the area of corporate health management in Germany. The Corporate Health Award honours companies that are committed to the health of their employees and pursue a sustainable HR strategy. Every year, we take part in an external audit to get expert feedback on our health management efforts. Since 2015 we are in the “excellent class” and compete with the most successful companies in that area. In 2016 our nutrition concept and offer was honoured with the CHA Special Award for healthy nutrition. 

Network “Vitale Unternehmen”
Our Health Management is always happy to connect and exchange with other companies that care about their employees’ health and well-being. We are an active member in the “network for vital companies” (Netzwerk Vitale Unternehmen) which meets on a regular basis to discuss health management topics with other companies from the Erlangen/Höchstadt region. Every year the Vitalo Award (gold, silver and bronze) is given to the companies to reward those efforts. In 2016, adidas received the golden Vitalo Award and was honoured especially for the offers in the field of health promotion.

Leadership Framework 
We know that our leaders have the responsibility to bring out the best in those around them. Further, the way of leadership has a strong influence on the health of our employees. To help define what a great leader at adidas does, we focused on the 3 Cs – collaboration, confidence and creativity – in order to establish a Leadership Framework that gives a clear definition of great leadership within adidas and which core behaviours come along with it. 

Fit to Lead Workshops
We offer workshops for prospective line managers/ leaders to guide them towards a healthy and supporting way of leadership. The “fit to lead” journey includes alongside other topics communication and feedback, self-directed learning and creative problem-solving.

Every three years our Health Management team organizes an employee survey to assess psychological job strain. The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) represents a comprehensive assessment that includes the main dimensions of the most influential psychosocial theories at work. Following the results we collaborate with the strategy departments to work on appropriate actions to be taken. For instance, the survey in 2014 showed a strong demand for a clear leadership framework to determine what great leadership looks like. Subsequently, a subset of the Core Leadership Group was tasked with developing the global adidas Leadership Framework to define nine core behaviours an adidas leader should live and follow.  

On a regular basis, the Health Management team, together with Health & Safety and all other players in the health sector organize activations and events for our employees, such as health days. These initiatives allow all employees to inform themselves about health topics and the offers that exist on-site. Health initiatives are organized at all HQ locations as well as at some distribution centres


We have established corporate guidelines for health and safety, which are used at our administrative offices, distribution centres, stores and production sites. They include core standards for workplace health and safety that complement local legal regulatory requirements. In addition, our larger administration facilities and the company’s small number of production sites have comprehensive risk, health, safety and environmental management systems coordinated by local facility management.

For our sites in Germany, we have put in place a regional health and safety management system. Designated H&S staff at local sites work closely together, exchanging information and developing ways to improve safety at all workplaces. Under German labour safety law, employees at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach and other locations in Germany must receive annual training on workplace health hazards and safety measures. The adidas intranet offers mandatory online courses on emergency procedures and fire safety measures as well as guidelines for workplace ergonomics.

Regular health and safety training is provided to employees at our production sites, distribution centres and retail stores in Germany in collaboration with the Textile and Clothing Trade Association. Every two years, a Safety Day takes place at all German locations. The day is organised by the Health Management, together with fire services, the Accident Prevention and Insurance Association, health insurance providers and local businesses.

We offer regular training to our employees about travelling safely to and from work. Training is also provided to keep employees up to date with changes to workplace safety regulations.

In Germany, being a first aider is a voluntary decision. The company offers training courses to our employees and now has more than  200 trained first aiders in Herzogenaurach. adidas also ensures that security and industrial safety staff in Herzogenaurach, Scheinfeld, Rieste and Uffenheim are trained on defibrillators and that such equipment is available on site.

With an increasing number of retail stores run by the adidas AG, workplace health and safety in stores is an important consideration. Health and Safety Officers conduct regular store inspections to check that health and safety standards are being met.


Due to the global presence of the adidas AG, its products and its partners, it is necessary that our employees travel regularly to global destinations worldwide. With the support of an external co-operation partner, we run a Medical and Security Assistance Programme to service expatriates and adidas AG employees abroad and on business-related travel.

With the Medical and Security Assistance Programme, business travel is safer and risks are more transparent. The provider is on the spot when medical or security-related problems arise while people are travelling. Employees obtain pre-travel services, including information regarding immunisation recommendations, travel medicine clinics, passports and visas, local medical facilities and special security precautions concerning their destination. Destination services include telephone medical and security advice, worldwide medication replacement and prescription transfer as well as medical and security evacuation.

The service provider has 24-hour alarm centres, staffed with security advisors and physicians who are trained in emergency and travel medicine. They also have a network of medical clinics globally that provide an international standard of care.

In addition, the travel data collected allows us to pro-actively inform our travellers about upcoming risk warnings, strikes or weather warnings via automatic email or text messages.


The company-wide Major Incident Response Policy sets out procedures and the internal and external communications needed to handle major incidents effectively. Under the lead of Human Resources, the company’s Incident Response team takes the appropriate action to minimise risks for our employees and our business at any time anywhere in the world.


The adidas AG runs a company-wide HIV/AIDS policy that is available to all employees on the intranet. The policy is based on guidance from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and contains:

  • General guidance on HIV/AIDS
  • An employee guide
  • Guidelines for HR managers on workplace care and support.



We build our success on people, passion and diversity, and aim to change lives through sport. Naturally, our 59,533 employees worldwide who come to work every morning are a part of that just as much as anybody else. For this reason, we strive to harmonise the commercial interests of the adidas AG with the private and family-related needs of our employees and help them to find the perfect balance between life at and outside of work.

A global company such as ours attracts people from all over the world and from different paths of life. Right now, five different generations are part of the workforce, with the average age being 31 globally, while people from more than 100 nations work at the company’s headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Each and every one of them deserves a working atmosphere where they feel comfortable and are able and willing to perform and, in turn, where we can fulfil our social and corporate responsibility.

Click here to learn more about how we’re promoting work-life integration on the adidas blog ‘GamePlan A’.


On your way to a 9am meeting and your car breaks down? That doctor’s appointment at 2.45pm was the only time available? That’s ok. We have developed several different programmes to accommodate all kinds of issues so that our employees can tackle their challenges with the time and care necessary.

  • ‘FlexiTime’: This concept was developed to give employees the freedom to organise their working hours individually. Functioning on the trust-based entry of hours worked, overtime can be taken off as ‘flexidays’. So if you work more than your usual hours one week, you can take the hours off at a later date. This gives our employees a high degree of flexibility and personal freedom.
  • ‘myTime’: The lifetime working time account was introduced at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach in 2012. As part of this voluntary system, you can save parts of your salary or approved overtime and convert it into paid vacation, sabbaticals or early retirement or use it for family care and further education. This gives you the opportunity to deal with anything outside of work when necessary.
  • Part-time: You want to spend more time with your family or learn another language? You want to take care of a sick relative or focus on your sports career and training? To cater for individual needs, the adidas AG offers various part-time models: 15, 20, 25, 30 hours per week, you name it.
  • Remote working/home office: In today’s digital and agile world, remote working allows for a high degree of flexibility and less commute. It provides employees with the freedom to choose how to work and find the best places to get particular types of work done.
  • ‘Off-Campus Working’: Starting with our headquarters in Germany, we introduced a new off-campus working approach in 2017. Every employee with an adidas AG contract whose working tasks can be carried out independently of campus facilities, campus equipment or personal interaction onsite is eligible to work 20% of their total working time off-campus. This new Works Council agreement is based on our belief that results can be achieved in the same quality and quantity, regardless of people’s location. With this regulation we are supporting our people in working more flexibly and choosing the best work environment for the task they have at hand.

In addition to that, adidas offers a variety of services online and on-site. Need a hair-cut or a massage? Please book your appointment and enjoy the services available on the Herzo-campus. Also, via a portal all Germany-based employees can benefit from an Employee Assistance Program and choose from a comprehensive service portfolio related to childcare, dependent care or household topics.

With the expansion of our global headquarters ‘The World of Sports’ in Herzogenaurach, Germany, we have brought together all of our local employees onto one centralized campus. 

In 2018 we opened Halftime, a 14,000m² event center with integrated employee restaurant that was designed with an open floor plan and rooms that are adaptable to different configurations, such as private meetings, discussions and workshops. 

In 2019 we opened our new main office building ‘Arena’. It has capacity for around 2,000 employees and applies an activity-based working concept in which employees no longer have assigned desks and instead choose from a variety of rooms and spaces, dependent on their needs.


For our young workforce, the time to start a family often begins during the time they work for us. The adidas AG supports parents from the first day on to ensure that work and family go together smoothly.

Daycare centers: We have two day-care facilities at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. After opening our first full-time care center ‘World of Kids I’ that offers places for 130 children aged three months to school entry age in 2013, an outdoor group with 20 additional places for kindergarten children was added in 2017, as well as the second facility ‘World of Kids II’ in 2018, providing 138 spots for nursery and kindergarten children. In 2019, this will be complemented by 15 ad hoc places to support all parents in emergency situations or during short-term assignments. On-site, our external partners are upskilled and trained on an educational approach that is based on our company values such as creativity, diversity and inclusion, democracy, health and movement. Additionally, World of Kids is among 100 digital leading model childcare centers in Germany and has been supported with technical equipment (e.g. iPads or cameras for kids). Other global locations also offer various forms of benefits and support services to ensure that our employees are able to access and secure quality childcare. With the ongoing expansion of our infrastructure and childcare offering, we as a company emphasize our commitment to a family-friendly environment to integrate work and private life – and enable balanced careers.

Parental leave and reintegration management: In order to plan parental leave and re-entry in the best possible way, this programme provides employees with advice at an early stage and options for their return to work, also taking into consideration flexible working hours and work locations.

In the US, the adidas AG gives parents a special option: In addition to regular parental leave, which allows new parents to stay home for up to ten weeks with 70% of their salary, adidas offers an extra two weeks’ paid parental leave for both mums and dads for births and adoptions. Furthermore, adidas’ special parental bonding leave provides parents with the possibility to stay home for up to six months within the first twelve months after the child’s birth or placement. While unpaid, it offers new mums and dads the opportunity to stay home longer and take care of their new arrival and new life together. In Germany, new parents are entitled to stay home for up to three years after the birth of a newborn, of which the German government subsidises one year. During this time, the adidas AG only temporarily fills the job of the parent until they return from their leave period.

Holiday camps: While most children look forward to school holidays, it can be a stressful time for working parents. We help to reduce that stress. At various locations across the globe, the company offers a variety of holiday camps for children. In Herzogenaurach, for instance, the entire summer break is covered with camps and activities for the little ones and sports enthusiasts up to 16 years old.

Parent-child office: Life is unpredictable. We know that. So when your babysitter calls in sick and your child has no carer on any given day, we fill this gap with our Parent-Child Office. Open throughout the year, the Parent-Child Office is a fully equipped workplace that parents can use to work while their children play in the kids room.

Nursery rooms: In Herzogenaurach, Portland, Hong Kong and some of our other Liaison Offices in Asia, we have special nursing mothers’ rooms – a private room with a chair and refrigerator that can be used as a nursing station. These private rooms allow working mums to breastfeed their children during working hours.

And more: Depending on the location, we offer a variety of different programmes and initiatives such as baby gifts, educational assistance as well as a surrogate birth and adoption assistance plan (USA).


Caring for an ageing parent, elderly spouse, domestic partner or close friend presents difficult challenges – especially when a crisis hits and you are suddenly faced with the responsibilities of elder care. You are not alone. We familiarise you with the legal regulations within Germany and explain the options you have to reduce or leave work during this time, which include short- and long-term absence from work depending on your individual situation.




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.


Via a-LIVE we offer all employees access to the Learning Campus, where employees are able to utilize learning opportunities 24/7 in a virtual environment. We also offer inperson learning activities. As a result of the global implementation of our Learning Management System that continued through 2018, we have increased the accessibility of employee training and development activities across the globe. Through the Learning Campus, our people are able to develop skills to support their current performance and future career development. In 2018, 21,228 employees (2017: 23,113) accessed our Learning Campus digitally, while 6,810 employees (2017: 4,295) participated in in-person learning activities, ranging from two hours to two days in duration. 

In mid-2018, we launched the LinkedIn Learning platform, giving all corporate office employees access to content across subjects in business, creative and technology areas. Employees who accessed this digital learning content in the first six months spent an average of around 70 minutes per month on self-directed learning. This uptake of learning is in the upper third of benchmarks for global organizations. 

In 2018, adidas core learning programs were launched to support strategic business initiatives, build capabilities connected to our 3Cs and support development of future cross-functional organizational capabilities. Input into the program offer is managed through a business needs assessment supported by our HR organization.


The quality of current and future talent and leadership is key to our success. We want to inspire and nurture role model leadership. With specifically designed talent management tools, we identify talents at all levels of our company who have the potential to become future leaders or key players within the organization. In order to prepare them for more complex future roles, they have tailored individual development plans and participate in targeted development programs. These are complemented by dedicated apprenticeship and trainee programs to attract great talent. In 2018, we made further progress with this People Strategy pillar.

Leadership groups
We have established three groups with selected leaders and talents within the company:

  • The Core Leadership Group (CLG) is the most senior group, made up of 20 members from our Executive Leadership population. Members of this group jointly represent top positions and roles across our company. These functional and geographical experts partner with the Executive Board in teaching and overseeing the cross-functional execution of the Creating the New strategy, accelerating its delivery, as well as mentoring and sponsoring the next generation of leaders. The CLG also serves as the succession pool for the Board.
  • The Extended Leadership Group (ELG) currently has 120 members. This new community of leaders collaborates across functions to lead the implementation of the strategic initiatives that form the Creating the New portfolio as well as the functional and market project portfolios. They drive continuous improvement across the organization and also mentor and sponsor younger leaders. The ELG serves as a succession pool for the CLG.
  • The Global High Potential Group (GHIPO) consists of around 50 members with an equal gender balance. The GHIPO group enables us to identify and develop high potentials who have the ability to take on more complex, demanding and higher-level responsibilities at a global senior management level.
  • The Local High Potential Group (LHIPO) was formed in 2019 and enables us to identify and develop high potentials who have the ability to take on more complex, demanding and higher-level responsibilities at a local senior management level in our regions. The program is designed to build peer relationships and to give participants crossfunctional and cross-cultural exposure, amongst others through immersion in a different country and function. The diverse group consists of around 130 leaders of 32 different nationalities with an almost balanced gender split.

Leadership Framework
To drive clarity and accountability, leaders at adidas were engaged to further activate our global Leadership Framework in 2018. The Leadership Framework is based on the three company behaviors creativity, collaboration and confidence (the ‘3Cs’) and articulates the particular behaviors that are expected of leaders at adidas. The framework was developed jointly with employees worldwide who provided feedback on what great leadership within adidas looks like to them. It provides a global and universal language that is inclusive, reduces the need for local interpretations and outlines concrete behaviors that serve as a measure of leadership effectiveness. It is built into the way we hire and promote as well as rate performance. The framework was first activated and cascaded to employees globally through the CLG and ELG groups.

Leadership development experiences
We offer a portfolio of leadership development programs for corporate office employees for all grades and levels:

  • Executive Development Experience: We are partnering with Harvard Business School in delivering a tailored learning experience for all of our senior manager population. In 2018, the CLG and ELG attended the in-residence Executive Development Experience at Harvard Business School. The rest of our senior managers are experiencing the same content in a live-virtual online learning setting.
  • Manager Development Experience and Director Development Experience: In an effort to develop current and future leaders of our company, we introduced the Manager Development Experience (MDE) in 2018. MDE is a flexible approach to develop the leadership skills and abilities of our lower management level employees. MDE is designed to provide a customizable learning experience that uses the Leadership Framework as its foundation and drives the development of personal and team mastery. MDE is inspired by sport – what can the world of sport teach leaders about managing themselves and others? In 2019, we will introduce the Director Development Experience (DDE). DDE is based on the same principles with the Leadership Framework at its core and allows a customizable learning experience for our middle management level employees.
  • Talent Carousel: Our internal career development program Talent Carousel has entered its fourth year, with the second generation graduating in 2018. The program encourages employees from all over the world to apply and become one of 20 finalists to take a cross-functional and international career step by starting a new role in a new location. Candidates remain in the program for 24 months with the right to return to their home location, while being developed with the goal of them assuming senior management positions in the future.


To drive high performance within the company, in 2018 we replaced our performance management approach called ‘The Score’ with ‘#MYBEST’, which is a new and holistic performance development approach combining monthly high-quality conversations between the employee and the line manager as well as regular upward and peer feedback options with quarterly target setting and performance evaluation. The approach is based on the evaluation of multiple dimensions:

  • Target achievement: qualification of how well an employee has delivered upon established quarterly objectives
  • Behaviors: qualification of how well an employee is living the company Leadership Framework and 3C behaviors
  • Peer and upward feedback: employees can request and incorporate feedback from colleagues and direct reports in their overall assessment for a more holistic review.



The adidas AG 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. The leadership groups we have established serve as succession pools for the highest levels of our organization.

Future talent programs

  • Apprenticeship and Dual Study Program: The adidas Apprenticeship Program offers young pupils who want to join our company directly out of school the opportunity to gain business experience in a two- to three-year rotation program. It includes vocational training in retail, shoe technology, IT or other areas. The Dual Study Program for young school graduates offers – in cooperation with various universities – theoretical and practical experience at adidas in fields such as digital commerce, finance or international business including at least one three- to six-month international rotation. At the end of 2019, we employed 50 apprentices in Germany (2018: 55) and 49 Dual Study Program students (2018: 45).
  • Global Trainee Program: The Functional, Digital and Design Trainee Program is an 18- to 24-month program providing graduates with an international background and excellent educational credentials the opportunity to start a functional career within adidas. The program comprises assignments in various functional and cross-functional departments. At least one of these assignments takes place abroad. At year-end 2019, we employed 67 participants in our Global Trainee Program (2018: 61).
  • Internships: Our global internship program offers students three to six months of work experience within adidas. In line with our ambition to optimize the experience for interns, we enhanced the overall recruiting process and added interactive collaborative exercises such as hackathons to the program in order to further enrich the cross-company experience. Consequently, we offered fewer but more focused internships in 2019, employing 216 interns in Germany (2018: 447).



The adidas AG remuneration system is based on our performance management approach. As part of this system, we are committed to rewarding our employees with compensation and benefit programmes that are competitive in the market place. Remuneration throughout the company comprises fixed and variable monetary compensation, non-monetary rewards as well as other intangible benefits. The cornerstone of our rewards programme is our Global Salary Management System, which is used as a basis for establishing and evaluating the value of employees’ positions and salaries in a market-driven and performance-oriented way.

The various variable compensation components we offer our employees include: 

  • BONUS PROGRAMME – SHORT TERM INCENTIVE PROGRAMME: In order to allow our employees to participate in the company´s success, and to reward them for their target achievement, we have a global bonus programme. It provides an incentive influenced by both corporate performance (actual financial and non-financial results measured against company and market targets) as well as individual performance (measured in the performance management approach).
  • PROFIT PARTICIPATING PROGRAMME: For employees at our company's headquarters and our other locations in Germany who do not participate in the bonus programme, we have a profit participation programme called the “Champions Bonus”.
  • LONG-TERM INCENTIVE PROGRAMMES: In order to ensure sustainable financial success, retain our top leadership and promote continuous commitment, the adidas AG offers a Long-Term Incentive Plan (LTIP) for leaders and Executive Board members.

Other benefits include our 401-K retirement plans in the USA and the adidas AG pension plan for our employees in Germany.

Our company subsidiaries also grant a variety of benefits to employees, depending upon locally defined practices and country-specific regulations and norms.

On top of all the benefits, we offer a new and exciting program – the adidas Stock Purchase Plan. Our employees in Germany, USA , the Netherlands (HQ), Hong Kong (HQ), Greater China and Taiwan have the opportunity to purchase adidas AG shares at exclusive conditions – including 15% discount on the share price as well as additional matching shares for holding the shares more than a year. More than 25,000 employees (44% of our total employee population) decided to participate. It is planned to extend this program to further countries in the coming years.

With this program, we are able to show another appreciation of our employees’ efforts and loyalty, no matter whether they work in an office, take care of the distribution of our products or have face-to-face contact with our consumers in retail stores. Equal conditions apply for everyone who has been with the company for more than six months.



Our employees are free to join organisations of their choice to represent them, consistent with local laws. These organisations may, if recognised as the appropriate agent, engage in collective bargaining according to the applicable legal regulations.


adidas has set up Works Councils in Germany and other European subsidiaries. The members of the Works Councils are elected by the local employees.

At present, three Works Council representatives from Germany are also on the Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board advises and monitors the Executive Board in its management of the adidas AG. The Supervisory Board is involved in all important corporate decisions and is also responsible for appointing and dismissing members of the Executive Board. Co-determination is regulated by law in Germany.


In Germany, the Works Councils have various rights regarding information, participation and co-determination in areas such as remuneration, equal treatment of employees, social institutions as well as regarding general information about working time and performance assessment, so that they may represent the interests of employees in accordance with the Works Constitution Act.

The members of the local Works Councils are elected by the employees at the respective site and generally represent the interests of employees at a local level. There are currently four local Works Council bodies in Germany, each representing one of our main sites: Scheinfeld (production and distribution center), Uffenheim und Rieste (distribution center) and Herzogenaurach.

The largest site, with the corporate headquarters (approx. 5,000 employees) and the German subsidiaries, including adidas’ own retail stores, as well as the field force, is represented with 29 members. Due to its large workforce, the Herzogenaurach Works Council has a large influence in shaping all relevant issues that are subject to co-determination.

For example, in recent years, the following Company Agreements have been successfully negotiated and concluded:

  • Company Agreement on Off-Campus Working
  • Company Agreement on Flexitime
  • Company Agreement on the Apprenticeship

Major projects on which we are currently working together:

  • Helping to establish a fair and up-to-date compensation structure as part of transparent development;
  • A new version of the Company Agreement on ‘Flexitime – a matter of trust’, and further possibilities for mobile/flexible working from a home office.


The Central Works Council is composed of representatives of the local Works Councils at the Herzogenaurach, Scheinfeld, Rieste and Uffenheim sites, and is made up of eight members (two per site). It is responsible for handling matters that concern multiple sites and that cannot be settled locally by the individual Works Councils for their own site.

The local Works Councils and the Central Works Council complement each other and are in constant dialogue. There is a cross-site IT committee to provide optimal support for IT issues. In addition, issues outside of IT are promoted both locally and cross-site where appropriate, in particular in the areas of health management and diversity. This includes participation in relevant seminars and conferences.

In 2016, the Central Works Council addressed i.a. the following issues:

  • Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  • New Performance Management Approach
  • Various IT solutions
  • Internal training and development programmes
  • Temporary work and work contracts, in particular with regard to potential legislative changes


The European Works Council (EWC) consists of nine delegates from six European countries. As the country with far more than 40% of the employees within the EU, Germany has four delegates in the EWC. The positive collaboration between the European Works Council, the Central Works Council and the Social and Environmental Affairs (SEA) team also continued in 2014/2015.

At the annual meeting in May 2016, the following main topics were discussed with management representatives:

  • Strategic business plan 2020
  • Global distribution channels
  • HR topics such as HR Strategy and Labor Relations
  • Structure and results of the Western Europe region
  • Brand Leadership
  • Diversity; Womens Networking Group
  • European supply chain
  • Social & environmental affairs/Green Company
  • Financial report
  • Update of our strategic business plan with the focus on Speed, Key Cities and Open Source

Works Council representatives have participated in various local and international stakeholder events and in multiple conferences and seminars on the issues of ‘Corporate social responsibility’, ‘Corporate ethics’ and ‘Labour law’. In addition, they were involved in European initiatives regarding employee representation and co-determination.

Members of the Works Council meet regularly with representatives of the Hans Böckler Foundation (connected to the German Trade Union Confederation) to discuss issues relating to corporate responsibility. In addition, the meetings are used to exchange information, experience and best practices. Some members of the Works Council represent adidas AG in trade union organisations, including as members of the Nuremberg regional board, the Munich state district and the bargaining commission. Furthermore, members of the Central Works Council have participated in events organised by the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs at federal and national level and in networking initiatives of DAX-30 companies.



These rights and rules are defined in the adidas Labour Rights Principles. In turn, employees must comply with the adidas Code of Conduct, which explains their duty to ensure ethical business behaviour.

The Labour Rights Charter demonstrates the company’s commitment to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and are the guiding framework for several company level policies that put our commitment into day-to day practice. These policies are related to issues such as employee recruitment, development, equal opportunities and compensation and benefits.

Please click here to download our Labour Rights Charter.

Integrity is one of the core values of the adidas AG. All employees are expected to act with fairness and responsibility as well as in compliance with relevant laws and regulations while carrying out their tasks. In order to maintain good corporate governance, we have adopted the adidas Code of Conduct as part of our internal Global Policy Manual.

The Code is the cornerstone of ethical work behaviour for our employees. It defines binding rules with respect to legally compliant and ethical behaviour towards other employees, business partners and third parties, for handling information – in particular insider information – as well as for dealing with financial matters.

The Code of Conduct is supported with mandatory online training available in ten languages. This ongoing training is aimed at raising awareness of ethical and social behaviour, as well as promoting compliance with data protection requirements and other policies. Every new employee is automatically invited to complete the training.

Please read more about the adidas Code of Conduct here.

To track complaints or cases of non-compliance, we have established a network of currently 20 compliance officers worldwide. In 2013 we installed a global hotline called the “Fair Play Hotline”. With the Fair Play Hotline our employees can submit complaints also anonymously.

An analysis of the number and nature of entries submitted in 2012 showed that nearly 80% of all cases related to general complaints about employee-manager relations. In the remaining cases, employees were seeking advice on specific issues.

Ensuring privacy around data is an important aspect of the company’s compliance programme. Our data protection system aims to ensure that personal information is handled, stored and processed according to applicable laws and internal policies globally. All employees are provided with online data protection training, and special training is given to departments that manage sensitive data, such as marketing departments.