Welcome to LANXESS Annual Report 2012!

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Encouraging and supporting individual development

LANXESS has put in place a multi-tiered process of global HR development conferences, enabling us to review the potential of talented employees and assess the performance, leadership skills and further career path of management staff worldwide on a regular basis. The results of these reviews form the basis for detailed feedback discussions between managerial staff and their supervisors. Moreover, the Development Center has become an established tool worldwide for assessing the potential of future managers and supporting their development. Management workshops are a special way of fostering and recording the potential of top managers. The results of this multi-dimensional approach are an integral part of our HR development policy, which is augmented by systematic succession planning for key positions.

We do not impose a uniform leadership style on our managers. Instead, we expect them to find a personal balance between strategic vision (Head), empathy (Heart) and the courage to make decisions (Guts). We also provide our managerial staff with a wide range of individual development options, including personal coaching and 360-degree feedback. We extended the range of special modular and multi-dimensional programs available at the LANXESS Academy. Designed specifically to prepare trainee managers for their future tasks, these programs proved to be a very successful component of our structured management training. During the reporting period, 331 employees – 68 of them women – took part in the programs.

Training and development are significant aspects of personnel development at all levels. Alongside formal training sessions and seminars, which amount to 10,000 hours a year in France, for example, there are many informal training courses such as orientation days, peer-to-peer coaching and continuous knowledge-sharing events linking young and experienced employees.

The LANXESS Summer Academy, which takes place once a year near our company headquarters, encourages training, networking and personal development across the boundaries of our business units and group functions by means of presentations, seminars and a varied supporting program. The Academy is aimed at employees from various backgrounds – from business professionals to chemists and engineers. After the very positive feedback of the previous years, we again increased the number of participants in 2012. 130 employees took part in the one-week program, which included eleven seminars on improving hard and soft skills and an intensive exchange of experiences.

Under the umbrella of the LANXESS Academy, we continued offering functional training for our global sales teams in 2012. The International LANXESS Sales Academy (ILSA) is a one-year modular program designed to develop both the specialist knowledge and soft skills of our sales employees. It perfectly complements the programs already in place in the business units and countries by facilitating communication and the sharing of best practices across business units and national borders. We consider the targeted qualification of our global sales employees to be a significant success factor in the further improvement of our customer relationships. It also gives us a competitive edge in today’s global markets. 200 first-level sales employees from all over the world took part in the program in the first two years.

The LANXESS Forum, featuring high-caliber lectures and a subsequent plenary discussion, explores societal trends and company issues, providing a platform for dialogue between employees and management. In the year under review, it concentrated particularly on green mobility – which was our focus for 2012 – and the Board of Management’s Diversity & Inclusion initiative.

Positive results from our employee survey

In 2012, we conducted our first employee survey in Germany in collaboration with the renowned Great Place to Work® Institute. 1,050 employees were asked to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their current work environment at LANXESS. The aim of the survey was to acquire in-depth information that we can use to improve our appeal as an employer and further enhance our motivating and performance-oriented workplace culture.

An overwhelming majority – 75 percent of those questioned – expressed a firmly positive opinion of LANXESS, fundamentally describing the company as a very good employer. The high degree of loyalty and identification with the job, great willingness to recommend the products manufactured, the fair and positive treatment of employees in a discrimination-free environment, the high level of occupational safety and LANXESS’s profit-sharing model were cited as outstanding strengths. Of course, weaknesses and development potential were also identified. For example, our employees would like stronger leadership in their day-to-day work, more intensive communication of targets and expectations, greater transparency regarding individual career opportunities and more support in achieving a work-life balance.

Based on these findings, we initiated a comprehensive discussion process in each business unit and group function during the reporting year. The results of this process will help us to work together in further improving our workplace culture by means of selected measures.

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