As a global manufacturer of high-quality life science products, Eppendorf needs skilled and motivated employees to successfully run and develop our business. We are firmly convinced that long-term success can only be achieved with employees who are satisfied and committed. That is why we believe it is important for Eppendorf to be considered a particularly attractive employer. We aspire to become the best employer in the life science industry by 2025 based on indicators such as the speed at which advertised vacancies are filled (“time to hire”), employee retention rates and feedback from our staff surveys.
Above all, it is our employees’ individual talent and experience, as well as how they apply and develop their skills, that are of great importance at Eppendorf. For this reason, we have identified “Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age” and “Diversity and Equality of Opportunities at our Sites” as two key areas to focus on as part of our HR strategy. Essentially, we intend to promote innovation by means of diversity and lifelong learning. All Eppendorf employees should feel confident that their individual talent will be recognized, nurtured and developed – regardless of unrelated factors such as their gender or background. The key messages comprise driving change together and questioning old habits. Such aims are of crucial importance for our future corporate success, since the spirit of innovation and applying existing knowledge to generate new ideas are the key principles that guide our HR activities.
Our employees already regard cooperation among colleagues as a defining feature of their day-to-day work. An internal staff survey showed that they view collaboration worldwide as one of Eppendorf’s credible strengths as an employer. Nevertheless, we see potential for development in this area. That is why we intend to continue expanding cooperation across departments and regions in the future. The COVID-19 pandemic and a greater shift toward working from home and collaborating online has also shown the potential for more efficient teamwork, which we intend to leverage in the future. In addition,we intend to prioritize our core topic "building on strength to create something new" even stronger. The effectiveness of our engagement for our employees is reflected in a low turnover rate; in 2021, the turnover rate was 8.26 %.
Clear values, a strong corporate culture
We have defined six corporate values for our operations at Eppendorf. They apply to all employees and must be adhered to at all times when working for our company.
The values form the basis for every decision and are intended to enable our employees to embrace our corporate culture and put it into practice. These values are supported by a set of guiding principles that provide our employees with a point of reference for their day-to-day work.
We support “culture teams” within our company. Four of these culture teams, composed of a total of around 60 employees who play an active role in their regions worldwide, have been established globally since 2017. Together, they are committed to making our corporate culture visible and tangible within the Eppendorf Group and to establishing a uniform understanding of it around the world. Part of this task includes developing and using formats that promote a mutual exchange of ideas. As corporate culture multipliers and role models, their role is to showcase the wealth of knowledge, experience and points of view within the Eppendorf Group, highlight the benefits of the corporate culture and strengthen the feeling of community.
In addition to their role as multipliers, the culture teams support various charitable causes, including blood donation drives, sponsored runs for cancer research and regional support services for high school students. Moreover, in-house workshops on cultural topics are held and awards are conferred in recognition of exceptional dedication and teamwork.
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Our HSE Mission
The health and safety of our employees are a top priority at Eppendorf. That is why we have put people at the forefront of our HSE Mission. By providing secure and healthy places to work and taking preventive measures such as occupational health management, we aim to make an important contribution to promoting the health of our employees. It is every supervisor’s responsibility to raise awareness of the value of health within the individual departments and to firmly embed it in our everyday activities at work. Recognized concepts for eliminating hazards and minimizing risks are consistently applied and implemented. In addition, we are currently in the process of establishing an occupational safety management system in accordance with DIN ISO 45001.
Training & continuing education
Making sure that our employees are successful in their areas of responsibility and enjoy applying their various skills is the key to maintaining our high quality standards in the long term and to safeguarding our company’s competitiveness and capacity for development.
Because we have full confidence in the expertise and enthusiasm of our employees, we prefer to fill vacancies from within our own ranks. For this reason, we offer our employees attractive opportunities to continue their professional development within our company. Our aim is to avoid losing highly trained, motivated staff. New employees hired from outside the company are treated with a great level of appreciation. Their individual experience and views are a great asset to our teams.
Promoting HR development
Focus on performance is one of the six values mentioned above that we identify with as a company. As a result, our corporate culture is performance-based. At Eppendorf, we strive to provide an optimal environment in which employees can develop and foster their skills and talent. For this reason, we usually carry out an appraisal meeting with all employees at least once a year, which involves discussing performance assessment data for each employee, providing feedback and defining objectives for the future.
The challenges facing our company and the workplace are changing all the time. By means of comprehensive skills development programs, we aim to ensure that our employees’ existing skills and abilities are advanced accordingly. To this end, we work with employees to define the personal and professional skills development programs they need. We regard “learnability” – the motivation and ability of employees to develop and adapt their skills over the course of their professional careers – as an important criterion for success. Since the need for certain new qualifications is arising quickly, while others are declining in importance in today’s workplace, we encourage our employees to take initiative, identify their own training needs and formulate their own development goals.
Comprehensive training & education programs
Eppendorf’s decentralized organizational structure stipulates that continuing education opportunities are also managed on a largely decentralized basis, allowing the various locations to tailor their programs to meet specific needs. Eppendorf has a wide range of training and continuing education programs on offer.
All employees have access to the online e-learning platform Eppendorf Academy, allowing them to acquire new knowledge and skills, on a regular basis and at their own pace. Our personnel development program features a range of courses, as defined in the Group Operating Agreement for employees in Germany, which they can attend through the Eppendorf Academy. The courses include personal development seminars and presentations on current business topics. In addition, our employees can access the LinkedIn Learning portfolio of 13,000 training courses. In 2021, approximately 1,700 employees at our company regularly used LinkedIn Learning for further training purposes. As a result, 27,672 videos were viewed and 6,092 courses were completed. In 2021, Eppendorf employees dedicated an average of 4.5 hours to LinkedIn Learning and 5.2 hours to the Eppendorf Academy.
Digitalization of work & training
The realities of work and education are changing at an increasingly rapid pace. At the forefront of this development is the ongoing digitalization of the workplace. To safeguard Eppendorf’s ability to efficiently and expediently leverage the benefits of digitalization, we are working to connect technology, organization and people at Eppendorf and to coordinate how they are employed within our digitalization strategy.
This is where our People Journey Community plays a key role. Around 20 people from a wide range of different departments at Eppendorf have teamed up to utilize digitalization as the driving force behind a future-oriented approach to work and training. In this context, the emphasis is on four main development areas.
Digital culture & mindset: Developing our mindset in a digital and inclusive direction that increases our employees’ commitment.
Learning environment & tools: Expanding and using the Eppendorf learning community in order to develop targeted learning systems and learning environments.
Knowledge transfer: Enhancing the global transfer of knowledge at Eppendorf by creating an ecosystem for diverse communities and internal and external networks.
New ways of working & collaboration: Developing tools for fully flexible collaboration and agile teamwork.
Our talent management system is designed to help identify, develop and retain potential young talent within the company. To this end, we also cooperate with universities and other educational institutions.
We refer to high school and university students, as well as entry-level professionals looking to gain professional experience at Eppendorf and start their career with us, as “Future People”. During their apprenticeship, internship, cooperative education program or traineeship at Eppendorf, they learn from us – and we learn from them. Around 70 Future People were employed at Eppendorf in 2021.
In August of every year, new trainees and students in cooperative education programs begin their careers in industrial and commercial professions across all Eppendorf sites in Germany. At present, Eppendorf offers 22 apprenticeships and five cooperative education programs. We incorporate the latest developments in research and teaching within our company by employing student trainees and interns and providing them with the opportunity to write their final theses. In return, students acquire work experience and have the opportunity to structure their studies around real-life applications by working on projects. In addition, we intend to promote a close exchange with research institutes via university partnerships, thus enabling us to identify trends at an early stage and apply them profitably at Eppendorf.
At Eppendorf, we invite talented young individuals to complete a two-year specialist trainee program after graduating from university. Participants know what they will focus on right from the beginning and are assigned to one or two interface departments for the duration of their traineeship. The program also includes a period of several months at an international Eppendorf location. The structured program trains university graduates in accordance with our requirements and expectations and provides them with company-specific skills and knowledge that will prepare them for future employment at Eppendorf. Five trainees have been taking part in the program in Hamburg since April 2021. Plans are in place to roll out the concept in all Eppendorf market regions in the years ahead.
International exchange program
Since 2012, Eppendorf has been offering an international vacation exchange program for children of its employees. The Eppendorf FamilyNetwork gives them the opportunity to get to know other countries and cultures. They can experience cross-cultural interaction that goes beyond what they are accustomed to at home and deepen their understanding of the fascinating diversity of different cultures, worldviews and new everyday situations.
Diversity & equal opportunities
At Eppendorf, we embrace diversity and bring people together who have intercultural skills and have learned to be tolerant, supportive, appreciative, collaborative and responsible. Our #WeAreEppendorf campaign focuses on both inclusion and diversity, thereby generating a sense of belonging, even if each person experiences and expresses it in a different way. We believe that the diversity of our workforce fosters the exchange of ideas across the various departments, as well as productive collaboration that supports a steady increase in knowledge while at the same time preventing a silo mindset. We consider this approach to be the key to innovation; therefore, diversity and inclusion are integral parts of our corporate strategy for 2025. It is for the same reason that equal opportunities, an open-minded approach and respect are firmly rooted in our standards and policies.
Standards & guidelines
Our Code of Conduct defines fundamental rules that are binding for all Eppendorf employees around the world. The code stipulates that all employees and anyone applying for a position at our company must be afforded equal opportunities, and it rules out any discrimination on the basis of criteria such as skin color, national origin, religion, political opinions, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability. This commitment is also consistent with our corporate philosophy, which attaches great importance to diversity and equal opportunities.
Our employees have access to a number of reporting channels to report violations of our Code of Conduct to the relevant department or to their supervisors. In addition, inclusion agreements and a representative body for disabled employees are in place throughout Germany. The representative body for disabled employees works closely with the Global Real Estate Management unit. During the reporting period, the unit was involved in drafting a policy establishing global accessibility standards for the entire Eppendorf Group.
Initiatives during the year under review
In 2021, we held various workshops with the involvement of the Supervisory Board, the Management Board and senior executives that identified diversity and equal opportunities as key strategic priorities going forward. On this basis, we plan to launch a number of projects and programs within the scope of the Eppendorf 2025 strategy initiative.
Supporting women in science
The Act on the Equal Participation of Women and Men in Management Positions in the Private and Public Sectors (Gesetz für die gleichberechtigte Teilhabe von Frauen und Männern an Führungspositionen) has been in force in Germany since 2015. We support this initiative to increase the proportion of women in management positions.
At Eppendorf, women accounted for 36% of all staff members in 2021. Women make up 50% of the workforce at a number of larger Eppendorf companies, such as Eppendorf SE, USA Scientific and Eppendorf Vertriebsgesellschaft.
Employees by gender in 2021 in %
4,627 in total
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In 2021, Eppendorf donated €20,000 to the Advancement of Women in Science project spearheaded by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. The project is part of a program aimed at supporting female post-doctoral researchers as they embark on leadership careers in academia. Our company’s commitment is rooted in our need and aspiration to recruit and develop the most highly qualified young people, irrespective of their gender. Eppendorf’s financial support enabled 20 young female professionals to qualify for a leadership career.
In addition, Eppendorf regularly marks International Women’s Day in a variety of ways. For example, as in previous years, Eppendorf India hosted a Women’s Day event for female customers in 2021. Guided by the theme “Choose to challenge”, participants were invited to gather in their hometowns and take part in a virtual event linked to our Indian headquarters. The hybrid program was a success despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and was well received and appreciated by all participants.
Embracing diversity, learning inclusion
To date, the activities aimed at inclusion for people with disabilities at Eppendorf have focused heavily on the Hamburg site. However, an inclusion team will now meet every quarter to exchange information on current initiatives and developments related to this topic at Eppendorf.
In 2021, the team focused on devising an online training program on the topic of inclusive leadership that is mandatory for all managers and supervisors. The program was set up and launched as an e-learning module via the Eppendorf Academy in 2021. Initial feedback from participating executives has been very positive. Given the high level of demand, similar training courses will be made available to non-management staff in the future. The inclusion team also discussed necessary structural modifications and alterations at the Hamburg site as well as the appointment of inclusion officers for all locations in Germany starting in 2021 and for all Eppendorf market regions starting in 2022.
Employees have had the option of taking part in a “learning journey” on diversity and inclusion since 2021. The format consists of a combination of self-reflection and learning in small groups of five people. Participants meet within a set time frame of every twelve weeks to participate in organized sprints. At the start of the learning journey, a personal objective is defined which will function as a common thread throughout the following weeks. While on their journey, participants explore the different forms of diversity and inclusion in their own environments. They can then build on their understanding by sharing their experiences in depth. The last step involves reflecting on what they have experienced and learned.