The PUMA working culture is unique and driven by our employees. In the year of the pandemic, our culture clearly helped us to take fast decisions, be agile, and have the resilience and trust in one another to find new solutions and ways of working. A key factor is the diversity of our teams and the ongoing effort to ensure that communication with all of our employees is transparent and swift.
Diversity and equality were important topics around the world this year after scenes of police brutality in the United States kicked off widespread protests in many countries. As a company with offices all across the globe and employees of many different nationalities and backgrounds, it was important for us to ease our employees’ concerns and reiterate our strong belief that diversity makes us better. Diversity and equality are the most important ingredients for the growth of our brand. Diverse teams with different skillsets and backgrounds are a crucial resource when it comes to creative thinking, decision-making, and driving innovation forward.
We have made this belief in diversity and inclusion a part of PUMA’s working culture and we encourage all of our employees to show their own personality. One of our values as an employer sums this up as: “Be You!”. This also means that a fair work environment and equal opportunities for all PUMA employees, regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, disability, age, or sexual orientation, have been a cornerstone of our policy for many decades. These commitments are also reiterated in our PUMA Code of Ethics (2005) and in our Diversity Charter (2010).
In 2020, we conducted a global survey, rolled out locally, to understand how our employees feel about equality at PUMA. We invited our employees to engage in open dialog on this topic with the senior management at all PUMA locations all over the world. We also set up the Employee Resource Group PUMA North America and similar informal advisory committees elsewhere to make sure our employees know that we are listening to their concerns regarding diversity and equality. We also raised awareness of this topic on our internal communication channels and invited employees to talk openly about racism, discrimination and equality, and how it impacts their lives.
Moreover, we organized additional training sessions on diversity and equality. For our employees, we run online training course campaigns – through LinkedIn Learning and Good Habitz, for example – and used virtual learning nuggets to provide further perspectives on the topic. Furthermore, we emphasized diversity and equality as part of our management training programs ILP and Speed Up.
To show that we welcome people of all sexual orientations at PUMA, the front of our PUMA Brand Center lit up in the colors of the rainbow during Pride Month. Plus, a live DJ set was streamed from our PUMA Bridge for a virtual Pride event in Nuremberg in cooperation with CSD Nuremberg. Our employees also engaged in several activities together with CSD Nuremberg which were possible given the local safety measures.
PUMA welcomes all genders and constantly strives to be an attractive place for people of all genders to work. In 2020, we continued to see a well-balanced gender distribution across all locations. The male-to-female ratio was 50% to 50%.
We continued to work on extending this gender balance to all management levels and raising the proportion of women in leadership positions. In order to empower women, we offer specific training and access to inspirational networks. We believe that the interaction with experienced female executives will encourage our female employees to aim for leadership positions at PUMA. In 2020, 43% of management positions across the group were held by women.
We have already reached our target to have at least 30% female representation on the Supervisory Board and 20% on the Management Board. We are on track to reach our ambitious targets to have 30% female representation at the first management level below the Management Board and 40% female representation at the second management level below the Management Board, in each case by October 2021.
At PUMA, fostering the wellbeing of our people is a top priority. Therefore, we are dedicated to constantly improving the health and wellbeing of our employees by offering a wide range of services and benefits. The wellbeing approach was started at our headquarters in Herzogenaurach. It has now been embraced by all PUMA subsidiaries around the world and has been adapted to local needs and regulations. This topic has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.
Our wellbeing approach focuses on four aspects: Flex, Social, Finance, and Athlete. As a sports brand, we focus on giving our employees as many options as possible to live their passion for sports. Therefore, we offer different training courses such as yoga, jumping fitness, and body toning. Besides our huge variety of courses, we provide free gym access, sports courts for football, basketball, and tennis, as well as beach volleyball. A major highlight of 2020 was the opening of our new tennis court at the PUMA headquarters in Herzogenaurach. We also introduced our Room of Silence, which can be used for meditation, prayer, or just to find a calm minute.
During much of the pandemic, it was no longer possible to hold wellbeing events, including training courses. Sports facilities also had to be closed in many countries. In order to support our people while working from home, we converted our initiatives into digital offerings. We did this by placing an extended focus on our 360-degree wellbeing approach, offering support in the areas of sports, resilience, nutrition, and creative childcare solutions. We created the PUMA Home Academy, a global platform which hosted the categories Wellbeing, Learning, and Engage. Besides daily information, we offered online sports and yoga sessions, daily nutrition and recipe ideas, as well as activities with kids for parents who work at home. Our regular “Be Well Weeks”, where we promote a healthy lifestyle, usually covering a variety of topics such as nutrition, health checks, and information about the latest trends in exercise and sport, had to be held digitally in 2020.
At PUMA, we focus on creating an attractive work environment in order to positively influence employee engagement and foster loyalty to the company and commitment to our goals. Flexibility in the workplace allows our workforce to arrange their working conditions to balance their professional and private lives. Offering flexible working hours, mobile working, and part-time work, we were well prepared to give our employees the maximum flexibility to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.
In Germany, employees can take advantage of free consulting and placement services provided by a cooperation partner. Offering a parent-child office, daycare spots, and summer camps for children during school breaks, our headquarters in Herzogenaurach were awarded the German “Audit Beruf & Familie” (audit workandfamily) certificate. During the past year, we also provided virtual childcare by introducing online classes for children during school holidays to support our employees working from home.
Our goal is to minimize the number of employee-initiated exits and to keep the percentage of employees in permanent employment above 80%. In 2020, 88% of our employees worldwide had a permanent contract and the employment of over 29% of our employees was covered by a collective bargaining agreement. The turnover rate is strongly dependent on the share of the retail business in the respective markets and the region. In total, the turnover rate was 17% (4% for non-retail employees and 25% for retail employees). The percentage of employees working part-time was 21% at the end of 2020.
Providing a work environment that keeps our employees healthy and safe is a key priority. The corona pandemic was handled directly by our top management from the start. In frequent update calls, our CEO and our Global Director People & Organization directly addressed our PUMA community globally by providing new information on both the business situation and health and safety measures. From early on we implemented a new strict hygiene and safety concept, which complied with all applicable health and safety regulations, i.e. distancing rules, installing hand-sanitizer dispensers and a requirement to wear masks. We are constantly reviewing our hygiene and safety measures and are adjusting them to the present circumstances. This included buying protective gloves and masks, as well as rapid tests when they became available. This way we kept the risk of infection to an absolute minimum.
We set ourselves the goal of consistently reducing the average injury rate every year. In 2020, our goal was to stay below an injury rate of 0.50 according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). As well as conducting safety-related training courses at all our locations, we also offer online training programs to prepare employees for potential emergency situations and thus reduce the number of accidents. Last year, we conducted a total of 21,143 hours of safety training. Over the past year, 6,482 employees were trained in fire safety and 5,240 in first aid. The overall number of safety training hours increased by 35% compared to the previous year, demonstrating PUMA’s continued focus on this issue.
On a global scale, only 51 occupational accidents which required work to be stopped were recorded in 2020. This is a decline of 11% compared to the previous year and continues the positive trend seen in recent years. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this equates to an injury rate of 0.35 compared to 0.37 in 2019, meaning we improved our performance. The (OSHA) injury rate for PUMA SE stood at 0.13 and was at 0.22 in the previous year.
A further indicator of employee engagement and the health of our workforce is the rate of absence due to sickness, which was 1.68% in 2020. The rate of occupational diseases is zero.
Feedback is an essential part of our PUMA culture and feedback from inside and outside enables us to constantly improve. In 2020, the feedback function in Workday was extended to include a new feature - the feedback certificates - where employees can give one another feedback quickly and easily. This is another initiative to foster an open feedback culture which supports regular conversations and learning opportunities for employees and managers alike. During the year, pulse surveys were also conducted in order to quickly obtain employee feedback on current topics and thereby gain valuable insights from our employees. In addition, regular benchmarking is carried out with the industry and this is reflected, for example, in our Top Employer certification, our Great Place to Work award, and the audit berufundfamilie.
During 2020, PUMA received several awards which recognize our ongoing efforts to create a diverse, inclusive, and equal workforce.
We are proud to have been recognized by the Financial Times for the second year in a row in its “Diversity Leaders” ranking for Europe. PUMA North America was also listed as one of the “Best Employers for Diversity” in 2020 among 500 companies across all industries that demonstrate a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. As part of our continued efforts to further develop PUMA’s working culture, we received the “Top Employer” award for the second consecutive year in Europe and also proudly received this award for the first time in South Africa. Underlining our global efforts, we also received the “Great Place to Work” award for India and Argentina.