The global number of employees on a yearly average was 16,669 in 2022, compared to 14,846 in the previous year. Personnel expenses increased by a total of 18.8% from € 712.4 million to € 846.5 million in 2022. On average, personnel expenses per employee amounted to € 50.8 thousand, compared to € 48.0 thousand in the previous year.
As of December 31, 2022, the number of employees was 18,071, compared to 16,125 in the previous year. This corresponds to an overall increase in the number of employees of 12.1% compared to the previous year. The development in the number of employees per area is as follows:
The far-reaching social and economic consequences of the geopolitical tensions in Europe dominated 2022. Global labor turnover has increased and competition for qualified professionals and executives has intensified. To ensure that we remain competitive in this environment and to promote growth, it is essential that we retain a skilled, committed workforce in our company over the long term. We have therefore continued to focus particularly on acquiring and developing talent. As well as taking action to strengthen employee retention, this also means increasing our attractiveness as an employer worldwide and promoting diversity in our organization. These measures will make us even more resilient in the face of unpredictable external factors. As part of our strategic workforce plan, we are increasingly addressing foreign markets through our recruitment campaigns in order to reduce our dependence on demographic trends in the local labor markets.
To attract external candidates, we use digital platforms and social media, as well as our careers website, for our target-group-specific, individual, and proactive recruiting measures. Having a range of in-person and online initiatives at universities in Germany and abroad gives us the opportunity to approach potential employees and identify suitable candidates. Extensive networks of qualified applicants and candidate pools help us to quickly fill vacancies. In the competitive labor market, being an attractive employer and being perceived as such by current and potential employees are of critical importance. PUMA's attractiveness is evidenced by its top rankings as an employer and numerous awards. We are very proud of our PUMA subsidiaries across four regions (Europe, APAC, LATAM, and North America) for winning a coveted Global Top Employer award in the financial year 2022 in recognition of our outstanding corporate culture and working environment. We can now proudly call ourselves a Global Top Employer. We were also named one of the "World's Best Employers" by Forbes and a "Leader in Diversity" by the Financial Times, and awarded the "Great Place to Work" seal in numerous countries.
In 2022, we continued to move forward with the worldwide simplification, acceleration, and harmonization of our business processes and with continued digitalization. Since 2017, we have been using the "Workday" software solution for a variety of human resources processes. This software provides employees and managers with the processes and tools required for daily human resources management. In addition, easy-to-use dashboards provide managers with the information and data-driven insights they need for planning and management. The analysis of our centrally available global data provides a solid basis for strategic decisions and measurable results. In 2022, we focused particularly on continuing to analyze data through people analytics and on incorporating the results into our strategic decisions. This helps us to answer targeted questions in an evidence-based way, as well as to prepare forecasts.
We provide our employees with the opportunity to proactively advance their own professional development and to develop themselves - including in the international arena - thereby strengthening their long-term loyalty to PUMA. Based on the Workday software, a systematic succession plan is created as part of talent management in addition to performance assessment and target-setting. We identify the talent available within the Group through annual performance reviews and global talent conferences, and foster talent development based on individual development plans. This type of talent management means that we can offer our employees attractive career and development opportunities. In this reporting year, we continued to fill the majority of our key positions through internal promotions or horizontal moves around the world. This strengthens our talent management and development strategy.
The ongoing professional and personal development of our employees ensures that our workforce has the necessary expertise to guarantee continuous growth and market competence, particularly in times of high uncertainty and constant change. Workday helps us to avoid skills gaps and gain transparency about the skills available in the workforce. This issue was further analyzed and broadened in 2022, particularly with regard to the expertise that will be needed in the future. We will use the resulting findings as a basis for our recruiting activities and for designing new training courses as part of our strategic workforce plan.
The range of training that we provide includes a number of online and offline training courses and workshops, which are either standardized or tailored to individual needs. "LinkedIn Learning" and "Good Habitz" provide our employees with access to around 20,000 different training courses. They also have a wide range of learning categories to choose from for self-directed personal and professional development. This year, we focused particularly on the topics of mental well-being, resilience, and mindfulness, providing our employees with a wide range of services to best support them in dealing with the increased mental strain that can often arise in this politically and economically difficult environment.
We focused more on language training in 2022, and acquired a global Busuu license covering 13 languages. This gives all our employees, including retail employees, the opportunity to learn a new language online under their own guidance and in line with their needs. Qualified trainers support learners through live lessons. Learning can be flexible through the app, but it can also be done in contact with people. Speaking another language produces mutual understanding, creates connections, and enhances diversity. It also promotes internal mobility. For this reason, there is a significant global focus on English. Employees can also learn or improve another language, even for personal reasons. This project secured the eLearning AWARD 2023 in the "Best Roll-Out Project" category. We further expanded the Digital Agile Coach programs that we offer to various target groups.
With a range of dual-study programs and apprenticeships, as well as study-related internships, we offer adequate entry-level and development opportunities for talented individuals at all levels.
We offer our managers numerous training and development opportunities. All managers worldwide complete our internal global leadership training program, consisting of the ILP (International Leadership Program) and ILP² seminar series. The program ensures a uniform understanding of leadership at PUMA and promotes development among participants over the longer term. It offers intensive training and coaching, including interactive learning, role play simulations, and best practice learning, as well as joint projects. The key topics include coaching, mindful leadership, and agile working methods. The PUMA Leadership Expedition training program aims to empower our managers to lead effectively in the VUCA world (VUCA is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambivalent). The program is completely virtual, easily accessible, and designed as a self-directed and tailor-made learning format. It includes self-selected virtual training sessions with a trainer, regular communication with other international participants in smaller working groups, and coached sessions, as well as individual learning sprints and check-ins with the trainers. This innovative training program received the eLearning AWARD 2023 in the "Agile Learning" category.
Our training from employee to manager is intended to prepare employees who are taking on a management position for the first time specifically for their new role. In addition to the training module, the program also offers individual coaching.
Our personnel development programs "Speed Up" and "Speed Up²" target employees at different hierarchal levels. Various groups consisting of top talent receive intensive preparation for the next step in their careers by taking on interdisciplinary projects and tasks, targeted training courses, mentoring, and coaching, as well as job rotations. Increased visibility to upper management, the creation of cross-functional collaborations, and establishing a strong network are also important components of this program.
Feedback from our employees is very important to us. Our "listening strategy" includes various ways of providing feedback and aims to record the sentiments of our employees and to understand their concerns and needs. We collect their feedback and ideas through surveys, pulse surveys, focus groups, interviews, and sentiment analyses. We do this using systems such as Amber and Workday. The feedback we receive encourages us to continue with the measures that we are implementing and to expand on them. The next global employee survey is planned to take place in 2023.
Our trust-based, constructive collaboration with the Works Councils is an important part of our corporate culture. In 2022, the European Works Council of PUMA SE represented employees from 13 European countries and had 16 members. The German Works Council of PUMA SE was made up of 17 members and represented the employees of the PUMA Group in Germany. A designated member of the Works Council in Germany represents the interests of employees with disabilities.
We at PUMA offer our employees a targeted and competitive compensation system, which consists of several components. In addition to a fixed base salary, the PUMA bonus system, profit-sharing programs, and various social benefits form part of an attractive and performance-based compensation system. In addition, we offer our employees comprehensive services in the areas of further development, employee motivation, health management, and well-being. We also offer long-term incentive programs for the senior management level that honor the sustainable development and performance of the business. The bonus system is transparent and globally standardized. Incentives are exclusively linked to company goals.