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Sustainable human resources (HR) strategy

Through our corporate strategy sCore, which is completely focused on the transformation of our wholesale business towards ‘multichannel’ and became operational in May 2022 through the strategic plans of the METRO countries, the goals for our future are clear. However, the transformation towards a multichannel growth strategy can only succeed with the dedicated contribution of the employees, as they are the ones who implement our strategy in all areas. Increasing the number of sales representatives in our national subsidiaries is therefore an essential part of the human resources strategy within sCore. Furthermore, it is important to us to invest in the skills and abilities of our employees and to maintain an inclusive, attractive, open-minded, inspiring work environment that is focused on performance and success.

Our underlying holistic HR approach with customised initiatives and programmes spans the entire employee experience life cycle – from recruitment across various career and life stages to retirement models. At the same time, it creates a consistent and METRO specific employee experience with global standards.

The involvement of the Management Board or the management of the various national subsidiaries and service companies often already takes place during the development phase of the HR concepts. This way, we ensure a balance between adaptation to specific country circumstances and standardisation across the group.

We communicated our guiding principles in the past financial year with a focus on wholesale, so that they provide our employees with ongoing guidance for their conduct and decisions on our way to becoming a multichannel wholesaler. Thus, guiding principles such as ‘Success with the customer’, ‘Strong through relationships’ and ‘Sustainable business’ reflect our thinking as a wholesaler and the uniqueness of the METRO culture. In order to integrate our guiding principles even more strongly into our daily work, we have created occasions that allow our METRO culture to be experienced. For example, all level 1 managers worldwide will spend at least one day working with customers in financial year 2022/23 to better understand the business and our customers on the ground. We also value employee loyalty and have introduced global awards aligned with the sCore strategy, such as team, customer service and productivity awards.

Our consistently high level of commitment, which exceeds the industry average, are proof that our employees are doing their best every day to jointly achieve the goals of the group. At the same time, the biannual survey provides us with important insights for continuous improvement directly from the workforce. Our measures focus on cross-functional teamwork, motivating working conditions and customer-oriented conduct.

Movers, shakers and future-makers

Behind every business, there are people. These people, prospects and career paths are every bit as varied as the topics and tasks that make METRO so unique.


In a nutshell, our sustainable human resources strategy focuses on the following key areas:

  • Developing the skills and capabilities of all employees in our headquarters, stores and sales aligned with the requirements of the sCore strategy and supporting its implementation
  • Expanding our talent management and investing in our employer brand in order to fill positions in our company with the most talented employees for the future
  • Continued expansion of our performance appraisal process to all employee levels with a clear focus on development to promote a performance-driven culture
  • Increase productivity through targeted use of our resources, continuous improvement of our processes and digitalisation
  • Promoting diversity and inclusion globally as a driver for sustainable business success
  • Creating shared cultural experiences, locally and globally, to bring ONE METRO to life for all employees

The Covid-19 pandemic has permanently changed the way we communicate and work. We have found new ways to work in an increasingly hybrid work environment. However, we also learned the hard way how important regular face-to-face exchanges are for social cohesion and solving complex problems. Therefore, we enable our employees at the headquarters to work on site or in a home office in coordination with their superiors. Nonetheless, making the ‘we’ feeling tangible on site is an important part of our human resources strategy and the METRO culture.

In addition to the Covid-19 pandemic, the consequences of the war in Ukraine shaped the financial year and thus also our human resources work. Numerous measures were taken to help the people on the ground and to assist fleeing employees and their families so they could find safe refuge in one of our METRO countries. For example, we gave donations in kind, opened a relief fund for employees, supported aid deliveries from the World Food Programme to Ukraine and created opportunities for employees from Ukraine to work in another METRO country.

Employee attraction

In the competition to hire the best professionals and managers, our goal is to position METRO as an attractive employer and to attract qualified, talented people to our company. Through various activities in the field of talent acquisition, we identify and recruit suitable professionals and managers for METRO on the labour market. This approach enables us to successfully and sustainably fill critical roles for the business in order to strengthen the company’s own workforce and to move the company forward by securing our valuable personnel.

In order to attract suitable employees, METRO positions itself as an attractive employer through target group-oriented communication on various channels.

Our main activities:

  • By recruiting and training junior employees for the wholesale sector, we are able to develop professionals and managers from our own ranks. Therefore, we offer various internship, trainee and apprenticeship programmes throughout the group.
  • In order to reach and attract specialised, experienced professionals and managers, we invest in direct sourcing activities (using the internal candidate pool to fill positions), in building talent pools and in candidate relationship management (shaping relationships with potential candidates).
  • The definition of relevant and business-critical target groups and the analysis of their potential touchpoints with METRO enable target group-oriented and focused communication in order to position METRO as an attractive employer brand. Examples of communication channels include career fairs (also virtual ones), social networks as well as strategic collaborations (for example with universities).
  • We invest in our employer brand: This year, numerous HR employees from 22 METRO/MAKRO countries took part in a further training course at the Employer Branding Academy again. The employer value proposition we developed for METRO/MAKRO in 2022 and the associated value platform will be instrumental in making our employer brand more visible and tangible for the various candidate groups. Together with the 9 largest METRO/MAKRO countries, we have started the analysis and development of a group-wide employer brand, which will be rolled out in the following financial year.
  • METRO has again been certified as a top employer. Altogether, 8 METRO national subsidiaries received the prestigious certification by the Top Employers Institute.
  • We launched our new digital recruiting platform – industry-leading in its sophistication – in France and Germany in September 2022. This was an important step towards achieving our sCore growth strategy, as it supports effective recruitment of sales people in the field and in the markets.

Talent management and succession planning

Through comprehensive talent and performance management, targeted succession planning and numerous career development opportunities, we continuously develop our employees. This way, we offer them attractive career opportunities within our company, thus creating the basis for sustainable success. Furthermore, our remuneration models provide additional incentives for our employees to work performance-driven and in line with our corporate guiding principles.

Our goal is to fill vacancies internally wherever possible. At the local management level, our goal is to fill 75% of all positions from within our own ranks and locally. It is important to identify our talent as early as possible and prepare them for future management tasks, both nationally and internationally. The internal succession rate for national subsidiary management members was 79% in financial year 2021/22.

Regarding filling positions with professionals and managers, we make a point of ensuring that they are not only suitable for their current position, but also have potential to develop beyond it. Therefore, with regard to filling management positions, we also look at the second and third management level and measure what proportion of employees can be assessed as having medium or high development potential and thus be given special consideration for succession planning. We also pay increased attention to the proportion of women in management positions in our succession planning.

Early identification and targeted development of internal talent are supported by the new integrated Talent Management and Learning System in combination with new processes for assessing the performance and potential of all employees. The learning module with its many opportunities for personal development is available to around 94,000 employees. Meanwhile, the performance and succession planning module is already available to around 38,000 employees. A broader roll-out to the entire organisation is planned to be completed by 2024. The processes of performance and potential assessment as well as succession and individual development planning have been integrated into a coherent approach and are fully supported online. Managers play a special role in the process, as they are responsible for assessing their own employees in a differentiated manner and defining suitable development measures based on this assessment and potential target positions. All employees also have an opportunity to introduce their own development ambitions into the process in a structured manner.

Individual evaluations and development measures as well as succession plans are coordinated in an annual calibration process, which takes place both per country for all employees and across countries for the first and second management levels. At the same time, decisions are made to determine for which employee groups we will invest in talent or development programmes at the local or global levels. In addition to the formal performance appraisal process, the talent management system includes a variety of ways to encourage informal feedback between co-workers. It also promotes interaction on performance and development between employees and managers to emphasise the importance of continuous learning and development within the company, even outside formal processes.

Performance-based remuneration

Our aspiration is to provide our employees with competitive, performance-based and fair remuneration. We have also enshrined this objective in our global principles on fair working conditions and social partnership. Our remuneration system ‘Perform & Reward’ for executives (with the exception of the members of the Management Board) comprises a monthly fixed salary as well as a variable annual remuneration component; the payment amount essentially depends on the economic development of the respective company in which the executive works.

With a clear focus on the economic development of METRO, our managers also receive a multi-year variable remuneration component that includes a sustainability component and allows executives to participate in METRO’s share price development.

Executive remuneration is complemented by additional benefits, such as an attractive pension model, promotion of health care and a mobility budget that can be used as part of METRO’s ‘Green Car Policy’ for a car, train rides or pension provision.

  • For more information about the remuneration of the Management Board, see the remuneration report.

Career development and retention of talent

The in-house training academy House of Learning continuously adapts its ‘Learning & Development’ portfolio to the needs of its employees as well as the strategic alignment of the company. House of Learning is accredited by the renowned European Foundation for Management Development. The CLIP (Corporate Learning Improvement Process) accreditation is an important recognition of METRO’s quality in developing and retaining employees. 

The ‘Learning & Development’ portfolio supports the development and retention of employees and managers – both at METRO AG and its national subsidiaries. It consists of 2 core areas: 

  • Learning solutions in the form of digital learning modules, face-to-face workshops and webinars:  this offer is available to all employees. The focus here is on employees in Purchasing, Sales, Traders Franchise and Operations (wholesale functions), as well as Finance, Human Resources and Digital (wholesale enablers). But a portfolio for professional skills development and mandatory compliance training is also offered across all functions. Key figures here are participants and participant hours. 
  • International talent and leadership development programmes in the form of programme modules lasting several months:
    this offer is reserved for high-potential employees with vertical growth potential. This potential is calibrated and validated through frequent talent management and succession planning processes at METRO. These programmes address functional (e.g. Next Generation Finance, Next Generation Offer Management, Master in Store Operations, etc.) as well as cross-functional topics (e.g. METRO Potentials Programme, Women Leadership Programme, Future Leaders, Accelerate, Booster, etc.) to prepare identified talent and leaders for the challenges of future management roles in the wholesale business. This offer also ensures long-term succession planning. Important key figures here are loyalty, promotion and internal replacement rates.

The ‘Learning & Development’ portfolio is mapped in the global learning management system MPower, to which employees from the METRO companies have access. 

Training courses at METRO national subsidiaries


Individual learning
(e.g. e-learning, videos, materials)

Instructor-guided learning
(face-to-face and virtual training)






Participant hours




Training courses at METRO AG


Individual learning
(e.g. e-learning, videos, materials)

Instructor-guided learning
(face-to-face and virtual training)






Participant hours




Diversity and inclusion

METRO strongly believes that diversity and inclusion lead to better business results. In order to establish a diverse and inclusive corporate culture and to gain better access to strong talent, METRO has developed a company-wide strategy to strengthen diversity within the teams. The goal is to create an open work environment in which individual differences are respected, valued and promoted. This way, we are setting the course for a workforce, in which all employees can develop and use their unique potential and strengths. 

Equal opportunities in the workplace

Equal employment opportunities are promoted for all employees. METRO aims to further increase the proportion of women in managerial positions. The objective is for 25% of employees on the first management level below the Management Board and 40% of employees on the second management level below the Management Board of METRO AG to be women by September 2025. At the end of financial year 2021/22, a share of 25.7% of women were employed in the first management level below the Management Board and 26.1% in the second management level below the Management Board. Furthermore, we voluntarily set a target for the share of women in executive positions at our wholesale business. According to this, the share of women in management positions at levels 1 to 3 (including store management) of global METRO locations is supposed to be 30% by September 2025. At the end of financial year 2021/22, the percentage of women in management positions at levels 1 to 3 (including store managers) is 26.3%. The Supervisory Board had determined for the Management Board of METRO AG that at least 1 woman should be a member of the Management Board by 30 June 2022. Meanwhile, the obligation of the Supervisory Board to set targets for the proportion of women on the Management Board and deadlines for achieving them no longer applies. Instead, the Management Board of METRO AG is now subject to the so-called participation requirement pursuant to § 76 Section 3a of the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG). With that in mind, the Supervisory Board has deleted the previous target and included in the diversity concept. Instead it has been included by declaring that the Management Board of METRO AG must henceforth include at least one woman. The Management Board includes one female member, with Andrea Euenheim holding that position from 1 November 2019 until 31 March 2022 and Christiane Giesen since 15 September 2022.  

To support the goal of a strong talent pipeline among female employees, the Women Leadership Programme (WLP) has been offered since 2018. With tailor-made training measures, female talents are promoted throughout the group. In addition, they are offered the opportunity to contribute to solving relevant business challenges and thus to make an impact and gain international visibility within METRO. In parallel, the participants are supported by mentors.  

Different, but equally valuable

A special bakery project has opened at the METRO store in Kiev: People with handicaps work in the Sunshine Café – and donate some of the baked goods.


Another cornerstone of our diversity strategy is the commitment against discrimination of people who identify as part of the LGBTIQ+ community and bolstering their position within society and the company. To this end, a global LGBTIQ+ strategy was already developed in financial year 2020/21 and external and internal communication support was provided in Germany and other countries for both IDAHOBIT1 Day and PRIDE Month in June. As part of this strategy, an eLearning curriculum was developed and introduced in almost all METRO countries in 2022. This measure once again highlights the importance of reinforcing diversity and inclusion.    

Moreover, a task force was launched in 2020 and each METRO (national) subsidiary has appointed a contact person for diversity and inclusion. It continues to be an established tool for reinforcing diversity and inclusion. The task force meets every 8 weeks and manages this development through key figures on the company-wide diversity and inclusion strategy, among others. 

METRO is a member of various diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives such as the LEAD Network, UHLALA’s ‘We Stay PRIDE’ programme and the PROUT AT WORK foundation as well as the LGBTIQ+ Rhine-Ruhr network. Since 2007, METRO has also been a signatory of the Diversity Charter. Beyond that, various employee networks have been established to represent the issue of diversity and inclusion within the workforce and externally on their own initiative – among others, this includes Women in Trade, MPride as well as

Occupational safety and health management

The purpose of our Occupational Safety Management System (OSMS), based on the principles of ISO 45001, is to create a safe and secure environment for our employees, suppliers and customers. To raise our employees’ awareness of safety-related issues, we have launched the annually recurring group-wide campaign ‘Safe@METRO’. It provides information on the most important safety rules and invites employees to voice their opinion on occupational safety and health issues.  

Occupational safety reporting

Safety is always a top priority for METRO. Our operational safety strategy aims to raise awareness among employees that each individual bears responsibility for operational safety and contributes to eliminating and avoiding hazards. This is supported by a transparent group-wide reporting system in which we document all incidents, near misses and non-conformities. Our incident management process is designed to ensure that each case is reported in a timely manner. The reports are analysed and action is taken based on the findings.

KPIs for occupational safety and health

The Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR), that is, the total number of lost-time injuries per 1 million working hours, for the METRO companies in financial year 2021/22 was 7.27 (2020/212: 7.06; 2019/203: 6.78).

Furthermore, incidents are investigated according to a risk-based approach. Designated employees in the company are responsible for making sure that the causes are identified and measures are implemented promptly. Significant incidents are discussed with our safety officers during quarterly group-wide safety meetings to prevent them from recurring.

Safety audits were conducted to measure compliance with the group-wide safety guidelines (Operational Safety Management System).

Occupational safety in the times of COVID-19

The lingering global Covid-19 pandemic has also affected METRO. Extensive organisational measures were implemented to ensure the safety of all employees. They included the optimisation of flexible work models, travel restrictions (where necessary) as well as safety and hygiene measures at the headquarters, stores and warehouse locations of the METRO companies. Transparent communication of regulations and changes in the Covid-19 situation should ensure that the number of infections is kept at a low level throughout the company.


In addition to occupational safety, specific measures in defined fields of responsibility are intended to support the well-being of employees. For this purpose, we have created a framework for METRO that divides the topic of ‘health/well-being’ into 4 areas: physical, mental, social and financial well-being. A fifth overarching category includes all topics that tie in with the company’s purpose and support the implementation of our guiding principles. All national subsidiaries are asked to rate their measures in terms of maturity on a 3-point scale.  

The initiatives in the national subsidiaries are diverse. For example, METRO AG, MAKRO Poland and MAKRO Spain offer telephone counselling for concerns and problems in the professional and personal environment. Online training sessions and apps for sports, mindfulness and healthy nutrition are offered in France, Germany and Turkey. They are good examples of physical and mental health support. Many initiatives are available to promote togetherness and connectedness, that is, social health. Examples of welfare in relation to financial health include help with managing finances in different phases of life and assistance in crises. Further training on managing finances is offered in Germany and Ukraine, for example.  

There is continuous communication on the various activities with a total of 47 ‘Wellbeing Champions’ from the national subsidiaries, who advise and support each other. A ‘Wellbeing Challenge’ offered to all employees last autumn provided practical exercises for personal wellbeing every morning for 21 days.

Fair working conditions and social partnership

Our principles on fair working conditions and social partnership (FWC & SP) are a crucial component in shaping our employer–employee relations. These principles are based on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the core labour standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as the 3 main principles of the Resolution on Forced Labour by the Consumer Goods Forum. Accordingly, these principles contain the right to free unionisation and collective agreements, structured working hours and wages, occupational safety and health management as well as the prohibition of forced labour, child labour and discrimination.

We communicate with the companies and promote knowledge sharing in order to learn from one another, not only with regard to working conditions but also in terms of dialogue with employee representatives.

Since financial year 2019/20, we have changed our audit procedure in the METRO companies due to Covid-19. Surveys on the principles of FWC & SP are conducted online. The goal is to assess the current implementation status of the FWC & SP principles in key units and to make recommendations for improving the FWC & SP process. In financial year 2020/21, we added FWC & SP to our Risk Governance Process. In light of the obligations (effective January 2023) arising from the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (LkSG), we started to adjust the content of our principles on FWC & SP in financial year 2021/22. The same initiative included expanding the procedure for monitoring compliance in line with the legal obligation.

On a national and international level, METRO maintains constant communication with works councils and unions and encourages management to engage in constructive and mutually informative dialogue with our employees and their representatives. This dialogue results in several collective employment agreements at the level of business units, countries or individual stores – depending on local laws and customary practices. There is also the METRO Euro Forum (MEF), our European Works Council. This corporate body is notified and consulted in case of cross-border/transnational changes within the EU area. The MEF meets regularly. A plenary meeting over several days, including items on the agenda for training and knowledge transfer, is held once a year with a training session for all employee representatives of the MEF and up to 3 times a year with the steering committee of the MEF and management representatives.

Also, in a periodic social dialogue with the international trade union organisation UNI Global at the global level, discussions include the commitment to fair working conditions and social partnership.

Development of employee numbers

The tables below show the year-on-year development of employee numbers as an average for the 4 quarters of the financial year and as of the closing date of 30 September, both based on full-time equivalents:

Development of employee numbers by segment Full-time equivalents, average


























As of financial year 2021/22, the segment Asia will be reported together with the previous segment Eastern Europe as the segment East.

Development of employee numbers by segment Full-time equivalents as of the closing date of 30/9


























As of financial year 2021/22, the segment Asia will be reported together with the previous segment Eastern Europe as the segment East.

Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains
The objective of the law, which was approved by the Bundesrat on 25 June 2021 and will enter into force in Germany on 1 January 2023, is to improve the protection of human rights and environmental standards in global supply chains. It sets out clear due diligence requirements for companies based in Germany to comply with basic human rights and environmental standards (for example prohibition of child and forced labour).
A procedure that assesses an organisation’s processes and structures according to previously formulated standards and guidelines. For example, an audit provides information on the effectiveness of process optimisation measures. If an audit is conducted by an external auditor, the certificate issued after the review can be used as evidence of adherence to standards.
All measures specifying compliance with legal requirements as well as social guidelines and values by a company and its employees.
Food, non-food
Under the global term food, METRO summarises the following categories of goods: fresh foods, durable foods, nutrients, frozen foods and drinks of all kinds, as well as luxury foods, dietary supplements and pet food, but also detergents, cleansers and cleaning agents, which are sometimes also labelled as near-food. All other goods are considered non-food items.
Statutory and factual regulatory framework for the management and supervision of a company.
The term ‘Traders’ at METRO refers to the customer group of independent resellers such as operators of small grocery stores and kiosks, street food vendors, gas stations and wholesalers. Traders are one of METRO’s core customer groups and are among the strategic customers under the sCore growth strategy.
sCore strategy
METRO’s growth strategy, which is aligned to the year 2030. It highlights the group’s exclusive focus on wholesale.

1 International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexphobia and Transphobia.

2 Excluding the national subsidiary in Japan.

3 This ratio has not been subjected to the limited assurance business audit under ISAE 3000 by auditing firm KPMG AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft. Furthermore, the number excludes the national subsidiary in Japan

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