Sustainable human resource strategy

It is the goal of METRO to ensure that it increases its relevance to its customers continuously to produce long-term growth in sales and earnings. Among other things, we attach great importance to the continuous development of our business model and the increase in our customer orientation.

Our commitment levels, which have been steadily rising since 2011 and are well above the industry average, are proof that our workforce of more than 150,000 employees are doing their best every day to achieve the goals of the group. With our efforts in human resources, we make an important contribution to reinforcing and expanding our employees’ motivation, to encouraging teamwork and promoting entrepreneurial thinking, open-mindedness and assuming responsibility in the company. In doing so, we pursue 2 overarching ambitions:

  • Creating an appealing, open-minded and inspiring work environment for our employees. We firmly believe that only satisfied employees who are supported in accordance with their commitment and abilities can offer a first-class customer experience.
  • Expansion of METRO into an adaptive, learning organisation that responds quickly to market and customer needs and participates in shaping trends. We make significant investments to accomplish this.

Our underlying, holistic approach to human resources with customised initiatives and programmes spans the entire career of an employee – from recruitment through various career and life stages to retirement models. 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 personnel concept and thus ensures proper balance between adaptation to local conditions and standardisation throughout the group.

Recruiting employees

In the competition to hire the best specialists and executives, our goal is to position METRO as an attractive employer and to attract qualified, talented people to our company. By training junior employees for the and sector, we are able to recruit leaders from our own ranks. At the same time, METRO is constantly exploring the market for motivated specialists in order to strengthen its own workforce and to make the best possible progress in the business.

Employee commitment

Our global employee survey METRO Voice is an important tool used to determine the commitment of the workforce and their loyalty to the company. We conduct the survey regularly in the country subsidiaries service companies and at METRO AG. Under the slogan ‘Your opinion. Our dialogue.’, more than 101,000 employees were invited to participate in the survey during the reporting period. 88% of the invited employees took part in the survey. The level of commitment, which indicates the degree of connection, pride in the company, loyalty and motivation, increased by 2 percentage points to 78% in financial year 2017/18. It far exceeds the score of consulting firm Aon Hewitt’s Global Retail Benchmark (63%) and continues the positive trend of .

This development can be traced back to an intensive follow-up process at the team level and to group-wide initiatives that we use to promote focus on innovative ideas and encourage the appreciation and recognition of our employees.

Development of the engagement score

in %

Development of the engagement score in % (bar chart)

Diversity management

We strongly believe 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 more talent, METRO has developed a company-wide . The goal is to create an open work environment in which individual differences are respected, valued and promoted. We strive to build a workforce in which each individual can develop and use their unique potential and strengths.

Development of employee numbers

During the reporting period, METRO employed an average of 134,877 full-time equivalents (2016/17: 137,136). This is a decrease of 1.6% compared to the same period in the previous year. The majority of our employees work outside of our home market Germany. Internationally, we had 90,749 full-time equivalents, 2.0% fewer than during the same period in the previous year. In Germany, the workforce by full-time equivalents decreased slightly to 44,128 (2016/17: 44,525). During the reporting period, METRO Wholesale employed an average of 100,335 full-time equivalents. This represents a decrease of 2.0% compared to the same period in the . The workforce by full-time equivalents at Real declined by 0.8% to 26,394 while the number of full-time equivalents in the Others segment decreased by 0.2% to 8,148.

Development of employee numbers by segments by headcount as of closing date of 30/9






METRO Wholesale





METRO Wholesale Germany





METRO Wholesale Western Europe (excluding Germany)





METRO Wholesale Russia





METRO Wholesale Eastern Europe (excluding Russia)





METRO Wholesale Asia

























The Real sales line of METRO AG operates in the food retail sector and is a leading hypermarket operator in Germany with 279 stores.
Wholesale, METRO Wholesale
The METRO Wholesale segment comprises the METRO Wholesale sales line of METRO AG with more than 769 wholesale stores across 35 countries worldwide. This also includes the delivery business (Food Service Distribution) with companies like METRO delivery service and the delivery specialists Classic Fine Foods, Pro à Pro and Rungis Express.
Previous year
Period of 12 months, usually cited as reference for statements in an annual report.
Diversity management
A central element of HR policy that harnesses the diversity of employees in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual identities and potential disabilities for corporate success.
Previous year
Period of 12 months, usually cited as reference for statements in an annual report.