The exceptional talent, skill and passion of our people are key to our long-term success and growth. We are convinced that a focus on human capital drives our economic performance and sustainability. The development of our employees at all levels is viewed as an integral factor in creating lasting value for our customers, patients, colleagues, partners and shareholders. It is a central element of our initiatives for growth and effectiveness to expand, develop and strengthen QIAGEN’s leadership and talent base.
Being the industry’s employer of choice by attracting and developing top talents is one of our global goals. To achieve that, QIAGEN creates a work environment that empowers and involves employees at all levels.
As a fast-growing technology and knowledge-based company, we consider high-quality training and career development as an integral part of our success. As part of our talent and succession management, we have established transparent career paths with the QIAGEN Profile Navigator (QPN). It defines jobs, core competencies and approaches to advancement across the global organization. QIAGEN’s global Performance Enhancement System (PES) creates a clear framework of regular, one-on-one review sessions for each employee and their manager to discuss career development. These include discussions of goals and achievement levels, assessment of relevant competencies, as well as training needs and career planning steps. Professional Training & Development at QIAGEN is an ongoing process, cycling from PES discussion to training participation and learning transfer, and back to PES.
In 2016 we introduced the QIAGEN Academy: It provides the possibility to either take part in e-learning sessions globally or to participate in in-person trainings. The focus is on job-specific skills, competencies and leadership development. In 2017, 3,772 employees took part in a respective internal training, totaling to 7,309 training hours.
We place great importance on transparent and responsible leadership. Our future leaders are trained in entrepreneurial and leadership competencies such as strategic thinking and acting, decision making, risk taking, change management, performance management and employee development. Every year our employees are invited to evaluate their superiors with a standardized questionnaire within our QIALead evaluation process. The summarized and anonymized results are provided to the executive managers.
QIAGEN has implemented a pilot program to identify and develop the most promising specialists and managers to prepare for senior positions. In cooperation with the University of Würzburg, Germany, we offer the opportunity to participate in the QIAGEN Executive MBA Business Integration Program. Participants benefit not only from a curriculum providing them with a wide range of management skills and knowledge. They also experience an international environment, learning with colleagues from around the world. A total of 75 QIAGEN employees had completed the MBA program by the end of 2017, with a new class enrolled in 2016.
We are currently working on different digital solutions to further enhance our development programs. In 2017, we have updated the QIAGEN Academy Interface (3.0) while further extending the range of available trainings and simplifying the enrollment process. We have also launched new leadership insight tools on and e-learning soundbites and rolled-out a talent management suite, which has been already used to conduct our annual personnel enhancement and salary review processes and will see further functional enhancements in 2018.
We are committed to create an environment where all individuals have the opportunity to grow and contribute to our progress, regardless of their age, educational background, gender, nationality, physical abilities, race and ethical background, religion, or sexual orientation. Strategic consideration of diversity not only makes QIAGEN a better place to work. We consider it to be a key success factor on the path to achieving our mission and goals. Individuals and teams alike understand the diverse needs of our customers, identify and realize cross-functional opportunities for our business areas, can quickly adapt to a fast-changing environment. Further information about the diversity policy for the composition of the management board and the supervisory board can be found in the corporate governance report.
In 2017, our multicultural workforce was composed of 71 nationalities with an average age of 40.3 With 49.2% women we are well balanced in terms of gender on an aggregate level. We also have significantly increased the diversity of our senior leadership team and will continue to do so in the future. In 2017, almost 31% of our management positions in the four leadership levels below the Executive Committee were held by women. To further improve diversity on a senior level, we have started different initiatives in 2017 to raise awareness for the value of diversity and leverage diverse talents towards management positions. They focus on team discussions around the subject, champion diverse talents and the development of a global recruiting standard to promote diversity in executive positions. Concrete actions in the reporting period included the establishment of diversity forums, manager training tools on the intranet, mandatory unconscious bias trainings within the QIAGEN Academy for all managers, mentorship programs and more significant access for our top talents to our senior management. All initiatives are designed to engage the organization and follow best practices for developing active inclusion. Our goal is to leverage diversity as a great opportunity for QIAGEN to positively impact our business performance through diverse team contributions.
The overall composition of our workforce broken down by region and function as of December 31, 2018, was as follows:
Employee satisfaction and retention
Various measures to enhance career development and diversity within QIAGEN are important factors to maintain the satisfaction of our employees and their dedication for our company. Alongside this, QIAGEN has implemented frameworks for performance-based compensation, equity-based compensation and incentive programs for new ideas and innovation. They aim to ensure fair and attractive compensation and to encourage each employee to work for the company’s long-term benefit. With our new compensation plan, we are planning to gradually roll-out starting in late 2018, we intend to have our salary structures based on the QIAGEN Profile Navigator: Each described role is graded into the QIAGEN Job Matrix which comprises three career paths and twelve grades. All three career paths, Specialist, Project Management and Leadership are basically equivalent. Lateral moves between roles in the different career path are possible. This allows us to compare our pay grades with market averages and to ensure our attractiveness as an employer. In early 2018 we plan to complete the adaption in our pilot countries, United Kingdom and China, and we will evaluate the results.
Equally important to us is our employees’ work-life balance. We provide services to help employees balance their personal lives with the company’s dynamic work environment, including in-house corporate child care, sabbatical programs and flexible work hours. Beyond that, QIAGEN offers a wide range of measures for a good workplace health: from "health days" with free counselling, screening and medical check-ups to opportunities to get exercise like in-house gyms, on-site soccer-fields and beach volleyball courts.
At QIAGEN we believe that good leadership performance is key to our success and employee satisfaction. The results of our annual QIALead survey, which provides a comprehensive view on the performance of all line managers at QIAGEN, are hence are an important indicator for the development of our corporate culture and employee satisfaction are the. For 2017, employees rated their managers with an average total score of 4.2 out of 5.0 points. QIAGEN’s efforts to become an employer of choice are also reflected by the high number of applications for open positions, which exceeded 37.700 applications in 2017. At the same time, the average voluntary annual turnover rate remained largely unchanged, increasing by 0.28 percent points compared to 2016. Going forward, QIAGEN has set a goal to reduce the voluntary turnover rate to ensure business continuity, while still allowing for a healthy influx of fresh talent.