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Employees deliver our business results and continuously develop our sustainability for long-term success. They also challenge us to new levels of performance – in short, without our people we would not exist as a business.

Participants by region
In numbers

The talent factory – Participants by region (pie chart)

The Talent Factory

Developing our people is the way to grow our business for the long term. It is therefore AkzoNobel’s ambition to build a true and lasting Talent Factory which is widely recognized both inside and outside the company. Our Talent Factory is as much about creating leading programs that support our people in their development as it is about instilling passion for people.

To that end, we have launched a global Management Development curriculum. This program brings a state-of-the-art program design and curriculum to all key countries of AkzoNobel where local providers deliver training in local languages. The “Passion of People” programs introduce AkzoNobel managers of people to key concepts such as situational leadership, coaching skills and behavioral based interviewing, in support of their management roles.

In 2008, courses were held in 11 countries involving 524 participants. Roll-out to 17 more countries is planned in 2009, providing access to 95 percent of the management population.

Measuring progress

We have integrated human resources metrics into the new corporate dashboard for AkzoNobel, in order to monitor our progress in important aspects. We will report on these from 2009.

  • Our performance appraisal program
  • The movement of high potential employees within the company
  • The diversity of our senior leaders and high potential employees
  • Our employee survey results.


A more focused approach to diversity and inclusiveness in the company was launched during a Diversity Workshop towards the end of 2008. A representative and diverse group of employees from various countries and businesses came together to recommend how we can further develop our approach and activities in line with our new Diversity Statement.

AkzoNobel Diversity Statement
Diversity and inclusion is all about creating an ideal working environment, one which allows all our employees to perform at their best and develop to their full potential.

Our company’s workforce should reflect the societies where we do business. We need to truly represent the many and varied cultures of the markets we serve. So we have to be committed and make continuous improvements in order to remain attractive employers for all our people around the world. Driving diversity and inclusion is therefore as much a business need as it is a requirement of our integrity and responsibility as a company.

At AkzoNobel, we strive to attract, motivate and retain our employees in a pleasing environment which brings out the best in people. This requires managers to be inclusive in their leadership. So we do not discriminate against people based on their diversity. In fact, we embrace diversity – be it through culture (nationality, race, religion), gender, disability, sexual orientation or age.

Managers at AkzoNobel need to lead by example by increasing diversity in their teams and promoting inclusiveness wherever possible.

Our key focus areas are gender and cultural diversity in AkzoNobel.

High performance culture

Performance & Development Dialog
Launched in 2005, the Performance & Development Dialog (P&D Dialog) is AkzoNobel’s global performance appraisal program, incorporating both performance review and development and career planning. The key objective is to sustain the performance and growth of our employees and the company.

In 2008, 60 percent (2007: 53 percent) of AkzoNobel employees, excluding the former ICI, used the web-based P&D Dialog process, with a paper system available for the remainder. Former ICI employees completed their 2008 performance reviews using their previous system before moving to the P&D Dialog to set 2009 objectives.

During 2008, important changes were made to the P&D Dialog process. These changes align the AkzoNobel Success Factors or competencies with the revised company values. The Success Factors express the key competencies for three segments of employees (all employees, managers and executives) that we will focus on in the years ahead. These Success Factors will be an integral part of all development discussions and are included in the annual performance appraisal process.

Employee survey
In 2008, we conducted a further pulse survey involving a sample of 5,000 employees. Next year, we will carry out a full survey of the entire company. The 2008 survey demonstrated that our employees believe we continue to make progress as a company. The results showed an upward trend from 2007, which continues the positive trend that we have seen since the inception of the global surveys in 2006. Significantly, the results for those with AkzoNobel and ICI heritage reveal very small differences – an encouraging finding in the context of the integration activities.

AkzoNobel employee survey results 2008

Download XLS





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Customer focus




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Results orientation




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Stimulating open climate




Managing performance




Developing others




While we see very positive results in the areas of customer focus, quality commitment and engagement throughout the company, there is still room for improvement in people management related questions. The new Management Development curriculum is an important element to continue the improvement in these areas.

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