Bayer Employees

Working at Bayer: Excellent Perspectives

Bayer’s business success is based to a large extent on the knowledge and commitment of our employees. As an employer, we offer our employees attractive conditions and wide-ranging individual development opportunities.

Alongside professional training, we focus on conveying our corporate values (LIFE) and establishing a dialogue-oriented corporate culture based on trust, respect for diversity and equality of opportunity. Our responsible approach to structuring working conditions includes fair treatment at work, a transparent and equitable compensation system, retirement benefit plans, the ability to combine working with family commitments, flexible worktime arrangements and a working environment that fosters health. Numerous external awards and surveys bear witness to our excellent reputation as an employer. These include the awards we received in 2018 as one of the best employers in Germany, China, Italy and India.

Passion to Innovate | Power to Change: Why You Should Work at Bayer

Responsibility for the human resources strategy of the Bayer Group falls within the remit of the Board of Management and the primary decision-making body of Bayer’s HR function, which set binding policies and define priorities for all regions and organizational units. In 2019, the focus in Human Resources will be on further integrating the employees of the acquired agriculture business and the planned portfolio, efficiency and structural measures.

The overall size of our workforce increased substantially in 2018 as a result of the Monsanto acquisition. The acquired agriculture business’s human resources department is already part of Bayer’s Human Resources & Organization function for organizational purposes, and integration into the Bayer systems began in 2018. All information in this chapter includes the acquired agriculture business, unless otherwise indicated. The acquired agriculture business will continue to use its own systems and processes until full integration is completed.

Employee Data

On December 31, 2018, Bayer employed 116,998 (2017: 99,820) people worldwide. In Germany we had 32,140 (2017: 31,620) employees, which was 27.5% of the total Bayer Group workforce (2017: 31.7%).

Number of Bayer Employees by Segment, Dec. 31, 2018

Bayer employees worldwide

High Level of Vocational Training

To meet the need for skilled employees, Bayer provides vocational training in Germany in more than 25 different occupations and offers more vocational training places than is required to meet its needs. In 2018, more than 700 young people started a vocational training course at Bayer in Germany. We employed nearly 2,000 trainees overall in 2018 (around 500 women and 1,500 men). Bayer also offers trainee programs in various areas for those embarking on a career and internships for students around the world.

Since 2018, our employees have had access to a comprehensive eLearning library that supports learning tailored to individual development needs. These offerings are already available to employees of the acquired agriculture business. The acquired agriculture business additionally has its own vocational training and continuing education offerings, which will be integrated into Bayer’s program over the course of 2019.

In 2018, we determined the vocational and ongoing training hours for all employees worldwide (in 2017, those at our significant locations of operation only), including those of the acquired agriculture business. At the same time, the range of face-to-face training offered in the second half of 2018 was reduced. For this reason, vocational and ongoing training hours amounted to only 17.1 hours per employee in 2018. Once the integration of the training systems has progressed further, we will report on the average ongoing training costs, including those of the  acquired agriculture business, in 2019.

Find your new training position at Bayer in Germany on our German careers website. All international job vacancies can be found on global careers website.

Our Values

Bayer pursues a sustainable human resources policy. The objectives and principles are based on our corporate values, known by the acronym LIFE, which are valid throughout the world. LIFE stands for Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency. These values encapsulate the core elements of our corporate culture, which combines a strong focus on performance and development with a high degree of social responsibility. At the same time, they are a simple and practical guide for employees in their work.

Advancing Knowledge and Leadership Skills

Fostering employees’ individual abilities, talents and strengths is another key factor for Bayer’s future success. Sustained success is only possible if we create working conditions that allow all employees to utilize their talents optimally and therefore contribute to innovative solutions. We therefore actively support lifelong learning as part of our philosophy of people development and managing demographic change. Our aim is to empower all employees to broaden their knowledge and skills and keep up with the latest changes throughout their working lives.

At the heart of our ongoing training concept is the Group-wide and wolrdwide honored Bayer Academy, which bundles our extensive continuing education offerings for employees. Alongside systematic development of managerial employees, it offers continuous professional training through various functional academies.

Examples of Continuing Education in 2018

Training courses
Key aspects / goals
Attendances in 2018
Global Bayer Academy
Leadership training, general management training (Bayer Academy)
Systematic management development program based on the LIFE values to facilitate a uniform understanding of leadership worldwide.
Bayer Finance Academy
Modular program for systematic introductory training and continuous professional development for employees in finance, accounting, auditing, controlling and tax
Active users: 3,383
Bayer Human Resources Academy
Various training formats for HR departments to enhance their competencies as advisors and partners for the various business units
Bayer Operational Excellence Academy
Experience from the established Lean and Six Sigma concepts is used to simplify working processes.
Bayer Procurement Academy
Training in procurement-related topics, specifically for procurement staff
Self-study and coaching programs for all procurement staff
Commercial Excellence programs
Practical programs to provide market-related background knowledge and improve customer focus
Group focus
Human-rights trainings
Programs at the subgroups and divisions
Occupational safety
Web-based training on occupational safety
FIT Office (Business Services)
FIT Office is a special training program that enables the company to meet changing personnel requirements from within its own workforce. It was set up specifically to support employees in applying and preparing for new positions. Its role also includes providing individual advice to place employees in suitable positions and train them in the necessary skills.
e-learning libraryEvery Bayer employee can access a free e-learning library in several languages. Four main topics are covered:
  • Business & leadership skills
  • Programming and IT skills
  • Desktop knowledge
  • Digital transformation

Diversity and Internationality 

Culture & Gender Balance in Management

Thanks to our wide-ranging business activities, we offer employees throughout the Bayer Group good opportunities for development. Regular development dialogues between employees and supervisors provide an opportunity to discuss the employees’ further career development perspectives. More than 53,000 development dialogues were held and documented in 2018. A total of 44% of employees participated in development dialogues.

In our employee structure we promote inclusion and diversity, through which we acquire a better understanding of changing markets and consumer groups, gain access to a broader pool of talented people and benefit from an increasing level of creativity and innovative strength. That is why mutual understanding and a gender and cultural balance are important success factors at Bayer. Overall, the Bayer Group employs people from around 150 different nations.

Bayer has endeavored for many years to achieve a better gender balance in management. The proportion of women in management in 2018 was 39.7% (2017: 40%). The proportion of women in the Group Leadership Circle, the highest management level below the Board of Management, increased again compared to previous years. By the end of 2018, it was made up of 21% women (2010: 7%) and 79% men (2010: 93%). The Group Leadership Circle currently comprises 30 nationalities, with around 68% of its members working in their native
country. Information on diversity in our Board of Management and our Supervisory Board can be found in our Corporate Governance Report.

Work-Life Balance

We offer our employees flexible working hours and support in child care and caring for close relatives. In many countries, our commitment in this area goes beyond the statutory requirements. In 2018, the Bayer Group had some 10,500 part-time employees, primarily in Europe. This figure represents 9% of the total number of employees.

Bayer enables both men and women to take parental leave. Since national parental leave regulations vary widely from country to country, we only compile data for our significant locations of operation. 1,980 women and 1,228 men at these locations took parental leave in 2018. By the end of the year, 2,486 employees on parental leave had returned to work.

The next table shows the number of employees who have returned to work after selecting the standard statutory parental leave program of up to three years per child. By the end of 2018, 72.9% had returned to work. A total of 53.2% of women and 95.3% of men who have taken parental leave since 2016 have returned to work.

Employees Returning from Parental Leave Using Germany as an Example

? Women ? Men ? Total ?
? % Absolute % Absolute % Absolute
Employees who have taken parental leave since 2016 53.5 1,094 46.8 961 100 2,055
Still on parental leave/ with a dormant employment contract 42.9 469 4.5 43 24.9 512
Returned by 2018 53.2 582 95.3 916 72.9 1,498
Terminated1 3.9 43 0.2 2 2.2 45


Includes employess who have left the company due to employer- and employee-driven terminations, severance agreements and expiration of contracts

Creating Attractive Working Conditions

Our compensation system combines a basic salary reflecting performance and responsibility with elements based on the company’s success, plus extensive additional benefits. Adjustments based on continuous benchmarking make our compensation internationally competitive.

We attach great importance to equal pay for men and women, providing fair compensation and informing our employees transparently about the overall structure of their compensation. Bayer voluntarily pays employees on both permanent and temporary employment contracts in excess of the statutory minimum wage in many of the countries in which we operate.

Alongside attractive compensation for their work, Bayer contributes to the financial security of its present and former employees after their retirement. Retirement benefit plans are available to 80% (2017: 75%) of Bayer employees worldwide to complement national pension systems. The benefits provided depend on the legal, fiscal and economic conditions in each country, employee compensation and years of service. Personnel expenses in 2018 included pension expenses of €924 million. Payments of €1,123 million were made in 2018 to current retirees. The value of total pension obligations at the end of 2018 was €26,569 million.

Respecting Employee and Human Rights

As a socially responsible company, Bayer has long been committed to upholding and supporting human rights at various levels. The Bayer Human Rights Position is rooted in a binding Group-wide directive. We respect the United Nations’ Declaration of Human Rights and are a founding member of the UN Global Compact. Our mission, life values and Corporate Compliance Policy commit all employees around the world to fair and lawful conduct toward staff, colleagues, business partners and customers.

Binding agreements at Group level

The Bayer European Forum – which brings together management and employee representatives – has signed the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the E.U. This involves a network of around 200 companies which aims to identify and share best practices and encourages joint measures by employers, employees and society to improve health and well-being at the workplace. During 2018, we acted on the European level within the context of the Bayer European Forum, exchanging best practices and facilitating the enhancement of national health promotion programs in the process. In Germany, Group-wide initiatives include the General Works Agreements on lifetime working and demographic change and on addressing demographic change at the nonmanagerial level at Bayer. These agreements for nonmanagerial employees address such issues as reducing the workload of older employees, easing the return to work for employees after long-term illness and promoting participation in comprehensive screening programs. Nearly all eligible employees regularly take part in the program to reduce the workload of older employees.

Our occupational health management activities include many regular preventive programs, ranging from ergonomic workplaces and stress management to incentive systems to promote healthy behavior. Our employee representatives are included in operational health management and are actively involved in its development. We ensure safe working conditions and thus an environment where our employees can work without fear and undertake international business travel without risk.

Employee Feedback

We believe regular feedback is necessary for the continuous development of our employees and our organization and that it helps us adapt to changing requirements. Alongside our performance management system, we use 360° feedback. This insight from colleagues and business associates is designed to foster the performance and leadership behavior of our employees and support their professional development.

We measure employee engagement at Bayer by means of institutionalized feedback discussions and the Group-wide Employee Survey, which is conducted about every two years. This enables us to monitor the effectiveness of our initiatives and initiate any necessary improvements. In addition, we introduced the Employee Echo – a scaled-down version of the global Employee Survey – in 2018. This is intended to help us identify trends in the course of a year, allowing us to adjust already initiated measures early on.

Communication at all levels

Our employees have the opportunity to discuss company-specific issues and scope for optimization via various communication channels. To promote a culture of innovation in the workplace, two platforms for making work-related suggestions are available to employees in Germany: the Bayer Ideas Pool and the Ideas Forum. The suggestions made by employees on improving processes, occupational safety and health protection are rewarded and utilized. In 2018, more than 3,250 ideas were submitted, and about 46% of the ideas evaluated were implemented. In the first year of implementation alone, those improvements that led to quantifiable benefits generated savings of about €1.7 million. In 2018, Bayer distributed bonuses of around €785,000.

Bayer Senior Experts Network – The Knowledge Retention Initiative

The Bayer Senior Experts Network is designed to utilize the knowledge and potential of retirees by employing them as consultants on important projects. Retirement is the start of a new phase in an employee’s life. It also involves changes for Bayer when the experience of long-serving employees, their expertise and broad general overview is suddenly no longer available to the company. This loss of knowledge will even increase in the future by demographic change. To counteract this problem, Bayer launched the Bayer Senior Experts Network (BaySEN) initiative at the end of 2010.

Careers at Bayer

Bayer employees: passion to innovate, power to change

We are looking for committed employees who can work responsibly and independently. Our web site “Bayer Global Career Portal” can help you select the most suitable options for a career at Bayer. Or why not surf through our Job Search?