Satisfied employees are the key

G4-26, G4-27

Engineered for your performance – supporting customers in improving their capability – is the brand promise of Linde Material Handling. The company strives to give customers the best possible performance through continuous improvement and further development. The platform for this is provided by clearly defined targets, unambiguous requirements for the managers and a corporate culture which fosters committed and motivated employees who are willing to embrace change.

Sustainability targets Good employer1

  • Improvement of occupational safety
  • Further development of corporate culture

1 Operationalisation of the sustainability targets defined in 2014 can be found in section “Development of a sustainability strategy”

Identifying and managing challenges

The success of the KION Group and Linde Material Handling is based on the capabilities and the dedication and commitment of its employees. The human resource strategy of the Group is directed towards supporting advanced strategic development and international growth in the best possible way. Linde Material Handling intends to employ an adequate number of qualified and committed employees on all operational levels and at all times, and to offer them attractive working conditions and perspectives in an international group of companies.

Key challenges

Key challenges for human resources are the increasing international nature and complexity of the Company. At the same time, the coming years will see the impacts of demographic change undergo a tangible increase, particularly in Germany and Europe. Appointment of qualified employees to specialist and management positions is therefore a factor that is critical to the success of the KION Group. Recruitment and development of the appropriate specialists and managers of the future is a focus of group-wide work in human resources.

Gender ratio total (in %)

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Gender ratio total (in %) (pie chart)

The KION Group meets the challenges of demographic change with working conditions and healthcare programmes geared to different life phases, alongside models for phased-in retirement. This approach enables the valuable experience of older employees to be retained within the Company. In 2014, 16% of the employees were female – a proportion that should be increased further in the future. This will be driven forward by family-friendly framework conditions and strategic promotion of female staff. During the year under review, 320 employees took parental leave (of which 63% were male).

In 2014, 6% of our 126 executive employees were female – a proportion that will undoubtedly be expanded. In 2014, one out of five members of the Management Board were female, two out of 12 members of the Supervisory Board were women.

Principles and instruments for work in human resources

The principles applicable for work in human resources at Linde Material Handling across the world are anchored in the following reference standards:

  • HR Policy Employment Standards: Define the minimum social standards for hiring employees based on the core working standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
  • Health, Safety and Environment Policy: Guideline on workplace safety, health and environmental protection relating to employees, customers and the general public.
  • Diversity Principles: Commitment to diversity within the Company.

Linde uses this platform to implement its targets for work in human resources and in health and safety using the following systems and instruments:

Targets and measures in personnel management

Personnel targets

System and instruments


  • Employee standards
  • LMH guiding principles

Ensuring talented staff for the future

  • Dual occupational training
  • Dual degree courses in cooperation with different universities
  • School work placements and student internships

Qualification and human resource development

  • Continuous and flexible advanced training
  • Talent management programmes
  • “KION Campus” for management development in cooperation with the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT)

Performance and participation

  • Annual performance assessment
  • Staff survey
  • KION Employee Equity Program (KEEP)
  • KION Long Term Incentive Plan for Top Management (“LIFT”)

Health and safety

  • Internal HSE audit programme at all production locations
  • Integrated management of environmental and occupational safety
  • Promotion and training sessions for safety culture
  • Healthcare promotion programme for employees

Mobility and intercultural management

  • Linde Mobility Programme


  • Recruitment and development of talented female employees
  • Flexible working time models for parents and older employees

In 2014, one case of discrimination was notified within Linde Material Handling, although this had been fully resolved by the time this report was published.

Employment development

At the end of the year under review, 13,945* employees (full-time equivalents, FTE) were working in the segment Linde Material Handling (not including apprentices). This is 1% more than in the previous year. 12,144 employees (FTE) were working in the companies included in the report. Of these, 168 employees were temporary (contracts with a term of less than two years). In Germany, out of 2,877 employees 56.3% were industrial, 34.0% were commercial and 9.7% were trainees or interns. Turnover rate worldwide was 7.1% (Europe: 5.9%). Worldwide termination rate was 3.5% (Europe 2.2%). Personnel expenses incurred worldwide at Linde Material Handling amounted to € 623 million* in 2014.

Our employees were 40 years old on average. The biggest group of our employees at 15% were in the age range 31 to 35 years. 29.4% of executive employees were in the age range between 46 and 50 years old. The average length of service was 11 years. As an answer to demographic change Linde consists of a balanced personnel structure and high employee loyalty. Linde Material Handling employed nearly 4% temporary staff worldwide to provide sufficient capacity for production peaks. Nearly 58% of our employees worldwide are covered by collective payscale agreements. In 2014, there was no case of denying the right to participate in collective payscale agreements. Linde Material Handling employed 238 people with disabilities worldwide. The disabled employee quota in Germany was approximately 5%.

Age structure at Linde (in %)

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Age structure at Linde (in %) (bar chart)

Age groups for executive 
employees (in %)

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Age groups for executive employees (in %) (bar chart)

Service life by years (in %)

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Service life by years (in %) (bar chart)

Employees leaving the Company 
by age (in %)

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Employees leaving the Company by age (in %) (bar chart)