Article: Adidas 5 year HR strategy: Blending people with business objectives

Strategic HR

Adidas 5 year HR strategy: Blending people with business objectives

Few companies choose to have a long-term HR strategy, but Adidas Group has planned a multiyear strategy and it’s for all to see and learn from.
Adidas 5 year HR strategy: Blending people with business objectives

Adidas’ 5 year HR strategy is public. The organization has thoughtfully invested in a long-term strategy. The premium sportswear brand has believed in the ‘Culture is King’ corporate philosophy. The company’s multiyear HR strategy, ‘New Way of Working’ (NWoW), hopes to positively influence the organization’s work culture and employee performance. Adidas has incorporated People Strategy as a part of its new business strategy plan ‘Creating the New’ which will stay in effect until 2020. 

Last month, tech-giant Google was in the news for making its HR policies public. By promoting transparency, organizations build trust and boost employee performance. Becoming a leader in the premium sports goods industry was possible for Adidas because of its exceptional leadership and friendly work culture.

With this strategy, Adidas Group promotes innovation, performance, diversity and in a corporate culture of performance, passion, integrity and diversity, as they are convinced this is crucial to stimulate innovation, team spirit and engagement. Gregg Tate, Adidas Group’s senior VP HR, explains how their new strategy will enhance the organization’s output. “It’s not only and objective of HR but of each and every leader within the company, and is one of the four pillars of the five-year business plan,” he said.

“With the launch of the Creating the New, we have also, for the first time, launched a People Strategy,” said Tate.

“This People Strategy, with its four pillars, provides a framework for global and functional initiatives that enable our people to implement the company strategy and better achieve, and exceed, our objectives.”

The following are the ‘four pillars’ of the Adidas’ People Strategy:

1. Meaningful reasons to join and stay

Adidas sets itself apart from majority of the employers by giving its prospective employers the right reasons and personalized choices to join the organization.

2. Role models who inspire us

Adidas’ cultural attributes are personified by internal role models, often leaders within the organization’ who exemplify it for rest of the employees and in the process inspire them.

3. Bring forward fresh and diverse perspectives

Adidas amalgamates the strengths of diverse teams to encourage innovation. Adidas is aware that it has a large base of customers from diverse cultures and countries, and therefore the organization’s culture must reflect the same. A diverse employee base would help the organization cater to the diverse needs of its customers.

4. Creative climate to make a difference

At Adidas, leaders help the employees develop their abilities to the fullest. The organization’s attractive work environment inspires innovation, engagement and teamwork. To highlight the importance of innovation for Adidas, CEO Herbert Hainer said “In my opinion this industry is clearly product driven, and product is innovation. We can see it at the moment with the tough [economic times], consumption is going down, the consumer is very cautious, [yet] we’re still bringing products to the market that are selling like hot-cakes. For example the new golf driver, the R9, which has adjustable angle, came out in February and within a week was the most sold driver in the industry. This clearly shows that when you’re able to bring innovative products to the market, the consumers are still there and still want to buy.”

Leaders must realize that for organizations to be customer-centric, they must strive to have an employee-centric organization which would thereby help them to achieve their business objectives. 

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Topics: Strategic HR, Employee Engagement

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