Responsible Employer

The HR principles upheld across the KION Group are defined in relevant policies and include minimum standards for employment and diversity. These principles also govern the work of HR teams, e.g. in creating training and development programs, career opportunities, employee surveys, and employee share schemes. The KION Group Code of Compliance sets the legal and ethical standards to be upheld by all employees in their work.

Group-wide minimum employment standards, based on the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO), guarantee employees’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining, prohibit any form of forced or compulsory labor or child labor, and prevent any discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. They also define the central human rights standards that the KION Group has pledged to uphold. In addition, the KION Group maintains high standards of occupational health and safety worldwide, and is committed to providing remuneration that is in line with national industry standards and sufficient to guarantee a living wage. As in previous years, there were no cases of non-compliance with KION’s minimum employment standards reported in 2022.

A company’s employees are its most valuable resource and a sustainable HR strategy that values workers and their contribution is the best possible way of investing in them. STILL is committed to providing fair salaries that sit above the general pay scale and to actively shaping the future of its business for the benefit of its staff. This approach makes the company an extremely attractive employer and it is rewarded for its efforts with exceptional staff loyalty. Around half of the company’s staff have been working for the business for more than 10 years.

Great Place to Work

STILL has received many awards for its longstanding commitment to its employees. In 2021, the company was named a ‘Top Employer’ for the tenth time in a row by the renowned Top Employer Institute, which rates companies based on their HR strategy and employee focus. This rating is awarded based on a standardized set of criteria and an audit.

In 2022, STILL was also named a ‘Fair Company’ under the Fair Company initiative—Germany’s largest and best-known employer initiative committed to creating a fair and sustainable workplace. The initiative focuses specifically on career entrants and young professionals and aims to highlight companies that offer fair working conditions and development opportunities for young people.

Similarly, in November 2022, STILL GmbH was accredited by Schulewirtschaft Hamburg as a ‘Company with an outstanding commitment to career support and guidance’ in recognition of its proactive and consistent efforts to help young people preparing to enter the world of work.

STILL’s HR efforts have also been rewarded in other countries around the world. For example, the STILL factory in Luzzara, Italy, is the proud holder of the title of ‘Welfare Champion 2021’ – an accolade awarded annually by the Italian government to businesses that go above and beyond to promote the wellbeing of their employees. STILL even received the top score of five stars, putting it among the top two percent of businesses rated.

Remuneration and Additional Benefits

STILL understands that its employees are vital to its success; they are game changers in every sense of the word. The team spirit at STILL is something very special—unique to the industry even—and the company does everything it can to boost this sense of solidarity. This includes flexible working time models, modern and forward-thinking workplaces, fair renumeration, and a set of shared values centered around mutual respect and tolerance, which are firmly anchored in the corporate culture and also lived out in staff’s day-to-day interactions.

All employees are appropriately remunerated in line with the market and their performance. Renumeration levels are reviewed annually and adjusted as necessary to reflect individual performance and skills levels and other potential changes in circumstances. Renumeration models vary depending on national labor market conditions and legislation. In many countries—including those where large parts of STILL’s workforce are based—wages and salaries are governed by collective bargaining agreements. STILL always upholds the minimum renumeration levels stipulated in these agreements and usually pays significantly more, since many of its employees are highly qualified. Depending on the local situation, employees’ renumeration may be supplemented with additional benefits, e.g. pension plans, insurance policies, and healthcare cover. Since 2013, employees have also had the opportunity to share in the KION Group’s success through the KION Employee Equity Program—or KEEP for short.

Employees Covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement
2022 2021 2020
84.3% 82.4% 85%

In addition, employees receive a voluntary annual bonus, which is based on various factors including the individual employee’s pay grade and the extent to which their area of the business has met its targets.

Parents in Germany are entitled to up to three years’ parental leave following the birth of their child. A complete set of information materials on this subject has been updated and made available to new parents to ensure they receive the best possible support before, during, and on their return from parental leave. STILL also allows employees to offset their supplementary T-Zug payment against additional days’ leave to care for children and other family members.

Flexible Working Arrangements

As supportive employer, STILL has devised a mobile working policy that gives employees greater freedom to shape their own working hours and choose their place of work. Having greater responsibility for organizing and performing their own duties means staff are happier at work, which in turn means they are more productive and produce better results.

To enable employees to balance their work and family life, STILL upholds the following principles:

  • We support part-time working.
  • We offer flexible working time models.
  • We prioritize family-friendly meeting times.
  • We grant annual leave in school holidays.

The Co-Creation office planning project was also launched during the reporting year to facilitate further flexibility in the workplace. As part of this project, an initial needs analysis has already been conducted for a STILL administrative building in Hamburg, which will be modernized over the next 18 months with a brand-new layout designed to promote collaboration and creativity. The aim is to create a modern working environment that responds to a range of business needs, from quiet spaces for concentrated work on new content to inspiring and creative spaces for cross-team discussions. At the same time, the office should become a place where all staff can socialize and learn from one another.

The Co-Creation project is part of STILL’s overriding commitment to make its business a ‘Great Place to Work’. As part of this mission, the company also intends to roll out the new modular design for the Hamburg office across other office spaces at a later date.

Mental Health Support and Occupational Healthcare

In challenging socio-economic times, employees find themselves facing increased personal and professional problems. STILL offers MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) courses to help its employees manage their stress levels, as well as a wide range of free online options, including seated yoga for the workplace, quick exercises for home workers, an exercise routine to help with stress-relief, and meditation courses. To help it better understand its employees’ psychological wellbeing, STILL has also introduced a process to analyze employees’ mental health based on markers such as stress, mental fatigue, monotony, mental saturation, and emotional exhaustion.

In line with the German Ordinance on Preventive Occupational Health Care (ArbMedVV), STILL offers all staff a regular medical checkup every three years. These medical checkups are voluntary and employees are not required to have the checkups at a specific time. Mandatory medical checkups are organized for staff exposed to specific risks, e.g. long hours working in designated noisy areas or handling of certain hazardous substances, as identified by STILL’s safety specialists and company doctors.

Company sports are also offered as a form of preventative healthcare. Since 1997, these activities at STILL have been organized through a registered sports association. Sports activities generally take place outside of working hours and are designed to complement the offerings of conventional sports clubs. The main aim of company sports is for employees to enjoy getting some exercise and improve their fitness levels.

In addition, all employees—and their family members—can apply for a grant from the Hans STILL e. V. emergency fund to cover various services, including dentures, glasses, hearing aids, gravestones, and specific medical treatments.


Within a global corporation such as the KION Group, working conditions differ greatly from region to region. Nonetheless, the KION Group is committed to upholding binding standards in line with its social responsibilities towards all its employees. These standards, how they are implemented and monitored, and the relevant chains of responsibility are defined in the International Minimum Employment Standards (MES) Policy of the KION Group, which applies across all KION Group companies and is published in nine different languages.

In line with the KION Group Code of Compliance, this policy reaffirms that all employees should be receive appropriate remuneration and fair access to professional development opportunities regardless of their gender, nationality, skin color, culture, or religion.

Pay scale employees are graded according to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement concluded between IG Metall, the world’s largest trade union, and the Gesamtmetall employers’ federation. Pay grades reflect an employee’s complete job role and are assigned based on the fulfillment of the criteria for the relevant pay grade. To ensure transparency, all staff have access to a published copy of the relevant collective bargaining agreement.

The equal pay principle applies for all temporary workers. In production and logistics, temporary workers receive the hourly rate stipulated for the equivalent pay grade in the collective bargaining agreement.


Employees typically receive feedback on their professional conduct and performance from their line manager. One-to-one discussions between employee and line manager provide a formal mechanism for this. This single perspective is not, however, sufficient to capture the majority of social interactions within the company. STILL’s 360° feedback mechanism is a structured process designed to incorporate the views of colleagues and employees (in the case of managers), by inviting these groups to provide feedback on the individual under review. In the 360° system, managers receive feedback from three different perspectives. A fourth perspective—a self-assessment completed by the person under review—completes the process. This self-assessment is an opportunity for employees to compare their own perspective with those of others and reflect on the feedback provided, so that they can improve their self-awareness and identify ways to progress and improve.

Percentage of Employees across All Sites That Complete Regular Performance and Development Reviews
2022 2021 2020
94.7% 95.6% 100%


Transparent and constructive dialog with employees and a commitment to giving staff a voice have been cornerstones of STILL’s corporate culture ever since Hans Still first founded the company back in 1920. Over the years, these founding principles have grown in importance and today they are fundamental to STILL’s unique sense of team spirit.

The works council is central to promoting dialog and employee engagement within the company. The Management Board holds regularly workshops with the council’s elected employee representatives to discuss the latest issues raised by the trade unions and debate the interests of the different groups involved. As an elected body, the works council is responsible for representing all staff and their respective interests – that means all employee groups and also apprentices and staff members with disabilities. The council serves as a mouthpiece for employees and a link between them and the business. In doing so, it ensures that STILL complies with all European standards for employers and continues to generate attractive and secure jobs for future generations.

Sites Where over 75% of Employees Have Local Trade Union Representation
2022 2021 2020
60.6% 56.7% 56%

KION’s biannual campfire meetings provide a safe and confidential space where employees can share their questions, thoughts, and concerns with a member of the Executive Board in small groups of ten. Employees are encouraged to ask any questions they have about the company and provide feedback on areas for improvement or challenges that still need to be addressed.

Once a year, the KION Group also conducts its global KION Pulse employee survey. In 2022, 77% of employees took part in the survey and shared their feedback. The results of the survey are used to identify the right actions to take to further improve employee engagement and motivation.

Training and Professional Development

The KION Group understands that to secure a successful business future and retain valuable expertise, it needs to target the next generation today and equip them with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need. In Germany alone, around 50 apprentices and work placement students begin their careers at STILL every year. The company is currently working together with vocational training colleges and professional associations to train over 220 talented young people—both male and female in equal measure—across 15 commercial and business professions. STILL’s training is specifically tailored to industry requirements, meaning these young trainees are extremely well placed to find a job on completion of their training. In fact, STILL retains over 95% of its trainees.

Professional development is a central component of the KION Group’s HR strategy. In order to establish its long-term position as an attractive employer on the international market, STILL offers its employees a broad program of training opportunities. In addition to a wide range of specialist qualifications, this program includes management training for all management levels. Ranging from basic training to advanced courses for experienced managers with an international focus, this management training provision ensures that all managers have the skills they need to perform their role effectively.

Percentage of Employees across All Sites That Completed Professional Training Relevant to Their Role or Skills
2022 2021 2020
100% 100% 96%
Average Number of Hours Spent on Training and Development per Employee1
2022 2021 2020
13.12 10.93 8.93

[1] Based on data for KION organizations surveyed in the EMEA region
[2] Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, and the UK
[3] Germany, the UK, France, and Italy

The KION Group companies collaborate closely in terms of their talent management activities and training and development programs. A key component of this work is the OCTR (Organization Capability Talent Review) process – an integrated performance, talent, and succession management process covering all employees across the business (while also reflecting local legislative requirements). The OCTR supports the company’s performance management activities and promotes a rigorous feedback culture.

The first step in developing talent is to identify talented individuals and analyze their development needs and the opportunities available to them. In the case of the KION Group in Germany, the OCTR is used to select talented staff for the following development programs: EXPLORE, MOVE, Talent Pool, KION Transition to Management Program, and Female Mentoring Program; plus the new operations development program launched in December 2023, which supports proactive succession planning and aims to build up a pool of talented future managers for the operational arm of the business. A standardized training plan sets clear criteria for participant selection and defines a comprehensive training program.


Diversity, equal rights, and inclusion are all central principles that underpin STILL’s HR activities. Everyone has the same opportunity to realize their potential and develop their professional skills. It is essential that the dignity of every individual is respected and that all employees are valued, regardless of their gender, ethnic or religious background, age, cultural background, or other characteristics. To this end, STILL has regulations and policies in place that prohibit all forms of discrimination, bullying, and harassment within its business. All cases of misconduct are subject to disciplinary action, just as any other case of non-compliance with the KION Group Code of Compliance.

The compliance committee provides ongoing support and guidance for the employees affected, both during the processing/investigation of a reported case and also following the conclusion of the case (e.g. with mental health support). The committee also maintains contact with the HR department throughout the process, recommends disciplinary action where appropriate, facilitates communication, and coordinates any training if needed. Diversity issues are also covered in the mandatory compliance training that employees are required to complete each year on the topics of respect in the workplace and the prevention of discrimination and harassment.

Total Cases of Discrimination:
2022 2021 2020
0 0 0

Equal rights, respect, and tolerance are all central to STILL’s value system. A good example of these values in action is an awareness-raising event held in 2022 at STILL in Hamburg, when all staff came together to create a human chain as a symbol of respect in the workplace. They also all added their signature to a truck from the site’s own fleet, branded with the words #actwithrespect, which can now be seen working throughout the plant.

Awareness Month

The Diversity & Inclusion Council is a KION-wide body that works together with managers across all KION Operating Units/Group functions to devise, implement, and measure the long-term impact of initiatives to promote diversity, integration, and equal rights. One of its first initiatives is the KION Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Awareness Month, during which the company places a particular emphasis on celebrating differences, building an inclusive and respectful workplace culture, and promoting equality and fairness for all. All staff are encouraged to get involved and increase their understanding, by watching the keynote speeches broadcast worldwide, taking part in the many activities organized at the local sites, or even organizing their own initiatives. They are also invited to share their experiences and ideas with colleagues on social media using the hashtag #KIONisdiverse.

Increasing the Proportion of Female Employees

Studies show that mixed teams are significantly more successful; they produce better ideas and are more flexible in their response to customer requirements. In 2022, KION launched a new social media campaign aimed specifically at women. As part of this campaign, a trailblazing STILL employee was invited to give an interview to share her own personal experiences and increase female representation across the company. STILL also visits trade fairs, schools, and training events to promote the benefits of professions in the industrial and technical sectors and break down the misconception that these jobs are predominantly for men.

In 2022, STILL GmbH in Hamburg was rewarded for its efforts with the ‘MINT_Projekte für Mädchen & junge Frauen’ [STEM_Projects for young women and girls] prize in the ‘Das hat Potenzial!’ [That’s got potential!] competition, which promotes professional opportunities for young people across Germany. The need to promote the STEM professions as an attractive career option for young women and girls also plays an important role in STILL GmbH’s apprentice recruitment work. The company offers regular skills seminars for girls aged between 12 and 18, during which the girls work together in small groups to develop solutions to challenges and enjoy a shared sense of achievement. They also receive personal feedback designed to boost their confidence and learn about the different technical professions available to them, as well as the educational and training routes into these professions. These events are always attended by senior training staff, as well as apprentices and work placement students, who can talk to the girls from a shared perspective.

In addition, the Group-wide Female Mentoring Program supports women who are already in management roles or will be moving into management in the near future by promoting the mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences. Mentees on the program have the opportunity to gain new perspectives and develop both personally and professionally thanks to the personal support and advice of a trusted mentor.

Percentage of Female Employees
2022 2021 2020
13.7% 13.3% 13.7%


Everyone should have the opportunity to achieve their potential at work, which is why STILL is committed to creating accessible workplaces. The company’s internal representatives for disabled staff represent the interests of this employee group and are on hand to provide the company with relevant advice and support. They ensure that all applicable disability standards are met, petition the responsible internal or external bodies to take any necessary action, gather suggestions and register complaints, and work within the company to resolve these matters.

STILL is supported in its accessibility work by the organization ‘Elbe-Werkstätten’. STILL’s partnership with ‘Elbe-Werkstätten’ began back in the 1980s and this longstanding collaboration has been a resounding success. Today, disabled employees are fully integrated into the company’s workflows, with extremely positive results for both sides. STILL has gained some highly dedicated employees and ‘Elbe-Werkstätten’ have achieved their goal of normalizing workplaces where disabled and non-disabled people work side by side.

As a socially responsible employer, STILL is also committed to helping employees return to work after an accident or period of illness. In meeting its commitments in this area, the company works closely with the German Federal Employment Agency, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund [German Federal Pension Fund], and vocational rehabilitation training institutions. STILL offers a practical phased return to work, which allows employees—whose valuable professional experience would otherwise be lost—to re-orientate themselves and integrate back into the workplace.

Human Rights

The KION Group’s International Minimum Employment Standards (MES) Policy, which was put in place in 2014, anchors generally recognized human rights standards and the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) at the heart of all of the Group’s working relationships. It is essential that the Group scrutinizes its own conduct, identifies potential risks for employees, and monitors compliance with the standards it has set for itself. To this end, the Group employs various active and passive monitoring mechanisms, e.g. checks on personal data and requested information; surveys conducted as part of audits by the Group internal audit department; and checks on information submitted via the KION compliance management system and the whistleblower hotline in particular. All employees and individuals, both external and internal to the company, are expected to report compliance-related matters and cases of non-compliance, including child labor, slavery, and/or human trafficking.

Cases of Forced or Compulsory Labor
2022 2021 2020
0 0 0

STILL verifies the age of all job applicants prior to their recruitment by cross-checking this information against their social security number. STILL also has training and workplace safety teams in place to look after young employees.

School-Age Employees
2022 2021 2020
0 0 0

KION’s minimum employment standards underline the principle of equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. STILL also conducts regular equal pay reviews.

The KION Group sustainability report and data are reviewed annually by independent auditors. They also perform on-site inspections at different locations each year to verify that the data are correct and that all regulations are being observed. All sites underwent a human rights audit in 2022.