Industry sector: Sporting Goods
Country: International
Number of employees: 10 000

To continue building on its global success PUMA needed to identify, retain and develop talented employees with the potential to drive the business forward. However, lack of a consistent talent management strategy across the organization was making this difficult. “Our main priority was to find and retain the right people for our key positions,” explains Dr Wolf-Bertram von Bismarck, Director of Corporate Human Resources at PUMA.

The company was also keen to promote more of its existing employees to senior roles. This would not only improve staff retention by offering greater career progression but would also reduce costs and reliance on external recruitment agents. Employees would need personal development plans and support as they took on roles with greater responsibility. In a lifestyle company like PUMA where the average age is under 30, employees move into management roles at a comparatively young age. PUMA needed to focus its training budget in a way that would help these new managers acquire the skills they needed quickly.

Setting the scene

PUMA‘s association with unforgettable sporting achievements was reinforced when Usain Bolt won the 100 metres gold at the 2008 Olympic Games and set a new world record in PUMA Theseus II spikes. PUMA’s aim is to become the most desirable sport lifestyle brand in the world. It has evolved over the past 15 years from a straightforward sporting goods company of 1,000 people into a global corporation with over 10,000 employees. Today it designs, develops and markets a wide range of shoes, clothing and accessories, and distributes its products in over 130 countries. Its revenues for fiscal year 2008 were over € 2.5 billion.

Inspiring solutions

PUMA‘s corporate HR team worked closely with external consultants and local HR managers to define the business requirements. The system, known as people@puma, would cover the complete talent management process from performance management through to competency reviews and development evaluations. The company chose Lumesse* Talent Management because of its user-friendliness and flexibility and because it offered a module for every element of the talent management process. It was quick and easy to roll out with little programming work needed.

Integration with other systems, like SAP for payroll, was straightforward.

For the first time, PUMA has been able to set up consistent talent management processes throughout the organisation. Every employee now has an annual appraisal to assess performance and potential and create a personal development plan. The Lumesse self-service capability means that the employee, his or her manager and HR can all contribute. Role-based access controls help keep data secure and let each business unit manager call up the appraisals for his or her staff at the touch of a button. The talent management solution gives senior management and the board a complete view of employees‘ performance and potential across the PUMA group. This means PUMA managers can more easily analyse and compare compensation packages, allowances and bonuses.

The solution is delivering all the desired functionality at every stage of the talent management process. Local HR managers have been quick to appreciate the advantages of the company-wide Lumesse solution.

Fantastic outcomes

PUMA is reducing its costs and reliance on external recruitment agencies by improving staff retention and promoting from within. Most importantly it can now readily identify the talented individuals who are key to its future success. PUMA can groom employees for management positions and provide them with targeted training and support as they take on senior roles. A bonus scheme that rewards length of service further incentivises talented individuals to stay with the company. “With people@puma we can nurture valuable talent within the organisation in a focused and differentiated way,“ says Dr Bismarck.

Effective talent management is a critical activity for any company. “Our talent management solution is a key component of our employment strategy,“ confirms Dr Bismarck. “It lets us accurately identify key people and manage their personal development and career progression within the company. We have a true win-win situation, where both the company and our employees benefit.”