Our people – our strength

Our employees and associates are the most important reason for our success. Through our open company culture we operate with the help of our Group Values: Team Spirit, Customer Focus, Responsibility and Entrepreneurship and our Leadership Principles: Cool Head, Warm Heart, Working Hands.

Our people – our strength

Every day, more than 700,000 people, either employees or associates, are part of the Adecco Group. To remain the leader in our industry, it is one of our main priorities to help them progress their careers according to their individual aspirations and potential. Their development contributes to the success of our business every day. Our approach to training and career development is one of the reasons the Adecco Group is able to attract, motivate and retain talented employees and associates.

Talent identification

Against a background of constant social evolution, volatile markets and ever-changing organisational set-ups, one of the critical challenges we face is to ensure that we have a supply of suitable individuals ready to move into leadership roles. We manage this by continuously identifying and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow through an integrated approach to talent management. By regularly holding talent reviews at country, functional and Group level, we create visibility for global talent pools. The talent review process helps identify employees who would benefit from international assignments in country organisations and at Group Headquarters, and who have the potential to offer key contributions to sustain our business performance across geographical regions. The talent review process has now been cascaded down to branch level and is one of our most important tools in developing our employees.

Leadership development

Adecco’s investment in leadership development is long-standing. Over the past six years we have taken more than 500 of our high potential future leaders through the Adecco Leadership Programme (ALP) at IMD business school in Lausanne, Switzerland.

In order to remain innovative and on top of our industry, a new programme, “AdeccoI3“, has been developed together with IMD business school. This management programme builds on what we have learnt from ALP and the feedback from the participants. Together we have redeveloped a leadership programme which delivers cutting-edge theory and experiences to best equip Adecco leaders to live the values of the Group and grow personally during their careers. The first session of the programme was run in October 2010 with excellent results and feedback from the participants.

In addition, a senior leadership programme has been developed with INSEAD business school in France aimed at top management. The first programme was run in October 2010 with 26 participants from 14 countries, including three Executive Committee members.

In 2010 Adecco Group was recognised as one of the top three companies for its approach to talent management in a study by the University of Innsbruck, Austria, which focused on Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and with more than 60% of SMI, DAX and ATX listed companies participating.

Short-Term Exchange Programme

In addition to vocational training, Adecco has developed a short-term exchange programme, which will give our top performers at branch level the opportunity to gain work experience in another country. This is done through an exchange with another employee doing the same job. The first pilots are on going.

Associate development

Training for associates is of high priority. The training available to them is diverse, reflecting local market needs. E-learning is widely used in many countries, both for employees and associates.

With our international mobility programme for associates, we are opening up mobility opportunities worldwide by finding work for people across borders. Since the beginning of 2006, Adecco has helped more than 2,000 people from around 25 countries move internationally in order to take up employment opportunities.

People involved in this programme come from a very wide range of vocational backgrounds, including technical and industrial workers, engineers, IT specialists, as well as healthcare and catering industry personnel. The sheer diversity of skills and professions on offer gives us a competitive advantage. As we seek to expand career development opportunities, we are increasingly measuring the length and nature of the relationship between our clients and the associates working for Adecco.

Equal treatment and diversity

In Adecco we foster a culture of equal opportunity, good training and career possibilities regardless of gender, age, disabilities or ethnic background. We see diversity as a great competitive advantage. Over time the demographics of our associates and clients have changed and today are very different from just a few years ago. It is important for us to follow this development closely and create a workforce that is diverse and meets the changing needs of our customers.

Diversity awards received in North America in 2010:

  • Adecco selected as one of the Top 50 Employers for Workers Over 50 by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
  • Veteran Employer of the Year in Massachusetts awarded by the National Economic Development Commission of The American Legion in 2010
  • Adecco named Age Friendly Employer by Retirementjobs.com in October 2010
  • Recognized by South Huntington School District for our participation in local mentoring program with students
  • Adecco awarded the Champions of Diversity Award by the New York Urban League


Our goal is to be recognised as an employer of choice, not just in our own industry, but alongside other world-leading companies. The Great Place to Work® Trust Index© is an employee survey tool that measures the level of trust, pride and camaraderie within workplaces, a survey in which we have participated since 2004. In 2010/2011, 17 Adecco countries will participate. In 2010 DIS AG in Germany ranked fifth on the European Best Workplaces list.

In 2010, The Sunday Times ranked Office Angels (an Adecco brand in the UK) sixth in its list of Best Companies to Work For in the UK for the third time. The secret to these successes is our company culture of entrepreneurship and openness, which is common to Adecco all around the world.

It is evident that people are our strength. By investing in our people, measuring our returns on these investments and continually developing new ways to meet personal aspirations and potential, we believe that the more than 700,000 people who work with us will continue to be what makes Adecco Group a sustainable and successful company in the future.

Our Core Values

During 2010, our core values: Team Spirit, Customer Focus, Responsibility and Entrepreneurship, were rolled out across the Group with a kick-off at the Management Conference in January 2010.

To bring to life our core values, an internal initiative “Win 4 Youth” was launched in 2010. Employees took part in running events right across the globe in an excellent demonstration of team spirit. Over 700 clients joined in at the invitation of colleagues who clearly showed customer focus. With 228,002 kilometres run for a good cause, the sense of responsibility was overwhelming. Entrepreneurship resulted in hundreds of running events being organised to add kilometres and dollars to the grand total – a donation to six charitable foundations.

In the end it all comes down to this: our people are our strength and it is only with continued attention to their needs that we will remain successful in the future.