HR Policies

As of end-2020, Sabancı Group provided employment opportunities to more than 60 thousand people, including subcontractor employees.

In the new normal, Sabancı Group Companies foresaw what the new working principles would be, not limited to working remotely, considering 7 defined holistic core dimensions of “Future of Work” both in their industries and their current adaptation plans of the future way of doing business.

Placing equal opportunity and diversity at the center of its sustainability approach, Sabancı Holding leads the way forward with its commitments and targets.

As of the end-2020, Sabancı Group has provided employment opportunity to more than 60 thousand people, including subcontractors’ employees. 30% of employees and 38% of managers are women. About 74% of all white collar employees are from Generation Y. Sabancı Group is powered by the highly diverse  features and capabilities of its top-caliber human resources.

Human Resources Strategy Management

Sabancı Group designed its human resources strategies in line with the Sabancı of New Generation vision to become an organization that is:


The Group aims to maintain its position as the “Employer of Choice” in a continuous and sustainable way.

In all its human resources efforts, Sabancı Group takes into consideration the 4th (Quality Education) and 8th (Decent Work and Economic Growth) Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In matters related to equality and diversity within the organization, the Group references the 5th (Gender Equality) and 10th (Reduced Inequalities) Sustainable Development Goals.

Adapting to the Future of Work

Sabancı Group’s sustainability perspective is based on human capital. The Group maintains its position as the “Employer of Choice” by providing equal, fair and safe workplaces that help employees realize their potential. Sabancı Group prepares its employees for the future of work and aims to attract the best talent to the organization in line with the Sabancı of New Generation vision. Employee performance is managed with accurate planning, succession and career management efforts. Career and development plans are formulated around the Sabancı Leadership Model.

In the new normal, Sabancı Group Companies foresaw what the new working principles would be, not limited to working remotely, considering 7 defined holistic core dimensions of “Future of Work” both in their industries and their current adaptation plans of the future way of doing business. All have started to “Future of Work” projects in 2020 in order to achieve their targets defined under 7 core dimensions. Each of group companies will be expected to set implementation plans and the governance model required to taking actions into live in 2021.

Adaptation Model for the Future of Our Work

  • Remote Work
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Flexible and High Performance Workspace
  • New Talent and Skill Paradigm
  • Leadership with Head, Heart and Hands
  • Purpose-Driven Organization and Culture
  • Resilient and agile organization

Culture Management

To spread the culture, values and competencies that comprise the Sabancı of New Generation vision, Sabancı Group developed and implemented all human resources procedures and systems in line with this perspective in 2020 similar to last 2 years. The Group conducted various projects and programs to spread the culture and values that make up Sabancı of New Generation across the entire organization. Outstanding projects were recognized with awards. Best practices that set an example were communicated at different channels.

To measure the culture and values in terms of deployment, ownership and observability, Sabancı Group carried out the Culture and Values Pulse Survey with the participation of different employee groups from each company, regardless of job position and experience. The general average score of the 1,000 survey respondents regarding the deployment, ownership and observability of the culture and values was 4.2/6.0. 88% of employee survey participants responded positively to the deployment, ownership and observability of Sabancı of New Generation culture and values.

Organizational climate, leadership styles and employee engagement

Aiming to receive employee feedback and identify ways to improve employee engagement, Sabancı Group regularly measures employee engagement and satisfaction via independent firms. Survey results are evaluated in terms of engagement, agility, leadership, talent focus and employee experience. In addition, employee feedback on the organizational climate and the leadership styles of the management team, which have the greatest impact on this climate, are measured by independent firms each year. Leadership style results are a key input to the annual “People and Organization” performance target of the Group’s executive management.

In line with the Sabancı of New Generation vision, Sabancı Agile Collaboration Process - X-Teams - was launched to reflect the values of continuous development, passion, inclusion and courage. X-Teams process aims to implement business development projects that will support Sabancı Holding X+5 strategic plan with agile working models.

Sabancı Agile Collaboration System: X-Teams

In line with the Sabancı of New Generation vision, Sabancı Agile Collaboration Process - X-Teams ­was launched to reflect the values of continuous development, passion, inclusion and courage. X-Teams process aims to implement business development projects that will support the X+5 strategic plan with agile working models. As part of this effort, Sabancı Holding Executive Committee Members and the General Managers of Group companies participated in the Agility Workshop. X-Teams received training on Agile Working Principles and coaching on implementing these principles. In the X-Teams process in 2020, a total of two cycles were completed; each project cycle lasted three months.

With the participation of 208 people from various Group companies, across various functions and at various hierarchical levels, a total of 20 X-Teams were formed at Sabancı Group in 2020.

Sabancı Talks

The Group places great importance on Sabancı of New Generation’s value of sincerity. The Sabancı Talks series are designed to foster this key value while supporting Group employees and their families. This year, the series was held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Sabancı Talks conducted eight events featuring messages from executive management, talks with guests outside the organization as well as concerts. Overall, these various events were viewed 106,756 times.

DnA (Digital and Analytics) Community

Established in 2019, the DnA Community and DnA Platform enable highly competent Sabancı Group employees working in data analytics field to share know-how and support the continuous development of Data Analytics and Digital focused projects across the organization. Growing to 300 members in 2020, the DnA Platform ensures that projects developed within the Group are transformed into learning experiences together. DnA Community meetings, held eight times since its start, have hosted many physical and digital development initiatives. These include 15 data analytics presentations, hackathon and a Design Thinking workshop featuring 26 renowned speakers in the field of data analytics and digitalization. In 2020, for the first time the DnA platform hosted an awards ceremony for the Highest Value Creating Project and the Highest Value Creating Company in data analytics across the Group. In 2020, when remote working was widely implemented due to the pandemic, Perfx’s flexibility and technological capabilities enabled the Group to take quick action in terms of ensuring effective performance management.

Performance Management: Perfx

Performance culture is one of the core principles that create added value in Sabancı Group’s X+5 strategic plan. In line with this strategic priority and with the participation of employees from all Group companies, Sabancı Group developed a contemporary, agile and flexible performance management approach. This collaborative and transparent approach is designed to effectively support Group and corporate strategies, commitments and goals, objectives and key results  (OKR).

Perfx, a new performance management software system, is also accessible on different platforms. In 2020, this new performance system was implemented to make “Performance Culture” an integral part of working life and to accelerate the adoption of the new performance approach across Sabancı Group. Perfx was developed and installed with the support of SabancıDx and started to be used by all Group companies during the year. In 2020, when remote working was widely implemented due to the pandemic, Perfx’s flexibility and technological capabilities enabled the Group to take quick action in terms of ensuring effective performance management. To minimize issues that can be experienced during remote working and make performance tracking sustainable, Task Management and Instant Mobile Notification functions were introduced in Perfx. The Task Management function aims to ensure that employees can manage their tasks remotely, inform their managers about their respective tasks and not miss task deadlines.

The “instant mobile notification” function provides white collar employees with the opportunity to receive instant mobile notifications when they lack access to a desktop computer.

Sabancı Social

Sabancı Group established an internal digital social network platform – Sabancı Social. The platform was made available to 10,500 Group employees. Sabancı Social was developed in line with the “Human Resources” and “Creating Value from the Ecosystem” components of the Sabancı of New Generation vision. The platform aims to ensure that Group employees communicate and collaborate with each other effectively in a digital environment. Sabancı Social was designed to maintain the core values of sincerity, continuous development and inclusion. The digital platform can be accessed easily via a mobile app as well as web browsers. Sabancı Social allows employees to access the latest news on Sabancı Group and its companies. Users can also obtain information on career opportunities at companies across Sabancı Group. With more than 100 job adverts published in 2020 for different companies and functions in the Group, Sabancı Group employees were provided with the pportunity to experience different career paths. The platform also enabled employees to socialize with each other through more than 50 groups while learning from each other.

Short-Term and Long-Term Incentive System

Sabancı Group’s Short-Term Incentive System aims to help companies attain their budget goals and outperform their business results targets. The system is also designed to encourage employees to demonstrate superior performance and foster a target-oriented performance culture. For top management positions, a long-term incentive plan boosts the company’s share value and helps senior managers gain a shareholder’s perspective. Long-term performance and consistency are rewarded at Sabancı Group.

11th Golden Collar Awards

A key part of the Recognition & Appreciation systems, the 11th edition of the Sabancı Golden Collar Awards was held online in October 2020. 148 projects among the Group companies competed in categories such as “Sabancı of New Generation,” “Innovation,” “Customer Experience,” “Lean Transformation & Continuous Development” and “Digitalization.” Award winners are selected on the basis of Group employee voting. On behalf of the award­winning projects at the Golden Collar Awards, donations are made to NGOs determined in conjunction with Sabancı Foundation.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Ensuring diversity in the workplace and providing all employees with equal rights and opportunities fosters a positive work environment while also contributing to socio-economic development. Any type of discrimination between employees of Sabancı Group based on language, race, skin color, gender, political thought, faith, religion, denomination, age, physical disability or similar reasons is not tolerated. Sabancı Group has also agreed to the Declaration of Equality at Work. Establishing and maintaining a fair working environment for employees is a top priority at Group companies. To ensure the effective participation of women, young people and disabled individuals at Group companies, Sabancı Group implements practices that encourage these target groups to participate while offering equal employment opportunities. The Group provides full support to the Business Against Domestic Violence (BADV) initiative executed by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum. Sabancı Group also provides Gender Equality Trainings across the organization. The Group offers and regularly reviews physical facilities necessary for disabled employees to work effectively.

Talent Management

Employer Brand Management and Talent Acquisition

Employer Brand

Having a strong employer brand perception among both professionals and university students, Sabancı Group maintained its high position in all categories in the list of employers preferred by students according to the “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2020” Research of Universum, one of the world’s most well-known research institutions in this area.

New Generation Career Experience Program

During the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, Sabancı Group launched the New Generation Career Experience Program to provide third and fourth year university students with the opportunity to work on digital based projects. In August 2020, 36 university students, of whom 42% are women, residing in 16 different provinces across Turkey participated in various digital development programs. The participants graduated from the program by experiencing different elements of the Sabancı Ecosystem. In October, the Group commenced efforts to develop the 6-month version of the program. Selection and placement for the longer edition of program was completed during the year. The Group aims to initiate the 6-month program in January 2021.

The process of the Organizational People Review (OPR) - which forms the foundation of sustainable human resources at Sabancı Group - was conducted again in 2020 in line with potential assessment, succession principles and organizational healthiness criteria in compliance with “Sabancı Leadership Model.”

Group Internal Job Posting System: Career at Sabancı

At Sabancı Group, vacant job positions are firstly shared with Group employees. Application and candidate nomination processes are conducted on the internal portal Career at Sabancı. The portal allows Sabancı Group employees to experience different sectors, companies and functions within the Group on their career paths.

Organizational People Review (OPR)

The process of the Organizational People Review (OPR) - which forms the foundation of sustainable human resources at Sabancı Group and where all components of talent management on company basis are evaluated each year - was conducted again in 2020 on a company basis. The review was executed in line with potential assessment, succession principles and organizational healthiness criteria in compliance with the “Sabancı Leadership Model.” The Sabancı Leadership Model Establishes from the Competency Model that forms the Sabancı of New Generation vision and traits, drivers and experiences in a holistic manner. Sabancı Leadership Model aims to better determine the potential of employees within the Group and their readiness for higher leadership roles while supporting their career plans and developments with rational criteria.

Sabancı Competency Model

  • Value Drive Competencies
  • Leadership Drive Competencies
  • Performance Drive  Competencies

Sabancı People Review (SAPR) for Top Management

The OBP process continued with the Sabancı People Review (SAPR) for top management of the Group. For critical positions, internal and intercompany succession plans and development plans for successors were created. These plans are monitored regularly. Critical success factors were evaluated with an approach that promotes diversity and inclusion in the workplace to further consolidate the Group’s succession plans.

Continuous Learning and Development Management

The development programs currently being implemented across the Group are based on the competency model created according to the Sabancı of New Generation vision. These development programs are specially aimed at supporting the components of the Sabancı Leadership Model. In line with the core value of continuous development, the Group fully digitized all its learning and development initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, new programs were introduced for the entire Group this year.


The X-CELERATE program aims to accelerate the development of top management within the framework of the strategy, culture, values and the Sabancı Leadership Model defined in line with the vision of Sabancı of New Generation. Initiated in 2018 for the General Managers of Group companies, the program was expanded to include Deputy General Managers/Directors in 2020 and held as virtual instructor led classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. X-CELERATE consists of three modules and is designed as an 8-month journey. The program features many different learning methods - ranging from virtual instructor led classes to personal developmental coaching sessions, company immersions for sharing know-how to business simulation tools.

Aiming to further support X-CELERATE’s top manager graduates in their development journey, Sabancı Group organized the first module of the X-CELERATE NEXT program. Under the initial installment of X-CELERATE NEXT, the topic of “COVID-19 and Leadership” was the first on the training agenda. Virtual trainings were organized with the participation of local and foreign consultants. X-CELERATE NEXT will commence in 2021 with four different focus areas.


The X-POSURE program was developed in 2019 to improve the leadership potential of Sabancı Group mid-level managers. The 1.5-year training journey features three modules. X-POSURE includes in-class training, webinars, coaching sessions and business simulation practices led by expert instructors. The program also utilizes other diverse learning methods. X-POSURE’s first class of 21 participants graduated in December 2020. A 6-month mentoring program further supports new X-POSURE graduates. In 2021, X-POSURE is planned to continue with its second group.

Talent Pool of Next (TP-X)

In 2019, Sabancı Group developed the Talent Pool of Next (TP-X) program to improve the leadership skills of high potential talent who are almost new on their business careers and are also new to the Group. TP-X is a 1.5-year training journey and features three modules. The program includes webinars, development coaching and business simulation practices with expert trainers. TP-X also utilizes other diverse learning methods. TP-X’s first class of 20 participants graduated in December 2020. A 6-month mentoring program further supports the new TP-X graduates. In 2021, TP-X is planned to continue with its second group.


To analyze potential future scenarios during the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare Group employees for the present as well as the future, Sabancı Group introduced the “X-TEND Online Development Program” in 2020. Many instructors with notable local and international achievements featured in the program. X-TEND was open to all Group employees.

Training Program on Ethics and Data Protection

Besides protecting the companies and employees, Sabancı Group Business Ethics Code (SA-ETHIC) serves as a guide to the employees regarding the laws, regulations and internal procedures that are decisive in all activities. All new employees in the Group receive the SA-ETHICS training. The university students participating in the New Generation Career Experience Program also receive SA-ETHICS training as well. To continuously update their know-how on SA-ETHICS and raise awareness, current employees join a regular refreshment training every year. At the end of these trainings, written and signed documents which include the statements for compliance with SA-ETHICS are obtained from the employees. The “Personal Data Protection” training, which is held to provide information and raise awareness on Personal Data Protection, continues to be held in Group companies via the online training platform.

Labor Relations Management and Legal Compliance

Labor Relations Management

The researches conducted in Turkey and the world on the changes in working life, statistical data, trends and the legal and administrative regulations in Turkey and the world are shared with all stakeholders via circulars, notification e-mails and the labor relations portal. The information shared is used in human resources planning, development of good practices and determination of labor relations standards. All legislative amendments and developments that affect work life are closely monitored. Sabancı Group companies are informed on proactive measures against the risks that may arise. The Group makes use of all opportunities and incentives, including flexible working models, presented by labor legislation. Developments in this area are closely monitored.

Within the scope of legal regulations that support the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and minimize its potential financial consequences, advisory services are provided on remote working, short-time working pay and financial aid support in line with the priorities of Group companies. In accordance with the regulations that are specified in the labor legislation and which take into account the circumstances of this period, necessary initiatives were taken to benefit from flexible working models and incentives.

Sabancı Group respects the rights of its employees in union organizations and collective bargaining agreements. We take an unbiased approach in the union selection and union organization process of our employees. Currently, 92% of our blue-collar employees are affiliated with a union. Effective cooperation and dialogue platform is being established to ensure improvement and continuance of labor peace together with employee and employer unions.

As the leader of TÜSİAD Employment and Social Security Working Group, Sabancı Group prepared a webinar series to inform the private sector on labor legislation. The series was developed in collaboration with academics and leading companies of the sector. Sabancı Group also contributes to TÜSİAD’s opinion-making process on developments in Turkey and worldwide regarding labor legislation.

Employee Health and Occupational Safety

Employee health and safety is regarded as a natural part of the work-life and the corporate culture in Sabancı Group and aimed to be improved continuously. Employee health and safety applications are carried out under relevant legal and regulatory requirements, obligations and standards; national and global trends and best practices in this field are constantly monitored and being adapted at the same time. In all our activities, the potential risks are analyzed in advance and proactive approaches to prevent these risks are adopted. Employee health and safety refresher training is provided to all employees upon recruitment and at certain intervals thereafter. Sabancı Group aims to standardize and continuously improve employee health and safety practices via the sharing of information and experience. The Group extends this compliance and pursuit of excellence toward its workforce and all stakeholders.

Aiming to achieve a “zero-accident workplace” no fatal accidents occurred in 2020 at Sabancı Group.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Sabancı Group closely monitored developments in Turkey and around the world. From day one, the Group proactively took all necessary precautionary and preventive measures. After the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, an Emergency Management Committee chaired by the CEO of Sabancı Holding was formed to ensure unified implementation across Group companies with an agile crisis management approach. The Committee strived to safeguard employee health and ensure business continuity in a balanced manner.

Sabancı Group sees providing accurate and timely information on pandemic-related developments, maintaining a unified approach and consistent implementation across Group companies, and reacting immediately to urgent developments as top priorities. Prescribed measures related to employee health by relevant national and international organizations are regularly shared with Sabancı Center and Group companies. The Group worked to ensure that workplace conditions were adapted to these prescribed measures. Necessary working models were implemented accordingly. During this volatile and fast­changing period, Sabancı Group closely monitored the unfolding situation from the very start. The Group continues to learn by constantly informing and sharing examples of best practices.