HR Policies

Sabancı Group’s human resources strategies are formulated to support Sabancı Group’s goal of becoming the “Employer of Choice.”

Human Resources policies at Sabancı Group are designed to offer employees an unrivaled, equitable work experience and give staff members well-defined goals. The Group’s approach allows employees to realize themselves by fostering a culture of continuous development, inclusion, high performance and diversity. The objective is to make Sabancı Group the “Employer of Choice” for current and potential employees.

As of end-2018, Sabancı Group has employed about 64 thousand persons, including subcontractor employees. 30% of employees and 37% of managers are women. About 70% 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’s human resources strategies are formulated to support Sabancı Group’s goal of becoming the “Employer of Choice.”

In 2018, in line with the vision of Sabancı of New Generation and the Group’s Human Resources Strategic Roadmap, the definition of Sabancı Group Culture was revised and the Values and Competency Model was redefined.

For this purpose, a Culture and Values Workshop was held with the participation of employees representing different generations from the various companies in Sabancı Group. Data collected in this workshop and the results of the Culture Survey were analyzed. Sabancı of New Generation Culture and Values were redefined through the common understanding of employees.

Sabancı of New Generation’s Culture:

  • Putting the needs and expectations of customers & all stakeholders at focus,
  • Valuing different perspectives and taking decisions by considering comprehensive inclusion,
  • Being the pioneer of innovation,
  • Being courageous to make mistakes and seeing it as a learning & development opportunity,
  • Focusing on long-term and sustainable value creation.

Sabancı of New Generation’s Values are:

  • Sincerity,
  • Continuous Improvement,
  • Inclusion,
  • Courage,
  • Passion.

The second step taken in line with Sabancı Group’s Human Resources Strategic Roadmap was the Sabancı Competency Model. The model is defined as those behaviors and skills that our leaders and employees are expected to develop, and which will lead us to success on the road to becoming Sabancı of New Generation.

Sabancı Competency Model

The Sabancı Competency Model, which defines the behavior that will help the implementation of culture, values and strategies forming the vision of Sabancı of New Generation, consists of three parts:

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

Value Drive Competencies and Leadership Drive Competencies are common across all Sabancı Group companies. Meanwhile, Performance Drive Competencies are designated according to each company’s specific strategies, in view of sector dynamics and requirements.

Value Drive

  • Valuing Differences
  • Being Resilient
  • Displaying Courage
  • Learning From Experience

Leadership Drive

  • Global and Long-term Thinking
  • Cultivating New & Better
  • Balancing Stakeholders
  • Agile Decision Making
  • Driving Vision & Purpose
  • Building Effective Teams

Performance Drive

They are defined according to each Sabancı Companies’ needs and dynamics. 

Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand Management

Since its inception, Sabancı Group has been supported by objective market research conducted by independent companies both nationally and internationally. “Sabancı” is perceived as a strong employer brand by both professionals and university students. In line with its target of becoming “Employer of Choice” through proper Sabancı employer brand management, Sabancı Group aims to manage the systems and business processes that will enable current and potential staff to have the best employee experience at every point of contact.

Sabancı Group’s recruitment process aims to measure candidate potential and competencies, in addition to assessing their conformity with Sabancı values. Candidates must be evaluated fairly by means of modern recruitment methods and procedures, designed in line with our needs. In addition, in order to attract talent in a proactive fashion, the Group keeps close watch on outside talent. Both internal candidates and external candidates are evaluated for critical vacancies.

To provide employees with different career opportunities in accordance with their development goals and to support the transfer of talent among Group companies, vacant positions are announced to all Group employees via the internal communication portal SA-PORT. Applications are likewise managed through this portal.

In 2018, 7,435 persons were hired to the Group from internal and external sources.

Organizational Design, Planning, Succession and Career Management

At Sabancı Group, the Organizational Design and Planning process comprises the regular review of the organizational structure in line with company strategies, targets and needs, as well as necessary design and planning.

Succession Management includes assessing future strategies and organizational needs, drafting of both appropriate succession for the organization and meaningful career plans for employees, in due consideration of staff member performance, potential and individual preferences.

During the Organizational Success Plan (OSP) process conducted for each company, Sabancı Group companies’ critical performance criteria for their human resources and organization are reviewed. In addition, employee potentials are assessed, and appropriate backup plans are drafted for all management positions and other critical positions.

In fiscal year 2018, Sabancı Group revised the OSP process. In line with the Sabancı of New Generation vision, the Group updated potential measurement criteria, succession methodology and organizational health analysis criteria.

The Company-specific OSP process was carried over, in the next phase, to the Group-wide Sabancı People Review (SAPR) which focuses on top management. Intra-company and inter-company succession for critical positions in senior management, as well as development plans for the persons involved in backup, were created. The plans are monitored regularly.

With the aim of ensuring the sustainability of the Sabancı Group talent pool, succession pipeline filling rate and the consistency ratio of the succession plan are monitored regularly each and every year.

Learning and Development Management

Learning and development investments directed toward Sabancı Group staff must create value for both employees and companies. These investments must also be in align with the strategic objectives of the Group and its individual companies.

Employees are expected to take responsibility for their own advancement, by learning continuously and developing themselves and their work. Meanwhile, managers should support and guide their staff by coaching and mentoring. The Group implements development programs designed according to the specific needs of target audiences, ranging from young professionals to senior management, based on experiential learning, employing new learning techniques and featuring the best providers in every field. These programs are implemented among blue collar, white collar and subcontractor employees of all Group companies.

The Development Programs detailed below were designed and implemented in 2018.


The first module of X-CELERATE, designed as Sabancı Group’s Senior Management Development Program, was conducted in December 2018 with 21 participants. The program was designed to ensure that top management performs better in an increasingly uncertain and dynamic business environment. In addition, X-CELERATE aims for senior managers to hone their leadership skills in line with the vision of Sabancı of New Generation. In 2018, the program started with the participation of the General Managers of all Group companies. X-CELERATE consists of three modules and is designed as a one-year journey. The program features many different learning methods, ranging from in-class training to personal coaching sessions, company visits for sharing know-how to business simulation tools.

Advanced Data Analytics Academy

Technology and Data Analytics is among the Sabancı Group strategies that make up the vision of Sabancı of New Generation and aims to create a competitive edge. In line with this goal, Sabancı Advanced Data Analytics Academy was established in 2018 under the management of Sabancı Holding’s Human Resources Group Department and in cooperation with Sabancı University and Sabancı University Executive Development Unit. The Academy was founded to develop and train the human resources that will execute the Group’s Advanced Data Analytics journey.

A class of 62 participants from 14 different Sabancı Group companies underwent a comprehensive program, specially designed for Data Scientists, Data Engineers and Translators taking part in advanced data analytics projects. The program featured theoretical and practical learning supported by online training, Hackathon and on-site visits.

Group Mentorship Program

The Mentorship Program is designed to support the individual development of experienced managers and employees and facilitate a culture of “Coaching” and “Contributing to Each Other’s Success” across the Group.

In 2018, 35 Mentees from different Group companies participated in the program, which has been conducted for 10 years.

Industry Leaders Program

The Industry Leaders Program, which was developed in collaboration with Sabancı University’s Executive Development Unit, encourages the professional development of and knowledge and experience sharing among high-caliber managers and engineers in the Group’s Industrial companies.

Consisting of 19 modules in total, the program was completed with presentations on four different project studies that focused on actual problems in companies. The Industry Leader Program was launched in 2018 with the participation of 17 Sabancı engineers from Industry Group, Energy Group and Cement Group.

Training Program on Ethics and Data Protection

Sabancı Business Ethics Rules (SA-ETHICS) are centered on the Sabancı values and working principles forged during successful business endeavors over many years.

SA-ETHICS not only protects the Group companies and staff, but also goes beyond all the laws, rules, regulations and internal procedures that are decisive in our operations, to provide guidance to the workforce.

Full compliance with the entirety of SA-ETHICS is the foremost responsibility of all Sabancı Group employees and cannot be delegated to anyone else. For this reason, all new recruits to the Group undergo SA-ETHICS training.

To continuously update their know-how on SA-ETHICS and raise awareness, current employees join a regular refreshment training every year.

In 2018, Sabancı Group initiated a training program on Protection of Personal Data via an online training platform in order to increase awareness and knowledge about safeguarding of personal data.

Organizational Climate and Employee Engagement Management

Sabancı Group aims to take into consideration the suggestions and expectations of its employees. The Group works continuously to strengthen staff engagement while providing a safe and healthy work environment where ethical values are upheld and a healthy balance is struck between work and private life. Sabancı Group also fosters a positive organizational climate with the right leadership style. These efforts are expended to ensure ongoing employee engagement.

Employee engagement and satisfaction are regularly measured via surveys conducted by independent companies. Employee suggestions and expectations are collected in these surveys.

In addition, staff perceptions on organizational climate and the management team’s leadership style, which are directly connected to engagement and have the greatest impact on this climate, are also regularly measured by independent firms.

The opportunities and development areas identified in the Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey, Organizational Climate Survey and Leadership Styles Survey are examined by the Human Resources and management teams. Necessary action plans are drafted and implemented, and progress is monitored regularly.

The Employee Engagement and Satisfaction Survey, Organizational Climate Survey and Leadership Styles Survey were conducted in Group companies in 2018. The required actions were formulated and planned based on the results.

Performance Management

Sabancı Group greatly values staff contributions to corporate goals. The Group actively fosters a working environment where employees can demonstrate their performance and potential at the highest level.

The Performance Management Process aims to highlight employees’ successful work results, staff conduct in line with the corporate culture and values, and their high performance. Through a process designed and structured to this end, staff members, for one year, work on their personal objectives linked to the corporate goals as well as the competency enhancement goals that they choose to focus on. At the end of the one-year period, employees assess their performance jointly with their managers and provide mutual feedback.

During the Performance Management Process in 2018, all white-collar staff members were evaluated. The process yielded favorable results.

Recognition & Appreciation and Total Reward Management

Sabancı Group’s Total Rewards and Benefits Management process includes fair and objective recognition and reward practices that bolster high performance and center on employees’ work objectives and competencies. The process also covers rewarding, motivating and competitive remuneration and side benefits.

All practices under Rewards and Benefits Management are regularly reviewed and updated through market analyses and benchmarking studies.

The job evaluations of all roles within the Group are assessed through an objective method taking into consideration the basic level of responsibility of the role, its relative contribution to the organization, as well as the knowledge/skills/experience and competencies necessary for that role. As a result of this job evaluation, the relative values of all the roles are identified. The job grading structure created on the basis of these values in turn provides a basis for rewards and benefits management.

In 2018, the Group’s job grading structure and performance-based bonus system were reviewed and redesigned to strengthen the organization’s competitive edge.

Reward Management is conducted in accordance with legal and regulatory requirements, and in line with reward policies. Compensation policies formulated in consideration of macroeconomic data, salary trends in the market, the size of each company, as well as its
long-term goals, individuals’ workloads, and in-house and external salary patterns.

To support reward management with additional benefits, side benefits are considered as an integral part of total reward management. All Sabancı Group companies, in line with employee expectations and needs, run separate side benefits schemes in varying content and flexibility based on employee workload and roles.

To help companies attain their budget goals and outperform their business results targets, the Group’s short-term incentives encourages staff members to demonstrate a superior performance, and foster a target-oriented performance culture.

For top management positions, a long-term incentives is in place to boost the Company’s share value and help senior managers gain a shareholder’s perspective.
Long-term performance and consistency are rewarded by the Group.

An integral part of total Recognition & Appreciation system, a key area at Sabancı Group, is communicating priorities, rewarding employee achievements and sharing the best practices. To encourage such efforts, the ninth edition of Sabancı Golden Collar Awards was held in May 2018 with the participation of over 800 employees from different Group companies. Some 1,085 employees and their 183 projects competed in categories such as “Sabancı of New Generation,” “Innovation,” “Customer Experience,” “Lean Transformation” and “Digitalization.” The winners were selected with the votes of Group employees.

Human Resources Data Analytics Management

In all its business processes, Sabancı Group aims to create a decision-making culture based on data, and to extend Human Resources & Work Relations Data Analytics practices across all Group companies. To this end, the Group regularly reviews relevant systems and business processes. The skills of all Human Resources teams are honed in this direction and such a culture is fostered throughout the organization.

In line with the Technology and Data Analytics strategy, the Group launched the HR-Next project in 2018 to digitalize human resources processes and implement human resources analytics schemes.

In the first step of the project, the Group established the Human Resources Database and Analysis System. This system is designed to generate value through Human Resources Analytics applications running on a common database of all Group companies. The platform features filtered and enriched data on the staff.

Industrial Relations Management and Compliance with Legislation

Industrial relations are managed in accordance with applicable legislation in force; relevant laws, rules and regulations are regularly followed and shared with Sabancı Group companies. The Group makes use of all opportunities and incentives, including flexible working models, presented by labor legislation. Developments in this area are closely monitored.

Establishing and maintaining an equitable working environment for employees is the top priority in the workplace. Any discrimination within the organization based on language, race, skin color, gender, political thought, faith, religion, denomination, age, physical disability and similar reasons is not tolerated. All necessary measures are taken under the Occupational Health and Safety policy against cases that may have a negative physical and psychological effect on employees.

To ensure the effective participation of women, young people and disabled individuals in business, the Group implements practices that encourages these groups to participate while offering equal employment opportunities. For this purpose, different working models, such as flexible work, are used in accordance with relevant legislation. The physical facilities necessary for disabled employees to work effectively are offered and regularly reviewed by the Group.

The work environment is designed to secure a sustainable balance between employees’ professional and private lives. At Sabancı Group companies, efforts are expended to maintain healthy industrial relations through effective communication with workers’ and employers’ unions. The Group aims to enhance and maintain peaceful work relations. Sabancı Group respects employees’ rights to unionization and collective labor agreement. The Group adopts an impartial approach to employees’ choice of union and to the process of unionization. Currently, 84% of our blue collar workers are unionized.

Efforts are made to ensure that collective labor agreements signed take into consideration general economic and industrial conditions as well as employee demands. Agreements should also allow for companies’ growth with sustainable profitability. In 2018, the collective labor agreements covering employees at Akçansa, Çimsa, Carrefoursa, Brisa and Enerjisa Enerji were signed within the legally prescribed deadlines. The agreements were designed to ensure a peaceful and sustainable work environment, in parallel with the rates across the sector and under the most favorable terms.

Occupational Health and Safety

Occupational health and safety practices are implemented across Sabancı Group in accordance with relevant laws, rules, regulations and standards. These practices aim to continuously improve the Group’s OHS performance. While conducting business activities at Group companies, potential risks are analyzed in advance. A proactive approach is taken to prevent these risks. An occupational health and safety culture is seen as an integral part of everyday life. Sabancı Group aims for the standardization and excellence of occupational health and safety practices through sharing of information and experience. The Group extends this standardization and excellence toward its workforce and all stakeholders. For this purpose, Sabancı Group seizes opportunities to create synergy and make a difference among its companies. Occupational health and safety training is provided for all employees upon recruitment and at certain intervals thereafter. This approach ensures that all companies introduce effective occupational health and safety practices and set an example for their industry, both domestically and globally. The aim is for Sabancı Group companies to lead the competition with their superior OHS performance.