Human Capital

By the end of 2021, Sabancı Group provided employment to more than 60,000 people, including subcontracted employees. Women ratio is 40% among white collar employees while 37% is among managers. 22.4% of employees are from Generation X, 76.3% are from Generation Y, and 1.3% are from Gen-Z.

Sabancı Group today is striding confidently towards the future, with the highly diverse features and capabilities of its top-caliber human resources and its Sabancı of New Generation culture and values.

Human Capital Strategy

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

  • Purpose and culture driven,
  • Stakeholder‑oriented,
  • More agile, more resilient, more digital.

Adapting to the Future of Work (FoW)

Sabancı Group, one of the five main areas we focus on at Sabancı Group within the scope of our “2021-2025 strategic plan” is “Adapting to the Future of Work”.

Sabancı Group embarked on Turkey’s most comprehensive project of adaptation to the future of work in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. The results and action plans were shared with the public in March 2021. The study was carried out under seven main dimensions, covering all Group companies.

Under these 7 dimensions, Sabancı Group companies defined their aspirations, charters and roadmaps and set out a 3-year dynamic action plan to reach and lead the ever‑moving global best practices. The FoW action plan sets out more than 1,500 medium‑term and long‑term actions crafted to meet sector needs, global best practices and global trends. 42% of these 3-year action plans were completed in 2021. Once all actions are completed, Sabancı Group companies are expected to distinguish themselves with among the global best practices in their industries in the world in terms of “the Future of Work”. 

Smart Work: In 2021, the Group level “Remote Working Policy” was published, which set out the working terms and conditions, health and occupational safety guidelines and implementations such as hybrid working schedules, the “no meeting Wednesday” and remote working packages. The Group boosted efficiency with an “Alternative Working Ways” model that made use of all opportunities and incentives, including flexible and alternative working models set in working directives with principles guidelines and agreements templates. In order to support the new working models, to maintain remote and onsite collaboration as well as employee motivation and productivity, online tools such as the performance management system (Perf‑X) and Sabancı Social enjoyed an increase and expansion in usage while organizational network‑relational analytics started to expand among Group companies.

Physical & Mental Health: In 2021, employee assistance programs including stress‑management tools, mindfulness and resilience training programs, wellbeing applications, online dietician support, coaching and expert sessions expanded in usage. We used data analytics and analysis to track the number of employees accessing the programs and address the concerns and issues raised.

Employer Brand Management and Talent Acquisition: Sabancı Group aims to maintain its position as the “Employer of Choice” continuously and sustainably. We promise always to hire the best talent commensurate with the “Sabancı of New Generation” culture and values. We are committed to make all our employees feel and experience “Sabancı people make a difference” which represents employer value proposition and launched in 2021.

In 2021, agile, cross company and diverse HR teams started work on ten different innovative projects using Design Thinking methodology and finalized prototypes of the new projects to strengthen the employee experience and the Sabancı employer brand.

With its strong employer brand perception among both professionals and university students, Sabancı Group, as in previous years, maintained its commanding position as a preferred employer among students in all categories according to the “The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2021” according to a study conducted by Universum, one of the world’s best known research institutions in this area. Also, Sabancı Group was recognized as Word’s Best Employers and became one of the best 500 companies listed on Forbes in 2021.

The following new Group wise talent acquisition initiatives were put in place; the New Generation Career Experience Program and the Seed Young Talent Program.

  • The New Generation Career Experience Program offers third and fourth‑year university students the opportunity to work on real projects remotely and experience the Sabancı Group ecosystem. In 2021, 60 university students graduated from the 6-month version of the Program and 60 more graduated from the short version of the Program. The participants experienced a range of extensive online development opportunities and were specifically trained on innovation tools; also they completed an Ideathon to solve sustainability related problems. Together with 2020 graduates, the New Generation Career Experience Program has approximately 150 alumni members, 48% of whom are women, and in 2021 the first Alumni‑Day event was executed.
  • Seed is the Young Talent Program designed and initiated in the last quarter of 2021, targeting fresh graduates with up to two years of professional experience. This program aims to hire and develop new talent, particularly in the growth areas set out in Sabancı Group’s 2021-2025 strategic plan. A total of 10,000 applications, 58% of which were from women, were evaluated based on their learning agility and motivation levels, with the aim of selecting 40 new talented individuals for the program. In addition to its hands‑on working experience, the program incorporates upskilling training, rotations within and across functions in an accelerated learning environment.

Reskilling & Upskilling: Reskilling and Upskilling are one of the key strategic priorities in our “Adaptation to the Future of Work” model. We continue to prepare all our employees for the future by investing over TL 200 million in the first three years of our 2021-2025 strategic plan. We aim to fill the gap between talent management and skill inventory. The Program participants’ position rotations, performance scores and motivational status are followed proactively in order to foresee their flight risks.

Group Level Programs

Upskilling & Reskilling Objective

Duration & 2021 Participants


Industry Leaders (In‑Lead) was developed to provide professional and leadership development of high‑potential technical managers and engineers in Sabancı Group’s Industrial, Building Materials and Energy Group companies.

1 year

20 graduates


An interactive online academy for gaining skills needed for the future of work such as resilience, innovative thinking, climate change, diversity & inclusion and open for all employees and their families.

8 months

~ 1,000 participants

Advanced Data Analytics Academy (ADAA)

The program mainly supports the “Leadership in Digitalization” principle of our 2021-2025 strategic plan. The 4th cohort was executed focusing on Data Science and Data Translator technical expertise.

8 months

48 graduates


This online and blended cutting‑edge development program supports the “innovation” dimension of our 2021-2025 strategic plan and the competencies, which will change ways of business with courage. The 1st cohort, which includes the Ideathon phase, has been finalized.

4-6 months

250 graduates

Sabancı Group also provides graduate level educational support such as sponsoring the education of employees, providing discounts and offering additional leave. In 2021 total of 96* employees were supported in their post graduate level education.

Leadership: Leadership Development Programs continued to be conducted across the Group in order to strengthen the diverse leadership pipeline and to extend Sabancı Leadership Model at all levels.

Group Level


Leadership Objective

Duration & 2021



Developed to improve the leadership skills of individuals with high potential talent who are new in their business careers as well as being new to the Group

1 ½ years

20 graduates


Developed to improve the leadership potential of Sabancı Group mid‑level managers.

1 ½ years

20 graduates


Designed for enriching transformative/connected/inspiring/inclusive leadership styles of CXO and GM Level leaders

1 ½ years

19 participants

Digital & Agile Development & Transformation

X-challengers was formed as a strong initiative to support the transformation culture.

General Managers of Group companies and Holding Executive Committee Members who are named as Sabancı Transformation Team (SATT) and are leading the 2021-2025 strategic plan also experienced Top Team Effectiveness initiatives to reinforce the higher purpose of the Group together and strengthen their purpose‑driven leadership styles.

Leadership potential assessment, succession principles, pipeline fullness and organizational healthiness criteria have been followed across the Group through the process of the Organizational People Review and Sabancı People Review for Top Management as previous years. Intercompany succession plans and development plans for successors were created and these plans are monitored regularly. This year, starting with SATT members, critical experience requirements of each leadership position were also worked on and the development needs, the career plans of leaders were considered in line with these requirements.

Leadership Program participants’ and critical position holders’ career motivations, performance scores, rotational needs are being followed proactively to foresee their flight risks.

Purpose Driven Organization & Culture: In 2021, impacts of the Sabancı higher purpose on the 2021-2025 strategic plan and on all business decisions were shared in the annual management meeting and in the quarterly CEO meetings with all white and blue collar employees. The Sabancı Group higher purpose was also integrated into all Group Leadership Programs and Reskilling/Upskilling Programs.

Digital & Agile Development & Transformation: Two critical group‑wide initiatives supporting the agile way of doing business and transformation have been in place since 2020: X‑Teams and X‑challengers. X‑Teams is an agile collaboration system where cross‑functional teams consisting of employees of Group companies work for potential strategic business development projects which will achieve a transformation of the Sabancı Group in line with the 2021‑2025 strategic plan, applying agile practices. Since 2020, 4 cohorts of X‑TEAMS have been carried out with 26 teams – consisting of 250 employees have been involved in this system and submitted 26 projects.

X‑challengers was formed as a strong initiative to support the transformation culture with the program engages young talent to challenge the existing core business and contribute to the strategic plan. In 2021, X‑challengers generated 84 ideas, 15 of which were considered in the current 2021-2025 strategic plan.

Equal Opportunity and Diversity

Sabancı Group has long been committed to ensuring equal rights and opportunities to foster a positive and an inclusive work environment and to contribute to the socio‑economic development of the community. Any type of discrimination between employees of the Group in regard to language, race, skin color, ethnicity, gender, political inclination, faith, religion, denomination, age, physical disability or other similar reasons shall not tolerated. The Group has also agreed to the Declaration of Principles on Equality at Work. Establishing and maintaining a fair working environment for employees is a top priority at Group companies and the progress is tracked according to a clear five‑pillar road‑map. We continue to support the Business Against Domestic Violence initiative executed by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum.

In line with its sustainability strategy, Sabancı Holding was included in the 2022 Bloomberg Gender Equality Index which recognizes the performance of companies committed to gender equality across five pillars: female leadership and talent pipeline, equal pay and gender pay equity, inclusive culture, anti‑sexual harassment policies their and pro‑women brand. In 2021, Sabancı Holding created a new Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer role to manage Group’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and support commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion. Human Capital and Sustainability Group President also began to serve as a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. Sabancı Holding has been also acknowledged as one of the leading World’s Top Female Friendly Companies by a global employee survey conducted by Forbes Media and Statista.


Sabancı Group operates a balanced and effectively managed remuneration system that provides competitive total remuneration opportunities to attract, retain, motivate and reward employees. Remuneration at the Sabancı Group is conducted in accordance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements, as well as market developments.

The Remuneration Model for all employees, including executive positions, is comprised of fixed remuneration consisting of the base salary, employee benefits, allowances and variable remuneration consisting of short- and long- term incentive awards.

Gender equality is one of the key criteria in our remuneration model. Men and women receive equal pay with a male to female pay ratio of 1.0.

Additionally, Sabancı Holding has no raw pay gap against women employees. Sabancı Holding is committed to carrying out an equal pay for equal work study with a raw gender pay gap analysis carried out on an annual basis, maintaining equality going forward.

Remuneration policies are reviewed and updated annually in view of macroeconomic data, regular detailed salary trend reports received from independent surveys based on peer groups and general industry, the size of each company as well as corporate long‑term goals, individual workloads, and in‑house and external salary patterns. To support remuneration models with additional benefits, all Sabancı Group companies offer separate side benefits schemes with varying content and flexibility based on role status and requirements in line with employee expectations and needs.

Performance expectations are clearly defined and monitored through a structured continuous performance management system by using Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Performance results are used to support remuneration decisions.

Short Term Incentive (STI) & Long Term Incentive (LTI) Systems

  • Variable Remuneration Components;
  • Short‑term (one year) incentives help employees focus their performance on the achievement of key financial and non‑financial objectives.
  • Long Term (three‑year) incentives are offered to a defined group of the most senior executive positions within the Sabancı Group, to increase share value and help them gain a shareholder perspective, and to reward long‑term performance and stability

Long Term KPIs for the senior management team are reviewed and defined each year by the Board.

The Malus and clawback framework is established both for STI and LTI systems as a remuneration safeguard, and it applies to all STI and LTI Participants.

Employee Rights

Sabancı Group respects and attaches utmost importance to the rights of its employees in union organizations and collective bargaining agreements.

Labor Relations Management and Legal Compliance

Studies conducted on changes in working life in Turkey and in the World, statistical data, trends and best practices as well as legal and administrative regulations both in Turkey and the World are closely monitored and shared with all stakeholders through a range of digital tools. Sabancı Group companies are informed of proactive measures taken against the risks which may arise.

Sabancı Group respects and attaches utmost importance to 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. An effective cooperation and dialogue platform is in the process of being established to ensure improvement and continuity of workplace harmony in cooperation with employee and employer unions.

As the leader of the Turkish Industry & Business Association (TÜSİAD) Employment and Social Security Working Group, Sabancı Group supported all activities conducted by the private sector in the field of labor legislation. Sabancı Group also contributes to TÜSİAD’s opinion‑making process in respect to developments in Turkey and around the World regarding labor legislation.

Employee Health and Occupational Safety

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 adapted at the same time. In all of our activities, potential risks are analyzed in advance and proactive approaches to counter such risks are adopted. Sabancı Group places the highest priority on providing accurate and timely information on pandemic‑related developments, maintaining a unified approach and ensuring consistent implementation across the Group, as well as reacting immediately to urgent developments as its top priorities.

Sabancı Holding Human Capital Awards and Achievements in 2021

  • The Sabancı Group Diversity & Inclusion Policy and Initiatives won recognition with two GOLD awards (“Best Advance in Leading Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives” and “Best Governance of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” categories) from the Brandon Hall Human Capital Management Excellence Program, and one GOLD award from the STEVIE® The International Business Awards.
  • The Sabanci Group HR Initiatives on Women Empowerment was rewarded as a Silver winner in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business.          
  • Sabancı Holding received the GOLD award in the “Achievement in Human Resources Administration” category in The Stevie Awards, in recognition of its Great Employers Program.
  • The New Generation Career Experience Program was recognized with two Silver awards (Achievement in Succession and Career Management & Achievement in Extended Enterprise Learning Programs) by The Stevie Awards in recognition of its Great Employers Program.

The Program was also ranked 1st as “The Most Preferred Online Internship Program by Youth” in the Youthawards ’21 by 46,238 university students from 150 different universities. X-Teams was awarded with two GOLD (“Training Programs - Problem‑Solving Training” and “Best Use of Social Collaborative Learning”) and one Bronze award (“Most Innovative Learning and Development Program”) from The Stevie Awards in recognition of its Great Employers Program.


Sabancı Group Diversity & Inclusion Policy and Initiatives won 4 different global recognition in 2021.

Sabancı Holding has been also acknowledged as one of the leading World’s Top Female Friendly Companies by a global employee survey conducted by Forbes Media and Statista.