The skills, knowledge, dedication and passion of our employees are critical for the success of QIAGEN. We want to recruit, support and retain the best employees, offering performance-based remuneration, development opportunities and measures to balance work and family life. We are committed to diversity in our teams, fueling innovation and engagement with our customers and business partners. In a fast-changing, competitive business environment, QIAGEN has a significant commitment to being an employer of choice and further enhancing our position as a great place to work. At the end of 2017, QIAGEN had 4,688 full-time equivalent employees, a small increase from 4,684 at the end of 2016. Total personnel expenses including share-based compensation in 2017 were $453.6 million compared to $464.4 million in 2016.
QIAGEN has in place a Code of Conduct which qualifies as a code of ethics, as required by SEC and NASDAQ Marketplace Rules. The Code of Conduct applies to all of QIAGEN’s employees, including our principal executive officer, principal financial officer, principal accounting officer or controller and other persons performing similar functions. The full text of the Code of Conduct is available on our website at www.QIAGEN.com.
At QIAGEN, we recognize that employees are our most important resource. Their exceptional talent, skill, and passion are key to our long-term success and corporate value. Employee development is therefore viewed as an integral success factor in creating lasting value for our customers, patients, colleagues, partners, and shareholders.
QIAGEN maintains a transparent framework, the QIAGEN Profile Navigator (QPN), to make career paths, job requirements and performance expectations clear based on objective criteria for all positions across our growing global organization. Our global Performance Enhancement System (PES) provides all employees and their managers with regular, one-on-one review sessions to discuss career development topics. PES sessions include discussion of an employee’s goals and achievements, training needs and interests, career planning drawing upon the QPN role profile system, organizational development, and results of regular “180° surveys.” Professional training and development are an ongoing process for all employees, tailored to different career paths. An employee’s pursuit of training cycles from PES session to training participation, review, follow-up, and back to PES review. QIAGEN’s compensation structure (see below) ties in with the QPN role profiles and PES performance evaluations.
This program, composed of three components, is designed to ensure the ongoing development of QIAGEN’s future management generations. LC for Starters prepares high-performing employees to take an initial leadership position. The program provides leadership basics and an overview of relevant business management topics. LC I accelerates the careers of our professionals by providing further insights into advanced leadership and management topics while focusing on individual development and business-related innovative actions. LC II is a senior executive program that is designed to increase the leadership skills and management knowledge of outstanding QIAGEN senior managers by a more individual development approach. The program mainly focuses on leadership coaching sessions, as well as on business-related innovative actions.
To support our future growth, QIAGEN offers employees the opportunity to participate in the QIAGEN Executive MBA Business Integration Program in cooperation with the University of Würzburg, Germany. The program provides professionals with a wide range of management skills and knowledge, which are key to an executive career in the industry and at QIAGEN in particular. Participants study in an international environment with colleagues from around the world. Two modules are conducted with partner universities in the U.S.: at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts, and at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida.
To support all QIAGEN employees in individual development, QIAGEN has implemented an online learning management system (LMS), the QIAGEN Academy. It manages the entire training process from enrollment to certificate conveniently in one platform. The QIAGEN Academy is available to every employee 24/7 via the internet. Continual access to all training materials at any time allows employees to blend different learning methods such as virtual classrooms, web-based training, videos or classroom training into holistic and sustainable learning concepts. We offer a huge training catalog with a wide range of development options aligned to our competency model. This includes courses in soft skills, product training and training in QIAGEN-specific processes.
For more information about our training system, please also refer to the section “Employee matters” in our non-financial statement included in this report.
Since the creation of QIAGEN, management has formed a culture that seeks to attract and retain the best talent worldwide and reward associates for performance. This compensation system fosters a focus on achieving corporate strategic initiatives as well as personal accountability.
It is critical for QIAGEN to offer attractive compensation packages on a global basis. According to the QIAGEN philosophy, an employee who achieves his or her performance objectives should generally be awarded compensation comparable to the median levels of compensation provided by relevant benchmark companies. QIAGEN participates in various compensation benchmarking surveys that provide information on the level and mix of compensation awarded by various companies and industries for a broad range of positions around the world. In the case of QIAGEN, these include many peer life science and diagnostics companies based in the U.S.
QIAGEN has a “pay for performance” culture, with the compensation of employees linked to the achievement of corporate financial and individual performance goals. Business goals are established by senior management. These goals are set at ambitious levels each year to motivate and drive performance, with a focus on both short-term and long-term quantifiable objectives. Performance metrics used for these goals include the achievement of targets for net sales, adjusted operating income and free cash flow. In 2017, the payments for short-term variable compensation were based on 97% achievement of the business goals. Compensation for a significant majority of employees worldwide includes fixed base compensation and benefits, which vary according to local market customs, as well as a short-term variable cash bonus. The level of fixed compensation is paid in cash, usually on a monthly basis, and is designed to provide the employee with a reasonable standard of living relative to the compensation offered by peer companies. The amount of short-term variable cash bonus is designed to reward performance, with the payout amount based on the achievement of overall corporate financial results as well as individual performance against a written set of objectives.
For the Chief Executive Officer the target annual short-term variable cash bonus is set at 57.6% of the annual base salary and the maximum is equivalent to 87.8% of the annual base salary. The Chief Financial Officer has a target annual short-term variable cash bonus set at 41.2% with the maximum being equivalent to 62.8% of the annual fixed salary. Furthermore, to align our compensation programs with the interests of shareholders, senior executives receive a portion of their total compensation in the form of long-term compensation, which is granted as equity as a reward for performance. These grants are determined on an individual basis and approved by the Compensation Committee. These equity grants are made in the form of Performance Stock Units (PSUs) with a staggered vesting period typically over three (40%), five (50%) and 10 years (10%).
For enhanced Work-Life Balance, QIAGEN offers services to help employees balance their personal life with our dynamic and driven work environment, including in-house corporate childcare and sabbatical programs, as well as company-sponsored fitness and health facilities, and programs. Flexible working hours apply to all employees except for functions that require critical on-time presence.
In today’s business climate, the health of employees is often directly related to the health of the company. Increased job satisfaction, improved morale, reduced injuries, and increased productivity are just some of the benefits which a healthy work environment can have. At its headquarters, QIAGEN regularly offers “health days” where all employees are invited to receive free counsel and to participate in screening and nutrition programs, medical check-ups, etc. QIAGEN provides in-house gyms open to all employees, sports courses coached by professional trainers, and on-site soccer fields and beach volleyball courts, all free of charge. All female employees have free access to screening for HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer.
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