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Cultural development and regulations

Health management

In order to live up to the responsibility it has towards its employees, KfW has been system­atically expanding its operational health management initiative since 2014. We aim to maintain and encourage employee motivation, job satisfaction and performance.

We focused on the following activities in 2016:

Psychological stress analysis
With the help of a screening procedure developed by the University of Potsdam, observation interviews are used to analyse the jobs of a representative sample of employees. Possible stress factors associated with their positions are recorded, evaluated and, where necessary, reduced. The overall picture is very positive. Any need for action is tackled systematically.

Expansion of check-up programme
In 2016, the voluntary check-ups available to senior management were extended to cover the team leader level. Half of the more than 400 team leaders have already taken part, with encouraging results: the participants have above-average levels of physical fitness compared with the average for the normal population.

Company sports clubs and health courses
KfW offers a broad range of subsidised company sports clubs, health courses and “health days”. In 2016, for example, it organised a “health week” focusing on circulation, back problems, nutrition and exercise at KfW’s Bonn branch.

Staff Council elections

Elections for the General Staff Council and the local Staff Councils were held in the year under review. The high level of turnout for both elections shows the relevance of the issue.

KfW is confident that the constructive cooperation of the past will continue with the newly elected representatives.

New staff agreement on working hours

KfW plans to use the implementation of the staff agreement on working hours that came into force in financial year 2015 to make an additional key contribution to modernising its corporate culture. The pilot phase, which will initially last for three years, aims to raise awareness among managers and employees alike regarding their own and others’ working hours. KfW aims to use the pilot project to achieve a systematic move away from a culture based on the number of hours spent in the office to one that focuses on the results achieved.


  • Giving employees more self-responsibility
  • Allowing more flexible arrangements in terms of working hours and place of work, while also taking KfW’s needs into account

The success of the pilot phase requires managers and employees alike to rethink their attitudes. It also provides KfW with an opportunity to move towards a modern culture of management and teamwork.


Training can work on a part-time basis, too

In cooperation with a Frankfurt-based association that aims to promote career advancement for women, KfW has been offering its traineeship for “office manage­ment specialists” also as a part-time model since 2016. This means that KfW can give single mothers, for example, the oppor­tunity to complete a traineeship despite difficult personal circumstances.

As of the end of 2016, 133 young people were undergoing their first vocational training course (previous year: 134), of whom 70 were sandwich degree students (previous year: 71). The number of graduate trainees stood at 56 as of 31 December 2016 (previous year: 60). In the course of the year 122 students com­pleted internships at KfW (previous year: also 122).


Digitalisation also offers KfW a wealth of opportunities in HR development and change management. The focus is on the changes in working relationships, manage­ment and communication caused by digitalisation in the long term. The term “new work” often used in this context shows that a change in mindset will be required in the future.

We have been preparing our employees for “new work” in a structured manner since 2016. Employees, the Staff Council and entire organisational entities are addressing the new forms of collaboration in workshops, learning journeys and hands-on days.

A key tool: the digital academy
We have been promoting the exchange of knowledge and experience of digitalisation via the intranet and virtual platforms since the beginning of 2017 with:

  • a pool of in-house and external experts to provide impetus to KfW
  • opportunities for teams to try out agile working methods

The digital academy was developed in line with the spirit of “new work” by HR and the Digital Office from group management and was set up on an interdisciplinary basis.

Implementation of regulatory requirements

The amendment of the KfW Regulation also states that KfW has to apply regulatory provisions on remuneration systems (sections 25a of the German Banking Act (Kreditwesen­gesetz – KWG) and Remuneration Ordinance for Institutions InstitutsVergV). In terms of both content and substantive structure, KfW’s remu­neration system is based on its business model as a state-owned promotional bank. KfW has been given until 2018 to implement the provisions. The existing staff agreement has been extended until the end of 2017 to cover the transitional period.

The InstitutsVergV was passed by the legislature in light of the financial market crisis and contains requirements regarding bank remuneration systems to prevent any potential misdirected incentives asso­ciated with variable remuneration. It also states that remuneration systems should be designed in a risk-oriented manner. The ordinance makes a distinction between general requirements to be met by all institutions and extended requirements to be met by what are referred to as major institutions.

KfW’s remuneration system is designed as a performance-based remuneration system and is characterised by a focus on fixed remuneration and a very small variable remuneration component compared with conventional commercial banks. The variable remuneration is set using a three-pronged approach encompassing the criteria of promotion, return and risk, and takes the sustainability of business success into particular account. This means that KfW’s remuneration system already fulfils the regulatory purpose of the InstitutsVergV.

KfW will also be implementing the formal criteria set out in the ordinance. These include, in particular, the identification of risk takers (employees who exert a significant influence over the bank’s overall risk profile) and moves towards a more formalised remuneration system.

Legal notice:
The information contained in this online Annual Report 2016 is based on KfW’s Financial Report 2016, which you can download here. Should this online Annual Report 2016, despite the great care taken in preparation of its content, contain any contradictions or errors compared to the Financial Report, the KfW Financial Report 2016 takes priority.

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