Trinseo | People Make the Difference
Skip to Sub Navigation Menu Skip to Main Content

Thought Leadership

January 29, 2021

People Make the Difference

Trinseo operates at the intersection of people, technology, and customers. Our future requires deep investments in our employees, a sentiment reflected by key stakeholders in a recent Materiality Assessment. Similar to the strategic and long-term decisions we make about the future of our company, we have the same mindset — a focus on success, development, and recognition — for our people.

At the heart of our approach to attracting and retaining talent is our company’s steadfast commitment to its culture, which is defined by our Core Values. Our company’s culture has been built over time, refined, and brought to life by the men and women that are Trinseo. Whether you step into one of our manufacturing facilities in the U.S., a research lab in Germany, or an office in China, every interaction with our employees provides an experience of what makes Trinseo so special.

The values that comprise our corporate culture include community service, environmental protection, safety, innovation, commitment to customers, and sustainability. While any company can claim these core values in a cheery, polished mission statement, our employees truly live these messages every day.

These values are reflected in the goals of our People Strategy, which include:

  • Reflect the value of the job and the contribution of the individual and team
  • Foster attitudes of accountability and employee responsibility
  • Link employee’s performance to business results
  • Be easily and effectively communicated to all employees
  • Offer flexibility to serve differing employee and business needs across the global enterprise

Human Resources actively partners with business leaders to set a course for our organizational development and talent management strategies. Through the implementation of strategic workforce planning, we put the right organizational structures in place, understand our current and future capability needs, and identity talent acquisition and employee development opportunities to help achieve Trinseo’s goals.

Our People Strategy is integrated to support the following main areas:


  • To design organization models to achieve business strategies, assess employee engagement and evolve the culture, and facilitate and foster open, two-way communication


  • To attract and select the right talent for the right roles, onboard new employees to improve integration, build critical capabilities, and develop leaders of the future, with a culture of collaboration among high-performing and diverse teams


  • To manage, measure, and pay for performance; differentiate and recognize job growth with increases, promotions, and pay; distribute Annual Performance Awards; utilize the adhoc award opportunities to recognize outstanding contributions from employees throughout the year

We also have incorporated the following into our workforce plans to ensure a sustainable workforce and continuity of operations:


  • It is Trinseo’s policy to be lawful, highly principled, and socially responsible in our business practices, and we expect our employees to mirror that commitment. We are also committed to ensuring compensation equity among our employees.


  • Trinseo is committed to creating and maintaining an environment in which all Trinseo people have an equal opportunity to reach their potential and contribute fully to the success of Trinseo. Trinseo provides an equal employment opportunity (EEO), with a policy to recruit, hire, develop, and promote qualified applicants or employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, national origin, age, disability (mental or physical), or genetic information.


  • All employees can expect to work in a professional environment free from discrimination and are expected to fully comply with the requirements of our Anti-Discrimination Policy. Trinseo does not tolerate actions of harassment or reprisal taken based on an individual’s or group of individuals’ memberships in a protected classification. Trinseo also does not tolerate retaliation against a person who, in good faith, either reports or participates in any investigation regarding incidents of discrimination or harassment. Violations of this policy will be addressed with corrective action and, if appropriate under the circumstances, disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination of employment.


  • Trinseo’s process for determination of remuneration reflects the Employee Value Propositions (EVPs) with two main components: base pay and an annual variable program called the Performance Award. Stakeholders’ views are sought and considered regarding remuneration with an external consultant responsible for benchmarking Trinseo’s remuneration status with the market.


  • Equal opportunity and diversity are important at Trinseo. Trinseo conducts internal reviews to assess fair treatment to determine if our pay practices are being implemented appropriately in all jurisdictions where we operate. In the United States, we also conduct internal reviews with new hires as well as an annual exam to determine the impact of ethnicity on pay decisions. In 2019, we examined the impact of gender on pay decisions for each employee category globally during 2018. In this assessment, we reviewed three components of compensation: annual base salary, performance awards and long-term incentives. The assessment examined any pay differences, adjusted for performance rating, job level, education, years of service, experience for given role, and/or geography.


  • Employee benefits vary by country and reflect national laws and practices; Trinseo’s benefits, which are applicable for Trinseo employees, typically include health and life insurance, disability coverage, vacations and holidays, a 401K plan in the United States, and pensions and retirement plans.


Trinseo provides opportunities for career development through a combination of training, coaching, and on-the-job experiences. This tiered approach to development provides employees with the right balance of learning options. Employees are able to create an annual development plan that aligns their annual goals with key developmental actions they can focus on to ensure they achieve their objectives.


  • As part of its overarching People Strategy, Trinseo conducts a Talent Review process that assesses employee’s Key Leadership Behaviors and Attributes, calibrates their long-term Potential, and provides input on Personal Development Plans.
  • In addition to identifying successors for leadership positions, Trinseo has identified two types of roles within the Company:
  • Critical Roles directly impact and drive Corporate Strategy. If left vacant, they would impact operations.
  • Developmental Roles can accelerate an individual’s development, provide greater visibility and exposure, provide challenge and stretch, and are ideal for rotation.
  • The Executive Leadership Team focuses on having successors identified for these roles as part of the annual Succession Planning process.
  • Trinseo leaders also conduct Quarterly Talent Talks in which they discuss developmental progress, identify opportunities for movement, and mitigate any retention risk. The Company maintains several Talent Key Performance Indicators and shares these with senior leadership on a quarterly basis.


  • Trinseo leadership utilizes a goal setting scorecard that enables employees to document and align their goals within a leadership team and across functions. All employee goals are set against the annual Company Priorities. This provides employees with a clear line of sight to how their contributions support team and Company goals.
  • Within the Performance Management process, employees are evaluated on their performance versus individual goals and on the Company’s performance versus corporate goals. Part of the performance review process includes Personal Assessment goals, which are then tracked and reviewed throughout the year. These goals are required to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Focused, and Timebound.
  • Leaders are accountable for all employees having agreed upon, approved, and documented goals annually, which are part of their annual performance review. In 2019, 100% of employees received an annual performance review.


Healthy Lifestyles

  • As part of Trinseo’s EH&S policy, we promote healthy lifestyles in a variety of media channels, as we believe it improves the overarching culture of our company. Corporate articles and videos are delivered from the Trinseo intranet home page, and local facilities deliver appropriate and targeted programs.
  • For example, our office facility in Switzerland offers a safe skiing program, a stress reduction course, and an introduction to yoga. Many of our employees have access to an on-site fitness facility to promote physical activity and wellness. Facilities also have the flexibility to craft fitness encouragement programs aligned with their local community and culture.