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Driver 1: People

Driver 1

Staff engagement is at the heart of our success. The sense of pride that our people take in their work and their sense of responsibility is instrumental in the delivery of strategic goals and has made the EPO the organisation it is today. 

The EPO will therefore continue to focus on sustainable engagement, attracting and developing talent, and supporting mobility and flexibility in its physical and virtual homes, and providing engaging workspaces.   

Read Driver 1 in full

Attract the best

Under Strategic Plan 2028 (SP2028), the EPO will offer training to pipeline candidates to enhance readiness, while also focusing on increasing gender and geographic diversity to represent all European Patent Convention contracting states. Access to Europe's brightest new talent will be fostered through the expansion of the Young Professionals Programme, and the EPO will regularly evaluate its leading social package to ensure it remains a desirable destination for top talent.  

KPI targets

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End-to-end recruitment cycle of below four months' time to hire 

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40% of staff are women 

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Staff from all EPC contracting states 



Develop talent

Part of the EPO's success as an organisation has been the ability to recruit the best talent. But we also have to ensure that knowledge remains at its peak and skills at their sharpest throughout our people's careers. 

Learning opportunities will be made available in different ways, with 70% on-the-job learning, 20% from colleagues and peers and 10% through formal training. 

Efforts to encourage talent and improve engagement will also focus on gender diversity, aiming for 40% female representation in management by 2028, and evolving the performance development cycle to provide more timely recognition for staff contributions. 

KPI targets

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75% positive impact of training on helping staff to perform their work

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40% of managers are women

Support mobility and flexibility

In SP2028 professional mobility will continue to support staff engagement and increase our capability to respond quickly to changes in the technology landscape and to demand for patents in different technology sectors. 

The Digital Talent Marketplace voluntary scheme will help us in responding to the changing patent landscape by moving staff to teams experiencing greater demand, supporting the EPO's financial sustainability and offering examiners the opportunity to develop their knowledge in other neighbouring sectors of technology.  

We will work to ensure staff continue to benefit from flexible working arrangements, as established under the New Ways of Working scheme, and will channel efforts into maintaining a strong sense of belonging through our digital homes and organising workspaces in a way that keeps our staff in proximity. 

Strengthen social dialogue

Under SP2028, the Office will maintain the momentum established during SP2023 around more structured, more frequent and more productive dialogue, focussing on three main pillars: decrease in litigation, collaboration on policies and respect for the freedom of association. Our communications will continue to keep our people informed about all developments in social dialogue, and we will continue to gather feedback through staff groups and networks. 

Create an engaging physical home

The EPO's buildings must play their role as a physical home for our people, capable of supporting an engaged, thriving professional community. A new set of building projects under SP2028 will address four different goals: offer the highest levels of health and safety; support sustainable staff engagement; contribute to environmental sustainability and the EPO's commitment to becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2030; and build value and reduce running costs. 

KPI targets

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Be a carbon neutral organisation by 2030: carbon footprint of less than 1 000 tonnes of CO₂ by the end of 2028

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25% reduction in the running costs of our buildings in Munich and The Hague

Enhance the digital home

Under the flexibility afforded by the EPO's New Ways of Working scheme, staff may work from our buildings regularly but they also operate increasingly in the virtual space.  

As we continue our transition to the hybrid environment, we will improve communication to enhance the sense of purpose. By 2028, we will aim to reach 85% of staff who say that they understand how their role contributes to the achievement of our mission. Our communication will help to preserve a sense of community, regardless of the place of work. We will reinforce two-way internal communication channels, including between managers and their teams. We will make use of the new possibilities in the digital home, such as hybrid team meetings using online tools and state-of-the-art collaboration tools. 

KPI targets

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85% percent of staff say they understand how their role contributes to the achievement of our mission

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75% overall staff engagement 

Manage our homes 

To ensure a proper, smoother and more efficient running of our homes, the EPO will continue to invest in simplified and digitised processes and in securing its data. In SP2028, the Office will focus on increasing the maturity of existing management systems, further align its sustainability reporting with the Global Reporting Initiative and will also aim to obtain formal recognition of the EPO data protection framework at European and international level.