Culture and Talent


Our shared purpose, solving water, unites our more than 16,000 employees around the globe. As a company driven by innovation and creative solutions, bringing together diverse skills, backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive culture provides us with strategic advantage. Fostering workforce diversity is essential to our success in solving the world’s water challenges.

Talent Attraction and Retention

Cultivating leadership and cultivating quality talent are strategic priorities at Xylem. To advance the capabilities of our people, we offer a wide variety of experiences to support our employees’ professional growth and continuous learning. Talent development at Xylem is grounded in our Connect.Perform.Grow (CPG) performance management approach. CPG creates an opportunity for our people managers and their direct reports to engage in regular and on-going dialogue throughout the year.

See our 2020 Sustainability Report for more.

Employee Engagement

Engagement begins by listening to our employees. Ninety percent of employees participated in our second Global Employee Engagement and Culture Survey in 2019, a five percent increase from 2017. This illustrates our employees have many insights to share as well as a desire to have their voices heard. The feedback we receive through these surveys is vital to our continuous improvement as a company.

2019 survey results revealed three key strengths:

  • Doing what is right. We continue to score high on questions about our commitment to providing employees a safe and healthy work environment and operating our business in an ethical manner, also adding high scores on inclusion and diversity. 
  • Building a culture of openness and continuous improvement. Employees feel that we foster an open environment, where they are comfortable speaking up and taking reasonable risks. This kind of culture is essential to fostering innovation, a core driver of our sustained growth. They also recognize our continued success in driving a continuous improvement mindset, a quality aligned with our strategic priorities.
  • Positive work environment, with opportunities to contribute to company goals. We continue to score high on employee satisfaction with their jobs and work environments and understanding how they contribute to the company goals.

Entry-Level Talent Recruitment Programs

We continue to build on our university relationships across the US through targeted recruitment, career fairs, technical talks and other partnership activities that include Watermark events. In 2019 we hired more than 80 summer interns (up from 50 in 2018) to work at several US facilities across all functions. We will continue to grow our university relationships moving forward, including finding ways to expand our Xylem Watermark activities on campus, and programs geared towards developing relationships with key universities in our European and Emerging Market regions.

University graduates are eager to work for companies that have a strong sense of purpose and mission, and Xylem’s ‘Let’s Solve Water’ ambition continues to be a powerful attraction for students. We are continuing to build a pipeline of purpose-driven early-in-career talent by engaging with university graduates early and often.

Learn more about entry-level programs at Xylem’s Careers website.

Leadership Development Programs

Strategic Leadership Development Program (SLDP)

Our Strategic Leadership Development Program invites high-potential employees who have a passion and aspiration to develop their leadership and strategy skills to partake in a year-long program with trainings in global locations, group and individual strategy projects, access to senior mentors and an end-of-program presentation to senior leaders. Approximately 15 participants are selected for each program per year.

Innovation & Technology Leadership Development Program (ITLDP)

Our Innovation and Technology Leadership Development Program invites high-potential employees who have a passion and curiosity to develop their technology and innovation skills to participate in a year-long program with trainings in global locations, group projects, access to senior mentors and an end-of-program presentation to senior leaders. Approximately 15 participants are selected for each program per year.

Manager Development

Our approach to Manager Development includes helping people managers cultivate and strengthen their leadership and change management skills, and in addition help them to facilitate the building of a strong network of peers from across the organization. Through a combination of three different instructor-led programs, our people managers strengthen their ability to better understand their own change management skills, how to better help others through change, and strong coaching skills. After the completion of these programs, we enhance the learning through virtually delivered programs geared to virtual/remote management, building accountability and on-going change management & coaching skill building. These virtual sessions are led by both external providers and in many cases senior leaders from across the organization. As with all Xylem learning and development, active learning is an important aspect. We don’t just teach models or theories, we provide opportunities for participants to practice the skills.

Manager to Leader (M2L) Program

Our Manager to Leader Program provides a hands-on experience with colleagues from across the globe to learn what it takes to transition to a manager of managers in Xylem. We have designed this program to accelerate the development of our leaders, and to support our strategic business transformation. In addition to convening three times throughout the program year, the cohort of 20-25 people managers also works on a team project that is related to Xylem’s commitment to providing social value. 

Executive Development Program

The Executive Development Program is an in-depth program designed for leaders who are part of the extended leadership team. Building upon Xylem’s vision to become a high-performing company with a common culture, the program focuses on building enterprise leadership approaches and empowering leaders to take charge of our company’s transformation. We kicked off our seventh cohort of this program in February 2020 with 20 participants. Nearly 60 percent of those who completed the program have been promoted, had a role change or had their current roles expanded.

Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity in all its forms allows us to compete more effectively around the world and drive exceptional customer satisfaction, innovation and company performance. We are committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities where we live and work, and the customers we serve.  We work to harness our expertise and cutting-edge technologies to help water operators and communities around the world address the growing water challenges they face.  And, we know the best way for us to achieve our aim and serve our stakeholders is to develop a world-class culture that taps into the power of diversity and inclusion.  

Learn more