Aspect 2: Employee concerns

The digital transformation is expected to improve people’s lives. That is why people will remain a priority for us. This applies in particular to the 211,000 or so employees working in our Company. They use their commitment, their expertise, and their abilities to smooth the path towards a digital society and thus make a key contribution to our business success. Five Guiding Principles, representing our values, form the cornerstones for collaboration within our Company. We have defined our strategic HR priorities in line with the motto: Supporting people. Driving performance. We attach great importance to employee involvement and fair behavior toward colleagues, promote diversity, and engage in systematic health management. SDG 8

Our Guiding Principles are stated in the section “Group organization.” For further information about our HR work, please refer to the “Employees” section.

Collaboration with employees’ representatives and trade unions SDG 17

Digitalization is fundamentally changing the way we work together. Employees are expected to demonstrate greater flexibility, social skills, and autonomy, to continue learning throughout their lives, and to work with greater independence. We have made it our goal to support our employees in this transformation – and to help them not just overcome change, but take an active role in shaping it.

Codetermination rights play a key role in the digital transformation. Together with employees’ representatives and trade unions, we want to create the working world of the future – with an eye to the needs of our workforce and the success of our Company. 62 collective agreements were concluded with the trade union in the course of 2019. The focus was on harmonizing the remuneration systems in Germany. To this end, grading policies and processes were standardized. As the underlying laws and contracts vary from country to country, codetermination matters are managed locally with trade unions and employees’ representatives. Group management is involved in all major issues as a matter of principle.

The works councils, central works councils, and Group Works Council represent the interests of Group employees in Germany. Our partner representing the employees’ interests on a European level is the European Works Council (EWC). We also have executive staff representation committees and representatives of disabled employees at unit, company, and Group level. The EWC has been one of our established key dialog partners for many years, representing the interests of Group employees in countries within the European Union and the European Economic Area. The EWC has 32 seats, 31 of which are currently occupied (as of December 31, 2019). Collective bargaining plays an important role and has a long tradition at our Company, a fact made clear by the percentage of employees covered by collective agreements. As of December 31, 2019, 73.4 percent of employees in Germany were covered by collective agreements. We record the Group-wide coverage rate every two years. As of December 31, 2018, it stood at 52.3 percent.

We carefully monitored trade union matters in the United States over the course of 2019. The responsibility for national human resources management matters in the United States lies with T‑Mobile US’ management. This responsibility is assumed with a great deal of commitment and accompanied by excellent customer satisfaction results. Across the globe, Deutsche Telekom respects the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining in accordance with national law. This naturally also applies to the United States, with each employee at T‑Mobile US entitled to form or join a trade union. At the same time, employees are also free to choose not to do so. T‑Mobile US will not exert any influence in this respect, neither favoring nor discriminating against employees because of a decision they have made.

The results of employee surveys conducted at T‑Mobile US in 2019 showed that 93 percent of respondents take pride in working for the company. 89 percent said they would recommend T‑Mobile US as a great place to work, and 84 percent believe the company inspires them to go above and beyond their usual work-related duties. These results are among the highest in the Group. T‑Mobile US has been awarded numerous accolades in recent years for its appeal as an employer. In 2019, T‑Mobile US was once again named Best Place to Work by the independent employee platform Glassdoor. In addition, T‑Mobile US improved its position in the Fortune Best Companies to Work For top 100 list, moving up from 86 (2018) to 49 (2019). Ethisphere Institute named T‑Mobile US as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the eleventh year in a row. T‑Mobile US also scored 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index for the seventh time in a row, making T‑Mobile US the best place to work in terms of equal treatment of homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people.

Collaboration with employees’ representatives is founded on our commitment to trusting cooperation – anchored in our Group-wide Employee Relations Policy, which sets out eleven core elements describing what we stand for as an employer around the world. The policy also describes our aspiration with regard to the following HR topics: employee development, responsible handling of changes, health and sustainability, fair pay, work-life balance, leadership, diversity, the prohibition of discrimination, and how we communicate and work together with employees’ representatives. Our Code of Human Rights & Social Principles policy statement also includes a voluntary commitment to safeguarding the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining (in compliance with national law in each case).

Our employee survey, carried out every two years, is a key indicator of the relationship between our Company and its workforce. We supplement it with pulse surveys, which give us a snapshot of the mood across the Group twice a year. In the most recent employee survey (excluding T‑Mobile US) from 2019, the commitment index remained at a high level, coming in at 4.0 (on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0).

For further information, please refer to the “Employees” section.

Diversity and equal opportunity SDG 10

Just as much as demographic developments and different perceptions of roles, social trends such as globalization must not lead to certain groups being shut out of the labor market. Equal opportunities are essential for social stability and business alike. Respecting human individuality and harnessing individuals’ distinctive traits for joint success is just as important for our Group as developing a shared identity. A Culture & Diversity Team has been set up in the Human Resources Board of Management department to ensure this is implemented successfully.

People with different abilities and cultural backgrounds from roughly 150 countries work together very effectively at our Company. This diversity helps us remain competitive around the world with good ideas and outstanding products, and consolidate our position as an attractive employer. Developments in the proportion of women in leadership positions and serving on the supervisory boards are reported to and discussed by the Board of Management every six months. For us, diversity also means offering our employees numerous opportunities to develop personally and grow professionally, regardless of their gender, age, sexual preference, health situation, ethnic background, religion, or culture. Our Group-wide Diversity Policy, five Guiding Principles, the Employee Relations Policy, and the Code of Human Rights & Social Principles policy statement form the foundation of our commitment to diversity. We are also a founding member of the Diversity Charter corporate initiative.

For further information, please refer to the “Employees” section.

We meet the requirements set out in the Act to Promote Transparency of Pay Structures by publishing a remuneration report every five years – most recently in the 2017 financial year.

Occupational health and safety SDG 3

Measures that promote health within the Company not only help individual employees and ensure long-term business success, but also have positive effects beyond that on society as a whole. We use holistic health management to take on social responsibility and promote a proactive culture of health. We support our employees in maintaining their health and occupational safety with a host of target audience-specific measures and extensive prevention programs. We consider the statutory requirements to be only the minimum standard we must achieve. Our corporate occupational health and safety measures are effectively incorporated into our structures via certified management systems and appropriate policies and guidelines. We support the Group-wide approach with a uniform international health, safety, and environmental management system based on the international OHSAS 18001, ISO 45001, ISO 14001, and ISO 9001 standards for occupational safety and health, environmental protection, and quality.

The Board of Management bears overarching responsibility for safeguarding health, occupational safety, and the environment. Quarterly reports on the health rate are just one example of its commitment in this area. We pool together and manage our occupational safety and health protection programs at a Group level, with on-site health and safety managers responsible for putting them into practice. We systematically evaluate our programs to ensure they are effective. To do so, we review the results of our employee survey, evaluating stress prevention measures under collective agreements, and competitor benchmarks. We analyze this data each year to derive measures that exceed the statutory requirements. Raising awareness, prevention, and encouraging individual responsibility are high priorities at our Company.

Group-wide initiatives serve to promote health awareness and health literacy among our employees. For example, all teams across 29 countries are issued recommendations and granted access to services depending on their health index rating. Occupational health promotion in Germany covers a range of services for employees such as stress prevention programs; flu vaccinations; colon cancer screening; information on diet and nutrition, exercise, and relaxation; and a comprehensive annual health check-up. In addition, with our Germany-wide employee and executive advisory service, we offer a portfolio of support services in the area of psychosocial health, but also crisis prevention and expert advice in the event of psychosocial crises and extreme incidents. Standards in Germany serve to improve occupational safety by regulating aspects such as safe, ergonomic environments in buildings and vehicles. In addition to services available to all employees, there are also target group-specific measures, e.g., driver safety training for certain areas of work. By raising awareness and implementing preventive measures, our aim is to promote employees’ health, boost their motivation, improve the health rate, and continue to reduce the accident rate.

A variety of key figures demonstrate the effectiveness of our corporate health management services. The health rate (including long-term illnesses) at Deutsche Telekom in Germany was 94.0 percent in 2019 (prior year: 93.6 percent). Excluding long-term illnesses, the health rate in 2019 stood at 95.5 percent (prior year: 95.3 percent). The health rate is reported to the Board of Management at the end of each quarter. We aim to bring the Group-wide health rate up to 95.9 percent by 2020 (excluding long-term illnesses). The total number of work-related accidents continued to decline in the reporting year in comparison with the previous year. With 6.8 accidents (resulting in over three days of absence) per thousand employees, the accident rate in Germany was well below the industry average. The Group-wide health index – calculated in 29 countries as part of the last employee survey in 2019 – remained constant at 3.6 (on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0).