Our HR work based on the priorities

1. Recruiting, placing, and developing people

Our employees play a crucial role in the transformation of our Group. It is hugely important to us to have the right people in the right jobs and to further develop their individual skills.

Recruiting. We want to be the magnet for global digital talent. In Germany alone, we recruited over 2,000 new employees in 2019, including in the environment. A quick digital recruiting process with a positive candidate journey is the key to success here. We offer a global careers website as a platform to search for jobs. We also make use of game-based assessments in the recruitment process. These are a new generation of psychometric tests in the form of online games and are being deployed in the context of our hiring process for the Start up! trainee program. We also use digital tools that rank final university grades on the basis of algorithms, thus enabling a fair comparison. By addressing specific target groups, our recruiting strategy also aims to encourage more talented women to join our company. 2019 marked the seventh time that female students of STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) from all over the world were able to compete for our Women’s STEM Award. We are also involved in Femtec, a career program for female STEM students, and in the Global Digital Women network. SDG 5

Employer brand. A strong employer brand is essential for recruiting and retaining talented individuals, especially in today’s increasingly competitive labor market for IT and tech specialists. To target this group, we developed a new employer branding strategy and employer campaign (#IWILLNOTSTOP) in 2019 and rolled them out worldwide. We are pursuing a digital communications strategy in order to individualize and personalize the way we address this group of potential employees. It involves enhancing our presence with digital image ads and employee stories in video format, which are designed to underscore how our employees can make a difference in their jobs, help achieve social progress, and shape the digital transformation. The message of our campaign is: Become one of us and experience for yourself what we can achieve together.

Succession management. Our own employees are the most important source of candidates for leadership positions at Deutsche Telekom. In order to proceed in a structured manner, we take a global approach to succession planning. A digital process allows us to plan on an ongoing basis and affords us an overview of potential successors for management positions.

The 80/20 model. The 80/20 model is an innovative program to improve employee motivation and collaboration across departments. It gives employees the freedom – on a voluntary basis and in agreement with the superior – to dedicate 20 percent of their working hours to Group-wide projects. The model allows employees to close skills gaps and gives them an opportunity to apply their skills in other areas, irrespective of their department. Introducing this level of flexibility not only promotes the success of the Company as a whole, but also creates a new and innovative way of working, in which employees’ skills are valued and managers receive targeted support. SDG 5

levelUP! In the age of digitalization, managers must possess skills and methods that differ greatly from those needed in the analog world. That is why we support our executives with levelUP!, an innovative digital further-training service for successful leadership in the digital age. levelUP! comprises modules that can be combined as required. Knowledge is shared primarily via interactive, digital learning formats in combination with classroom training. In recent years, more than 1,400 Deutsche Telekom executives have taken part in the first, very successful, levelUP! program, which focused on the topic of Ambidextrous Leadership. In 2019, the levelUP! program underwent a change of content and was given a new title: “Leading Agile.” Some 700 executives participated in the first round of the levelUP! Leading Agile program. SDG 5

levelUP!NextGeneration. The huge success of the levelUP! program prompted us to launch a similar program for motivated high potentials in 2019: levelUP!NextGeneration. Around 600 employees worldwide took part in this four-month development program, which utilizes digital learning methods to teach innovative leadership topics and skills. SDG 5

skillsUP! In order to secure the Company’s competitiveness and employment, skillsUP! – a successfully piloted strategic skills management program – was further evolved in 2019. In addition to revising task descriptions and skills profiles for qualitative HR planning, and identifying potential retraining measures, the aim of the program is to recognize skills gaps at an early stage and develop tailored training programs. The program is scheduled for rollout in 2020. SDG 5

Youlearn. The purpose of our new Youlearn initiative is to entrench self-paced learning in everyday working life. We are convinced that companies with a pronounced culture of learning also enjoy success in the marketplace. In 2019, we launched a Group-wide campaign for a new way of learning and created a range of innovative portals, tools, and offerings for our employees. These are not only easier to locate, they also help make the learning process a more enjoyable experience for employees. We will also offer our workforce mobile access to learning content as well as new video-based applications that will increasingly enable them to learn whenever and wherever they like. SDG 5

2. Evolving our culture

We are convinced that, in addition to economic factors, a company’s culture is decisive for its long-term success. Our corporate culture is strong and our regular employee surveys underscore that our colleagues identify with our Company and our brand. We want to strengthen this feeling. At the same time, the needs of customers and employees alike, the technologies we use, and our entire market and business environment are changing so fast that we need to evolve our corporate culture too.

Living culture. What culture is the right fit for future business and market trends? What motivates people? Do they enjoy going to work, do they feel appreciated, are their accomplishments recognized? These and other questions were ones we asked ourselves in the Living Culture project launched in 2019. The goal of the project is to work on our future corporate culture together with our employees, developing it, and devising specific measures to make it something we can all experience personally. In the reporting year, we surveyed more than 3,200 employees in 11 countries – from technicians through to the CEO – actively asking them about our culture and staging over 40 workshops. We intend to communicate the results of this project and begin implementing the planned measures in 2020.

Practicing diversity. For over a decade, we have sustainably and comprehensively practiced and promoted diversity throughout the Group. In 2015, we launched a campaign on unconscious bias, which is now running internationally across all levels of the hierarchy. The goal is to raise employee awareness of this issue and bring fresh stimulus for greater diversity within the Company. In the reporting year, we took part in the German Diversity Day, organizing several activities. Together with the successor companies of the former Deutsche Bundespost and with Völklinger Kreis, an association for LGBT managers and self-employed persons, we staged a DiverseCity event at Deutsche Telekom Headquarters. The purpose was to raise managers’ awareness of issues such as equality and sexual orientation. Together with almost 250 colleagues, we also demonstrated for greater acknowledgment and respect at the Christopher Street Day parade in Cologne. SDG 5

Gender equality remains a particular concern of ours. Back in 2010, Deutsche Telekom set itself the target of filling 30 percent of management positions across the Group with women. Around the world, the proportion of women in middle and upper management stood at 26 percent at the end of 2019. Following the introduction of the Act on Equal Participation of Women and Men in Executive Positions in the Private and the Public Sector (Gesetz für die gleichberechtigte Teilhabe von Frauen und Männern an Führungspositionen in der Privatwirtschaft und im öffentlichen Dienst), the Board of Management has set a goal of 30 percent women at the two management levels below the Board of Management. We aim to meet these targets by the end of 2020. The proportion of women occupying positions on Deutsche Telekom AG’s Supervisory Board was 40 percent as of December 2019. We are constantly working to achieve equal opportunity and diversity through our involvement in the Chefsache initiative and our membership in schemes such as the Diversity Charter and the Technology-Diversity-Equal Chances Competence Center.

Achieving a good work-life balance. Alongside offering traditional support in the form of childcare facilities and family care options, we are also moving increasingly to an HR policy oriented to different life phases that offers flexible working conditions for greater self-determination, and, in doing so, exploits the opportunities provided by digitalization. After concluding the general collective agreement with ver.di in 2017, we rolled out mobile working across the Group as a new way of working. This allows our employees to work from home or on the move, provided the nature of the task lends itself to this. In addition, flexible working hours, the opportunity to go part-time with a guaranteed option to return to full-time work, and lifetime work accounts all give employees greater freedom to structure their working day and achieve a better work-life balance. SDG 8

Employee satisfaction. According to data collected by the Group-wide employee survey conducted in 2019 (excluding T‑Mobile US), our commitment index score – i.e., our measure of employee satisfaction – was good at 4.0 (on a scale from 1.0 to 5.0). We also conduct regular pulse surveys to obtain feedback from our employees. Several initiatives are in place to further enhance employee satisfaction. We expect the results of the next employee survey to once again indicate a high level of satisfaction among our employees.

Employee satisfaction (commitment index)a








Commitment index according to the employee surveys carried out in 2019 and 2017.


T‑Mobile US conducts its own employee survey.

GROUP (excluding T‑Mobile US)b



Of which: Germany



Of which: international



Employee health. Our health management strategy is designed to maintain our employees’ health and performance. We view occupational health and safety legislation as minimum requirements. Our corporate culture encourages our employees to take responsibility for their own health. Managers make an important contribution in this respect. SDG 3

For further information on the subject of occupational health and safety, please refer to the section “Corporate responsibility and non-financial statement.”

3. Enabling a customer-centric and agile way of working

We want to be able to offer our customers value-added products, outstanding performance, and excellent service. Customer-oriented and agile working methods can contribute to achieving this goal and also enable us to respond quickly to change. That is why our HR work focuses on creating the framework for these working methods and empowering our employees to apply them.

Creating the framework. Our Agile Compass provides employees, teams, and managers with orientation for the agile transformation. Its six dimensions provide specific recommendations for action that are based on the experience gained by internal and external experts. Together with the Group Works Council, we have also drawn up a Manifesto on Agile Working to provide corresponding underpinnings across the Group. In the future, agile methods are to be placed on an equal footing with existing ones and used wherever they are considered to be appropriate. SDG 8

Empowering employees. In 2019, we continued our internal training course for design thinking facilitators and practitioners, and succeeded in increasing the number of members of this important community to 425. This helped us disseminate customer-centric methods and encourage their deployment. In addition, a broad-based Agile Enabling program was launched to familiarize our employees, teams, and managers at all levels with agile working methods. We support agile and digital collaboration – from the basics of methods and tools, and training courses for agile coaches through to consultation for specific transformation projects. For example, the Digitales Seepferdchen – a badge that can be earned in several training steps – teaches employees how to get to grips with topics such as virtual collaboration and agile working methods, and acquaints them with the world of digital trends and technologies. Our Agility Check assists managers in assessing the agile maturity of their particular spheres of responsibility and in developing specific action points and offerings.

Major HR awards in 2019

Major HR awards in 2018 (graphic)

For an overview of which sustainability indexes list the T-Share, please refer to the section “Corporate responsibility and non-financial statement.”

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