Values and Guiding Principles

Corporate responsibility (CR) is based on shared values. We communicate our fundamental values to our employees within the scope of Guiding Principles as a way to effectively integrate these values into our corporate culture. Many of our employees once again contributed activities and ideas to put our Guiding Principles into practice in celebration of the fifth year of Guiding Principles Day.

Our Code of Conduct and our Social Charter are other tools that we use to ensure that our Group and our partners show corporate responsibility in their conduct. Our compliance management, which makes sure that our business activities are in compliance with laws and regulations, are based on these documents.

Deutsche Telekom's Guiding Principles are a key tool in our human resources activities. They form the basis of reliable cooperation at the company and help us keep delighting our customers with our products and services. We regularly communicate the Guiding Principles via our internal media to help incorporate them into our employees' everyday work routines. To this end, we also host our annual Guiding Principles Day.

We have been conducting pulse surveys for several years now to find out what our employees think about different Deutsche Telekom topics. We use this tool to assess the effectiveness of our communication regarding the Guiding Principles as well as other activities. In the survey, we ask employees to rate the statement, "I experience the Guiding Principles being practiced in my day-to-day work," on a scale of one to five. We continue to receive positive feedback from our employees. 70 percent of our employees gave a positive response (a rating of four or five) in our November 2014 survey, similar to the previous year. These consistent results indicate that the Guiding Principles continue to play a prominent role.

Deutsche Telekom held its fifth Group-wide Guiding Principles Day on September 25, 2014. All of our employees were called upon to think about the Guiding Principles and come up with ideas on how to effectively implement them in day-to-day work. The message was that we don't just live our Guiding Principles one day a year – we make them a basic principle behind our daily activities and continue to pursue them with determination.

Before the event, employees voted to decide which Guiding Principle should be the focal point on September 25. The majority of our employees chose the second Guiding Principle, "Respect and integrity guide our behavior." Our fifth Guiding Principles Day therefore focused on what we as a team, what each individual can do to ensure that we treat each other and our customers with more respect and appreciation.

The 2014 Guiding Principles Day was a huge success throughout the different countries and cultures. With numerous activities, events and initiatives, Deutsche Telekom employees showed how they are motivated by our corporate values to let respect and integrity guide their behavior. At an event held at our headquarters in Bonn, for example, seven employees gave presentations on what the Guiding Principle, "Respect and integrity guide our behavior," means to them. The presentations were inspired by the TED talks, which focus on encouraging experts from a variety of disciplines to share ideas.

Deutsche Telekom was one of the first companies to sign the Code of Responsible Conduct for Business, which was presented to the public in November 2010. All of the members of our Board of Management signed the code, making an express commitment to responsible corporate governance in line with the principles of the social market economy, to fair competition, cooperation with employee representatives, business excellence and sustainability. We have incorporated this commitment into our conduct as a business and have assumed a leading role in putting our commitment into practice:

The code asks that we engage in sustainable business practices and responsible corporate governance for the good of the people. Deutsche Telekom consistently addresses these requirements in its core business and along its supply chain and takes responsibility for its employees and in society. We guarantee respect for human rights without exception.

Our products and services connect people and increase the productivity of numerous processes, helping Germany and Europe to remain competitive in international competition and bring prosperity. Our smart, digital solutions create new ways to effectively address social challenges such as climate change and to simplify our lives for the long term. Our network serves as a vital line of communication in our efforts: fast, reliable, secure and accessible to everyone. These efforts, just like all of our activities, are focused on people. We provide transparent information on our plans and technologies, engage in fair practices and are always open to dialog.

In line with the code, we continue to expand our leading position as a sustainable company as well as our ongoing efforts to optimize our value-added processes. We are making our networks, products and services more energy and resource-efficient and reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of our business activities. In 2014 our Board of Management approved a Group-wide climate protection target for 2020. We also help our over 30,000 suppliers engage in business practices that are just as sustainable as our own, e.g. with our supplier development program. Along with audits and pre-qualification measures, we rely on partnership and dialog throughout this process, as we do in our relationships with our many stakeholders.

Development through dialog and partnership is also a central concept in our human resources management activities. It served as guidance when creating our internal social network, TSN, and our MOOC (massive open online course) open educational platform. More than 3,600 Deutsche Telekom employees participated in our first MOOC. During the course, 140 interdisciplinary, international teams developed numerous business concepts that are tailored to the needs of our customers and will provide long-term benefits. Deutsche Telekom is currently considered to be one of the most attractive employers.

Our social commitment, however, is not just to our customers, partners and employees. We feel it is our responsibility to support the development of media skills in our community and help young people become more confident. Our efforts in this area include the Teachtoday initiative, which promotes learning with digital media. We have also been involved in the "Yes, I can!" initiative for some time now. Since 2010 this initiative has given more than 60,000 children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity to learn key skills for an independent and confident life.

The telecommunication sector and business are changing rapidly. This affects not only the commercial side of the business and how a company is organized, but also its internal culture. This was the reason behind the launch of a company-wide T-Spirit project in 2014, which aims to explain T-Mobile’s strategy and create a corporate culture that is consistent with the company’s brand promise and today’s dynamic conditions. Through the T-Spirit project T-Mobile Netherlands wants to shape the company in the way it is envisioned to be, and thus make a clear mark on the telecom sector.

Volunteers from the company are now engaged in four working groups: New Way Of Leading, New Way Of Working, Live The Brand, and Creative Deployment a group that is going to develop initiatives. Instead of clear roles and responsibilities with defined milestones for firmly set goals right from the start, the project is working with initial ideas and a committed approach to co-create.

The T-Spirit Day on 30 September 2014 was the kick-off event for the T-Spirit program.  800 employees participated in 40 different creative sessions to promote the T-Spirit, learn about T-Mobile’s projects, exchange knowledge, and develop ideas. The sessions included for example workshops named “How to build the best mobile network?”, social hangouts, blind dating for employees or “The best sales training ever”.