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  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Education and development

The need for highly qualified workers in the STEM img subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) will continue to grow in coming years. This development will particularly be felt in business areas such as cloud technology, big data, cyber security and the Industrial Internet. Our extensive training and continuing education offers help prevent a lack of these skilled workers, sharpen our company's competitive edge and get us ready for the digital future.


  • Promoting our employees' skills development and performance


  • Training offers
  • Training and development
  • Leadership development
  • Talent programs
  • Digital teaching and learning formats
  • Performance assessment tools


  • Trainee ratio
  • Participation in training and development opportunities
  • Percentage of digital learning formats used
  • Employee satisfaction

Our goal is to identify and get talented young people on board early on in their careers. That is why we extensively support their training and continued education. We specified a trainee ratio of 2.9 percent of our employees in Germany each year until 2015. We currently offer openings for ten vocational training programs and eight cooperative degree programs. This makes us one of the largest vocational training providers in Germany. We also offer a large number of training and development opportunities for our experts and managers. With these continuing education offers, Deutsche Telekom promotes the concept of life-long learning.

The cornerstones of our vocational training and development programs are our Employee Relations Policy, Guiding Principles and Leadership Principles.


Education 3.0 successfully concluded
The aim of our Education 3.0 initiative, which we finalized in 2015, was to bring our offers better in line with Deutsche Telekom's future strategic needs. We developed a completely new training portfolio for the big data topic, for example. Courses on "usable privacy & security" were added to our training program for cyber security professionals, which was launched in 2014. In this context, we laid special emphasis on digital learning formats along the entire education chain, from vocational training through to cooperative bachelor programs and part-time master programs.

Promoting digital learning
We have been promoting digital learning at our company for many years. Around 30 percent of all learning hours are currently held digitally and the number is growing. The learning program portfolio combines programs available on the market with our own in-house products to create Group-specific content. A good example of this is our “All-IP img Basic Training”, a 90-minute online training program. The course is offered to all of our employees, an excellent chance to acquire basic knowledge of IP img. By the end of 2015, this course had been accessed around 3,700 times, both nationally and internationally. We also rely increasingly on informal digital learning. Experts meet in digital communities, for example, to discuss the topics of the future. Around 40 international communities are currently active, 17 of which are focused on Deutsche Telekom's strategic business areas. Community members at T-Systems use the “Virtual Collaboration” digital learning format to encourage collaboration across segments, countries and hierarchies.

Group-wide management development
With our Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) program,  we make a standardized offer of business-based, strategically relevant learning formats available to all managers at the Group. The portfolio covers central topics that support managers in mastering the challenges involved in their daily work as well as in their roles as leaders and team managers. The program is based on our leadership principles "Collaborate," "Innovate" and "Empower to perform."

Performance assessment tools
The “Performance Dialog” is our tool for assessing the performance of high-ranking managers. Around 2,800 top-level managers are currently being assessed using this tool. The assessment involves not only target achievement levels but also looks at how the manager went about achieving these goals. Managers complete a self-assessment and obtain feedback from their colleagues. We also continue to use our other performance assessment tools, “Compass”, for civil servants and employees covered by collective agreements in Germany, and our “Performance & Potential Review” for employees in Germany outside collective agreements, a tool that is also used at many of our national companies.

Assessing effectiveness
We regularly and systematically review the effectiveness of our training and development activities. These reviews involve standardized surveys conducted as part of our quality circle, which gives us a regular overview of the quality of our training and development activities via monthly reports. Our Bologna@Telekom program designed to encourage part-time study ,for example, is now subject to extensive quality controls – from the application process to graduate management. We also ask employees to evaluate our training and development offers in our regular employee survey . Additional tools are added to our standard reporting and surveys as needed. In 2015 we surveyed all 805 of the top-level managers at T-Systems about our leadership culture within the scope of our Group-wide initiative "Lead to win." The fact that 75 percent of these managers participated in the survey shows that this topic is important to them. 66 percent rated collaboration within their own business unit as positive. The feedback we received from more than 400 personal comments was especially valuable. We will be using the survey results to further improve the leadership culture at T-Systems.

The company's own HfTL University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig is involved in a variety of projects focused on educating experts to work in the telecommunications market and on encouraging young people to pursue careers in the STEM img subjects.

New bachelor program: Applied computer science
The cooperative bachelor program for a degree in Applied Computer Science got underway at HfTL with the start of the 2015/2016 winter semester. In addition to teaching the basics of computer science, the program particularly focuses on future-ready technologies and how they can be applied. Students can choose specialization modules such as programming apps for smartphones, programming databases and managing complex networks. They also gain and apply in-depth knowledge of innovative concepts and technologies for application development and data management. The program will be continued in the 2016/2017 winter semester with a considerable increase in registration numbers.

Study programs available to refugees
HfTL has been accepting refugees for bachelor and master's degree programs, both full and part-time, since the 2015/2016 winter semester. The bachelor programs are held in German and the master's program in Information and Communications Technology is offered in both German and English. As HfTL students, refugees qualify for the "MINT-Bonbon" scholarship program, which means they do not have to pay course fees. Costs for German courses or subject-related support courses as well as semester fees and the required IT equipment are paid for as well. The German Federal Employment Agency's career information centers and non-profit organizations provide refugees with information about the offer. Seven refugees from Syria were accepted into the bachelor program for the 2015/2016 winter semester. New students are expected to join in 2016.

Competition instead of class
In the 2015/2016 winter semester more than 200 HfTL students participated in the 2nd Software Engineering Competition. For the first time, students from the Business Information Systems and Communications and Media Technology part-time programs also participated in the competition. The competition calls for students to develop innovative solutions to current problems in the telecommunications industry and other business sectors. The projects covered a wide range of topics, from web applications for non-profit associations, apps to create songs and budget planning for shared apartment communities, to developing a community app for borrowing unused equipment and other items. The student projects will be judged by an internal jury at the university on the basis of specified criteria. The winning team will get to participate in an IT security workshop held by T-Systems MultiMedia Solution in Dresden. Other prizes include a workshop on the Scrum software development method and the chance to participate in student business counseling.

Deutsche Telekom is always looking for creative spirits and technology-minded people who want to help us shape the digital future. We will consolidate our local Recruiting units into one global organization in 2016 in order to give us access to the best people regardless of national borders and to improve international collaboration.

We have effectively positioned ourselves as an attractive employer over the past few years with a creative, target group-oriented presence in social media and other unusual initiatives such as "Leave your Mark" and "Blind Applying." This was confirmed by the Online Talent Communication 2015 study conducted by Potentialpark, which rated our Careers website as the best employer presence in Germany.

Since 2013, we have been awarding the Women's MINT Award in collaboration with audimax student magazine and the “MINT-Zukunft-schaffen” (Creating a STEM img future) initiative in order to do something about the lack of STEM experts and to get young women excited about STEM subjects. The award goes to the most convincing final papers on the following growth topics: networks of the future, Industrial Internet, cyber security, automotive technologies and digital universe. The winning paper on "Dynamic Cell Size Adaptation and Intercell Interference Coordination in LTE img Heterogeneous Networks" received a prize of 3,000 euros and an additional paper in each of the five categories received 500 euros.

Active sourcing is key in looking for candidates, i.e., actively addressing potential candidates via networks, trade fairs, events, etc. This enables us to quickly engage in authentic, personal contact with candidates, which establishes trust and helps us fill positions with top candidates more quickly and cost-effectively.

Our international Start up! trainee program offers young people with entrepreneurial spirit who are open to new ideas and innovation a chance to get started at Deutsche Telekom in Germany. We hope to attract graduates in STEM img subjects to the trainee program. In the reporting period we accepted 31 university graduates into our trainee program, roughly 45 percent of whom were women. During a period of 15 to 18 months, the trainees get to know different areas of the company in Germany and abroad and are put in charge of challenging project activities in various business areas. Experienced mentors assist the trainees. The program is supplemented by innovative training formats and events. One example is the Start up! Learning Company, with which we won the HR Excellence Award 2015 in the "Corporate talent management program" category. At the Start up! Learning Company, young talents can participate in project simulations where they learn how to realize change despite resistance.

We stand for open-mindedness and are committed to diversity, which is why we accept different performance levels and needs when it comes to young talents:

  • Depending on how long their families have been in Germany and where they come from, young people with migrant backgrounds often encounter particular problems on the job and vocational training market. We see them as an opportunity for our company: today, 8.1 percent of our apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs have a nationality other than German, representing a total of 69 countries. We have also been offering internships for school students targeted specifically at refugees since 2015 within the scope of the Group's refugee initiative.
  • In 2009 we launched the "My chance to get going" project in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency to help people qualify for entry-level training. The program prepares disadvantaged young people for an apprenticeship at Deutsche Telekom. The project has been very successful so far. Of the 564 interns who participated in the program between 2009 and 2014, 401 have already started a apprenticeship at our company; 93 of them started with the first training year and 308 were accepted directly into the second year. Another approx. 70 interns started the program in 2015.
  • Since 2011 we have been collaborating with the German Federal Employment Agency to offer single parents the opportunity to complete a training program or cooperative degree program part-time. 50 young people began their training with this program in 2015.
  • To encourage diversity in the program, we also work to increase the number of women participating in technical cooperative study programs. While in 2010 the share of women was only 11 percent, it has meanwhile risen to 23.5 percent.
  • Around one percent of our apprentices are young people with disabilities. This is above-average in view of the total number of disabled people in Germany.
  • Our Young IT Talents and Young Sales Talents programs support high-performing apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs who are focusing on IT, sales and customer consulting. Participants have the opportunity to tackle challenging customer projects and extend their skills at expert and training events, and in national and international competitions.    

Deutsche Telekom is closing a gap on the German vocational training and job market with our training program for cyber security professionals (certified by the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, IHK), which was launched in 2014. According to a study by the BITKOM industry association, IT data privacy experts are extremely hard to find on today's market. The study found that there were no vocational training programs and very few degree programs that people could attend to learn the necessary skills. In response, Deutsche Telekom launched the cyber security professional program in September 2014, a two-and-a-half- year, part-time program created for apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs at Deutsche Telekom who become eligible to apply after completing their current training. The program combines classic further training with study modules and learning phases at the company. Those who complete the course receive a certificate for IT security professionals from the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

The training program for cyber security professionals entered its second round in 2015 with ten selected participants. The program is very popular with 300 graduates applying for the program in 2015. The third generation of young talents will get started with the program in 2016. Employees with career experience will also have the opportunity to earn the IHK certificate in 2016 through a condensed continuing education program. In early 2016 Deutsche Telekom won the IHK education prize awarded by the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) in the Corporations category.

Special emphasis was placed on the topic of usable security and privacy. We created a supplemental training offer that focuses on the human factor involved in IT security in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) and incorporated it into our program in 2015. Another program launched in 2015 is the "network forensics" certificate that our employees can earn by attending a series of seminars developed in collaboration with several universities.

Having dedicated, ICT-minded and service-oriented employees contributes to the success of our business. This makes it important to secure the loyalty of these talented employees, encourage them, get them involved and develop their skills further. Our global talent management system serves as the basis for succession planning and placement of talented employees at our company.

Talented people who are planning the next step in their careers or want to gain experience working on strategic projects can sign up on the Talents@Telekom online platform, where they can post their curriculum vitae and get noticed. Employees from human resources units throughout the Group use the platform to get in touch with them. With more than 550 employee profiles, 24 percent of which were posted by women and 36 percent by international colleagues, the response to the platform was slightly less than the previous year. The platform is a useful tool in simplifying the process of finding the right person for a position anywhere in the Group and increasing an employee's chance of getting noticed. It also encourages employees to gain experience at different business units or national companies and in a range of functions, furthering diversity at the Group.

"Light up" talent conference provides opportunity for dialog
300 talented employees from 20 countries met at the talent conference in Bonn in September under the slogan, "Light up" or "Put your talent in the spotlight!". Conference participants had the opportunity to learn more about effective strategies to help them advance their careers. The event was also an excellent networking opportunity. Around 100 top managers from the Group's various business units were invited to attend the conference as guests.

T-Systems Connect-2-Change initiative: promotes dialog with top performers
The Connect-2-Change initiative was launched in 2014 as a two-year program to accompany the transformation process at T-Systems. Its aim is to recognize the potential of top performers at T-Systems and strengthen their loyalty to the company. During the reporting period we invited roughly 150 employees to work on T-Systems' transformation and future topics at conferences outside their typical job environments. In intensive dialog with the management and in working groups, participants had the opportunity to reflect their experience and know-how from their day-to-day work on the basis of the company's strategic direction. The mixed format of information, dialog, networking and interactive elements was well received. 98 percent of participants gave the program an excellent rating. 96 percent said that the conference strengthened their feeling of recognition and loyalty to the company. The management also rated the event very favorably.

International Career Management Program encourages international dialog
The International Career Management Program initiated by the Europe & Technology Board area was launched in 2014. The purpose of the program is to encourage an exchange of talented employees and create permanent, international career paths facilitating transfers between the national companies. More than 120 managers and experts traded workplaces at different companies for several months during the reporting period. Employees were able to further their skills in an international environment and the departments benefited from new knowledge and experience as well as intensified networking. The program also expanded our internal talent market.

Delight your Customer: Telekom Deutschland's talent and innovation platform
The Delight your Customer event series has served as a talent and innovation platform at Telekom Deutschland since 2011. The program addresses employees who are strong performers or have high potential as identified by our performance development tools, “Compass” and the Performance & Potential Review. Focal topics include customer orientation and current market trends such as the increasing digitization at the workplace. Participants collaborate in workshops, receiving real customer feedback to improve service quality.

Three two-day “Delight your Customer” events were held in Bad Neuenahr, Germany in 2015 under the slogan "Experience digital worlds." Roughly 1,000 participants from Telekom Deutschland met there to network and come up with innovative ideas. The program featured workshops and presentations on topics such as big data, design thinking, M2M and agile work. With the Delight your Customer program, Telekom Deutschland specifically encourages cross-departmental and cross-functional exchange. The event was very popular, with 97 percent of participants stating they were satisfied or very satisfied.

Performance Dialog, which was introduced in 2014, is a tool for assessing the performance of top-level managers. It was expanded during the reporting period to include all executives.

Performance Dialog encourages ongoing dialog between executives and their superiors. Working together closely with their superiors and reflecting intensively on their own leadership style is expected to improve the performance of our executives and make the assessment process more transparent. Performance Dialog is based on our “Guiding Principles” and our “Leadership Principles”, which were introduced in 2014: "Collaborate," "Innovate" and "Empower to perform." In addition to being reviewed by their superiors, their colleagues also assess the executives' leadership style. This peer feedback also has a direct impact on target achievement.

Our “Compass” tool for assessing employees covered by collective agreements and civil servants in Germany and our “Performance & Potential Review”, which we rolled out internationally in 2014, continue to be used throughout the Group.

In 2015 we offered a three-day Project Management Reality Training program in which a total of 140 experienced project managers from 21 countries and all business areas of Deutsche Telekom participated. Participants learned how to deal with everyday challenges with the help of reality-based simulations, including fictional customers, employees and suppliers. One assignment was to develop a concept for effectively integrating a local telecommunications company affected by extensive market changes. Participants had help from experienced trainers and coaches and were able to expand their skills in dealing with different target groups and intercultural collaboration. The training event was also an excellent opportunity to share experiences and network with people from other segments and countries. 95 percent of participants stated that they would recommend the training to their colleagues. Because of the tremendous response, we will be offering the program again in 2016. The Project Management Reality Training program is part of our international personnel development offer.

T-Systems Limited has around 700 employees, distributed across a number of locations in the UK and supporting a wide range of customers with different demands and IT requirements.  The diverse nature of the demands and staff geography coupled with an increase in home working makes creating and maintaining a healthy company culture more difficult and has increased the importance of consistent and well managed two-way communication and engagement between staff and management.

In 2015, T-Systems Limited implemented  the Career Gateway, which plays an essential role in shaping the company’s strategic skill management and establishes a proactive approach to continuous up-skilling. It enables managers and individuals to identify any gaps in their skill set either for their current or any possible future role within the company. The Gateway will then pinpoint relevant training in a structured and consistent manner. Employees take responsibility for their own development but are supported not only by their manager but also by Career Champions who help to define and structure the career paths and options available to all staff.

In addition to the Career Gateway, T-Systems Limited also implemented a number of measures to improve the quality of two-way communication between employees and the leadership. For example, Leadership@Delivery sessions are organized for developing common leadership skills, changing management techniques, and sharing best practices on developing people and managing teams.

The Managing Director holds face-to-face townhall meetings at our key locations to explain local and international strategy in person. 

Last but not least, the third Festival of Discovery, which gives staff from different locations, service lines and accounts a chance to meet and learn more about the strengths and direction of the company’s business. The Festival of Discovery 2016 was held on 10th March 2016 and included a presentation to all staff on the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility.

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