• Act responsibly. Enable sustainability.
  • 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report
2015 Corporate Responsibility Report

Health and safety

The health and performance of our staff are the foundation of the long-term success of our business. High absence levels due to illness, on the other hand, come with many risks. Deutsche Telekom feels that it is its duty and responsibility to maintain and promote the health of our employees.


  • Promoting employee health and performance


  • Occupational health and safety management system
  • Counseling offers
  • Preventive measures
  • Assessing risks, e.g., as part of the employee survey
  • Regular workplace inspections


  • Internal and external audits
  • Accident rate
  • Health rate
  • Evaluating our offers
  • Employee satisfaction and health index from employee survey

The main goal of Deutsche Telekom's health management system is to maintain the health and performance levels of our employees. We view occupational health and safety legislation as minimum requirements.

Incorporating health and safety management throughout the Group
Our corporate occupational health and safety measures are effectively incorporated into our corporate structures via certified management systems and appropriate policies and guidelines. These are based on the internationally recognized OHSAS 18001 standard, which we began rolling out throughout the Group in 2010. All of the parties, tasks and measures involved in the health and safety management system are described in a handbook and procedural instructions and have been signed by the executive management. The topic is monitored and managed at Group level; health managers at each location are also responsible for structuring the measures.

We systematically assess the effectiveness of our measures. This includes reviewing the results or our employee survey, competitor benchmarks and other relevant performance indicators. The analysis of this data forms the basis for annual targeted measures that by far exceed legal requirements. Some examples include our diabetes prevention campaign and an extensive psychosocial counseling offer.

One focus of our corporate health promotion activities is encouraging our employees to assume responsibility for their own health. Our managers play a key role in promoting a corporate culture in line with these goals and are obligated to take this responsibility seriously. Health-promoting leadership is part of our leadership principles at Deutsche Telekom and is assessed based on department-specific targets derived from the results of our employee survey.

Above-average results
Different performance indicators reflect the effectiveness of our corporate health management activities:

  • The employee health rate of 94* percent at Telekom Deutschland is stable unlike the current industry trend. (*95.6 percent excluding long-term illnesses)
  • The health index derived from the 2015 Group-wide employee survey also remained stable compared to 2012 results.
  • The accident rate is considerably below the industry average.
  • According to health insurance providers, the number of our employees suffering from mental disorders and the length of treatment is not rising unlike the industry trend.

This year's RobecoSAM img rating, for example, attests to our high standards. RobecoSAM is one of the leading rating agencies, annually assessing the sustainability performance of major corporations. Deutsche Telekom scored 97 out of 100 points in the Privacy and Operational Health & Safety category of the 2015 RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, making Deutsche Telekom an industry leader.

Seven million people in Germany suffer from diabetes and the numbers are growing. Having your blood sugar tested is a good way to identify the disease at an early stage, which is why Deutsche Telekom offered its employees the opportunity to have their blood sugar tested at more than 50 locations in Germany between March and June 2015. More than 3,000 employees participated in the campaign, which was conducted in collaboration with the BKK health insurance company. Employees with unusual results received extensive follow-up counseling by a company doctor. Deutsche Telekom's blood sugar testing campaign picks up the thread from last year's heart and circulatory disease prevention campaign. Because diabetes will become more common as the population ages, we are planning to continue this campaign in the coming years.

We have been offering our employees special fitness programs at locations in Germany since 2014 to help counteract the effects of a day spent working at their desks. Qualified mobile fitness coaches teach easy-to-do exercises particularly for the back and neck to small teams of employees. We continued these programs in 2015 as part of our extensive health promotion activities; more than 600 courses were held in 2015.

Changes at work can be perceived as stressful, which is why we have all the transformation processes currently underway at Deutsche Telekom intensively supported by the Employee and Executive Advisory Service. Our goal is to provide support to employees and managers and prevent psychological crises.

We offer individual counseling where employees affected by the changes can take advantage of an hour of private counseling. Special offers to managers and those responsible for change processes are designed to help them through the transformation. Talks and workshops on psychological health complete the offer. Communication campaigns are used to inform employees and managers at affected sites of the offers available.

The T-Systems transformation process received particular support in 2015 thanks to psychosocial counseling offers. In collaboration with health service provider B.A.D., we offered counseling days at 11 locations in Germany. B.A.D. also offered on-site consultations at all of T-Systems' 12 regional info events. We offered events for managers as well, where they could learn more about B.A.D.'s services. Three-quarters of all of T-Systems' managers (1,550 people) took advantage of the opportunity to find out more and address specific questions pertaining to their daily leadership tasks.

A corporate culture that promotes health needs role models, which is why we have been integrating workshops on health-promoting leadership into our Leadership Excellence and Development (LEAD) program  in Germany since 2014. At the two-day workshops, managers learn more about their own health and are taught how to improve their individual resources. They then learn the basic principles involved in a managerial approach to promoting health. This offer addresses executives and experienced top-level managers. We also offer workshops on health and leadership for our other managers such as team leaders. This workshop series will be offered again in 2016.

In order to assist T-Systems employees to function at optimal levels, the company provides an Employee Wellness Program (EWP) known as Zinakekele (which means ‘nurture yourself’ in Zulu).  Employees and their families have access to confidential support to help them address the challenges and problems experienced in modern life, e.g. physical, mental or emotional illness, financial, legal, marital or family distress, alcohol or drug abuse, or similar concerns. The program provides various counseling and support services that can be accessed by phone or face-to-face in both work and private environments. Employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own health through an online portal where they receive personalized ‘Health Bytes’ (according to their profile) and can ‘Ask the Doctor’ about any concerns they have.

The EWP activities in 2015 included:

  • Blood donation drives
  • Wellness Days for health checks
  • The latest health and wellness advice
  • Finance workshops
  • Launch of a T-Systems Walking Club

Approximately 1,000 employees were reached during the Wellness Days in May 2015. With the help of a state-of-the-art technology-driven journey a comprehensive health and wellness profile of each employee was built to identify areas of potential risk, which should then be addressed.

Towards the end of 2015 a “Giving From The Heart” program was launched to support employees who are going through a traumatic experience or critical illness. This program includes personal messages from the Managing Director in conjunction with counselling sessions with a psychologist.

Since back and neck pain was one of the top reported health problems in the Employee Survey 2015, the company is planning to provide laptop stands for all employees in 2016, as they promote good ergonomics and help to alleviate back and neck pain.

Total Health, an in-company training program, promotes physical exercise to improve employees’ health and lifestyle, and enable them to participate in relaxing activities with their co-workers. Total Health continued throughout 2015 with 142 employees participating in 313 different kinds of sporting disciplines, such as kickboxing, zumba fitness, Latin dance and yoga, all taught on company premises. One of the most remarkable benefits of the Total Health program has been the marked reduction in the numbers of overweight employees, as shown by the figures provided by PREVENIMSS, a government program that examines employees in the T-Systems offices for two weeks a year.

In addition to the ongoing sporting activities of the total Health Program, T-Systems Mexico staged an internal competition known as Kiloton from 15 June to 27 August 2015. Kiloton combined exercise and a balanced diet to motivate employees to reduce weight and body fat. The activities offered to reach that goal included a nutritionist program, kick boxing and dance classes on the premises, as well as weekly tips on how to reduce or lose weight. More than 200 participants (almost 15% of the workforce) made up 50 mixed teams in the Puebla offices and 17 mixed teams in the Polanco and Santa Fe offices. The results were extraordinarily good and exceeded the previous year’s target with all the participants managing to reduce their body fat and weight. By the end of the 2015 activities, the participants had lost a total of 282 kg due to their great efforts and participation in all the classes offered by the company. 

During 2015 Slovak Telekom staged numerous health-oriented activities for employees, including measuring blood pressure, cholesterol levels, varicose veins and hemoglobin, health boxes for front-line staff, first-aid courses, massages, lymphatic drainage, health seminars, and information about healthy food at the workplace.

These activities are very popular at Telekom, with 2,793 employees having their health measured and 1,390 participating in the 14 health seminars and workshops featuring nutrition specialists, doctors and other professionals. A special Health Week and Benefits was held from September 21-30, 2015.

I'm interested in learning more about Deutsche Telekom's activities in the area of...