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Training and development
Our approach to training and development
Careers at Deutsche Telekom
With some 206 000 employees in 34 countries, Deutsche Telekom is one of the leading telecommunication companies worldwide. Our employees are shaping the digital world of tomorrow, often performing pioneering work.
We constantly monitor the increasing demand for skilled workers, particularly IT and tech experts, and compete for the best talents. Targeted recruitment programs give high school and university students, graduates, and experienced hires a variety of options for immersing themselves in the Magenta world, including apprenticeships, dual study programs, internships, trainee programs, and expert entry. Our development programs are designed to give our employees new prospects at the company. We also get them in shape for the future with a variety of further training options.
We underscore our goal of becoming the “Leading Digital Telco” with modern labor concepts and extensive co-determination options, along with opportunities for further education and training.
We offer our employees a broad, flexible benefits package that lets them shape their careers and personal lives according to their specific needs and achieve their objectives. Examples include flexible working hours, hybrid working models, and part-time employment, as well as lifetime work accounts, risk cover, and support with caregiving for family members. Our mission as a responsible employer also includes fair, competitive remuneration, with options for performance-based variable components, as well as a generous pension scheme. In addition, our “Share2you” program gives employees the option to purchase employee shares at special conditions: when they buy two employee shares, they receive a third one free of charge. Other benefits, such as sustainable mobility solutions and extensive health promotion, round out our offerings. More information is available on our careers website.
We have special offers for career starters, such as the “Start up!” trainee program and the Graduate program at T-Systems. Our Start up! trainees spend 15 to 18 months getting to know the different units at Deutsche Telekom, giving them comprehensive insights into this multinational corporation. The program can be tailored to the needs of the trainee by defining a focus topic. The six to nine-month Graduate program at T-Systems targets recent university graduates and starts in May and October of each year. Participants go through different learning phases and also have exciting, varied practical assignments. We work together with renowned universities to design this program. Mentors support the participants in developing skills that give them ideal preparation to start their careers. On top of that, the reskilling program at our Software Academy, launched in 2022, gives participants the possibility to be trained as a software developer, even without prior IT experience. Our 12-month “DiscoverMINT” (only available in German) orientation program gives young people an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the prospects offered by the digital working world and to find orientation with respect to their career path.
Numerous awards confirm the direction of our HR work.
We also work on promoting STEMT-Systems is a founding partner to 42 Berlin, a coding academy that opened in Berlin in early December 2022. The academy follows an innovative concept that does not involve professors, exams, or lectures. Instead, it creates a framework in which students can develop their own projects, individually and in groups. Age, origin, and previous education are explicitly ignored; everyone gets a chance to start programming.competencies outside the company. For instance,
In order to prepare our employees for the future requirements of the job market and best guarantee their employability, we offer them various development programs to expand their digital capabilities. With the “Explorer journeys,” our employees can pick up basic skills in the areas of data analytics, software development, digital marketing, user experience design (UX design), artificial intelligence (AI), and, as of 2023, cloud and DevOps technologies. The learning journeys are open to both beginners and experts. For example, our global upskilling programs in the areas of data science, data engineering, and data visualization help experts broaden their specialist knowledge. Thanks to retraining programs such as the Junior Software Development Academy, our employees also have the opportunity to develop themselves in an entirely new area – with customer advisors retraining as software developers, for example. As a result, the programs also help us expand our own pool of candidates.
New learning concepts at T-Systems
In the reporting year, the Group-wide “youlearn” initiative, which was launched in 2020, was also continued at T-Systems, with a continued focus on the company-wide “Digitize!” skilling campaign. The company’s management is giving the initiative top strategic priority for the next few years. “Digitize!” comprises several skills development programs that teach employees highly relevant technology skills that they need in order to implement the digital transformation for their customers. The programs include digital training on topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) and big data, as well as the part-time programs “Digital Engineer”, “Data Scientist”, “Digital Consultant”, and “Digital Expert of Tomorrow”, which are offered in cooperation with RWTH Aachen University. In addition, the “Career Shifter” module supports the complex reskilling of employees in IT – to become a “Cloud Backend Engineer” or “Cloud Architect Hyperscaler”, for example. The programs target beginners, experienced people with solid tech knowledge, and digitalization pioneers. Wherever possible, the courses are offered internationally, include large virtual sections, and consist of a mixture of self-guided learning and in-person training on site. While all of these reskilling and upskilling measures are managed centrally, they are carried out in close cooperation with the relevant business units (departments, teams of experts). A key aim is for T-Systems to increasingly become a self-learning organization. For this reason, the company welcomes and supports self-organized initiatives of the various units in the area of learning and development. More than 2 300 employees were awarded certifications in the reporting year. More than 650 employees have set off on varuious learning journeys. We have carried out around 4 000 skilling measures since the start of “Digitize!”
In addition, the first T-Systems hackathon was held in June 2022, focusing on the “Metaverse”. Some 60 employees from different business units at T-Systems took part in this two-day event and made an important contribution to the development of the T-Systems portfolio. This format strengthened both our innovation mindset and our culture of learning.
To further promote this culture of learning at T-Systems, the reporting year was made the Year of Learning. T-Systems presented the Learning Hero Award for the first time, for example – an award for leaning heroes at the company, who implemented exciting, value-generating learning and teaching initiatives in the reporting year. Among the more than 169 candidates, nine winners were selected in the categories “Individual,” “Multiplier,” and “Teams.” The winners received prizes of between 2 000 and 5 000 euros. The contributions by the “Learning Heroes” were shared both within and outside the company in 2022.
Training program for cybersecurity professionals
IT security experts are still in short supply on the German labor market, which is why we developed our part-time training program for cybersecurity professionals (certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) in 2014. The program is integrated into regular work processes and supplemented by subject-related and general modules in a variety of formats (classroom courses, e-learning , blended learning). After successfully passing the examination at the relevant Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK), participants receive an IHK certificate as a cybersecurity professional. For the skills they have acquired as part of the training, they can obtain credits that can be used in bachelor’s or master’s programs. During the reporting year, 16 participants passed the exams to be become certified cybersecurity professionals at the Cologne Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK Köln).
We are continuously developing our training programs, taking into account current and future IT security requirements. During the reporting year, we completely revised and updated the module “Programming with IT security tools: Python.” The specialist modules on cryptography, web and application security, and network security were revised in 2020 and 2021. In addition, the catalog for the selection of the elective module was expanded to include the subject “computer criminal law”.
In 2018, in response to considerable demand, we opened up our training to employees from other organizations, including employees of other companies and of government agencies. Now in its ninth year, this year’s program was started with 28 participants, three of whom came from external organizations. Of the remaining participants, 21 came from Deutsche Telekom Security GmbH and four from Deutsche Telekom IT GmbH.
Graduates of the program are increasingly taking on the role of expert coaches for the new participants, documenting the positive rating of the program and supporting its development. The expert coaches from the sixth year were certified in the reporting year. They were able to expand their skills through a course entitled “Fit for expert coaching” and even put them to the test in the practical implementation of the program.
After nine years of the program, we can give it a positive verdict: Six classes had completed the training in full by May 2022 and were certified accordingly. The average age of the graduates was approximately 25. At 3.6 percent, the dropout rate among participants was low. The course was described as challenging, but manageable in the context of the growing requirements of everyday working life. In total, we have had 143 program participant in nine classes. All 62 internal graduates from the 2014 to 2019 intake were kept on by Deutsche Telekom. Only two graduates decided to leave the company, and one of those returned after one year.
Skills development at Telekom Training KPI
Deutsche Telekom offers its employees a range of advanced training measures, which enable them to develop and brush up their skills.
In 2022, we provided 43 060 learning opportunities via our global Learning Management System (LMS). – 85 percent of the Group learning portfolio was available digitally. Our employees in Germany and the European national companies invested an average of 4.5 working days in their continuing education, 3.6 days of which were spent digitally. The digital learning rate decreased to 79 percent in the year under review (2021: 89 percent).
You can find further information here and in the HR Factbook.Reporting against standards
- Criterion 16 (Qualifications)
European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS)
- S02-02 (Average expenses on training per FTE p.a)
International development and leadership programs KPI
The object of our international development and leadership programs is for high potentials and high achievers to gain a foothold in the Group, to keep them loyal to the company and to position them in suitable jobs. These programs focus on development of the upcoming leader generation and on support in coping with the challenges they face now and in the future. At the same time, the programs aim to enhance their sense of belonging, increase knowledge exchange and promote personal responsibility.
The Global Talent Pool was closed to new entrants in June 2020. A revised global approach “Talent Hub” has been developed and was launched in 2021.
In 2021 the levelUP! platform changed the approach and became a leadership hub. In 2022, LevelUP! will be accessible to all leaders, also non-executives across Deutsche Telekom group, at anytime, from anywhere and from any device. Content-wise it focuses on following learning journeys: Leading in transformation, Leading hybrid teams, Leading digital telco. Joining any of the learning paths helps to gain a new arsenal of powerful tools and skills, insights, reflections and improves personal leadership style while upskilling for digital literacy.
Worldwide, 5 396 employees went through this 4-month development programme, which is aimed at motivated employees and is characterised by the teaching of innovative, inspiring and tangible leadership topics and skills.
Apprentices and training programs Deutsche Telekom Group in Germany KPI
In 2022, a total of around 5 500 junior employees were employed for training or a cooperative degree program. 24 percent of them were women.
You can find further information in the HR Factbook.Reporting against standards
- Criterion 15 (Equal Opportunity)
Employee recruitment Deutsche Telekom Group in Germany KPI
In 2022, Deutsche Telekom hired about 1 200 new employees from the external labor market in Germany. In addition, again we gave around 1 600 internal junior staff permanent jobs on completion of their vocational training or cooperative study courses.
You can find further information in the HR Factbook.
Share of digital experts
The in-depth knowledge and future-oriented skills of our employees are among the most important corporate resources and are therefore crucial for business success. At Deutsche Telekom, future-oriented digital skills are of particular importance: In order to prepare as many employees as possible for future skill requirements and optimally secure their employability, specific programs focused on future topics, known as “Explorer Journeys,” were again increasingly offered in 2022. Around 5 200 employees registered in 2022 for learning programs lasting several weeks on topics such as big data, digital marketing, artificial intelligence and software development.
Our contribution to the SDGs
We offer our employees a wide range of specific training and development programs. Important principles for this are defined in our Group Policy on Employee Relations and in our Guiding Principles. For many units at Deutsche Telekom, specific agreements were also reached with the employees’ representatives on the subject of training. The training we offer our employees pays off. In 2022, for example, we were able to fill 33 percent of our open positions with internal candidates. (2021: 51 percent; 2020: 66 percent; 2019: 51 percent)
Training the experts of tomorrow
We offer many young people an opportunity to enter the working world. For example, we have a comprehensive range of technical and commercial apprenticeship programs to train our skilled workers of tomorrow. The Group offered around 1 820 training positions in 2022: 1 220 positions for apprenticeships and up to 600 spaces for dual bachelor students. In addition, 100 young people took part in our 12-month DiscoverMINT program, which gives them the chance to get to know the prospects offered by the digital working world and to find orientation with respect to their career path. This makes us one of the largest training providers in Germany. During our training programs, we lay the foundations for digital skills, and thereby enable our apprentices to make a seamless transition into the digital working world.
During our annual CMD+O campus tour, we invite students and recent graduates to enter into dialog with experts at interactive workshops and “tech talks”, and to drive forward exciting digital developments. After two years of virtual-only campus tours, due to the pandemic, we were able to visit a total of 10 universities during the reporting year – and get to know the professionals of tomorrow. We plan to expand our university cooperations further in 2023.
Promoting lifelong learning
We promote lifelong learning and support our employees on their individual learning paths. We start by reviewing the skills our employees have now and those they will need in the future. On this basis, we offer our employees tailored training and development programs. These can also include stays abroad or studies parallel to their jobs. For example, Bologna@Telekom gives employees access to part-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Since its introduction more than ten years ago, over 2 000 employees in Germany have taken advantage of this opportunity.
Education@telekom… takes a look at the entire educational chain from vocational training – university degree – further development.
Training: Self-managed, digital learning
Since 2019, we have been carrying out the “youlearn” initiative, which is aimed at turning Deutsche Telekom into a learning organization. We offer our employees worldwide (excluding T-Mobile US) the ability to largely manage their own training by means of digital offerings and to make learning an integral part of everyday working life. For example, “youlearn” invites employees to take part in voluntary, informal learning challenges. We held our Group-wide “youlearn days” in November 2022 – a global, digital learning event by Deutsche Telekom that concentrates fully on technical and digital skills. After the major success of this event in previous years, we outdid ourselves in 2022: With more than 5,400 registered attendees – 10 percent more than in 2021 – from 29 countries, we set a new record in the reporting year.
Also, we continued to expand our online education and training programs at the global level (excluding T-Mobile US) – most notably, via the Percipio learning platform, which we introduced in 2019. In addition to a desktop solution, the Percipio app lets users access content anytime and anywhere. It offers a wide range of courses, videos, books, and audio books on topics such as leadership, technology and development, and digital transformation, and it conveys the learning content in an entertaining way. Content is offered in 18 languages – with the help of dubbing and subtitling. In 2022, some 179 000 Deutsche Telekom employees were registered on this platform. Via Percipio, our employees can access training materials offered by Coursera, the world’s largest provider of online courses at university level. The courses, on issues such as big data, cybersecurity, cloud computing , and artificial intelligence, are provided by a network of around 200 universities.
The employees’ initiative Learning from Experts (LEX), which was launched in 2018 and is now successfully established at Deutsche Telekom, provides another example of opportunities for self-managed, self-guided learning. In LEX, experts from the Group share knowledge with their colleagues via a range of different channels. LEX is one of our fastest-growing employee communities. Its LEX sessions, lasting 30 to 60 minutes, are especially popular. More than 5 400 LEX sessions had been held by the end of 2022.
Our employees around the globe spent some 3.8 million hours on training and skills development in 2022. Overall, LEX users completed a total of 3 million hours of online learning in 2022 – and the comparable figure for 2019 was only 1.8 million. In 2022, 85 percent of the training courses available for registration throughout the Group were available online. During the coronavirus pandemic, when large numbers of employees have been working from home, and no classroom courses have been available, this extensive range of online courses has been very helpful in keeping training available to employees.
Boosting leadership skills in the digital age
We are also increasing the use of virtual solutions in our leadership development programs. The aim of such programs is to strengthen virtual leadership skills. In 2021, at Deutsche Telekom in Germany, and at the Local Business Units (LBUs) of T-Systems, we introduced WeGrow, a new approach to performance development. This process will help us increase the commitment of each employee through regular feedback, create clarity about tasks and expected results, and strengthen trust-based relationships between managers and employees. In addition, this approach will enable close integration with other HR processes such as skills management, talent management, and succession planning, and it will help us meet our business targets. We used “Compass” career development meetings for the final time for employees covered by collective agreements and for civil servants, on a Germany-wide basis. “Compass” served as a means of providing feedback about performance and skills and of identifying talents. Starting in 2023, we will also apply the “WeGrow” approach for development meetings with these two groups of employees.
Talent management at Deutsche Telekom
Deutsche Telekom completely overhauled its approach to talent management in 2022. The aim was to garner a holistic, Group-wide view of talents at Deutsche Telekom. This will enable us to develop centralized talent initiatives for all employees, which are supplemented with local initiatives tailored to the specific requirements of the particular business unit. We view talents across all employee groups: from those covered by collective agreements and those not covered by collective agreements, through to executives. The Group-wide WeGrow performance management forms the basis for identifying talent. This ongoing dialog between manager and employee is focused on further developing employees and identifying talents. To this end, we have developed common, clearly defined and comparable talent criteria – our “4 As” stand for Achievement, Ambition, Attitude, and Ability. Besides previous achievements and existing skills, we therefore also analyze whether employees have the necessary ambition and attitude for inclusion in talent initiatives.
All our initiatives aim to develop suitable talents towards positions that add value to the Group. To this end, we network talents and managers, create transparency regarding our talent pool, and promote direct contact with prospective hiring managers.
The Global Talent Hub is a global talent initiative addressing executives and prospective executives. It includes up to 200 talents with immediate suitability and ambition for an executive position in the company along with – and that was new in the reporting year – up to 100 talents that have already shown early on in their career the potential for reaching executive level and are being accompanied over several career steps. In the reporting year, 20 percent of the executive positions were filled with talents from the Global Talent Hub (excluding T-Mobile US).
Talent management at Telekom Deutschland
Telekom Deutschland also promotes talented employees – both in groups covered by and not covered by collective agreements – in a talent program at business segment level. This enables us to ensure a consistent, transparent talent pipeline from the level covered by collective agreements through to the executive level. To this end, we offer three development programs tailored to talents that are at various points in their career: for expert and project roles, in preparation for an initial management function, and for experienced managers to prepare for their next career step. The program also includes increased visibility of talents, tailored training courses for the next career step, and cross-divisional matching rounds that match vacancies with suitable talents. 860 employees covered by and not covered by collective agreements are taking part in the talent programs in the current 2022/23 program cycle.