Ideas management

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We keep on heading for success – with our ideas management

Our employees come up with creative ideas for ways to improve our processes, products, and services – and thereby strengthen Deutsche Telekom’s competitiveness. We promote a corporate culture in which we encourage our employees to take an active role. We trust in the competency and will of every individual to move our company forward. Our Idea Management unit develops concepts and measures for making the most of our employees’ potential.

Also, in Germany, we maintain an “ideas portal,” and invite any and all of our employees to submit ideas through it – acting either alone or as part of a team. At the end of March 2023, we shut down our central “Ideas Garden” platform. For managing our internal ideas development, we are now using a decentralized approach in which we invite employees, throughout Deutsche Telekom’s different areas, to actively develop ideas on their own initiative. Ideas that seem well-developed and promising are reviewed by our ideas management team, on the basis of various criteria. New ideas are also assessed – and implemented, if appropriate – by the responsible specialist department. The process, which is extensive overall, ensures that each and every idea can be individually considered and promoted. Our employees are paid a reward for each submitted idea that is pursued.

In 2023, we received a total of 4 516 submissions from our employees in Germany (2022: 4 016). These ideas led to savings and new business potential worth about 56.4 million euros (2022: 82.7 million euros). This achievement also shows that we value and implement ideas from our employees.

In 2023, Deutsche Telekom took first place in the German Idea Management Award in the category “Best solution for 150 years of idea management, 2023”. Our ideas management was evaluated in the categories “effectiveness,” “impact on the organization” and “commitment.”


New impetus with the help of an external think tank

Via our Ideenschmiede (think tank; only available in German), which has been in place since 2018, we invite persons from outside the company, including both customers and non-customers, to actively help us design our products, services, and processes. Around 18 000 users have registered for the site in order to contribute ideas and impetus. Users also have the opportunity to take part in surveys, polls, and discussions, and to place suggestions in our digital suggestion box. Workshops, both online and in person, also give them an opportunity to exchange information with one another and with Deutsche Telekom experts, contribute ideas, and develop suggestions further. The Ideenschmiede has conducted around 450 surveys on 320 different topics since January 2018. The results are impressive: in all the topics covered, customer feedback has led to the implementation of a project or to measurable improvements. In addition, ideas submitted to our suggestion box help us continually improve and refine our products and services. Since the beginning of 2018, persons outside the company have submitted some 6 400 ideas in the Ideenschmiede framework.

In 2023, on the occasion of the Ideenschmiede’s fifth anniversary, we held a special online event for employees and selected Deutsche Telekom customers. During the event, we took the opportunity to honor our employees for the ideas they submitted in the year under review. Significantly, intensive exchanges of ideas between persons inside and outside of the company have also helped encourage our creative employees to keep on submitting ideas – in the interest of our business customers’ and consumers’ satisfaction.

How customers are changing Deutsche Telekom
The Ideenschmiede primarily serves to solicit requests and requirements from customers, elaborate them further, and structure and document them. All the same, we sometimes let users vote on alternative solutions, too. One example involved finding a name for the MagentaTV MegaStream rate plan, which was decided by a majority vote among users.

Another example of the influence of user feedback involves the help website for Cell Broadcast img, a topic of current interest. A targeted survey on the Ideenschmiede platform helped us make the texts more understandable and answer open questions.

In addition, the Ideenschmiede regularly provides suggestions regarding activities and service offerings specifically for older people. To make it easier for them to participate in the digital world, the Ideenschmiede developed the initial content for a “Tablet for beginners” seminar, which we now offer regularly in the Telekom Seniors’ Academy framework.


Portfolio of Intellectual Property Rights KPI

In the reporting year, Deutsche Telekom held a total of 7 875 patent rights. We are firmly committed to expanding our patent portfolio, taking relevant current and future technologies into account. This will secure the value of our innovations in a dynamic world and bolster the Group’s competitiveness. We predominantly license our patents through our membership of patent pool.

Patents are gaining more and more significance in the telecommunications industry. Our patent strategy has to keep pace with the constant evolution of market players and fields of activity. On the one hand, our Group’s scope for action needs to be maintained. On the other hand, we want to protect the results of our own research and development, and to use these in cooperation and partnership with other companies. National and international patent rights are vital for these types of activity. We are therefore strongly dedicated to developing, granting, and maintaining  our own patents.


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  • Highlights

    We are working on behalf

    of an online world in which all people

    can participate and coexist in

    keeping with democratic principles

    We are working on behalf of an online world in which all people can participate and coexist in keeping with democratic principles

    Via our “No hate speech” initiative, we once again reached a great many people (about 865 million media contacts), including the many opinion leaders and educators (about 5.7 million people) we contacted directly.

    Our “ShareWithCare” campaign also reached a great many people – and it has played an important role, worldwide, in discussion about online sharing of photos of children. With over 250 million media contacts, ShareWithCare has successfully raised awareness about issues surrounding online sharing of children’s photos and data.

    Also, via programs such as Teachtoday and Scroller, we have continued working to promote media literacy in people of all ages, always with the aim of helping people navigate cyberspace safely, securely and with confidence.

    More than 200 000 people work at Deutsche Telekom – and every one of them is unique. This diversity is our strength. In keeping with our understanding of diversity, we offer our employees many ways to keep developing and growing professionally and personally. Thanks to such efforts, our employees’ satisfaction levels remain high: In 2023, our “engagement score,” which is calculated on the basis of responses in subject areas such as mood, employer attractiveness, brand identity, and inspiration, totaled 76 percent.

    Detailed examples of our progress in 2023, described from the perspectives of both the Group and our segments, are presented in the subsections.

    Highlight numbers

    Highlight numbers

    Progress of selected KPIs in  2023

    • 2022 2023

    • Community Contribution 2 346m. € 1 504m. €

    • Beneficiaries – Focus Topics 41m. 51m.

    • Reach – Focus Topics 2 070m. 1 734m.

    • Employee satisfaction 78% 76%

    • Proportion of women in middle and upper management 28.1% 27.9%

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