Health and safety

Maintaining a healthy, high-performing staff is the foundation of our company's long-term success, whereas high illness rates are linked to high risks. Deutsche Telekom therefore feels that it is its duty and responsibility to maintain and promote the health of our employees.

The main goal of Deutsche Telekom's health management system is to maintain the health and performance levels of our employees. We see the legal occupational safety and health provisions 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 analyses and performance indicators. The analysis of this data forms the basis for annual targeted measures that by far exceed legal requirements. Some examples include colon cancer checkups, blood pressure testing and health checks 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. Healthy leadership is a core value 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 94.4 percent at Telekom Deutschland is stable unlike the current industry trend.
  • 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.

Our internal and external audits also attest to our high standards. In November 2014 we received the Corporate Health Award presented by the leading German quality initiative for occupational health and safety management.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, colon cancer is one of the most common causes of death by cancer in Germany; early diagnosis, however, means patients have good chances of getting better. That's why Deutsche Telekom has been offering its employees in Germany an annual colon cancer checkup. All 70,107 employees age 45 and up were sent an e-mail between March and May 2014 encouraging them to get a checkup. 774 of the 12,908 samples taken tested positive. Deutsche Telekom's prevention program was awarded the Felix Burda Award in the "corporate prevention" category in 2014.

Roughly 35 million people in Germany suffer from high blood pressure but only one out of every two is aware of this risk factor. Early diagnosis and treatment of high blood pressure can decrease the risk of a stroke by up to 40 percent. That is why Deutsche Telekom offered blood pressure testing for its employees at 84 locations in Germany from June 2013 through June 2014 as a way to prevent illnesses such as heart and circulatory disease. More than 5,000 employees participated. We offered employees with positive results a comprehensive health check conducted by a company doctor; this enabled us to convince more employees to take advantage of the preventative health measures our company offers. In 2015 we will be addressing the topic of diabetes within the scope of similar prevention measures.

In June 2014 we began offering our employees at locations in Germany special fitness programs 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. A total of 135 courses were conducted in 2014. Due to high demand, we decided to continue this offer in 2015 and recommissioned the fitness coaches. 

A corporate culture that promotes health needs role models. That is why we introduced workshops on promoting health to our management development program in Germany in May 2014. At the two-day workshops, managers first 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; almost 100 participants have completed the program so far. We will be offering this module several times in 2015 as well.

We also offer workshops on health and leadership for our other managers such as team leaders.

Deutsche Telekom subsidiary Deutsche Telekom Kundenservice GmbH is planning to raise employee awareness of behavior that promotes health and strengthen its health-oriented corporate culture at all locations in Germany with its call for submissions to participate in the Customer Service Health Award competition.

This popular annual team competition was held in 2014 for the third time. Health Award teams had to conduct health-promoting measures from October through December and regularly document their progress in a journal. They also had the opportunity to present and discuss their activities on our internal Telekom Social Network (TSN). The participants came up with, planned and conducted all of the measures themselves.

Around 1,770 customer service employees, or 13 percent, participated in the Telekom Health Award competition in 2014. 101 teams submitted at least one journal. That means that the number of participants who did not submit journals has fallen from 28 to 16 percent within a period of three years. The measures that participants conducted were judged based on how effectively they could be integrated into everyday work routines. The type of documentation was also taken into consideration. 60 teams documented their results in a report in which they assessed the success of the measures. 56 of them said they would participate in the competition again and 55 continued to integrate the measures into their everyday work routines even after the competition was over.

Pending changes at companies can cause deep-seated insecurity and anxiety, particularly in cases where employees feel they are at the mercy of those changes. If this state of affairs continues over a longer period of time, there is a risk that a permanently increased stress level can have a direct effect on a person's physical health.

In order to prevent psychosocial crises over the course of the transformation at T-Systems, the company is offering its employees support in every phase of the change process in the form of targeted counseling offers. We visited a number of locations in 2014.

  • In collaboration with prevention service provider B.A.D., we offered counseling days at 19 locations in Germany. A total of 88 employees attended a one-hour counseling session at these events. Another 38 sessions were scheduled for 2014.
  • We also met in small groups with a total of 770 employees whose positions are scheduled to be cut at 13 locations in Germany to talk about opportunities for change. They also had the chance to speak face-to-face with contacts from our human resources department as well as impartial external consultants about which staff restructuring tools are available, what support they are entitled to in their job search, financial planning options and counseling offers.

We also offer extensive information on our intranet.

In 2014 Slovak Telekom organized numerous health offers for employees including measuring blood pressure and cholesterol levels, varicose vein check-ups, first-aid courses, massages, lymph drainage, health seminars and informational events on eating healthy at work.

The offers were very popular. 2,017 employees had check-ups and 865 employees participated in the 15 health seminars and workshops hosted by nutrition experts, doctors and other professionals. A special health week was conducted from September 8 - 12, 2014.