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  • 2016 Corporate Responsibility Report
2016 Corporate Responsibility Report

Training 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.

Investing in training and development

Our goal is to identify and get talented young people on board early on in their careers. That is why we extensively invest in training and continued education. From 2016 until 2018 we are planning to annually hire a total of 2,200 apprentices, students in cooperative study programs and interns for our entry-level training scheme in Germany. This fixed number of openings enhances planning security. We currently offer nine training programs, eight cooperative bachelor's programs and three cooperative master's programs. We are one of the largest training providers in Germany with around 7,600 young people in training.

A wide array of development opportunities for our experts and managers complement our training offer. With these efforts, we improve career proficiency and effectively promote life-long learning.

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


Strategic focal points
Our aim is to more intensively structure our vocational training and development programs around our company's future needs. Big data, all-IP img and security are some of our strategic focal points. In mid-2016, for example, we launched a pilot project using an online course to train employees to become big data experts. 50 employees from five different countries participated in the one-year e-learning pilot project. Our cyber security professional training, which we launched in 2014, went into its third round. This course has also been available since 2016 to employees with job experience.

Promoting digital learning
We have been promoting digital learning at our corporation for many years. In 2016 more than 30 percent of all course hours at our company were completed in digital form, with Germany recording more than 35 percent. Our modern formats are boosting the popularity of digital learning. Take our massive open online courses (MOOCs), for example. More than 3,500 employees from more than 32 countries signed up for these courses by the end of 2016. Other popular formats include simulations, short learning units for on the go and games. We also rely increasingly on informal digital learning. Our experts use communities to share ideas on tomorrow's topics. There are currently roughly 40 international communities of experts, 20 of which focus on Deutsche Telekom's strategic business areas. Community members at T-Systems use the "communities of practice" digital collaboration format to facilitate collaboration across segments, countries and hierarchies.

We will continue to expand our offer of digital learning formats in 2017. We laid the foundation for this at T-Systems in 2016 by purchasing licenses for external online platforms. T-Systems employees can now take advantage of a variety of learning offers from any location based on their requirements. 70 percent of T-Systems employees have signed up for the offer so far. In view of the favorable reception the program received at T-Systems, we are planning to roll out use of digital learning licenses throughout the Group and expand our list of providers for courses such as English coaching.

Group-wide leadership development
With our LEAD (Leadership Excellence and Development) program, we offer standardized business-based, strategically relevant learning formats to all managers at the Group. The portfolio covers central topics that support managers in mastering daily challenges 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." T-Systems also introduced a Vice President Leadership program in 2016. 32 selected managers will spend nine months learning about leadership and digital transformation in face-to-face and online courses.

Tools for performance assessment
The Performance Dialog is the tool that we use to assess the performance of currently around 2,800 top-level managers. 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 sharing the same hierarchal level. We also continue to use our Compass tool to assess civil servants and employees covered by collective agreements in Germany and our Performance & Potential Review for employees outside collective agreements in Germany, a tool that is also used at many of our national companies.

Reviewing 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 and employ additional tools beyond our standard reports and surveys in special cases.


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Recruiting target: to be a global magnet for digital talent

As a leading European ICT img service provider, we need the best minds: creative thinkers and employees with a knack for technology that want to help us design the digital transformation. We are looking for top people with talent to work for us as a global corporation. Our recruiting activities definitely play a key role in the ongoing internationalization of our company, which is why we continue to look for top talent in external and internal talent pools in a number of countries. We compiled all of our recruiting activities into one Global Competence Center in 2016 because standardized processes and tools help us work more efficiently.

We have positioned ourselves as an attractive employer in Germany, our native market. Our surprising, target group-oriented campaigns and initiatives on social media help boost our image as a sought-after employer. In 2016, the Potentialpark ranking once again confirmed that we have the best career website in Germany, and our social media activities landed us second place in a company comparison.

Last year we were also presented two awards by the Trendence Employer Branding Award committee: one for the best university marketing and the other for our "Vom Flüchtling zum Talent" (From refugee to talented employee) project in the Employer Branding Innovation of the Year category. In this project we specifically target refugees as potential candidates. The project is comprised of the job platform, internships for refugees and our "Train the trainer" project in which we teach volunteers and employees how to give application training.

We are currently particularly focused on increasing our attractiveness as an employer on new and growing markets. An example: Our Women's STEM img Award, which we have been presenting since 2013 in collaboration with "audimax" student magazine and the MINT-Zukunft-schaffen (Creating a STEM future) initiative, is now open to STEM students not only from Germany but also from other European countries.

Our new Global Competence Center will take over full management of our recruiting activities in 2017. Positions that require a particularly high degree of talent will be managed by our Global Strategic Active Sourcing team. Our experience with active sourcing, or active, personal contact with potential candidates via networks, trade fairs and events, has been so positive that we are planning to use this tool worldwide. This will make it easier for us to find and win over top talent.

Start up! trainee program for young innovators

Our international Start up! trainee program makes it possible for young people with entrepreneurial spirit who are open to new ideas and innovation to get started at Deutsche Telekom in Germany. We hope to attract graduates in STEM img subjects to the trainee program. During a period lasting 15 to 18 months, trainees familiarize themselves with different areas of the company in Germany and abroad. They take on challenging project assignments in various business areas. Experienced mentors assist the trainees. The program is supplemented by innovative training formats and events. Our Start up! trainees also pursue their own initiatives and support social projects within the context of events such as our Social Days. A collaboration was launched in 2015, for example, among different refugee accommodation centers in and around Bonn under the motto "Telekom cares." Following a donation campaign in 2016, our Start up! trainees worked together with a children's home in Königswinter to plant a garden, tend it and bring in the harvest, which they enjoyed at a Thanksgiving celebration.

Deutsche Telekom's in-house university educates experts for the telecoms market

We educate experts for tomorrow's telecoms market at our University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig (HfTL). With 1,400 students in full-time, cooperative and part-time bachelor and master's programs, HfTL is the only university in Germany to offer this special profile. When it comes to research, we focus on ambitious topics that are relevant to society like conserving natural resources and advancing Germany standing in the technology sector. Research and teaching go hand-in-hand. Our research findings are seamlessly incorporated in the academic eduction of our students, guaranteeing that high-quality scientific knowledge is shared by the university, the company and society.

New data privacy certification program for Deutsche Telekom employees
Data privacy is a key factor in the acceptance and use of modern technologies. That is why we have set up a department for data privacy and security at HfTL university. Starting in the 2017 summer semester, Deutsche Telekom employees can expand their knowledge and expertise within the scope of the one-year certification program entitled Data Privacy and Security in Information Systems. The certification program conveys detailed knowledge of data privacy approaches in areas such as data management, data analyses, process design and law.  We are also planning to give people with the right qualifications the opportunity to build on the certification program by taking a master's degree.

 Graduates of this master's program will be able to develop scientific methods for problem solving in IT systems and advance data privacy methods through practical contributions.

Competition instead of class
Connecting academic education with the latest research results in the area of software engineering and using the latest teaching and learning methods has been a reality at HfTL since 2014 thanks to a challenging software engineering competition. In the 2016/2017 winter semester more than 160 students participated in the 3rd Software Engineering Competition. Students are asked to develop innovative solutions to current problems in the telecommunications industry and other business sectors. The projects cover a wide range of topics from web applications for associations and apps that can be used for song writing to budget planning for roommates. The student projects will be judged by an internal jury at the university on the basis of specified criteria. Creative implementation as well as programming, user friendliness, mobile usability and project documentation are all taken into consideration. The winners of the competition can look forward to attractive prizes like a workshop on the software development method Scrum and IT security or a trip to CeBIT img.

Training experts for the 5th generation mobile communications
The HfTL university participates in global research and the development of 5th generation mobile communicationsin collaboration with different partners and projects. HfTL also focuses on training future experts in this technology.

Current research topics and challenges in the area of mobile communications are directly addressed in course materials. Ongoing exchange of knowledge and experience is guaranteed thanks to the active, intensive collaboration of bachelor and master's program students in development projects.

Hands-on lab activities are focused on optimizing the air interface in live-system operation.

Students develop measuring platform for polymer optical fibers
A key element in our study programs at HfTL is to actively involve students in research and development projects. This approach is also being taken in a recent research project on developing an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient production method for polymer optical fibers, which are used in data communication as well as in smart lighting concepts. HfTL is collaborating on the project with the Institute of Textile Engineering of RWTH Aachen University and Perlon-Nextrusion GmbH from Dormagen, Germany. The project is sponsored by the German Federal Environmental Foundation. Within the context of this research project, HfTL students developed an innovative measuring platform and programmed a user-friendly software for using the measuring platform.

Encouraging diversity in education

We stand for open-mindedness and are committed to diversity, which is why we accept different levels and needs when it comes to junior staff.

  • 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 encouraging them as an opportunity and are careful to guarantee an non-discriminatory selection process. And we have been successful: Today, 9.2 percent of our apprentices and students in cooperative degree programs have a nationality other than German, representing a total of 66 countries.
  • In 2009 we launched the "My chance to get going" entry-level training scheme in collaboration with the German Federal Employment Agency. The project prepares disadvantaged young people with very little chances on the vocational training market for an apprenticeship at Deutsche Telekom. Results so far have been good. 483 out of 630 interns from 2009 through 2015 started a vocational training program with us. 104 were accepted into the first year of the program and 334 directly into the second year. Another approx. 30 interns started the program in 2016.
  • 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. 20 young people began their part-time training with this program in 2016.
  • 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 22 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.

We have been helping refugees get their careers started since 2015 within the scope of the Group's refugee initiative. Between 2016 and 2018 we will be offering up to 100 refugees per year the opportunity to attend vocational training, a cooperative program of study or an internship within our entry-level training scheme. Around two-thirds of the openings we offered in 2016 were filled. In the recruiting process we rely on our longstanding, successful cooperation with the German Federal Employment Agency's job centers. We are particularly interested in integrating refugees into regular training structures and offering them the support they need. They receive professional support from their trainers or coaches and also have the opportunity to attend additional, job-related language courses. The training staff receives assistance from an external service provider to make sure that the special needs of this target group are met. The refugees also have access to counseling and supportive services as needed. Deutsche Telekom is planning to continue its involvement in integrating refugees into the professional landscape in the years to come.

Digital skills in education

Digital skills are one of the main qualifications that we encourage in our junior staff over the course of their vocational training or studies. To this end we give them access to different digital media. The main hub of our activities encouraging the development of digital skills is our online learning platform for apprentices and cooperative university students, which has been up and running since 2008. We encourage the next generation to post their own knowledge on the platform and to participate in the experience and knowledge of others in addition to focusing on the ongoing expansion of core learning offers. During the reporting year, for example, we added a variety of new topics to our digital materials, integrated a digital course on the topic of health and launched a learning blog. We also offer a number of online tools that our junior staff can use to assess their own skills and compare their knowledge and results with their program requirements. They can use the learning platform to virtually plan their learning schedule, document it and then later make it available to other apprenticds. We support independent learning with this offer.

Training program for cyber security professionals enters next round

Training courses for cyber security professionals (certified by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry) are important continuing education offers which we have established at our company in Germany. We launched this program at our company in 2014, closing a gap on the German education and job market. 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. Our aim is to change this, which is why we offer a two-and-a-half-year part-time course for professionals. Deutsche Telekom apprentices and students in cooperative study programs can apply for the program after completion of their vocational training or course of study. Skills development is integrated into standard activities and supplemented by topic-based and general modules in a variety of formats (classroom courses, e-learning, blended learning). Hands-on learning is combined with an academic approach. Those who complete the development program receive a certificate for IT security professionals from the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry. We won third place in early 2016 with the concept in the "Large Enterprise" category at the Education Awards hosted by the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).

The development program entered its third round in September 2016. A total of 30 professionals are currently taking part in the cyber security program. The first group will complete their certification exams in March 2017. The program is in high demand with 300 applications submitted each year.

The topic of usable security and privacy, i.e., the "human" factor in IT security, plays a particularly significant role in the program. With this focus, the program addresses the question of how to best design security systems so that they can be effectively used by people. In 2015 we collaborated with the Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics (FKIE) to develop a continuing education offer particularly focused on this aspect. The offer complements our training program for cyber security professionals. Participants can work toward a certificate as a "network forensics professional" or a "media forensics professional" within the scope of an academic program, making them certified experts in analyzing security incidents. The course was developed in collaboration with a number of universities.

In 2016 we also prepared another program that will be available to all of our employees as of 2017. The program addresses a number of IT security topics (including reverse engineering, forensics,  network security, cryptography, cloud security and forensics and computer crime law.

Skills management: ready for tomorrow's challenges

Forward-thinking skills management is essential to companies that want to stay competitive. The HR units engage in cross-departmental communication in order to identify the skills that our employees will need in the future and areas in which new skills are needed. We then structure our continuing education courses, re-qualification programs and new-hire activities accordingly.

Planning the job profiles of the future
The rapid pace of technological transformation is making it necessary to identify early on which skills our employees are going to need in the future. Our HR department collaborates closely with specialist units to this end within the scope of the Speed Boat project. They work together to identify strategic focal topics, develop future job profiles and determine the skills and hiring needs through the year 2020. Measures are then defined to close any gaps in terms of skills, hiring and training. The project was launched in 2015. After the first year, the teams had already defined the first job profiles of the future, e.g., data center infrastructure manager at Deutsche Telekom Technik. The project is considered a role-model project for the entire Group.

T-Systems HR Academy
Our human resources at the HR department also need regular continuing education to help them stay on top of the latest technological trends and future skills requirements. The T-Systems HR Academy focuses on the requirements of the digital future. The academy is currently offering a combination of face-to-face and online seminars in German and English in the workshop series that began in March 2016,  Almost 1,000 employees signed up for the online seminars and almost 200 employees participated in 16 face-to-face workshops in Germany. The HR department also held an HR summer camp in which more than 40 T-Systems employees from different countries participated. At the camp, participants applied the design thinking method to three key HR projects.

Encouraging and retaining talent

Dedicated, technology-minded and service-oriented employees are pivotal 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.

„Talents@Telekom“: online platform simplifies hiring process
Talented people who are planning the next steps in their career or looking to gain experience by working on strategic projects can sign up on our Talents@Telekom online platform. Employees from Human Resources and Recruiting throughout the Group can use the platform to get in touch with them. With more than 449 employee profiles, 27 percent of which were posted by women and 41 percent by international colleagues,  the response to the platform was slightly less than the previous year. The share of women (24 percent in 2015) and international colleagues (36 percent in 2015) increased compared to 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.

"Do it yourself!" Talent Conference offers opportunity for dialog
Around 210 talented people from roughly 20 countries attended the Talent Conference in Bonn in September 2016. The year's motto was "Do it yourself!“ or "How to take charge of your career." Participants had the opportunity to learn more about effective strategies to help them advance their careers. The event also offered an opportunity to network with around 100 of the Group's top-level managers, who made guest appearances at the event.

Second Performance Dialog for executives

Performance Dialog, which was introduced in 2014, is a tool for developing and assessing the performance of top-level managers. During the reporting period, the review was conducted with all executives worldwide for the second time.

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. This performance assessment is based on our Guiding Principles and our Leadership Principles "Collaborate," "Innovate" and "Empower to perform." In addition to being reviewed by their superiors, their colleagues for the same hierarchical level also assess their 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 international Performance & Potential Review continue to be used throughout the Group.

Employee development in Croatia

Our professional education programs “HT Academy” and “Education of your choice” enable all our employees to participate in a rolling program of skill enhancement. In 2016, we launched our new talent management program “Top Talent” with the aim of retaining and motivating our key people and high-potential staff. Manager nomination and assessment center results were used to identify 105 talented high-flyers with expert or leadership career potential out of larger pool. The high-flyers participating in targeted development activities over a period of 1.5 years. They were given individual development plans and took part in customized development programs, strategic projects and special events like the talent forum. By the end of 2016, 30 percent of these top talents had been promoted to a more complex or managerial role.

Magenta Infusion Leadership Program with GIBS in South Africa

In order to develop leaders who can deliver on the TSSA strategy of Growth and enable our value proposition through competency development, we collaborated with GIBS (The Gordon Institute of Business Science Business School of the University of Pretoria)  to design the Magenta Infusion Leadership Program with the help of expert assistance and specialist input. The focus of the program was on competency and behavioral change based on our cultural pillars of:

  • Collaboration
  • Innovation
  • Empowered to Perform leading to Customer Centricity

The blended learning approach comprises master classes facilitated by worldwide specialists, e-learning modules, leadership competency and behavior assessment, team collaboration, courageous conversations and a marketplace day. We succeeded in achieving the desired outcomes of the program. These involve our leaders in contributing to a good financial year 2016, behavioral changes such as a change in mind-set, increased collaboration and better understanding of the strategy. The evaluation of the master classes received from delegates on the value added provided by the program was between 83 and 85 percent.

In 2017, we will hold another leadership competency and behavior assessment and expect to see competency improvements. All in all, 109 leaders completed the program in 2016.

Employability Program

T-Systems Netherlands deliberately encourages employees to invest in their professional development and position themselves as experts in their individual fields. This is reflected in the company’s Employability Program, which promotes employees’ well-being by enhancing their knowledge of the internal tools and international platforms provided by the organization.

In 2016, we evaluated the Employability Program that has been running for a number of years. Our priority is to maintain a high level of awareness level for this topic. During the course of 2017, we are going to put more instruments in play to enable our employees to increase their value inside and outside the organization. Our mission statement is “Movement and growth – personal and for the organization”. We want to train our employees for the internal and external labor market and preserve employment opportunities in the Netherlands. Our training and projects are focusing on future workforce (developing IT and business skills), work in a digital age (virtual, intercultural and flexible working), health benefits, and recognition (inventiveness and recognition of individual contributions). We use our career checks to measure the progress of the program.