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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

The results of our employee study on the culture of compliance

In 2019, as part of the Compliance-based Company Culture initiative, we conducted our second ever international employee survey on compliance. The aim was to reassess how our compliance culture had developed since the last survey was conducted in 2017. The European School of Management and Technology (ESMT Berlin) and Hertie School of Governance were our research partners for the first, extensive study. Some 46,000 Deutsche Telekom employees took part in the latest survey – more than participated in the first. The initiative is supported by an expert committee created specifically for this purpose. The committee is comprised of Deutsche Telekom employees as well as representatives from non-governmental organizations, the business and scientific communities, and society.

The results have improved compared to 2017.

  • Some 98 percent of those surveyed said they are committed to the rules at Deutsche Telekom and are unwilling to conduct themselves in an unethical manner (97 percent in 2017). Accordingly, the vast majority stand by their own values and would not stray from them, even under pressure.
  • A total of 88 percent indicated that their manager sets a good example for ethical conduct.
  • Just under 90 percent said they are well informed by the company as regards appropriate conduct at work and that they feel well prepared to deal with ethically dubious situations.  
  • A clear majority of survey respondents stated that the company management team sets a good example for ethical conduct. 
  • Weaknesses were identified with regard to feedback culture. A number of employees said they did not feel comfortable expressing their opinion openly.

The weaknesses identified were the subject of intensive discussion on the Board of Management and a set of measures was developed to address them. The aim of these measures is to further reinforce the values-based compliance culture in the Group and carry forward the current, overwhelmingly positive trend. One of the measures was the introduction of the “Managing Dilemmas” virtual reality program. The aim behind this program is to make it easier for staff to identify critical situations and adopt the correct approach in these scenarios. A “speak-up culture” is also being promoted with measures such as the launch of a new e-learning program.