We offer our employees a wide range of individual vocational training and development programs. Important principles for this are defined in the Employee Relations Policy and in our Guiding Principles. For many units of Deutsche Telekom, specific agreements were also reached with the employee representatives on the subject of training.
Training the skilled workers of tomorrow
We have an extensive range of technical and commercial programs for training our skilled workers of tomorrow. In 2020, we provided 2,150 apprenticeships in Germany, of which 1,450 for vocational training, 675 openings for dual Bachelor’s students and 25 for dual Master’s students. This makes us one of the largest training providers in Germany. We provide training far beyond our own needs – and thereby make it possible for many young people to enter the working world.
Promoting lifelong learning
We promote lifelong learning and support our employees on their individual learning path. We start by reviewing the skills our employees have now and those they will need in the future. Based on this, we offer our employees tailored training and development programs. These can include stays abroad or studies parallel to their jobs. For example, “Bologna@Telekom” gives employees access to part-time Bachelor and Master degree programs. Since its introduction more than ten years ago, over 2,000 employees in Germany have taken advantage of this opportunity.
Digital training during the coronavirus crisis
In recent years, we have increasingly shifted our training to digital learning. During the coronavirus pandemic, this was very helpful in ensuring training for employees despite working from home and no classroom courses. In 2020, more than 60 percent of our training measures took place on digital media and platforms. We further expanded our digital training offerings globally (with the exception of T-Mobile US) throughout the year, for example, with the innovative “Percipio” learning platform. 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, or digital transformation, and conveys the learning content in an entertaining way. By November 2020, 170,000 Deutsche Telekom employees were already registered on this platform. In addition, our employees can use the training materials from Coursera, the world’s largest provider of online courses at university level. The courses on topics such as big data, cybersecurity, cloud, and artificial intelligence are provided by a network of around 200 universities.
Digital skills - the key to the future
Worldwide, our employees invested around 2.5 million learning hours in their own training in 2020. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this was significantly less than in 2019. However, the share of digital learning increased significantly: Almost 69 percent was delivered digitally, about 23 percent more than in 2019. Today, our employees can access almost all learning opportunities digitally. In 2020, 99 percent of courses bookable Group-wide were digital.
Since 2019, we have pursued the goal of turning Deutsche Telekom into a learning organization with the “youlearn” initiative. We offer our employees worldwide (with the exception of 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 a voluntary, informal “learning challenge”. In October 2020, “youlearn day” was offered for the first time as a Group-wide digital learning event. On a digital conference platform, employees could choose from around 40 online sessions on the latest business topics – such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and software development – and participate for one day. 4,700 participants registered for this first “youlearn day”. The Technology & Innovation segment offered its employees another learning day the next day.
Another example of self-managed, autonomous learning is the “Learning from Experts” (LEX) employee initiative launched in 2018, where experts from the Group pass on their knowledge to their colleagues in digital courses lasting around 30 to 60 minutes. By the end of 2020, some 3,000 such course options were available, making LEX the fastest-growing community at the Group.
Boosting leadership skills in the digital age
We are also increasing the use of virtual solutions in our management development programs. The aim is to strengthen virtual leadership skills. As part of our “Lead to Win” performance and development process, our executives receive feedback on their current performance profile and individual development opportunities. The “Lead to Win” approach will be replaced by the new “WeGrow” performance development approach in 2021. This new process will help us increase the commitment of each employee through regular feedback, create clarity about tasks and expected results, and strengthen the trust-based relationship between manager and employee. In addition, the new approach will enable closer integration with other HR processes such as skills management, talent management, and succession planning and helps us meet our business targets. In addition, we use two uniform performance assessment tools throughout Germany:
Agile transformation of Deutsche Telekom in Germany
In Germany, we are focusing increasingly on agile working – especially in the development of new products. The goal is to intensify our focus on the customer and speed up our delivery capability. This is supported by a comprehensive training and education program, including courses in agile working and four-month training courses. They provide skills for role profiles within the agile concept, such as “Product Owner” or “Scrum Master”. A leadership program on agile working is also available for managers.