With a common sense of identity, the promotion of constantlearning and group-wide uniform guidelines, A1 Telekom AustriaGroup is positioning itself as ‘Digital employer of choice’.
A1 Telekom Austria Group employs approximately 19,000 employees in its foot-print. It sees its diversity in culture, age and gender as one of its biggeststrengths. The strategy and culture at the company follow the common purposeof ‘Empowering digital life’.
This requires fundamental changes in the way internal and external cooperationworks. A1 Telekom Austria Group is therefore focusing on the digitalisation andgroup-wide harmonisation of procedures and processes. Innovative solutions forinternal communication and cooperation are paving the way to a group-wide,common sense of identity (‘One company’). Together, this ‘new’ cross-borderteam spirit, constant learning and the group-wide Guiding Principles are themain drivers of the corporate strategy (‘Strategy enablers’). When it comes to po-sitioning the company as an attractive digital employer, the maxim is ‘A1 TelekomAustria Group — Digital employer of choice’.
Common sense of identity: ‘One company’
Greater cross-divisional and international cooperation is required to forge aheadwith the digital transformation as a united force. For this purpose, employees areencouraged to work in multinational project groups, with projects tested in differ-ent countries and rolled out across the company if successful. To promote the ex-change of information within the Group, additional communication channelswere introduced in 2017, such as the regular publications ‘A1 Minute’ (videocompilation of the news from the past two weeks) and digital employee magazine‘A1 Stories’, which is also available externally (A1stories.com).
Group-wide Guiding Principles
A1 Telekom Austria Group relies on an actively practised corporate culture, whichis conducive to the common purpose of ‘Empowering digital life’. Therefore, at theend of 2016, three Guiding Principles were developed and implemented acrossthe Group as guidelines (see box).
These principles have been strengthened over the course of 2017, with group-wide Guiding Principles workshops, a Guiding Principles campaign and a ‘CulturePuls Check’ for determining the status of the implementation of the company cul-ture. Across the Group, 52 % of employees took part in the ‘Culture Puls Check’and 88 % of employees are familiar with the Guiding Principles. The second partof the ‘Culture Puls Check’ will take place in 2018 and, when compared with theresults of the first part, will show how workshops and campaigns on an activefeedback culture within the company, the example set by management and, inparticular, the application of the Guiding Principles by all employees have an im-pact on the immediate work environment.
Promoting inquisitiveness: Constant learning
Digitalisation and innovative communication solutions stemming from it areopening up completely new possibilities for the configuration of working andlearning worlds. Collaboration independent of space and time as well as ex-change over social networks or knowledge platforms provides enormous poten-tial for developing skills as well as promoting the productivity and attractivenessof the working environment as a whole. Accordingly, A1 Telekom Austria Group isincreasingly using its central e-learning platform to provide training to all its em-ployees throughout the Group wherever and whenever as well as on the Group’ssocial media platform ‘Workplace’. This encourages cross-divisional cooperationwithin international project groups and virtual teams as well as the transfer ofexpertise within the Group. All employees also have access to ‘competence chan-nels’, which provide quarterly webcasts on ‘leadership in the digital age’, forexample. Similar materials are also available on the ‘Digital Life’, ‘Future Network’and ‘Sales’ channels. This means learning is brought directly back into the work-place, where employees continuously develop alongside their colleagues inteams — online and in real life.
The fact that digital learning is encouraged and required at the A1 TelekomAustria Group can also be seen in its extensive e-learning platform. This currentlyincludes 14 learning providers with 894 online courses and virtual classes. In2017, each employee took part in at least one online class.
A1 Telekom Austria Group also aims to develop essential skills and competenciesin the digital age with its ‘Fellowship’ programme, which has provided top expertswith the opportunity to develop their own communities on topics such as bigdata, artificial intelligence, the ‘Internet of Things’, etc. while receiving supportand training. In doing so, the Group wants to accelerate expert careers, driveforward individual responsibility and the dismantling of hierarchies and, at thesame time, further develop digital skills.
In 2017, the ‘Intrapreneurship programme’ was launched to actively encourageentrepreneurial spirit. The programme gives ambitious employees the opportuni-ty to implement their ideas as internal start-ups without financial risks (see‘Technology and Innovation’).
To cover its future needs for young professionals, A1 Telekom Austria Group trainsits own apprentices. In 2017, 157 apprentices were trained at A1 in Austria.
Fair and flexible working conditions
At A1 Telekom Austria Group, group-wide performance management standardsensure the focus is on both the quantitatively measurable performance ofemployees and the ‘how aspect’ of their daily work, according to the GuidingPrinciples. The personal development of employees is an important aspect ofthe performance management process, in which it was integrated in 2016.
The use of mobile and flexible forms of employment was further developedacross the Group accordingly last year. In this way, in 2017, the companyobtained a new, modern location in the Republic of Serbia and established newoffice concepts to promote internal communication and implement digital work-ing methods. 2018 will see the modernisation of the Group headquarters inAustria as well as the completion of a new location in the Republic of Macedonia.In these two locations, the focus will be on innovative work models and officesolutions as drivers of internal digitalisation.
Social dialogue is highly valued at A1 Telekom Austria Group. The EuropeanWorks Council meets several times a year, with employee representatives fromvarious EU countries. There is also regular exchange between employee repre-sentatives at Group and local level. At Group level, in 2017, a memorandum ofunderstanding on employee rights and working conditions and another one oncooperation in the workplace were agreed with the European Works Council. Atlocal level, there are collective agreements in individual countries. One third ofthe members of the Supervisory Board of Telekom Austria AG are delegated bythe employee representatives.
Diversity: the potential of variety
Diverse teams can handle the incredible variety of challenges posed by today’sworking life better than individuals. Teams are particularly effective when manydifferent skills and abilities are interlinked. Ultimately, only different perspectiveson a challenge can produce comprehensive and efficient solutions. With precise-ly this in mind, A1 Telekom Austria Group has signed the Diversity Charter. In do-ing so, it is publically committed to using and preserving the wealth of culturaltraditions and skills in its countries.
A1 Telekom Austria Group also takes a clear stance when it comes to genderequality — equal opportunities are a fixed element of all its activities. This is sup-ported by a range of programmes, which aim to inspire women to go into techni-cal professions, for example. A1 Telekom Austria Group has set itself the goal ofincreasing the proportion of women in management positions at the company to38 % by 2018. Throughout 2017, the company concentrated on recruiting fe-male experts and managers as well as providing work models that are flexible interms of location and time and childcare. In Austria, a successful women’s net-work provides female employees with a platform to exchange ideas, share knowl-edge and support each other. The proportion of women in management posi-tions remained stable at 36 % in 2017. In total, at the end of 2017, the propor-tion of women at the Group was 38 % compared with 39 % in the previous year. ▬
Guiding Principles of
A1 Telekom Austria Group
We work together by using shared skills andstrengths to fulfil our customers’ expectations. Itis important for us to be open and transparent asa team in what we say and do. Everyone’s opinioncounts, everyone is empowered to act.
Trust creates an environment in which curiosity,openness and collaboration are key. We trulystand behind what we say and we keep ourpromises. We trust in the knowledge andempowerment of all employees. We act with
integrity in our interactions with each other aswell as with customers, suppliers and partners.This helps us to become better every day.
The digital world is not waiting for us to adapt.We take decisions and execute them quickly. Welearn in our daily work, when talking tocolleagues and in our social networks. We learnfrom our failures and always try again.
Staying curious, having a positive attitude to newexperiences, thinking and acting innovatively. Itis a matter of approach: whether and to whatextent you seize the development opportunitiesavailable in the digital age. To refine the types ofskills that this requires, A1 Telekom Austria Groupemployees have access to an extensive e-learn-ing platform. It covers a comprehensive range ofkey issues like technology, business skills andgeneral training, which employees can takeadvantage of at their own discretion — whateverthe time and their location. In 2017, the e-learn-ing platform was expanded significantly throughpartnerships with global training providers (likecoursera and cross knowledge). The plan is toupgrade it further in 2018 with a learning botand by developing learning paths. In this sense,the Group is promoting a continuous culturalshift towards ‘Constant learning’.
Other training programmes at
A1 Telekom Austria Group
▸Young Potential Program (A1 Telekom AustriaGroup)
▸New Manager Program (Austria)
▸Talent Management Program (Bulgaria)
▸Manager’s School (Belarus)
▸Strength-based Leadership (Slovenia)
▸Development Center (Republic of Serbia)
Republic of Serbia
Republic of Macedonia
Figures as of 31 December. Employees in full-timeequivalents. Increases in 2017 were mainly driven byacquisitions and A1 Digital.
A1 Telekom Austria Group employees
Sustainability targets ‘employees’
▸38 % women in management positions
▸Anchoring of flexible work arrangements
▸Creating framework conditions for thepromotion of constant learning
1) Baseline for targets is 2015.
Digitalisation promotes diversity
Working together simply and efficiently. Independently ofspace and time. Across different countries and businessareas. Without rigid structures or hierarchical boundaries.With strengths like these, digital workplaces are also con-ducive to diversity within teams. An important aspect for the A1Telekom Austria Group in this regard is to hire an increasingnumber of female experts for management and senior man-agement positions. There are already a number of examples toprove that this concept works at a top level. For example, EvaZehetner, Group Human Resources Director, and Natali Delić,Senior TechnicalDirector for the Republic of Serbia and forSlovenia. Generally speaking, mobile, flexible working and theoption of taking on part-time management roles are instru-mental in enabling men and women to establish a work-lifebalance.