With a common sense of identity, the promotion of constant learning and group-wide uniform guidelines, A1 Telekom Austria Group 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 biggest strengths. The strategy and culture at the company follow the common purpose of ‘Empowering digital life’.

This requires fundamental changes in the way internal and external cooperation works. A1 Telekom Austria Group is therefore focusing on the digitalisation and group-wide harmonisation of procedures and processes. Innovative solutions for internal communication and cooperation are paving the way to a group-wide, common sense of identity (‘One company’). Together, this ‘new’ cross-border team spirit, constant learning and the group-wide Guiding Principles are the main drivers of the corporate strategy (‘Strategy enablers’). When it comes to po- sitioning the company as an attractive digital employer, the maxim is ‘A1 Telekom Austria Group — Digital employer of choice’.

Common sense of identity: ‘One company’

Greater cross-divisional and international cooperation is required to forge ahead with the digital transformation as a united force. For this purpose, employees are encouraged 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 channels were introduced in 2017, such as the regular publications ‘A1 Minute’ (video compilation 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, which is conducive to the common purpose of ‘Empowering digital life’. Therefore, at the end of 2016, three Guiding Principles were developed and implemented across the 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 ‘Culture Puls 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 part of the ‘Culture Puls Check’ will take place in 2018 and, when compared with the results of the first part, will show how workshops and campaigns on an active feedback culture within the company, the example set by management and, in particular, 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 are opening up completely new possibilities for the configuration of working and learning 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 attractiveness of the working environment as a whole. Accordingly, A1 Telekom Austria Group is increasingly 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’s social media platform ‘Workplace’. This encourages cross-divisional cooperation within international project groups and virtual teams as well as the transfer of expertise within the Group. All employees also have access to ‘competence chan- nels’, which provide quarterly webcasts on ‘leadership in the digital age’, for example. 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 in teams — online and in real life.

The fact that digital learning is encouraged and required at the A1 Telekom Austria Group can also be seen in its extensive e-learning platform. This currently includes 14 learning providers with 894 online courses and virtual classes. In 2017, each employee took part in at least one online class.

A1 Telekom Austria Group also aims to develop essential skills and competencies in the digital age with its ‘Fellowship’ programme, which has provided top experts with the opportunity to develop their own communities on topics such as big data, artificial intelligence, the ‘Internet of Things’, etc. while receiving support and training. In doing so, the Group wants to accelerate expert careers, drive forward individual responsibility and the dismantling of hierarchies and, at the same time, further develop digital skills.

In 2017, the ‘Intrapreneurship programme’ was launched to actively encourage entrepreneurial 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 trains its 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 standards ensure the focus is on both the quantitatively measurable performance of employees and the ‘how aspect’ of their daily work, according to the Guiding Principles. The personal development of employees is an important aspect of the performance management process, in which it was integrated in 2016.

The use of mobile and flexible forms of employment was further developed across the Group accordingly last year. In this way, in 2017, the company obtained a new, modern location in the Republic of Serbia and established new office concepts to promote internal communication and implement digital work- ing methods. 2018 will see the modernisation of the Group headquarters in Austria 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 office solutions as drivers of internal digitalisation.

Social dialogue is highly valued at A1 Telekom Austria Group. The European Works Council meets several times a year, with employee representatives from various EU countries. There is also regular exchange between employee repre- sentatives at Group and local level. At Group level, in 2017, a memorandum of understanding on employee rights and working conditions and another one on cooperation in the workplace were agreed with the European Works Council. At local level, there are collective agreements in individual countries. One third of the members of the Supervisory Board of Telekom Austria AG are delegated by the employee representatives.

Diversity: the potential of variety

Diverse teams can handle the incredible variety of challenges posed by today’s working life better than individuals. Teams are particularly effective when many different skills and abilities are interlinked. Ultimately, only different perspectives on 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 cultural traditions and skills in its countries.

A1 Telekom Austria Group also takes a clear stance when it comes to gender equality — 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 of increasing the proportion of women in management positions at the company to 38 % by 2018. Throughout 2017, the company concentrated on recruiting fe- male experts and managers as well as providing work models that are flexible in terms 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 and strengths to fulfil our customers’ expectations. It is important for us to be open and transparent as a team in what we say and do. Everyone’s opinion counts, everyone is empowered to act.


Trust creates an environment in which curiosity, openness and collaboration are key. We truly stand behind what we say and we keep our promises. We trust in the knowledge and empowerment of all employees. We act with

integrity in our interactions with each other as well 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. We learn in our daily work, when talking to colleagues and in our social networks. We learn from our failures and always try again.


Strategy enablers









Staying curious, having a positive attitude to new experiences, thinking and acting innovatively. It is a matter of approach: whether and to what extent you seize the development opportunities available in the digital age. To refine the types of skills that this requires, A1 Telekom Austria Group employees have access to an extensive e-learn- ing platform. It covers a comprehensive range of key issues like technology, business skills and general training, which employees can take advantage of at their own discretion — whatever the time and their location. In 2017, the e-learn- ing platform was expanded significantly through partnerships with global training providers (like coursera and cross knowledge). The plan is to upgrade it further in 2018 with a learning bot and by developing learning paths. In this sense, the Group is promoting a continuous cultural shift towards ‘Constant learning’.



Other training programmes at

A1 Telekom Austria Group

Young Potential Program (A1 Telekom Austria Group)

New Manager Program (Austria)

Talent Management Program (Bulgaria)

Development@vipnet (Croatia)

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-time equivalents. Increases in 2017 were mainly driven by acquisitions and A1 Digital.












in %










A1 Telekom Austria Group employees

Sustainability targets ‘employees’


38 % women in management positions

Anchoring of flexible work arrangements

Creating framework conditions for the promotion of constant learning

1) Baseline for targets is 2015.


Eva Zehetner

Digitalisation promotes diversity

Natali Delić

Working together simply and efficiently. Independently of space and time. Across different countries and business areas. 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 A1 Telekom Austria Group in this regard is to hire an increasing number of female experts for management and senior man- agement positions. There are already a number of examples to prove that this concept works at a top level. For example, Eva Zehetner, Group Human Resources Director, and Natali Delić, Senior Technical Director for the Republic of Serbia and for Slovenia. Generally speaking, mobile, flexible working and the option of taking on part-time management roles are instru- mental in enabling men and women to establish a work-life balance.