Our aim is to become the most attractive employer in the automotive sector and to achieve long-term success through our high-quality ‘top team’ of almost 600,000 employees. Our personnel management policy is underpinned by the principles of fair treatment for our employees and a balance between performance, pay and participation. To secure our long-term future, we want to play a part in shaping tomorrow’s world of work, but our commitment to the principles of fairness and responsibility remains central. And that means giving our employees a share in the Company’s success and meeting our own corporate social responsibility.
Securing excellent performance, generating success and enabling employees to share in the profits are central to the Volkswagen Group’s personnel management (PM) strategy. The key aims of the Group’s PM work are, therefore, qualifying our employees, promoting their health and fitness, and ensuring that they are involved. Over recent years our employees’ hard work has made Volkswagen one of the world’s largest automakers, and that success has gone hand in hand with rapid growth in the number of employees. Within just five years, the Group’s workforce has grown from over 399,000 to almost 593,000. The challenge is to integrate these new employees in the Group, qualify them and enable them to add value to the business – a challenge we are meeting with a comprehensive management approach.
Alongside the ongoing internationalization of our Group structure, our response to the changes prompted by growth on this scale has focused on substantially expanding, upgrading and standardizing training right across the Group. Our approach is to embed learning and teaching within “Berufsfamilien” (professional families) in line with Germany’s dual model of vocational education and training, which ensures close long-term coordination between theory and practice. Systematic knowledge transfer – the passing on of knowledge and experience by our own experts – is another key factor underpinning our success.
The Guidelines behind the Way We Do Business
As a global undertaking with 118 production locations across Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa, we have wide-ranging experience of cultural differences, approaches and worldviews. Volkswagen is committed to respect, tolerance and cosmopolitanism and guarantees equal opportunities and equal treatment at all its locations. We are also committed to sustainable development in the towns, cities and regions in which we operate, a commitment that takes many different forms.
A range of voluntary undertakings and bilateral agreements with our employees and their representatives codify the fundamental standards, employee rights and arrangements for cooperation that apply across the Group:
- The Volkswagen Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct came into operation in 2010 and creates the framework for lawful and ethical behavior. 9
- The Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Relations at Volkswagen (the Volkswagen Social Charter). In 2002, Volkswagen used this Declaration to document the basic social rights and principles that underpin its corporate identity. These social rights and principles are based on relevant International Labour Organization Conventions. A revised version of the Social Charter was signed in 2012. 25
- The Volkswagen Global Labour Charter. The Charter came into force in autumn 2009 and combines greater rights to consultation with shared responsibilities. It provides for rights to information, consultation and codetermination for employee representatives within the brands, companies and locations represented on the Group Global Works Council. 26
- The Charter on Temporary Work. In November 2012, Group management, the European Works Council and the Group Global Works Council agreed a Charter on Temporary work, which sets out the principles for managing temporary work. 27
These systems for formally implementing employment rights and guidelines are particularly important as Volkswagen continues to grow. In 2014, the workforce of the Volkswagen Group, including the Chinese joint ventures, increased by 3.5% to 592,586 as at December 31, 2014. Significant factors in this increase were workforce expansion in growth markets, particularly in China, and the recruitment of skilled workers and experts in Germany and elsewhere. Also in 2014, Volkswagen AG, Volkswagen Sachsen GmbH, Volkswagen Financial Services AG, AUDI AG and MAN and Porsche in Germany took a total of 8,131 temporary employees into the core workforce in Germany.
The internationalization of the Volkswagen Group is also reflected in a significantly higher number of international postings. Over the past ten years, the number of foreign service employees (those who are working outside their home country) within the Volkswagen Group has more than doubled. If the new brands and companies – Scania, MAN, Ducati, Porsche and Porsche Holding – are also included, the increase was even higher, at 141%.
Group and Brands Ranked Top Employers
Our continuing success and our systematic approach to personnel management are also making us increasingly attractive as an employer. Once again, 2014 saw the Group securing leading positions in a number of employer rankings. A survey among future management experts by the consultancy company trendence, for example, saw the Volkswagen Group move from fifth to second most attractive European employer. A total of more than 300,000 engineering, IT and business studies graduates from 24 European countries took part in the trendence surveys, voting us most attractive employer in the automotive sector.
In other countries, Volkswagen Group brands and companies achieved excellent rankings in a wide range of employer attractiveness surveys. In Germany, according to trendence, Audi was voted the most popular employer by engineering graduates for the fifth consecutive year, for example, while the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand achieved third place among business studies graduates and fourth place among engineering graduates. Elsewhere in Europe, Volkswagen-Audi España was named top employer in a national survey, while automotive and mechanical engineering students once again voted ŠKODA the most attractive employer in the Czech Republic. In the UK, the Top Employers Institute awarded Bentley Motors Ltd. “Top Employer United Kingdom” status for the third consecutive year. In China, the Top Employers Institute voted Shanghai Volkswagen and FAW-Volkswagen “Top Employers China” in 2014. FAW-Volkswagen also won the “Best Enterprise to Work for Chinese Graduates in 2014” award presented by the Chinese Ministry of Education and the country’s Center for Information, Advice, Higher Education, Careers and Employment. In South Africa, the Top Employers Institute ranked Volkswagen of South Africa the country’s top employer for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. In the USA, Volkswagen Chattanooga received the “Best Place to Work” award for the second year running, while in Mexico, Volkswagen de México was the only automotive company to be recognized in a national student survey, “Empresa de los sueños de los jóvenes” (“Young people’s dream company”).
The Volkswagen Group Academy groups together 13 individual Berufsfamilien Academies.