The A1 Telekom Austria Group sees itself as a driver andcompanion of the digital transformation. To this end, itpromotes constant learning with a focus on digital skillsand relies on a shared sense of identity and uniformguidelines throughout the Group.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group employs around 18,700 people. It sees diversity inculture, age, and gende as one of its greatest strengths. Its strategy and prac-ticed corporate culture are in keeping with its common purpose of “Empoweringdigital life”.
Both in internal and external collaboration, the A1 Telekom Austria Group relieson digitalization and the group-wide harmonization of processes and proce-dures. Specifically promoting a “digital mindset” plays a key role within the com-pany. Innovative solutions for internal communication and cooperation pave theway for a shared sense of identity throughout the Group (“One company”). Thisnation-spanning team spirit, constant learning, and group-wide Guiding Princi-ples are the main drivers of corporate strategy (Strategy enablers).
Shared sense of identity: “One company”
In order to advance the digital transformation with combined forces, there is agrowing need for cross-departmental and international cooperation. Employeesare encouraged to work in multinational groups on projects, which are then test-ed in different countries and, if successful, rolled out throughout the Group. Topromote the sharing of information within the Group, further communicationschannels were also introduced, such as the regular “A1 Minute” shorts (videocompilations of news from the last two weeks) and the digital employee magazine– also available externally – “A1 Stories” (A1stories.com). The company’s internalsocial collaboration platform “Workplace” holds a “Friday Coffee” every twoweeks where employees report on current projects or news from the countrieswhere the Group operates.
In addition, five countries implemented a uniform digital recruitment platform in2018 to promote a uniform, groupwide image as an attractive digital employerunder the motto: “A1 Telekom Austria Group – Digital Employer of Choice”.
The Group’s Guiding Principles
The A1 Telekom Austria Group is committed to an active corporate cultureconducive to its common purpose of “Empowering digital life”. To this end, threeGuiding Principles were developed at the end of 2016 and have been imple-mented throughout the Group (see box). These principles have since becomemore widely established, in part as a result of Guiding Principles workshops heldthroughout the Group, a Guiding Principles campaign, and a “Culture PulseCheck”. Throughout the Group, 51 % of employees took part in “Culture PulseCheck 2018”, and 92 % of employees are familiar with the Guiding Principles.Further measures were developed based on these results, above all to bolsterthe company’s culture of active feedback.
Promoting interest in new things:
Digitalization and the innovative communications solutions based on it are creatingentirely new ways to shape our working and learning worlds. Working with othersindependently of time and space and sharing on social networks or knowledgeplatforms offer enormous potential for promoting the development of skills and forenhancing the productivity and attractiveness of the working environment as awhole. Accordingly, the A1 Telekom Austria Group is increasingly using a central
e-learning platform for training throughout the Group wherever and wheneverpossible, in addition to its group-wide “Workplace” social collaboration platform.This promotes cross-divisional cooperation in international project groups andvirtual teams, not to mention the sharing of expertise within the Group.
Constant learning plays a key role for the A1 Telekom Austria Group in pursuingits corporate strategy, and was a strategic focus topic in 2018. Through its “A1Learning Hub”, the Group therefore provided digital learning content on topicsthat change monthly, such as “Internet of Things (IoT)” or “Cyber Security”. Thewide range of material available on the groupwide e-learning platform shows howmuch digital learning is fostered and promoted within the A1 Telekom AustriaGroup. This platform currently comprises 15 learning providers and 1,920 onlinecourses and virtual classes. All employees completed at least one online coursein 2018.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group is also seeking to develop essential skills andcapabilities in the digital age with its fellowship program: This gives leading ex-perts the opportunity to build their own communities in subject areas such as bigdata, the Internet of Things (IoT), omnichannel, etc. while also receiving supportand continuing professional development. In doing so, the Group wants to pro-mote expert careers, encourage personal responsibility and the dismantling ofhierarchies while at the same time augmenting digital skills. For example, the IoTcommunity already has more than 500 active members on the Group’s internalsocial collaboration platform, while the omnichannel community already hasapproximately 100.
Under the motto “Empowering ideas”, the intrapreneurship program waslaunched in 2017 to actively promote the entrepreneurial spirit. This offers entre-preneurially-minded employees the chance to make their ideas a reality as inter-nal start-ups without assuming the financial risks. One example of a winningteam under this program is “Offensity”, which was able to successfully implementits ideas in the course of 2018. Its members call themselves ethical hackers, andoffer small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) a package to protect themselvesagainst hacker attacks (see “Highlight project”). A second run of the intrapre-neurship program was started in 2018.
The A1 Telekom Austria Group trains its own apprentices to meet its futurerequirements for young experts. There were 122 apprentices in training at A1
in Austria in 2018.
Fair and flexible working conditions
At A1 Telekom Austria Group, group-wide performance management standardsensure that just as much attention is paid to employees’ quantitatively measurableperformance as to the “how” aspect of their day-to-day work in accordance withthe Guiding Principles. Employees’ personal development is a key aspect of theperformance management process and was already integrated into it in 2016.
At the start of 2018, ROAD (Relevant Orientation & Active Development) was im-plemented as an evolution of the performance management model. The focus isplaced on employees’ development and strengths in order to improve personalresponsibility and enhance the company’s feedback culture. Managers are rein-forced in their role as coaches. A key aspect of ROAD is regular discussion in-stead of selective, reciprocal exchange.
The use of mobile and flexible forms of work has grown steadily throughout theGroup in recent years. For example, in 2017 the company moved into a new,state-of-the-art business location in the Republic of Serbia and established newoffice concepts. In 2018, the modernization of the Group’s headquarters in Aus-tria continued and the Macedonian subsidiary moved into a new office location.Innovative working models and office solutions are the focus in the course of this.
Social dialog is a top priority within the A1 Telekom Austria Group. The EuropeanWorks Council, consisting of employee representatives from EU countries, meetsseveral times a year. Furthermore, there is regular sharing of information with em-ployee representatives at Group and local level. At Group level, a Memorandum ofUnderstanding on Employee Rights and Working Conditions and a Memorandumof Understanding on Partnership in the Workplace were signed with the Eu-ropean Works Council in 2017. Locally, there are collective agreements in individ-ual countries. Employee representatives account for a third of the members of theSupervisory Board of Telekom Austria AG.
The potential of diversity
Teams that are diverse are better than individuals at mastering the variety of chal-lenges of today’s world of work. Teams prove especially effective when many dif-ferent skills and capabilities are interlinked. After all, different ways of looking at achallenge lead to comprehensive and efficient solutions. Echoing these senti-ments, the A1 Telekom Austria Group has signed the Diversity Charter. By doingso, it has made a public commitment to utilizing and preserving the wealth of cul-tural traditions and capabilities in its countries.
The 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 backedup by various programs aimed at, for example, getting women interested in tech-nical professions. The role of Gender Diversity Officer was established in 2018.The Gender Diversity Officer is also responsible for implementing the agenda ofthe advancement plan for women (see box). There is a variety of programs in-tended to improve women’s career development opportunities and to aid work-life balance – for both women and men. In Austria, a successful women’s networkoffers female employees a platform for exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge andproviding mutual support. In 2018, the European Works Council of the A1Telekom Austria Group created a multinational Women’s Council to support thepromotion of women at all levels throughout the Group.
It was A1 Telekom Austria Group’s goal to increase the share of women in man-agement positions to 38 % by 2018. However, regarding the occupation of openpositions it was not achieved to attract enough women to leadership positions. A5-year plan was therefore developed in 2018 that focused on reconciling workand family and is intended to ensure an increase in the proportion of women inmanagement. In total, the share of female employees at the end of 2018 was 40% after 38 % in the previous year. ▬
The A1 Telekom Austria Group’sGuiding Principles
In working together, we combine our abilities andstrengths in order to meet our customers’expectations. It is important for us tocommunicate openly and transparently and to actas a team. Everyone’s opinion matters – andeveryone is encouraged to take action.
Through trust, we create an environment thatpromotes curiosity, openness, and cooperation.We stand by what we say and we keep ourpromises. We believe in the knowledge andabilities of all employees. We act with integrity inour dealings with each other, with customers,suppliers, and partners. This helps us to get a
little better every single day.
The digital world is not going to wait for us to beready for it. So we make decisions and implementthem quickly. We learn in our day-to-day work,talking with co-workers and on our internallearning and social collaboration platform. Welearn from our mistakes and are constantly strivingto take the next step.
In order to further tap the potential of digitaliza-tion and to foster digital transformation within theA1 Telekom Austria Group, employees and mem-bers of the Group Leadership Team were given theopportunity to join the “Digital Shift LearningPath” in 2018. This mentored online learningprogram consisted of three phases: In phase 1,
a “Digital barometer” assessed the “digital fitness”in four fundamental dimensions (“Digital adop-tion”, “Digital sharing”, “Digital collaboration”,and “Digital productivity”). Phase 2 aimed ataligning this digital understanding with the corpo-rate culture and at exploring major digital trends(digital mindset, behavioral shifts, data cre-ation/abundance, personalization, digital com-munities, and security). Phase 3 was designed toanchor the acquired knowledge by applying it inthree community challenges (“Agile working”,“Learning culture”, and “Digital manifesto”) via thegroup-wide social collaboration platform“Workplace”.
IT vulnerability analysis with Offensity
One of the winning teams of the intrapreneurship program,Offensity, offers an automated cloud service to protect theexternal IT infrastructures of SMEs. The service checks thecustomer’s infrastructure for vulnerabilities on an ongoingbasis, evaluates them, notifies customers immediately ofpotential threats and delivers specific and comprehensiblerecommendations on how these vulnerabilities can beresolved – before hackers can find and exploit them.
Professional developmentprograms in the A1 TelekomAustria Group (excerpt)
▸Group Young Potential Program
(A1 Telekom Austria Group)
▸Sales and Leadership Program (Austria)
▸Digitalized Welcome Learning Pack &
Constant Learning Courses (Bulgaria)
▸Digital Skills Academy (Croatia)
▸Digital Customer Forum (Belarus)
▸Strength-based Leadership (Slovenia)
(Republic of Serbia)
▸Digital Skills Development Program
(Republic of Macedonia)
Advancement plan for women
▸Promoting reconciliation of work and family
▸Equal career advancement and developmentopportunities
▸Zero tolerance of sexual harassment, bullyingetc. at the workplace