Actively shaping change with a digital mindset

The A1 Telekom Austria Group sees itself as a driver and companion of the digital transformation. To this end, it promotes constant learning with a focus on digital skills and relies on a shared sense of identity and uniform guidelines throughout the Group.

The A1 Telekom Austria Group employs around 18,700 people. It sees diversity in culture, age, and gende as one of its greatest strengths. Its strategy and prac- ticed corporate culture are in keeping with its common purpose of “Empowering digital life”.

Both in internal and external collaboration, the A1 Telekom Austria Group relies on 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 the way for a shared sense of identity throughout the Group (“One company”). This nation-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 a growing need for cross-departmental and international cooperation. Employees are encouraged to work in multinational groups on projects, which are then test- ed in different countries and, if successful, rolled out throughout the Group. To promote the sharing of information within the Group, further communications channels were also introduced, such as the regular “A1 Minute” shorts (video compilations of news from the last two weeks) and the digital employee magazine – also available externally – “A1 Stories” (A1stories.com). The company’s internal social collaboration platform “Workplace” holds a “Friday Coffee” every two weeks where employees report on current projects or news from the countries where the Group operates.

In addition, five countries implemented a uniform digital recruitment platform in 2018 to promote a uniform, groupwide image as an attractive digital employer under 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 culture conducive to its common purpose of “Empowering digital life”. To this end, three Guiding Principles were developed at the end of 2016 and have been imple- mented throughout the Group (see box). These principles have since become more widely established, in part as a result of Guiding Principles workshops held throughout the Group, a Guiding Principles campaign, and a “Culture Pulse Check”. Throughout the Group, 51 % of employees took part in “Culture Pulse Check 2018”, and 92 % of employees are familiar with the Guiding Principles. Further measures were developed based on these results, above all to bolster the company’s culture of active feedback.

Promoting interest in new things:

“Constant learning”

Digitalization and the innovative communications solutions based on it are creating entirely new ways to shape our working and learning worlds. Working with others independently of time and space and sharing on social networks or knowledge platforms offer enormous potential for promoting the development of skills and for enhancing the productivity and attractiveness of the working environment as a whole. Accordingly, the A1 Telekom Austria Group is increasingly using a central

e-learning platform for training throughout the Group wherever and whenever possible, in addition to its group-wide “Workplace” social collaboration platform. This promotes cross-divisional cooperation in international project groups and virtual teams, not to mention the sharing of expertise within the Group.

Constant learning plays a key role for the A1 Telekom Austria Group in pursuing its corporate strategy, and was a strategic focus topic in 2018. Through its “A1 Learning Hub”, the Group therefore provided digital learning content on topics that change monthly, such as “Internet of Things (IoT)” or “Cyber Security”. The wide range of material available on the groupwide e-learning platform shows how much digital learning is fostered and promoted within the A1 Telekom Austria Group. This platform currently comprises 15 learning providers and 1,920 online courses and virtual classes. All employees completed at least one online course in 2018.

The A1 Telekom Austria Group is also seeking to develop essential skills and capabilities 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 big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), omnichannel, etc. while also receiving support and continuing professional development. In doing so, the Group wants to pro- mote expert careers, encourage personal responsibility and the dismantling of hierarchies while at the same time augmenting digital skills. For example, the IoT community already has more than 500 active members on the Group’s internal social collaboration platform, while the omnichannel community already has approximately 100.

Under the motto “Empowering ideas”, the intrapreneurship program was launched 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 winning team under this program is “Offensity”, which was able to successfully implement its ideas in the course of 2018. Its members call themselves ethical hackers, and offer small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) a package to protect themselves against 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 future requirements 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 standards ensure that just as much attention is paid to employees’ quantitatively measurable performance as to the “how” aspect of their day-to-day work in accordance with the Guiding Principles. Employees’ personal development is a key aspect of the performance 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 is placed on employees’ development and strengths in order to improve personal responsibility 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 the Group 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 new office 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 European Works Council, consisting of employee representatives from EU countries, meets several times a year. Furthermore, there is regular sharing of information with em- ployee representatives at Group and local level. At Group level, a Memorandum of Understanding on Employee Rights and Working Conditions and a Memorandum of 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 the Supervisory 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 a challenge lead to comprehensive and efficient solutions. Echoing these senti- ments, the A1 Telekom Austria Group has signed the Diversity Charter. By doing so, 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 gender equality: Equal opportunities are a fixed element of all its activities. This is backed up 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 of the 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 network offers female employees a platform for exchanging ideas, sharing knowledge and providing mutual support. In 2018, the European Works Council of the A1 Telekom Austria Group created a multinational Women’s Council to support the promotion 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 open positions it was not achieved to attract enough women to leadership positions. A 5-year plan was therefore developed in 2018 that focused on reconciling work and family and is intended to ensure an increase in the proportion of women in management. In total, the share of female employees at the end of 2018 was 40 % after 38 % in the previous year.


Strategy Enablers

Constant learning







The A1 Telekom Austria Group’s Guiding Principles


In working together, we combine our abilities and strengths in order to meet our customers’ expectations. It is important for us to communicate openly and transparently and to act as a team. Everyone’s opinion matters – and everyone is encouraged to take action.


Through trust, we create an environment that promotes curiosity, openness, and cooperation. We stand by what we say and we keep our promises. We believe in the knowledge and abilities of all employees. We act with integrity in our 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 be ready for it. So we make decisions and implement them quickly. We learn in our day-to-day work, talking with co-workers and on our internal learning and social collaboration platform. We learn from our mistakes and are constantly striving to take the next step.

In order to further tap the potential of digitaliza- tion and to foster digital transformation within the A1 Telekom Austria Group, employees and mem- bers of the Group Leadership Team were given the opportunity to join the “Digital Shift Learning Path” in 2018. This mentored online learning program 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 at aligning 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 to anchor the acquired knowledge by applying it in three community challenges (“Agile working”, “Learning culture”, and “Digital manifesto”) via the group-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 the external IT infrastructures of SMEs. The service checks the customer’s infrastructure for vulnerabilities on an ongoing basis, evaluates them, notifies customers immediately of potential threats and delivers specific and comprehensible recommendations on how these vulnerabilities can be resolved – before hackers can find and exploit them.


Professional development programs in the A1 Telekom Austria 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)

Strength-based Leadership

(Republic of Serbia)

Digital Skills Development Program

(Republic of Macedonia)

Advancement plan for women

Promoting reconciliation of work and family

Equal career advancement and development opportunities

Zero tolerance of sexual harassment, bullying etc. at the workplace

Networking support for women within the company