“The results of the opinion barometer are a good sign. We are on the right track with our strategy and cultural change. We can see that employees support change and the speed with which Volkswagen is realigning itself,” said Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess. “However, we still have far to go and that also applies to cultural change. We must work steadily on improvements. In future, we will also pay special attention to the topics of integrity and compliance as well as leadership and cooperation. Despite the first signs of success, we must not relax our efforts,” Volkswagen CEO Diess added.
Human Resources Board Member Gunnar Kilian said: “Over the past few months, we have rapidly implemented a number of measures: cultural dialogues, the role model program for managers, meetings with line managers, the “KulTour” and many other items. It is now clear that these measures are having an effect. The employees see improvements, particularly in the areas of corporate and management culture as well as integrity and cooperation. I am especially pleased to note that a growing number of employees say that they can express their opinions openly and honestly and make contributions on key topics related to their work. It is also gratifying to see the growing number of employees who say that their direct line managers provide exemplary, convincing leadership. This employee feedback is an incentive as well as a call to work intensively on further improvements.”
Kilian also emphasized that the survey phase and the presentation of the results were only the first stage in the opinion barometer. “Positive assessments are highly gratifying. However, it will be important for us to draw the right conclusions in areas where our employees see scope for improvement. This is why all managers are now called upon to discuss the results within their teams, to implement improvements and to document them in a clear and comprehensible way. The rapid, effective implementation of improvements is a management task.”
To date, the results of the survey are available for Volkswagen AG in Germany, including employees of the Wolfsburg, Hanover, Brunswick, Salzgitter, Emden and Kassel plants. About 110,000 employees had an opportunity to participate and the response rate was about 60percent. The mood index calculated from the answers to a total of 22 questions improved slightly from 70.6 index points in 2017 to 70.8 points in 2018. Depending on the approval ratings of employees, the index may be between zero and 100 points.
Significant improvements were shown by the answers to questions concerning cooperation (+1 index point), discussion culture (+1.9 points), the leadership style of direct line managers (+1.7 points) and the possibility of behaving in an upright way within employees’ organizational entities (+2.4 points).
Employees gave the lowest approval rating in response to the question of whether Volkswagen is seen positively by the public. The answers of the employees only resulted in slightly less than 55 index points. The highest value was reached in response to the question of whether Volkswagen was an attractive employer. In this case, the index value reached almost 85 points.
The questions asked in the opinion barometer are addressed to managers and employees of all Group brands and about 150 Group companies in more than 40 countries. Participation is voluntary and respondents’ anonymity is ensured. Following the completion of evaluation, managers discuss team results with their respective teams and decide on improvements where these are required. This is followed by the implementation stage. Measures that have been agreed must be documented transparently, which facilitates subsequent improvements.