During the lockdown, employees sat at their home PCs and had many questions about health protection, work organization, processes and projects. At the beginning of June, the TE-Skype-Dialog with 350 participants provided initial answers. The motto was “Together against Corona”. Via live chat or by microphone the participants asked questions about the work situation under COVID-19 conditions. “The new digital dialogue formats complement our media like the monthly newsletter TElegramm and the TE-Homepage well,” emphasizes Michael Esders, who is responsible for the internal TE communication.
Before the corona pandemic, communication events took place in the TE lecture hall with about 100 participants. More than three events would have had to be organized to reach the same number of 350 employees contacted through one TE-Skype-Dialogue event. The online format also saved employees the trouble of travelling to and from the event. If they had come from home, they would have traveled more than 12,000 kilometers by car – with estimated CO2 emissions of 1.8 tons. The climate balance of an online meeting is much better – with 350 participants, only around 35 kilograms of CO2 are generated per hour. The change within TE is thus one of many examples that show how Volkswagen is becoming a more digital and at the same time more sustainable company.
Chatting in the digital café bar
Today, communication with TE employees in the home office routinely takes place via digital media – a transformation that took place in a very short period of time. After the initial push, the need continued to grow. “For the second half of the year, we are preparing a whole package of digital formats with which we will inform employees and conduct dialog with them,” says Egon Feichter, responsible for TE strategy, product data and services.
Small started it all – with the “digital café bar”. Riemere-Birk created it when the pandemic spread. The motto: people meet digitally on Skype for a quarter of an hour, as if they were having a coffee in the cafeteria or in the office. Just five employees, most of whom don’t know each other, but who share the daily experience of the home office. “More than 20 times the digital coffee drinking took place and was excellently accepted by the employees,” Riemere-Birk remarks.
Networking also goes online
The program for the coming weeks includes further TE-Skype dialogues – for example on cultural change. An event on “Remembrance, Experience and Responsibility” has already taken place – with a great response. In addition, there will be networking events on the subject of combining family and career or on personal professional development in times of corona. The idea of the format: In a small circle, the atmosphere should be as relaxed as around a fireplace evening. Riemere-Birk: “The new dialog formats have become the norm among TE employees. Digitalization is also indispensable in regards to events, and will open up new opportunities for us in the future.”