Employee participation

Codetermination and employee participation are important pillars of our human resources strategy. Volkswagen aims to promote high levels of expertise and a strong sense of team spirit. This includes employees’ opinions, assessments and criticisms being heard.

We brief our employees extensively on upcoming changes so as to involve them in strategic decision-making as early as possible. In forming cooperative labor relations characterized by social peace, we are guided by universal human rights and the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Building on these principles, we have agreed various charters and declarations with the European and the World Works Councils which set out the principles of labor policy in the Volkswagen Group as well as individual employee rights.

With the opinion survey, a poll of 180 companies of the Group, the Company not only regularly gathers information regarding employee satisfaction, but also inquires about the shape of our corporate culture and the manner in which, for example, compliance requirements are implemented. Based on the results, follow-up processes are implemented in which measures are developed and executed. Over 620,000 employees in 50 countries were invited to take part in the survey. The participation rate was 81%. The average result from all of the answers provided for the questions in the opinion survey – the sentiment rating – is an important parameter of the survey; in 2019 it stood at 80.0 out of a possible total of 100 index points. The score achieved in 2019 was thus higher than the previous year’s figure, which amounted to 78.9 points.

In addition, we also encourage our employees’ involvement by means of Idea Management. Employees have the opportunity to put their creativity and knowledge to use in the form of ideas for improvements, thus contributing to streamlining workflows, further enhancing ergonomics in the workplace, reducing costs and continuously increasing efficiency. Through Idea Management employees can actively participate in the planning and design of their work. The system also provides monetary incentives by offering set rewards.