Volkswagen Group employees can actively help shape the Company through participating in the opinion survey. This uniform, Group-wide employee survey gathers information about employee satisfaction once a year. Following the survey, the results are discussed together by supervisors and employees. Complaints and problems are discussed just as much as suggestions on how to improve the structure of work. The areas of improvement that are agreed upon are then implemented in the period before the next survey. The opinion survey was conducted for the fifth time in 2012. A total of 102 locations and companies in 32 countries were included in the survey. Of the over 378,000 employees invited to participate, more than 342,000 took part.
Porsche Holding Salzburg, Volkswagen Osnabrück GmbH and Volkswagen Group Japan K.K. took part for the first time. The sentiment rating is a key parameter for the opinion survey, in addition to the level of employee participation. The Group also identified a positive trend here.
Another instrument for whose success the involvement of employees has special significance is the “Volkswagen Way”. This has been an integral feature at Volkswagen for five years. It aims to safeguard competitiveness and employment. It focuses on a comprehensive improvement process that aims to achieve continuous improvement in productivity and efficiency, as well as quality, ergonomics, leadership and teamwork. The “Volkswagen Way” is a durable instrument that offers across-the-board, systematic and binding solutions to problems using high standards and drives improvements. Every employee’s participation allows us to continuously improve the workplaces, processes and structures in the individual areas of the Company. The Volkswagen Group’s other brands have similar efficiency enhancement programs. For example, during production, a Group-wide uniform production system is used for all brands.
Volkswagen places tremendous value on facilitating the flow of ideas and improvement suggestions from its employees into the work organization and production process. The input of employees is screened and evaluated by Volkswagen Ideas Management, which is represented at all German locations. The origin of the suggestion system at Volkswagen goes back to 1949. Since then, involvement in the improvement of products and processes has been a firm indicator of the creativity, expertise and motivation of our employees. Ideas Management is an important leadership and motivational instrument for line supervisors. We worked on systematically integrating all of Volkswagen’s locations worldwide in the reporting period.
In fiscal 2012, Volkswagen employees throughout the Group submitted a total of 536,532 improvement proposals, 12.9% more than in the previous year (475,073). The implementation of 380,475 of these suggestions in the reporting period significantly helped to improve the quality of our products and the efficiency of our processes, and helped to reduce costs in the Group by a total of €358.1 million. Employees who submitted ideas received bonuses worth some €34.1 million in acknowledgment of their creativity and contributions in shaping the Company. Ideas Management also helps work at Volkswagen to be safer and more compatible with good health. Occupational health and safety measures are being continuously improved thanks to successfully implemented ideas.