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Further improvement in mood among employees

  • 2019 Stimmungsbarometer (opinion barometer): Improvements in culture, integrity and cooperation
  • Kilian: “We are on the right track with our corporate and leadership culture”

Volkswagen employees see the company on the right track as regards cooperation, leadership and integrity. This is the conclusion drawn from the most recent Volkswagen Stimmungsbarometer (opinion barometer), an employee survey that regularly gives employees throughout the company the opportunity to express their views on topics such as leadership, cooperation, integrity and culture while retaining their anonymity. The survey was conducted for the eleventh time in 2019 over a period of several weeks in October and November, and the results for Volkswagen AG’s German plants are now available.

Board Member for Human Resources Gunnar Kilian said: “The results of this year’s opinion barometer confirm that Volkswagen employees have embraced our realignment. That encourages us to drive cultural change further forward and maintain the pace at which we are implementing our strategy. In other words: We will continue our intensive efforts to improve, and focus in particular on issues such as integrity and compliance, leadership and cooperation.”

Kilian noted that many programs and actions had been initiated in the last two years and the positive effects were now emerging: “I am especially pleased that our employees see improvements in the areas of corporate and leadership culture as well as integrity and cooperation. That is not only excellent testimony, but also an incentive to improve even further.”

The survey phase and the presentation of the results are always the first stage in the Volkswagen opinion barometer. Kilian therefore underscored: “It is important to draw the right conclusions from all the results — especially in those areas where our employees see scope for improvement.” This is why managers will soon be discussing the results within their teams, implementing and documenting improvements. Kilian commented: “The rapid implementation of improvements is a management task.”

To date, the results of the survey are available for Volkswagen AG in Germany, i.e. for employees at the Wolfsburg, Hanover, Brunswick, Salzgitter, Emden and Kassel plants, where over 110,000 employees had the opportunity to participate and the response rate was about 60 percent, on a par with last year. The mood index improved significantly compared with last year, increasing from 70.8 index points in 2018 to 72.3 index points for the current year. This index is calculated from the answers to over 20 questions and can range between zero and 100 points.

Significant improvements were shown by the answers to questions concerning integrity (+3.5 index points), cooperation (+1.9 index points) and leadership (+1.9 index points). The strongest positive change of +6.4 index points was reached in response to the question of whether Volkswagen is seen positively by the public. Last year, respondents’ answers to this question only reached 54.9 index points, compared with 61.3 index points this year. There was a further improvement in Volkswagen’s already high standing as an attractive employer. Last year’s record index value (84.9 index points) rose further to 86 index points.

The questions asked in the Volkswagen opinion barometer are addressed to managers and employees of all Group brands and some 180 Group companies. 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 and their progress regularly discussed.