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 criticism being heard.

We brief our employees extensively on upcoming changes so as to involve them in strategic decision-making as early as possible. When shaping labor relations to embody cooperation and 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 Global Works Councils which set out the principles of labor policy in the Volkswagen Group as well as employee rights.

By means of the opinion survey, an employee poll conducted at 172 companies belonging to the Group, the Company not only regularly gathers information regarding employee satisfaction, but also inquires about the manifestation 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 540 thousand employees in 38 countries were invited to take part in the 2020 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 2020 it stood at 82.2 out of a possible total of 100 index points. The score achieved in 2020 was thus higher than the previous year’s figure, which amounted to 80.0 points.

In addition, we also encourage employee 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. The system also provides monetary incentives by offering set rewards.

Employee participation in the Company’s success through the issuance of treasury shares in the form of an employee share program is not currently offered.