The Volkswagen Group is one of the world’s largest private employers. On December 31, 2022, we employed a total of 675,805 people, which includes the Chinese joint ventures. This figure represents a 0.4% increase compared with the end of 2021. The ratio of Group employees in Germany to those abroad remained largely stable over the past year; at the end of 2022, 293,862 (295,065) employees worked in Germany.
Human resources strategy and principles of the human resources policy
For the Volkswagen Group the transformation of the workforce is defined as a key focus topic in the Group’s NEW AUTO strategy. We have also embedded the topic in our Group-wide People & Transformation initiative. The Group People Strategy Transform to Tech plays a key role in this context for our three brand groups – Volume, Premium and Sport & Luxury. This strategy also enables the Volkswagen Group to continue with key, successful approaches in human resources policy. These include the pronounced stakeholder focus in corporate governance, comprehensive participation rights for employees, forward-looking training opportunities, the principle of long-term service through systematic employee retention and remuneration that is fair and transparent.
At the same time, the Group People Strategy is setting innovative trends. Employee experience is to be improved systematically, the teams strengthened as the most important units in the company’s organization, and modern forms of working, such as agile methods, are to be developed. Our aim is to become more attractive as an employer and take the performance of our organization to the next level.
In our Group People Strategy we have identified different dimensions with which we aim to address employees’ needs and expectations in a holistic manner. Together, these four dimensions make up the work experience, job satisfaction and, ultimately, the success of the work and the Group’s integration into society.
1) “Me” (Me@Volkswagen): We strive to systematically improve the employee experience and ensure that all employees have the best possible conditions in which to do their job. Starting with availability of contemporary, task-specific work equipment and tools, this also entails avoidance of red tape and overly complex process steps and includes state-of-the-art workspaces, opportunities for 360-degree feedback, individual health coaching, and training opportunities tailored to the individual.
2) “My team” (Teams@Volkswagen): High-performance teams in the Volkswagen Group are groups that trust each other, have a common goal and can rely on each other, yet also discuss matters critically and speak their minds. As our transformation takes shape, the way in which teams in the Volkswagen Group collaborate changes. Hybrid digital forms of collaboration are becoming more important. They require modern office environments that simplify collaborative, flexible work. The same applies to opportunities for digital collaboration – an aspect that has become even more important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
3) “All of us at Volkswagen” (All of us@Volkswagen): The seven Volkswagen Group Essentials define the shared underlying values across all of the Group’s brands and companies: We take on responsibility for the environment and society, We are honest and speak up when something is wrong, We break new ground, We live diversity, We are proud of the work we do, We not me, We keep our word. Our corporate culture aims to create a sense of belonging for our workforce – an important aspect that is gaining in significance particularly in times of change and in an increasingly diverse environment. We believe in the importance of fair remuneration, which underscores our image of ourselves as an attractive employer. It is designed to motivate and to express our appreciation for the performance of each individual. In addition, we need to empower our leaders to contribute to a successful transformation and act as role models. Group-wide activities such as team dialogue and the role model program are designed to encourage employees to discuss the Group Essentials and incorporate them into all work processes. In the role model program, managers from all brands strive to improve the corporate culture together with their staff.
4) “Volkswagen in society” (We@Volkswagen and the world around us): We are aware that without long-term social legitimacy at our locations and in our markets, we will not be able to carry forward our business model in times of accelerated changes in values – this applies from an economic, environmental and social perspective. We see our employees as representatives of the Volkswagen Group who communicate our values to society. Together with them, we also assume responsibility above and beyond our core business – such as through foundation work and corporate volunteering. The topics of our social commitment range from education to diversity, a culture of remembrance, culture, climate action and environmental protection, and various local commitments.
The transformation has put us on a long-term path of change and renewal. It is important for us to regularly review whether we are maintaining the course we have set and achieving our objectives. The following strategic key performance indicators help us measure our progress and take remedial action if necessary:
- Internal employer attractiveness: This indicator is determined by asking respondents, as part of the Stimmungsbarometer (opinion survey), whether they perceive the respective company as an attractive employer. The opinion survey is conducted for the majority of our Group workforce. The target for 2025 is 89.1 out of a possible total of 100 index points. A score of 86.6 index points was achieved in the reporting period, meaning that the target for 2022 of 88.7 index points was missed. 86.8 points were achieved in the previous year. For Volkswagen AG, the value for 2022 was 87.1 (87.7) index points.
- Diversity index: As part of our group-wide diversity management system, we report in this strategic indicator on trends in the proportion of women in management and in the internationalization of top management as a percentage of the active workforce (total workforce excluding vocational trainees, employees in the passive phase of their partial retirement and employees in the withdrawal phase of their time asset bonds) worldwide. In particular, this indicator underpins the objective of the Group People Strategy, which is aimed at contributing to an exemplary leadership and corporate culture. The proportion of women in management, comprised of management, senior management and top management (including Group Board of Management members), amounted to 17.2% in 2022 and was 0.9 percentage points up on the prior-year level. We aim to raise this figure to 20.2% by 2025. Our goal is to increase the level of internationalization in top management, the uppermost of our three management tiers, to 25.0% in 2025; in the past fiscal year this was 23.4 (20.3)%. The methodology changed in 2022: in the case of dual nationality, both nationalities are taken into account. The figures for the proportion of women in management and the internationalization of top management are placed equally weighted in the diversity index and the figures for the year 2016 set to an index value of 100. For 2022 we had planned to increase this index to 136. This target was exceeded with a score of 140 (127).
- Implementation status of strategic HR planning: Strategic HR planning supplements operational HR planning by adding a qualitative, long-term and strategic planning perspective. It allows business units to identify qualitative and quantitative surpluses and shortfalls at an early stage and develop necessary qualification, training and restructuring requirements designed to help support the transformation. To map progress in strategic HR planning, we will measure the percentage of the active workforce considered in the strategic HR planning from 2023.
- Number of training hours per employee: Due to the transformation in the automotive industry, we are facing the biggest process of expertise and cultural change in the history of the Group. As a result, individual opportunities for change for employees are becoming an increasingly important success factor. By leveraging economies of scale in connection with digitalization and through the Group-wide learning platform Degreed, which is to be gradually rolled out across the Group, Volkswagen is improving the access to training opportunities. The goal is to increase the average number of training hours per employee in the Volkswagen Group – based on the active workforce – by 35% before 2030 to 30 hours per employee per year. The baseline value is 22.3 hours and represents the average for the base years 2015 to 2019. These years were chosen as the baseline due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which temporarily curtailed training activities in 2020 and 2021. The target figure for the reporting period was 22 hours. With an average of 19.9 hours per employee, the target has not been met.