- Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt: “Our goal is to anchor conduct based on integrity and values even more strongly in our everyday lives.”
- Integrity management and integrity ambassadors to form the link between the Board of Management and the workforce
- Integrity is a cornerstone of the Group strategy ‘TOGETHER – STRATEGY 2025’
WOLFSBURG, 20-Sep-2016 — /EuropaWire/ — The Volkswagen Group rolled out its pilot campaign to foster a culture of integrity during the works meeting at the Wolfsburg plant. Starting with the Volkswagen brand, the initiative will be taken up gradually by the other brands with their own campaigns. Dr. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt, Group Board Member for Integrity and Legal Affairs, commented: “Integrity is expected, fostered and honored in the Volkswagen Group. Our pilot campaign, which begins with the Volkswagen brand, sharpens understanding and awareness of integrity and values-based conduct.”
“Integrity is the foundation for every modern, transparent and successful company. Clear, convincing values that provide orientation for all employees are the prerequisite for business success and a good, sustainable future.” The Volkswagen Group has developed its own integrity campaign spearheaded by Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt with a view to anchoring conduct based on integrity and values even more strongly as part of the corporate culture; this campaign is now being rolled out at the Wolfsburg plant.
“It is important that employees understand what behaving with integrity means for the success of a company. This campaign is also about creating a new, sharper understanding and awareness of integrity and compliance and anchoring this firmly in the corporate culture”, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt said, adding: “Everyone, particularly management, is called on to engage in the initiative. We will only be successful if our managers act as role models for integrity and values-oriented leadership and set an example for their teams.”
Pilot campaign: What should integrity mean at Volkswagen?
The campaign invites all employees at the Wolfsburg plant to reflect in depth on what integrity means. The campaign comprises several phases designed to gradually introduce the topic to everyone at the plant.
“First of all, it was important to visualize the concept of integrity, to sensitize employees for the subject and stimulate their curiosity. To that end, we put up posters with various slogans all over the Wolfsburg plant and used the monitors in the production halls and the buses”, Claudia Sutter, who heads the integrity management project, explained. “The project was officially launched at our works meeting. Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt explained the initiative to a wide audience and encouraged them to take part.”
The next step focuses on information about integrity and on discussion. In addition to coverage of the topic in internal media, there will also be direct dialog in the form of chats. The sounding board program will get underway (this term has its origin in the world of music and refers to the sound board in a piano used to amplify the sound made by the vibrating strings. The integrity ambassadors will have a similar amplifying effect). Managers and employees are encouraged to become integrity ambassadors. As the point of contact in their departments they form the link between the Board’s integrity management team and the workforce, play a key role in the change process, and communicate positive examples of behaving with integrity.
Feedback from employees is a very important feature of the subsequent phase, which highlights where integrity is needed or where it is under threat. “The planned campaign steps are designed to show everyone what integrity and values-oriented conduct mean for each employee and that they are the foundation for all business success”, Claudia Sutter says: “That can only work if as many employees as possible engage in the discussion and formulation of common guiding principles for conduct within the company. At the end of the day, integrity should become second nature in an atmosphere characterized by security, openness, trust, respect and fairness.”
Integrity: Cornerstone of the Group strategy ‘TOGETHER – STRATEGY 2025’
Integrity and the Code of Cooperation which defines how employees work together in partnership in the Volkswagen Group, are also a fundamental element of the Group strategy ‘TOGETHER – Strategy 2025’. “Behaving with integrity is an important pillar of the new Group strategy”, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt commented: “Particularly in light of the painful experiences of the last twelve months it is important for us to reinforce and expand integrity management.”
Against this backdrop, the campaign to foster a culture of integrity is to be adopted by the other brands in the Volkswagen Group as well. Each brand is to have its own individual campaign to raise awareness of the importance of integrity among employees. “We would like to see the brands building on the experience gained from the pilot project in Wolfsburg”, Christine Hohmann-Dennhardt concluded.
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