We counter economic risks as well as changes in the market and competitive situation with a range of instruments that help the Volkswagen Group to remain flexible with a fluctuating order situation – whether orders decline or demand for our products increases. These include time accounts which are filled when overtime is necessary and reduced through time off in quiet periods, enabling our factories to adjust their capacity to the production volume with measures such as extra shifts, closure days and flexible shift models. The use of temporary workers also allows us to plan more flexibly. All of these measures help the Volkswagen Group to generally maintain a stable permanent workforce even when orders fluctuate.
The technical expertise and individual commitment of employees are indispensable prerequisites for the success of the Volkswagen Group. Our strategically oriented and holistic human resource development gives all employees attractive training and development opportunities, with particular emphasis being placed on strengthening professional skills in the Company’s different vocational groups. By boosting our training programs, particularly at our international locations, we are able to adequately address the challenges of technological change.
We are continuously expanding our recruitment tools. Our systematic talent relationship management, for example, enables us to make contact with talented candidates from strategically relevant target groups at an early stage and to build a long-term relationship between them and the Group. In addition to the standard dual vocational training, programs such as our StIP integrated degree and traineeship scheme ensure a pipeline of highly qualified and motivated employees. By systematically increasing our attractiveness as an employer, we gain talented people in the future-critical areas of IT, design and social media. With tools such as these, we ensure that we can cover our requirement for highly qualified new staff even amid a shortage of skilled labor.
We counter the risk that knowledge will be lost as a result of employee fluctuation and retirement with intensive, department-specific training. We have also established a base of senior experts in the Group. With this instrument, we use the valuable knowledge of our experienced specialists who have retired from Volkswagen.
The advancing digitalization of our human resources processes entails risks arising from the processing of personal data. Volkswagen is aware of its responsibility in the processing of this data. We address these risks as part of our data protection management system by implementing a wide range of measures.
One challenge of our collaboration with the monitor lies in the tension, in some regards, between the monitor’s requests for information on the one hand and both German and international data-protection requirements on the other. This is true particularly against the backdrop of the existing scopes of assessment and interpretation regarding data-protection requirements. In the interest of precluding infringements of the law as best as possible – despite a partially unclear legal situation – Volkswagen is advised by external law firms on these issues.