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Strengthening cultural change

Cultural change boosts employees' team spirit and sense of community

DB reached another step in the process of changing its corporate culture by carrying out its first Group-wide employee survey in 2012.

The cultural shift that began in 2010 is now a central element of the DB2020+ strategy. By embedding it in this way, the company has made an even firmer commitment to the cultural development process. Employees are the focus of this move. DB initiated the Group-wide development and establishment of a shared leadership concept in 2012 to further encourage employees' enthusiasm for their work and the company. It places a stronger focus on aspects such as leading by example, offering inspiration and intellectual stimulation, and treating employees as individuals. To embed the cultural development even more deeply in the business units and regions, a total of 14 regional dialogue on the future events were held in Germany by spring of the reporting year and an international dialogue on the future was held in Barcelona. The dialogue at these large-scale events – each attended by some 300 people including the Management Board and other executives – was followed by activities at the various business units, including the "DB culture" dialogue map and the associated workshop concept. Some 850 pacesetters identified during the dialogue on the future events are providing valuable support with the cultural development in Germany. They are driving the process forward as volunteer opinion multipliers and are also actively involved in further developing the corporate culture.

The last Group-wide employee survey in 2014 gave over 300,000 of DB’s employees around the world the chance to provide feedback on how satisfied they are with the company and their job. The response rate was high at 60.1 percent (approximately 190,000 employees), indicating that employees are very interested in helping to shape their company.
On a scale of 1 (critical) to 5 (very good), employee satisfaction increased from 3.6 (2012) to 3.7. According to GfK – the external service provider -, the DB Group has now just entered the “good” bracket for employee satisfaction as the result is still on a low level. However, keeping in mind the short time, the size of the company and the large number of participants in the survey, GfK considers the development remarkable.
Whilst employee satisfaction was higher at various German business units in the 2014 survey, the improvement for the DB Group as a whole is largely attributable to the international sector. Once again, there are significant differences between the individual divisions and business units, with satisfaction scores ranging from 3.4 to 4.2.
This survey again revealed that DB employees are particularly satisfied with their tasks and the contents of their work. Their identification with their own jobs and commitment to the company are actually slightly higher than in 2012. 67 (2012: 65) per cent of the employees stated that they are proud to work for DB. 61 (59) per cent feel strong commitment to DB. 58 (56) per cent would recommend DB to friends as a good employer.
The next employee survey is taking place from 5 October to 2 November, 2016.

DB is as diverse as society itself. With nearly 200,000 employees from over 100 nations in Germany and customers from all parts of the world, cultural diversity and interacting with people from other cultures are business as usual at DB. DB promotes diversity in the company and supports a spirit of partnership. Part of the corporate culture is the assumption that every employee – in all of his or her individuality – and a diverse staff contribute to the success of the DB Group. DB has documented this approach as a founding member of the Charta der Vielfalt (Diversity Charter) organization, a corporate initiative to promote diversity in companies.

DB is currently placing a special focus on gender equality. Considering that many of the jobs at the company are technical, the company has set an ambitious goal: it aims to increase the percentage of women in the overall workforce in Germany from 22.1 percent in the reporting year to 25 percent by 2015. It also hopes to increase the percentage of women in leadership roles from 16.4 percent to 20 percent. In the future, there must be at least one woman on the list of candidates when leadership positions are filled.

To achieve this and other goals, DB has expanded diversity management by establishing a separate Diversity Management department in the Group. Its main task is to convince executives and employees of the benefits of diversity in the workforce and to work with the business units to create a framework that promotes the development of diversity.

DB has made implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in the workplace a priority. It is pursuing the goal of fully integrating disabled employees into the working world as soon as the hiring process. The corporate employer/works council agreement regarding the integration and professional development of disabled employees at the DB Group signed in 2010 was updated and supplemented in early 2013. At six percent, the percentage of severely disabled employees throughout the Group in Germany is higher than the five percent required by law.

DB also invests a great deal of energy in creating a workplace free from discrimination and bullying. If employees feel that they have been treated unfairly, they can seek expert support from the ombuds service with some 80 internal mediators available to provide assistance.