"Companies have to look at how they can attract young professionals."Media representative
"At Audi, human resources development is important for every employee group."Audi employee

Employees are a company’s
most valuable asset

Intro to Employees section

In order to achieve its strategic corporate goal of "Audi – the premium brand," the Audi Group is reliant on the expertise and commitment of qualified employees.

In order to realize the mission of the Audi Strategy 2020 "We delight customers worldwide," the Company needs passionate and competent employees. Because only if we have competent, motivated and suitably qualified employees will we be able to achieve this mission. In this respect, Human Resources sees itself as preparing the way for others. On the basis of its area strategy, it lays the foundations for the workforce and therefore the Company to achieve the goals of Strategy 2020. It offers prospects and inspires confidence.

The strategy of the Human Resources division was based on the Audi Strategy 2020 and, in keeping with its mission "We focus on the individual," it logically places its emphasis on the employee. This is driven by the conviction that the most valuable resources of any company are its people. Their skills, their commitment and their ideas are key success factors in a tough competitive environment like the automotive industry.

It is therefore important to attract the best employees to Audi, while at the same time offering the existing workforce security, prospects and an attractive working environment based on mutual respect and fairness (cf. Attractiveness as an employer).

It is also important to support employees’ further development and to enable them to successfully meet the various requirements of working life (cf. Training and advancement).

Diversity has long since become one of the key topics in the Company: At Audi, people from many cultures and different generations work together. Our employees have different backgrounds, lifestyles and expectations. We regard this diversity as an opportunity since it guarantees diversity of thought and action – in terms of taking a creative approach to the various tasks and developing innovative solutions. Yet we also regard this diversity as a challenge since, as an attractive employer, we must meet the needs and expectations of all of these people.

The other challenges facing Human Resources include:

As a company that is successful internationally and one that intends to remain so in future, Audi is continuing to expand its business on a worldwide scale. This calls, for example, for more intercultural training, a general improvement in language skills and support for a constant exchange between employees in the domestic market and abroad.

Demographic change:
Demographic change also poses new, cross-generational challenges for us. In 2060, 34 percent of the population in Germany alone will be over 65; many of these people will need care as they grow older. Working people will need more time to look after their relatives. The average age of the workforce will inevitably rise: At present, it is still around 41 at AUDI AG. The changing age structure of our workforce will also bring about a shift in competences (vgl. Diversity and equal opportunities).

Although the proportion of women in a technically oriented company is traditionally rather low, an upward trend has been apparent for several years. In view of the predicted shortage of skilled labor, we at Audi want to get an increasing number of women interested in technology and the automotive industry – especially also in order to promote diversity and a variety of perspectives in the Company. We attach great importance to their competences and skills, and at the same time offer attractive development opportunities and conditions to enable them to combine work and family life more easily.

Generation Y:
In addition, we are increasingly turning our attention towards the self-assured and demanding Generation Y: These people, born in the 1980s and 1990s, are technically savvy, active and at home on social networks, are very keen on receiving feedback but care little about hierarchy. At the top of their list of requirements are exciting projects, good salaries and a very good balance between working and private life.

Our goals in human resources …

In view of these and other challenges, we have defined four key objectives for the human resources strategy:

  • Strengthening competences: We endeavor to attract the best talent worldwide. At the same time, we enable our managers to establish a timely succession plan. We suggest goal-oriented development paths to our employees and support them in developing the competences they will need in the future.
  • Making work attractive and flexible: We promote and maintain our employees’ personal performance. With future-oriented work models we meet the needs of our employees at different stages of life. We recognize performance and commitment and reward it appropriately. At the same time, we aim to provide job security.
  • Promoting responsibility: We practice responsible leadership and our working relationships are based on trust. Fair partnerships are extremely important to us. We take our social responsibility seriously and act accordingly.
  • Ensuring future viability: We prepare in good time for changing social and economic conditions and set trends as an employer brand. Our training and advancement opportunities equip us for new technological developments and strengthen our innovative power. We promote the physical and mental well-being of our employees with innovative programs. We are open to change and shape it together.

… and what we're doing to achieve them

Audi is naturally committed to the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact and the core labor standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO). For eight years, Audi has participated in the Fair Company initiative. The seal of quality is awarded by karriere.de, the "Handelsblatt" and "WirtschaftsWoche" portal.

In order to tackle the challenges of demographic change, we initiated the interdisciplinary Audi demographics project back in 2008. Five relevant areas of action were identified – leadership, knowledge transfer, personnel development, job design and health. Furthermore, we defined a catalogue of measures that will also guarantee the performance capability of our employees – and therefore the competitiveness of our Company – in the future.

The view of the stakeholders

For the first time in 2012, as part of a stakeholder survey, we listed key aspects of our responsibility towards employees, which the stakeholders were asked to assess in terms of relevance. Particularly important from an outside perspective are training and advancement, a strong corporate culture and occupational safety and health protection. From the Company’s perspective, moreover, the compatibility of working and family life (cf. Working life and family) is particularly important. We offer our employees a very good overall package to create a family-friendly working environment. Yet for some individuals in certain situations, reconciling working and family life is a challenge. We have therefore further expanded our child care arrangements under the "Audi Spielraum" program. Our employees can now bring their children to be looked after as required on a flexible hourly or daily basis. Furthermore back in 2011, AUDI AG set itself the goal of increasing the proportion of women at all levels of the Company – from apprentices all the way up to top management.

Attractiveness as an employer

Showing appreciation

If we want to delight customers worldwide, we need motivated and competent employees. Audi offers attractive and flexible work models to win over young talent and retain experienced employees over the long term.

The Audi brand is not only extremely attractive to our customers, but also to current and potential employees. Our product range and our innovative power – especially in the fields of new drive concepts and lightweight construction – are just some of the reasons for this. Nevertheless, we are aware that, as a premium brand, it is not only other automotive manufacturers that we compete with on an international level for committed young people and experienced specialists. We have therefore set ourselves the goal of being an attractive employer worldwide as part of the Audi Strategy 2020.

We achieve this by individually promoting and preserving the specialist and physical performance of our employees, for example (cf. Training and advancement, Occupational safety and health management). We have developed future-oriented work models and incorporated them in company agreements, which give employees a large amount of flexibility at various stages of their life – for example, they can work part time, from home or take time off to look after children or care for relatives.

Furthermore, our remuneration models recognize performance and commitment (cf. Social benefits and remuneration). This is illustrated by the Company’s profit-sharing programs, which operate at the AUDI AG locations and also at subsidiaries abroad. Our desire to be an attractive employer is also reflected in our employment guarantee, which was extended in July 2012 to the year 2018. In today’s volatile times, job security is an important factor when choosing an employer.

Every vote counts

The results of our attitude surveys support our strategic approach. In 2012, for the eighth time in a row, we asked our workforce to tell us what they think. Around 40,000 employees at AUDI AG made use of the Audi Pulse and gave anonymous feedback, for example on their department’s contribution to the corporate strategy, cooperation with colleagues and superiors or how well informed they felt about current developments at Audi. This means that 89 percent of Audi employees took part in the survey. The results reflect a high level of satisfaction among the workforce. For instance, 95 percent of those surveyed completely or largely agreed with the statement "I like working at Audi."

At the same time, the Audi Pulse provides the impetus to initiate processes of change. Superiors present the results in the individual departments and discuss action that might be taken as a result with their employees. This has a positive effect on everyday working life.

Apart from the high level of satisfaction, the length of time our employees stay with the Company is further proof that Audi is an attractive employer. In the Audi Group, this is 15.2 years on average. Staff turnover, on the other hand, is very low at 0.6 percent per year.

Popular with young job-seekers

During internships, young people come into contact with the Audi corporate culture. Since 2011, we have been asking them about their first impressions in our interns satisfaction survey. The 1,425 surveyed so far assessed their experiences in the Company, in their department and with the advancement and general programs. With regard to the most recently evaluated 363 survey results, around 91 percent gave their internship an overall rating of "very good" or "good."

Applicant and recruitment records

The current number of applicants proves that Audi is a popular employer. In 2012, more than 110,000 career-starters, experts and specialists applied for jobs at the two German locations alone. This is the highest figure in the history of AUDI AG. It is also worth noting that, after announcing our decision to build a production location in Mexico in September, we received around 1,600 speculative applications for the new Audi plant before the end of 2012. The number of employees also continued to increase in 2012. AUDI AG alone recruited 2,951 new employees, including 1,582 experts with an academic background. In addition, 620 skilled workers who were mostly on temporary contracts were taken on as permanent employees and 749 young people began their vocational training or a dual course of study at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm locations.

In a strong position
A large number of awards and top places in various rankings serve to confirm how attractive Audi is as an employer.
  • Best reputation among top companies in Germany (AUDI AG); "Image profiles 2012," a survey conducted by manager magazin among managers (manager magazin, issue 2/2012, p. 32 ff.)
  • Most attractive employer in Germany (AUDI AG); employee rankings compiled by consulting firms trendence and Universum, among engineering and economics graduates ("trendence Graduate Barometer 2012 – Business and Engineering Edition," April 20, 2012; "The Universum German Student Survey 2012," April 30, 2012)
  • 2nd place among young professionals (AUDI AG); "The German Professional Survey 2012" among experienced engineers and economists. (cf. Universum).
  • Most attractive employer in Hungary (AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft.); survey conducted by the management consulting firm AON Hewitt and the international student organization AIESEC, among career-starters and experienced professionals (cf. Balaton Zeitung).
of Audi employees agree with the statement "I like working at Audi."
new employees were hired by AUDI AG in 2012.

Training and advancement

Fit for the future

The automotive industry needs well-trained and highly qualified specialists, primarily in the fields of engineering and technology. Audi is therefore investing in the training and advancement of its employees at every level.

Coveted apprenticeships

In order to cover our need for skilled employees, we trained people in 20 vocations in 2012, in both technical and commercial fields. As of the end of December 2012, a total of 2,459 apprentices and dual-system students were in employment at AUDI AG, around 24 percent of whom were young women (cf. Diversity and equal opportunities). In 2012, 698 school leavers embarked on their training at AUDI AG. We believe it is very important to train people for future technologies, for example in the field of high-voltage electronics or new joining techniques. Audi’s dual vocational training program gives apprentices the opportunity to obtain the entrance qualification for a university of applied sciences, while at the same time qualifying as an (automotive) mechatronics technician, electronics technician or tool mechanic. At present, 216 young people are making use of this opportunity. Many of these young people know Audi from the "Arbeitskreis Schule Wirtschaft" (Schools and Industry work group) (cf. Research partnerships), which we have been involved in for the last 30 years. The members of the work group seek close cooperation between schools and companies so that vocational training and advancement opportunities are made available to school students.

Audi is also an attractive employer for young academics (cf. Attractiveness as an employer). In 2012, 28 students commenced their studies at the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University (DHBW). During the three-year bachelor degree program, students alternate between the university and their Audi training locations. Theory and practice are closely coordinated, so the students can apply their newly acquired knowledge in everyday working life and in turn, can make use of their practical experience in their degree course. Audi gives technology enthusiasts who have obtained a university entrance qualification the opportunity to obtain a dual qualification in the StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice). The five-year program combines vocational training at Audi with an engineering degree course at the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. In 2012, 23 young people started this dual training course to qualify as a "Bachelor of Engineering."

In every area of training, we focus on the integrated development of apprentices and students. In team training and individual advancement activities, we teach technical skills and foster the personal development of career-starters. Time spent abroad offers young people the opportunity to get to know structures and processes in other countries and at the same time improve their intercultural skills. Consequently, Audi sent 27 trainees – 18 industrial/technical apprentices and nine clerical trainees – to other countries in Europe in 2012 for a period of three months.

At the end of 2011, the Works Council and management agreed that all apprentices at AUDI AG, as well as participants in the dual-study courses and the StEP program, would be taken on as permanent employees if they successfully complete their training and provided there are no reasons specific to the apprentices’ personality or conduct that would make this inadvisable. There is great interest in the training opportunities at Audi: in 2012, a total of around 10,500 young men and women applied for an apprenticeship or a dual-study course.

Apprentices with their training supervisor in the plant and equipment construction learning station.

Assisting low-achieving and disadvantaged young people

With the targeted measures in our "EQ" and "EQ Plus" entry-level training programs, Audi supports young people who have not secured an apprenticeship due to having no school-leaving certificates or only poor grades. In 2012, 17 of the 18 "EQ Plus" participants supported by Audi successfully completed the program, 16 of whom obtained the qualifying certificate of secondary school education. 13 participants secured an apprenticeship at AUDI AG following the program. In addition, Audi plays a major role in putting into practice the "support year" under the collective agreement. During the nine-month program at Audi, 12 young people who left school with poor grades learn basic practical skills in various specialist areas, for example turning, milling and drilling in the field of metalworking. The aim of the program is to support young people with poor job prospects as well as to develop their professional and social skills. During the course of the support year, participants have the opportunity to qualify for subsequent vocational training in the metalworking and electrical industry. Furthermore, in 2012 we ran training projects across locations in conjunction with vocational rehabilitation organizations, for example the Berufsbildungswerk (B.B.W.) St. Franziskus in Abensberg (a vocational training center). The B.B.W. helps disadvantaged young people to find their way in the business and working world as well as in society.

High standard of training on an international scale

Our goal is to establish the high standards of training that exist in Germany at Audi locations in other countries. AUDI HUNGARIA MOTOR Kft. has provided training since 2001, and since 2011 has based its work on the dual system used in Germany. At present, 240 apprentices in Győr are learning 13 metalworking and electrical/electronics vocations. Audi is now one of the largest training providers in Hungary and is a model for many other Hungarian enterprises. In addition, we are involved there in various programs aimed at promoting young talent, for example the "Audi Adventure" for interns, international trainee programs and the "Campus for Excellence" for particularly gifted and interested high school students. At the beginning of June 2012, the "Dual Track Training" pilot project started at the Brussels location. We are the first industrial company there to offer this form of training. For the new plants in China and Mexico, which will commence production at the end of 2013 and 2016 respectively. Audi has begun to recruit training managers and trainers at an early stage.

Training is an investment in the future

In view of increasingly complex tasks and rising demands, it is becoming more and more important for our employees to receive targeted training.

For new vehicle launches and the introduction of new technologies in particular, highly qualified employees are a vital success factor. Consequently, in 2012 for the launch of the new Audi A3, we conducted 218 "off the job" training events amounting to 2,495 participant days in Ingolstadt alone for employees in the body shop. Training courses on new technologies are also provided: In 2012, for example, we trained 931 employees in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm in the key technology of electric mobility.

In a series of events in 2012 entitled "Precision in detail," a total of around 10,000 participants received training at the Neckarsulm location. They discovered how sophisticated Audi products are and what customers expect of Audi, and in this way were able to learn more about what they themselves could do to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction. The target group included employees working in production and production-related areas, apprentices and also staff from external suppliers.

We also make use of the expertise of our own employees. Since 2005, Audi employees have been passing on their knowledge to their colleagues in workshops and presentations at our centers of competence and area academies. In 2012, more than 7,000 employees were able to benefit from the know-how of the 455 in-house specialists.

Managers from our own ranks

We offer our managers a modular program comprising seminars, management symposiums and individual coaching sessions, during which they can continuously develop their competences and qualify for other management levels. Audi’s policy is to fill management positions internally if possible in order to create attractive job prospects for its employees. Nevertheless, we have grown considerably in recent years and have introduced many new technologies that called for the expertise of external experts. It was therefore essential to recruit some staff from outside the Company.

Knowledge exchange and feedback for managers

At the Management Forum, Audi managers present current topics, strategies and processes from the various business divisions of the Company. The forum provides a platform for discussion and an opportunity to network with others. The aim is to make participants aware of the importance of other departments and how they operate and at the same time come up with new ideas and suggestions for the Company. In this way, we encourage interdisciplinary thinking and cooperation between the business divisions.

In order to improve their performance and facilitate their personal development, all new members of management are regularly invited to take part in the so-called 360° feedback program. Various feedback providers such as employees, colleagues, customers, partners and superiors assess the manager’s behavior – anonymously. In a meeting with a development adviser, the feedback recipient compares self-perception and external perception and devises specific measures for his or her future career path. At the same time, the tool also helps to build an open feedback culture in our Company.

Fostering talent

Exceptionally committed and qualified Audi staff can benefit from the Audi bursary for employees: Since 2009, we have made it possible for 40 employees a year to embark on an additional training or degree course. The program was extended in 2012, and ten places on a master’s degree course were added. The participants are selected with a view to future company requirements and receive financial support.

Students who have completed their internship at Audi with above-average results can apply for the Audi Student Line Program (SLP). The aim of the program is to support students during their training by way of other internships at Audi, networking opportunities and help with graduation theses.

apprentices and dual-system students were employed by AUDI AG at the end of December 2012.
Audi employees pass on their knowledge as in-house specialists.

Occupational safety and health management

Focusing on employees’ well-being

Competitiveness and productivity depend on a healthy and efficient workforce. With excellent occupational safety and health protection programs, Audi seeks to maintain its employees’ ability and willingness to work as well as their level of job satisfaction over the long term.

In 1990, the management and the General Works Council of AUDI AG signed a works agreement on occupational safety. This aims to protect employees from work-related injuries and ill health. Occupational safety is a component of the management’s duty of care and is necessary in order to prevent disruptions to normal business operations. In parallel with occupational safety measures, the objective of Audi health management is to maintain and promote employees’ physical and mental performance capabilities. In this context, Audi focuses on preventive measures such as the Audi Checkup screening program or workplace ergonomics.

Exemplary occupational safety

In order to guarantee and further improve the level of occupational safety at Audi, we regularly train our specialists and managers on subjects such as responsibility and liability, occupational safety tools and the legal framework.

Occupational safety measures are integrated into all work processes and are primarily preventive measures. Audi focuses on:

  • Preventing accidents and damage to health
  • Designing safe systems and work procedures
  • Vehicle components designed and built to high safety standards.

In order to prevent accidents and damage to health, we draw our employees’ attention to the risks at work and on the way there. Specific measures, for example, include events such as the logistics championship for forklift drivers or training on road and driving safety.

Occupational safety is part of our integrated planning process, which means that safety-related aspects of machines and systems are considered in depth during the planning phase.

Occupational safety at AUDI AG is based on the principles of the Group occupational safety management system (KAMS) introduced by the Volkswagen Group. The aim of KAMS is to continuously improve health and safety at the workplace. The occupational safety processes are integrated into the quality management system at AUDI AG.

The significance attached to occupational safety at Audi is also demonstrated by the internal Occupational Safety Award, which we have presented since 1983. We aim to use this tool to motivate workforces and managers at our locations in Ingolstadt, Neckarsulm, Győr (Hungary) and Brussels to maintain safe working practices and to take preventive measures.

The accident frequency rate at AUDI AG was 2.4 in 2012 and therefore at a very low level. This key figure indicates how many industrial accidents resulting in one or more day’s work lost occur per million hours worked.

Preserving and promoting health

The aim of our integrated Audi health management system is to preserve and promote the quality of life and performance capability of our employees throughout their entire working life. At the heart of health management, which is considered an aspect of corporate management, is the Audi Checkup that was introduced in July 2006 and is available to the entire workforce. The Checkup is an individualized prevention program which every employee can take part in on a voluntary basis. Modern diagnostic procedures and comprehensive consultations facilitate the early detection and prevention of health risks. As we offer the examination free of charge and during working hours, around 90 percent of our employees now take advantage of the Audi Checkup. By the end of 2012, company doctors at our locations in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm had carried out more than 51,000 checkups. Around 41,500 of these were initial examinations and some 9,500 were follow-up measures.

Around 90 percent of employees make use of the Audi Checkup.

The result: At 96.4 percent in 2012, the attendance rate of our workforce has been very high for many years.

In addition to the Audi Check-up, health management promotes further preventive measures, for example:

  • Campaigns to promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Fact-finding events and training on healthy eating and exercise
  • Screening
  • Early detection programs for skin and bowel cancer
  • Vaccinations
  • Help in giving up smoking and addiction counseling
  • Individual medical advice, for example in the case of mental health problems or work-related health issues

Since 2010, AUDI AG has also provided an opportunity for free stem cell typing in partnership with the Aktion Knochenmarkspende Bayern (Bavarian Bone Marrow Donation Foundation) and the DMKS Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei (DMKS German Bone Marrow Donor Center).

Improving mental health

Mental illnesses in today’s society are constantly on the increase. According to the current "Stress Report Germany" published in 2012 by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, more and more employees are suffering from stress at work. Increasing workloads due, among other things, to multitasking and the pressure to perform and meet deadlines, is being discussed as the reason for this. Politicians and business leaders are called upon to do more to fulfill their responsibilities. At Audi, around nine percent of all diagnosed cases of incapacity to work are attributable to psychological illnesses. This figure is below the average recorded by statutory health insurance companies but is nevertheless rising in the Audi workforce too. In addition, employees who have mental health problems remain unable to work for longer than colleagues with physical complaints. For this reason, an early detection system for psychological illnesses has been integrated into the Audi Checkup. In 2007, we set up the Audi "Work and mental health" program to prevent psychological illnesses. Since then, we have been continuously developing this program.

Health-focused deployment

Our health management system ensures that working conditions are in line with individual health requirements. Our risk assessments and management of hazardous substances help us to reduce exposure to noise, dust and chemicals in the workplace wherever possible. The ageing workforce also poses new challenges for Audi. Our workplaces and working environment are designed on the basis of scientific findings and practical experience gathered in the working world. This means that older and severely disabled employees as well as those with a reduced capacity to work can continue to use their expertise and skills for the benefit of Audi. Employees who are reintegrated into the Company after a long absence can, in consultation with the Health Care department, return to their job on a part-time basis initially and increase their working hours as individually appropriate. As the relationship between superiors and employees is also important for health, we provide training for our managers on the subject of health-focused leadership.

Ergonomic workplaces

In order to systematically reduce the physical strain on employees, for example due to poor working posture, overhead work or heavy lifting, Audi has developed systems to improve workplace ergonomics. One example of this is the ergonomic assembly seat used on the A3 production line. Even when products and processes are only at the planning stage, planning engineers trained in ergonomics undertake assessments to establish the ergonomic requirements. In addition, employees can also make suggestions for improving their own working environment. A particular feature of the planning process at Audi is that it addresses the issue of ageing. During the costing and production planning phase for new models, we take into consideration the fact that employees working in production will age during the model cycle, for example by gradually increasing the number of seated workplaces. Special training courses and a separate suggestions program also promote the ergonomic design of workplaces and processes.

Maintaining individual performance – at every workplace.
checkups had been carried out by the end of 2012.

Ideas management

Valuable impetus

Employees often know best how to optimize processes in their day-to-day work. They can put forward their creative ideas under the Audi Ideas Program. Ideas that are put into practice are rewarded. In return, the Company benefits from the improvements made and the cost savings achieved as a result.

Since 1969, AUDI AG employees have had the opportunity to suggest ways of improving work processes. In 2012, a total of 28,271 suggestions were submitted.

Decentralized ideas management is organized by the Audi Ideas Agency, a department attached to Human Resources. Employees submit their suggestions for improvement via an online program on the intranet.

Close up

As most ideas concern the employees’ immediate working area, they can best be assessed and put into practice there. They are evaluated by specially trained superiors and experts. The process is standardized and transparent – employees can see what stage their own suggestion has reached at any time on the intranet. Idea coordinators function as the link between idea submitter, superior and Ideas Agency. All employees are kept up to date on goals, campaigns and procedures via the employee magazine and the intranet. By way of a key indicator system, reports for example on the number of ideas received, the realization rate and savings achieved are provided on a monthly basis to managers and the Board of Management.

Rewarding creativity

The success of this system is not only due to the big ideas, but especially to the many small ideas. They range from process optimizations and cost reduction, improvements in product quality through to ergonomic issues. Both the standard of ideas and the calculable benefit for Audi in terms of euros are constantly rising. In 2012 alone, Audi was able to implement 16,011 suggestions for improvement, which achieved a financial benefit of EUR 71.1 million. These ideas proposed by employees were recognized with bonus payments amounting to a total of EUR 6.7 million.

Prize-winning model

In 2012 for the eighth time, the Deutsche Institut für Betriebswirtschaft (German Institute for Business Management) awarded Audi the German Ideas Prize for the best ideas management program in the automotive industry (cf. DeutscherIdeenPreis). The Center for Ideas Management in Frankfurt presented the Ideas Management Award to Audi for the first time. Based on this success story, the Audi plants in Győr (Hungary) and in Brussels have also set up ideas programs.

suggestions for improvement by Audi employees were implemented in 2012.

Working life and family

Work and family balance

People today no long want to have to decide between a fulfilling personal life and their career. Audi helps its employees to pursue their idea of a balanced lifestyle with flexible work models and child care services.

Women especially and sought-after, well-educated young people consider a balance between working and family life as very important. They are more likely to choose companies that are family-friendly and enable them to achieve a good work-life balance. We are responding to this trend at Audi by introducing flexible working hours and by offering attractive child care solutions.

More part-time jobs

At the end of 2012, there were a total of 2,413 employees working part-time, around 853 of them with flexible working hours, i.e. the amount of working time as specified in the contract is between around ten and 34.9 hours per week, with working time being arranged in each individual case between employee and superior. Employees who work part-time in shift systems have the option of working only certain shifts (e.g. every two weeks, early shift only), or to share the shifts with other colleagues working part-time according to individual requirements. Under a pilot scheme, employees working part-time can also change over during the shift.

New working-time and workplace models

One of AUDI AG’s primary objectives is to provide even more flexible working conditions for its employees in order to continuously improve compatibility of working and family life. Some of the tools available for this purpose include sabbaticals and telecommuting. To take a sabbatical, the employee concludes a temporary part-time contract, under which working time is divided into blocks: a working phase and a leave of absence. This allows the employee to take a leave of absence of up to 24 months. In the case of telecommuting, the employee concludes a supplementary agreement in order to work from home on a regular basis. Both models presuppose that the arrangement is voluntary on both sides. Based on the results of several surveys, further options for flexible working models are being examined.

Parental leave in demand

Audi employees do not have to decide between children and a career. We provide advice and inform prospective parents, for example, about the part-time models that are available to them. In addition, we conduct regular fact-finding events on the subject of parental leave. In 2012, a total of six were held at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm locations. In the year under review, 1,500 Audi employees, 61 percent of whom were men, were on parental leave. The average period of leave taken was around ten months, with women taking an average of 24 months and men two months. Under the "Job & Family" program, Audi offers mothers and fathers on parental leave the opportunity to acquire additional qualifications to make returning to the workforce easier after their period of absence ends.

In addition, at the end of a three-year period of parental leave, our employees can, if they wish, leave the Company with a reemployment guarantee – and can dedicate themselves to looking after their children for a maximum of four more years. We therefore make a commitment to offer our employees an equivalent job in the Company for up to seven years after the period of parental leave commences. In return, the employees agree to take part in a re-integration program. This arrangement goes beyond statutory entitlements.

Average length of

parental leave




Proportion of women in the Audi Group


Proportion of men in the Audi Group

Flexibility for parents

AUDI AG brings together the child care arrangements it provides under the motto "Audi Spielraum." In addition to a free advisory and placement service, which answers questions on child care and finds child-minders, Audi primarily supports child care provided by pedagogical specialists. In our partner establishments, we currently provide 151 places for children aged up to three. After 36 were added in 2012, there are now 106 places in the Ingolstadt area; in Neckarsulm, there are currently 45, which are completely filled.

Audi promotes the compatibility of work and family life with additional daycare places.

Our concept of flexible child care is new and unique in the industry. If a short-term need arises, parents can leave their three to 14-year-olds in the capable hands of qualified staff for a few hours or days, including before school and after nursery. The pilot project was started in September 2012 in Ingolstadt and was immediately very well received. Based on this success, we have offered flexible child care under a pilot project since January 2013 in Neckarsulm, too.

Flexible child care for six to 14-year-olds makes life easier for working parents.

Parents also enjoy more flexibility – thanks to our child care arrangements for school vacations: As part of the "Audi Summer Children" program, 80 places in Ingolstadt and 40 in Neckarsulm are available during the summer vacation for children aged between six and 14 years. In partnership with the city of Ingolstadt’s "Local Alliance for the Family," we also offer this service during the other vacations.

In Győr (Hungary), a daycare center located close to the plant with 60 places was opened in September 2012; plans are underway to build a new daycare center with 100 places. In addition, we work in partnership there with the Audi Hungaria School, which offers bilingual classes for German and Hungarian children. Furthermore, we collaborate with a daycare center and a German school at the Chinese location in Changchun.

Caregiver leave and parental leave on equal footing

For employees who would like to look after a relative, Audi offers similar opportunities to those for parents. They have the right to a short-term absence of leave of up to ten days and their contract of employment may be suspended for a period of up to three years for caregiver leave, beyond statutory provisions. Comprehensive advice and support, for example through the Audi Betriebskrankenkasse, are also part of the program as well as a free service to find domestic help or shopping services. Similarly to employees on parental leave, they can leave the Company with a reemployment guarantee after three years’ Audi caregiver leave and look after their relatives for a further four years. The employees can also take advantage of relevant training courses under our "Job & Family" program.

Families of employees abroad

Our family-oriented approach also includes employees who work at our international locations. This issue has become more important in view of the increasing internationalization of our Company and, as a result, Audi has set up the "Partner Support Program." Partners of Audi employees sent abroad can receive up to EUR 15,000 to pursue their own goals in life and career plans. We fund measures that promote their jobs and careers, aid training and qualification or foster cultural activities and voluntary work. In Ingolstadt, we support the school education of children from impatriate families via the International School Foundation. A similar commitment is planned for the Győr location.

employees of AUDI AG worked part-time in 2012.
Audi employees were on parental leave in 2012.
years is the length of time Audi employees can stay off work for the purpose of caregiver and parental leave, with a reemployment guarantee.

Diversity and equal opportunities

Diversity enriches

People are recruited and promoted solely on the basis of their qualifications and skills. This is the principle we follow at Audi, as it is in line with our corporate culture and because diversity strengthens our innovative power.

In 2007, the guidelines for equal opportunities and equal rights at AUDI AG (German only) were produced. The Audi self-perception and the Audi Code of Conduct – both drawn up in 2011 – yet again demonstrate our desire to treat our employees in a fair, respectful and responsible way and to guarantee equal opportunities when filling positions in the Company.

We do not tolerate any form of discrimination based on ethnic origin, color, gender, disability, age or sexual orientation. Our leadership principles oblige all superiors to treat their team members fairly and to express criticism in an objective and respectful manner. According to the Audi Company Rules and Regulations, any employee who feels discriminated against or unfairly treated has the possibility of contacting superiors, staff in the Human Resources department or the Works Council. These colleagues have a duty to investigate complaints immediately and to resolve the situation.

Generation management in the Company

As a responsible employer, we see it as our duty to ensure that our structures and processes are able to cope with demographic change. At present, the average age of employees at AUDI AG is around 41. According to our forecasts, this average will increase significantly over the next ten years. Audi invests in the young generation by taking on several hundred young people as apprentices every year. We invest in making working hours more flexible and in work time models that focus on the working lifetime of employees. In addition, we make our managers aware of the different expectations and skills of both older and younger employees.

We promote life-long learning in all employee groups as well as mixed-age teams in the direct and indirect company areas. Preventive health management and constant ergonomic improvements ensure that individual performance and the well-being of employees can be maintained and supported. Some visible examples of improvements to the workplace include the ergonomic assembly seats in production and the height-adjustable desks that have now become standard when furnishing offices.

The findings of a multi-year project on the demographic development of the Company have been incorporated in the advice provided by our managers and HR experts. The goal is to offer employees appropriate opportunities to work in the Company that reflect the different stages of life. All of the activities are based on an approach that focuses on the competences of every single employee at every stage of life.

Doing more to promote women’s careers

Female employees will play a more and more important role in tomorrow’s labor market. In order to remain attractive as an employer to women, we offer career prospects and opportunities to make it easier for them to reconcile working and family life (cf. Working life and family). In 2011, as part of a voluntary commitment, we set ourselves the task of permanently increasing the proportion of women at all levels of the Company – from apprentices all the way up to top management. When hiring female academic graduates, we look at the proportion of women studying each subject. For example, nine percent of mechanical engineering graduates are women. Consequently, the proportion of women we endeavor to recruit from this area of study is nine percent. Averaged out across all courses of study that are relevant to us, the proportion of women we would like to attract to our Company is around 30 percent. As our future managers are selected from our own ranks where possible, the proportion of women at the various levels will gradually increase and filter through to management. In order to achieve our goals, we have developed and implemented various measures over recent years. These include child care arrangements and flexible work models, for example. Part-time models and management functions are therefore not a contraction in terms to us. Furthermore, we promote talented female employees on their career path to management through a mentoring program. Starting in 2013, we will support female employees on their career path to first line management through new programs. In order to drive forward equal career opportunities for women, Audi also supports women’s networks such as the European Women’s Management Development (EWMD) network or the internal women’s graduate network. A female officer for equal opportunities is the main contact within AUDI AG and is responsible for improving general conditions.

Proportion of women at AUDI AG

in % 2011 2012
Total proportion of women 13.3 13.9
Apprentices1) 24.2 23.7
Industrial apprentices 21.3 20.7
Clerical trainees 75.8 77.8
Management 6.7 7.3

1) Since 2012 including StEP program (Study and Experience in Practice);
2012 figure excluding StEP: 24.1 percent

Encouraging interest in technology

Since the 1970s, we have endeavored to encourage young women to train for industrial and technical careers. For several years we have been organizing career orientation measures for schoolgirls such as excursions and internships. We purposely send female apprentices as ambassadors to schools, where they talk about their careers. On Girls’ Day in April 2012, a nationwide event, around 440 schoolgirls from the region gained an insight into the world of Audi at the Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm locations.

12 to 14-year-olds can step in to the role of electronics or mechatronics technicians at the “Girls for Technology” camps.

With the aid of practice-based learning formats, we intend to inspire enthusiasm for automobiles among girls and women of different ages, and dispel any reservations they may have about taking up a technical or scientific career. Examples include the "Girls for Technology" camps for 12 to 14-year-olds, where schoolgirls can step into the role of electronics or mechatronics technicians for five days during the fall vacation. Similar experiences are available to talented young girls in the "Female Researchers Camp," which is organized by the Bavarian Educational Institute for Industry and Commerce in collaboration with AUDI AG and the Ingolstadt University of Applied Sciences. The "CareerDay Women" is aimed specifically at female students and young female engineers. Here we give them an exclusive insight into working for our Company.

Integrating people with disabilities

It goes without saying that our workforce includes people with disabilities. Through comprehensive integration management and special training measures, we can incorporate them in normal working life and offer them equal advancement opportunities. The "ComToAct" award, presented by the University of St. Gallen in 2011, shows that we are on the right track. It was awarded in recognition of the long-term integration of severely disabled employees in the Audi A4 assembly area (cf. University of St. Gallen).

In 2012, AUDI AG had a total of 2,582 severely disabled people in its workforce at both German locations. This equates to 6.0 percent. In addition, 21 severely disabled men and women completed their training at AUDI AG in 2012. It is part of our mission statement to take them on as permanent employees after they have successfully completed their training. Beyond our own operations, we integrate people with disabilities into our work processes by giving contracts to social institutions. Workshops for people with mental disabilities, for example, delivered work worth a total of EUR 6.3 million in 2012.

is the average proportion of women we want to appoint.
schoolgirls gained an insight into the world of Audi on Girls’ Day in 2012.
severely disabled people were employed at Audi in 2012.

Social benefits and remuneration

Audi rewards performance

We pay our employees attractive monthly salaries and enable them to share in the Company’s success. Other employee benefits round out the balanced overall package.

Good pay for good work

Audi lives responsibility – especially when it comes to its employees. We therefore not only offer our employees a challenging working environment with a wide range of development opportunities and high job security, but also attractive, commensurate pay. Because a satisfied workforce is the basis for a good working atmosphere in which motivated and dedicated staff can deliver top performance. This is the very foundation of our economic success.

ERA collective agreement for fair and motivational remuneration

In 2007, AUDI AG introduced the remuneration framework agreement (ERA), which provides a standard pay structure for all employees. The monthly salary is made up of the following components: a basic salary, based on the requirements of the job, performance-based pay that reflects personal performance and an Audi component beyond the general pay scale. This system not only guarantees fair and equal pay for men and women, but also encourages employees to enhance their performance and develop their skills. The introduction of the ERA collective agreement is intended to foster the development of pay-scale staff and promote lifelong learning. In addition, age-appropriate competence and performance should be rewarded and variable pay should be based on a balanced combination of personal, team and area performance.

AUDI AG’s permanent employment contracts are based on the current version of the collective agreement for the metalworking industry. With vacation pay and a Christmas bonus, our employees at the German locations receive 13.24 monthly salaries. In addition, the management and the Works Council have negotiated various profit-sharing models for the workforce, in the spirit of a fair partnership: the employee profit-sharing plan (MEB) and the Audi profit-sharing plan (AEB).

Profit-sharing as an important sign of recognition

Every year, our employees participate in the Company’s success on the basis of defined target values – return on sales, quality and attendance rate. The MEB is made up of a base amount, a bonus according to length of service and a variable share based on targets achieved. In addition, we also offer an Audi profit-sharing plan. The amount paid under the AEB depends on the operating profit. Ten percent of the operating profit over a threshold of EUR 1.2 billion is distributed to employees. In 2012, each of the 44,800 or so pay-scale employees at the German locations received an average of EUR 8,251 as an Audi profit share, based on the 2011 fiscal year (cf. Key figures, employees). This is an important tool that acknowledges the contribution that every single employee makes towards the Company’s success. There are separate profit-sharing plans for employees at subsidiaries.

Provisions for retirement

Our employees work hard for Audi – for several decades in some cases. We take responsibility for them – even when their active working life is over. AUDI AG supports its workforce with retirement benefit arrangements that are based on a direct commitment. We have set up a pension scheme funded by the Company for our employees. In addition, employees have the opportunity to top up their pension by way of deferred compensation.

Since 2001, funds for retirement benefits have been invested in the capital markets through the pension fund administered on a fiduciary basis by Volkswagen Pension Trust e.V. This brought a total of around EUR 731 million into the pension fund for Audi employees by the end of 2012 – for later pension payment, partial disability pensions and benefits in the event of death.

The Time Asset program gives AUDI AG employees the opportunity to shorten their working life before reaching normal retirement age through paid release from work. To do so, they can make contributions from their gross salary, which are invested in the capital markets by the Time Asset fund administered on a fiduciary basis by Volkswagen Pension Trust e.V. At the end of 2012, the fund’s assets amounted to around EUR 96 million.

Flexible partial retirement

In the company agreement concluded in July 2011, the management and employee representatives agreed a revised partial retirement program at AUDI AG. This flexible arrangement offers employees well-balanced opportunities to shape the transition from working life to retirement. Various work time models can be selected during partial retirement.

Many employee benefits

Vehicles can be leased or bought on preferential terms or used for selected purposes free of charge. Audi also subsidizes meals in the staff restaurants and provides its employees in Ingolstadt with a discounted job ticket for use on public transport. Furthermore, we grant special leave with pay for private occasions such as weddings and support various child care solutions. Moreover, with the Audi Checkup, Audi offers a comprehensive personal prevention program to promote the health of its employees. In addition, our employees can buy special Audi products or entrance tickets e.g. for sports events, at special prices.

Responsibility for temporary staff

The treatment of temporary staff has become a major socio-political issue in recent years. Audi awards contracts in the production areas exclusively to employment agencies that adhere to the collective agreement for the metalworking industry with regard to remuneration conditions for their employees. Audi employs temporary staff to cover requirements at peak periods. As soon as there is evidence that there may be medium or long-term needs, the Company investigates the possibility of offering the temporary staff a permanent position. The Audi Group has committed itself to the "Temporary Work Charter for the Volkswagen Group," which was adopted in November 2012 by the Volkswagen Group Board of Management, the European Group Works Council and the Global Group Works Council of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. It is implemented at AUDI AG on the basis of existing collective bargaining agreements.

euros is the average profit share paid out to Audi employees in Germany in 2012.

Interview on health management

Dr. Joachim Stork - Head of Audi Health Care Chairman of the Audi General Works Council - Peter Mosch

A healthy lifestyle
and working
at Audi

On the one hand, health is something personal that everyone likes to sort out themselves or with their doctor. On the other hand, the health of the workforce is an important economic factor. Dr. Joachim Stork, Head of Audi Health Care, and Peter Mosch, Chairman of the General Works Council, discuss occupational health management.

Mr Mosch, you’ve been at the Company for more than 25 years. Was health an issue for you when you joined Audi and how do you feel about it today?

Peter Mosch: In my younger days, I was barely aware of the issue of health. A lot has happened in that time, for example in production where many ergonomic improvements have been made. Or with regard to the issues of stress and mental strain, which we consciously deal with nowadays. Occupational health was and is one of the Works Council’s key tasks and today I am much more aware of it, of course.

Dr. Stork, you have around 30 years of experience as an occupational physician. If you take a look at the major issues in your profession – what has changed?

Dr. Joachim Stork: The focus in the 1980s was quite clearly on occupational safety – protecting employees against hazardous materials or heavy loads. Today there are additional issues, however: What about the subjective factors? Today it’s about reintegration, the employability of older employees and mental health in relation to work.

Mr. Mosch, how does the Works Council approach these issues?

Peter Mosch: In the context of demographic change, we in the Works Council face the challenge of protecting employees’ health more effectively. As a result, we have set up our "Round Tables," where the Works Council and the Company together endeavor to reintegrate people into work who return after a lengthy illness. We work constantly on optimizing and creating jobs for older employees and on the issue of mental health. The Works Council also calls for an appropriate company agreement to be reached.

How do people react to the services provided by the Health Care Department – could it be that some see this as "going too far," and as a severe invasion of privacy?

Dr. Joachim Stork: There is great trust and confidence in health protection. People come to us with all kinds of issues that once they might have kept to themselves. I’m very grateful to the workforce for the trust they place in our work. Individual prevention in the form of the Checkup program is extremely well received, with a take-up rate of 90 percent. This is due to the fact that we invite employees at a convenient time. They can then say yes or no.

Peter Mosch: I believe the issue of health is becoming more and more important to the general public, and our workforce very much appreciates the health counseling provided in the Checkup. In my experience, the principle of voluntary participation is a major reason for the high take-up rate. I myself go regularly to these examinations as I receive valuable advice.

What about data protection and the duty of confidentiality?

Peter Mosch: I can assure you that the medical data are stored extremely securely. We have carried out several checks to ensure that no data can leave the Health Care Department. In our view, data protection is guaranteed.

Dr. Joachim Stork: We can draw the right conclusions from the large amount of – anonymized – health data we collect. This is a major difference compared with our work in past decades. So now it’s not only a case of protecting health against risks, but also protecting health through preventive management.

Are there any trends in employee health that cannot be remedied in the short term?

Peter Mosch: Increased pressure is one such problem. In production, for example: there is a risk that we will once again have more division of labor with less work content per cycle and with shorter cycle times. I am concerned about this development. Similar trends can be seen in the indirect area, where work volume and complexity are constantly rising.

Dr. Joachim Stork: My specialist field started looking at the issue of monotony and preventing heavy workloads some years ago. Today, however, it’s also a question of how employees can cope with the level of complexity if different models for different countries with different items of equipment are produced on the same assembly line. Here, ergonomic measures and the Audi Production System help, but we’ve certainly not found all the answers.

Where would you like to see Audi health management in ten or 20 years’ time?

Dr. Joachim Stork: I’d like us not only to ask how work can be harmful to us, but also to consider how work can be good for our well-being, to give meaning to life. Despite the likelihood of illness as we grow older, there are more and more people who can and want to work for a long time. My second request would be for more consistent control loops in our work, from emergency medical care through to prevention.

Peter Mosch: I’d like health protection in a few years’ time to be seen on a par with other corporate goals, for example economic efficiency.

Live to work, or work to live?

Peter Mosch: Ideally, a balanced, healthy combination of the two. To achieve this, there's no doubt that we have to strengthen preventative measures. And we should also take a closer look at leadership in our Company: What values determine the way we behave toward one another within the Company? How do we treat each other? Our managers can make a major contribution to the subject of health.