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Corporate Responsibility

An analysis of employee relations at COSMOTE E-VALUE in Greece reveals only positive results

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OTE Group’s Contact Service Center COSMOTE E-VALUE prospers despite an instable environment in Greece.

The implementation of Deutsche Telekom’s Employee Relations (ER) Policy is monitored on a regular basis in all units worldwide. On April 11th and 12th 2016 an on-site review was performed at COSMOTE E-VALUE, the Service Center of OTE Group in Greece. COSMOTE E-VALUE was founded in 1999 by GERMANOS S.A., has experienced steady growth over the years and currently operates from 10 locations in Greece and Romania. With 35% market share it is one of the leading customer service centers in Greece.

During the two day visit at the Agios Stefanos site in Attica employees expressed in bilateral discussions high satisfaction with their employer, mentioned great team spirit and cooperation between management and employees. The majority of employees described the work environment as very human and supportive. COSMOTE E-VALUE has a great ability to pair teams together. The unit acts very responsibly as an employer through mutual trust and transparency. This matters even more given the current economic instability in Greece. OTE Group is one of the most attractive employers in Greece not only since the economic crisis started.

COSMOTE E-VALUE’s workforce is a mixture of internal and external employees. External employees are necessary to cover seasonal spikes or 3rd party projects. The health rate is with around 95% above average for the service center industry. Adequate medical provisions are available and include i.e. the presence of a nurse or physician some days a week on some locations, a blood donation and vaccination program. The balance between work and private life seems well in order, although there are no options to work from home due to the nature of the call center business. Overtime hours are performed only on voluntary basis. 25% of the employees are volunteering for it on average.

Training activities are generally tailored to business needs and are offered to respective new and internal colleagues. COSMOTE E-VALUE participates in talent initiatives of the Group. The new talent program "YOU.GROW", sponsored by OTE Group, started in 2016 in which colleagues rotate over 1.5 years in different OTE Group functions and are being coached by senior management. There are 2 colleagues from COSMOTE E-VALUE currently participating in this development program.

The average salary is above Greek minimum wage and as Greek labor law requires, 14 monthly installments are paid per annum. Employee benefits also include i.e. health &life insurance, discounts for the Group’s products and services, Christmas gifts for children and others.

There are unions present at OTE Group. Although there are no unions at COSMOTE E-VALUE, several employees are members of unions. Several policies on anti-corruption are implemented and several times during the year employees are reminded of the existing anti-corruption regulations. Compliance tools are well in place and used by employees.

In sum, all eleven individual elements of the ER Policy are successfully implemented. These very positive results are also reflected in employee surveys that were introduced in Nov 2015. Results were very good, especially benchmarked against the service center industry. The survey results were probably favorably impacted by the economic situation in Greece with high unemployment. However, employees confirmed in one-on-one talks that they feel “as one big family” at COSMOTE E-VALUE. This is probably also a result of COSMOTE E-VALUE’s belief in mutual transparency and “walk your talk” which has a positive spill-over effect to employees.