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Corporate Responsibility

International knowledge transfer at T-Systems UK

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Insight on T-Systems UK’s implementation of the Employee Relations Policy gained during an exchange program.

Learning from each other, sharing best practices and gaining a deeper understanding of the cultural environment abroad is one of the goals which the group-wide international Telekom exchange change program wants to achieve. Especially those units within Deutsche Telekom Group that work internationally need employees who are able to work in various cultural environments and broaden their horizon.

During a two months stay at T-Systems UK office in Milton Keynes an HR colleague from the Deutsche Telekom’s German headquarters department Group Relations Management International also had the chance to conduct a review of the Employee Relations Policy (ER Policy) back in March and April 2014.

Compared to other on-site reviews that generally last for some days, this prolonged timeframe offered many advantages in terms of validating the review results in daily practice and discuss the findings directly with the colleagues on site. "I had the chance to breathe the ER Policy in the day-to-day operations" explained the HR colleague from DT Headquarters with regard to the review.

Overall, there were many positive findings regarding the key elements of the ER Policy.

T-Systems UK experienced several organizational and management changes over the last years, including outsourcing deals. As a result, the around 1000 employees (including contractors) are scattered at different locations and sometimes lack the “One Company” feeling. A common challenge for the Management and HR due to many organizational changes.

In order to enhance company identity T-Systems UK pursues many activities to foster an integrated culture i.e. monthly management calls ensure a more personal touch of the communication between management and employees.

However, the company identity in Milton Keynes, where most of the employees are based, has been experienced as very positive.

A convincing best practice regarding the implementation of the ER Policy at T-Systems UK is the so called "i-flex benefits scheme". The flexibility and transparency of the scheme improve the company’s ability to compete in the outsourcing market and is part of the Human Resources strategy to empower and enable employees to manage different aspects of their career and employment themselves. It includes flexibility for all company benefits, ranging from wealth to health insurance. Employees are able to prioritize their own benefits and can change them according to their individual needs at different times in their lives. For example putting resources into retirement might be appealing at a certain time, whereas opting for increased health schemes could be more attractive at other times.

As part of this "i-flex-benefits scheme", T-Systems UK also supports its employees regarding their health with several activities and benefits such as a subsidizing health club memberships, cycle to work, dental insurance, and health screening.

However, after introducing a new online reporting system, there has been a drop in T-Systems UK’s health rate last year. Currently, investigations about the accuracy of the system and potential reasons for this drop are underway and will be followed up upon.

Recent management decisions allow an increased use of the possibility to work from home. More flexible working hours are meant to support employees positively in their work-life-balance.

To sum up, T-Systems UK presented many best practices with regard to the ER Policy and allowed an enriching insight into its cultural environment.