I like supporting good projects
Interview with Integrity Ambassador Jan Kotík, from the SB/5 – Transformation and HR 4.0 department
What made you become an integrity ambassador?
I’ve been into scouting since the age of nine, and these values have been with me since my childhood. Thus, my motivation was purely personal. Additionally, I always like supporting good projects throughout the company.
What does integrity mean to you?
I perceive it as a harmony between what I think, feel, say and do. You can’t learn it or even just tick it off as fulfilled.
Frequently, integrity is associated with situations that do not have one right solution. Have you ever encountered a situation where you weren’t able to follow fixed rules but knew that you had to manage somehow?
Certainly, everyone has experienced something like this. If there were fixed rules for everything, humanity would vanish. In the past, I worked at Buckingham Palace for one summer, where there were high standards for visitor care, and many rules for our conduct were described. Nevertheless, there were cases where I had to act to the best of my knowledge. I remember, for example, when one visitor annoyed a colleague during a security check. I didn’t hesitate and temporarily merged his position with mine, despite our rules. I knew that supporting teammates was something to do.
What would you like to achieve as an ambassador?
I would like to have all people accept issues such as integrity, support for diversity and sustainable development, which are integral to our company culture, as an essential component of our company’s success.
What benefits do you see when employees follow the principles of integrity in practice?
I believe that, in the long run, they will lead to better products and services, higher satisfaction and employee efficiency and, ultimately, improve our company results. RED
Within the VW Group, 4,041 notices of breaches of work discipline were issued in 62 companies in 2019. Each of these companies had more than 1,000 employees. These companies, including ŠKODA AUTO, employ a total of around 487,000 people, of which 1,044 were dismissed for illegal behaviour.
Failure to observe working hours (e.g. unauthorised absence)
Property offences/fraud, including incitement
Discrimination, bullying, persecution
Not fulfilling work duties
Disrupting the work environment (e.g. assault or rude expression)
Violating the ban on alcohol and drug use
Accepting a disproportionate advantage, corruption, conflict of interest
Fraud against third parties, including inciting such acts
Violation of privacy and confidentiality principles
Violation of regulations related to work safety
Damage to the company's reputation
Other labour law violations (e.g. Code of Ethics, traffic regulations or illegal gainful employment)
We take incitement to violations seriously
KODA AUTO has been publishing statistics on breaches of work discipline and subsequent sanctions in the VW Group since February 2019. The aim is to show that the company is building on the principles of fair conduct in accordance with the law and always prioritising the customer’s interests.
For example, at the beginning of 2019, one Group company fired a manager who had asked a colleague several times to adjust income forms in a way that would have recorded them as expenses. The colleague in question insisted that the proper accounting rules be observed and refused to modify the documents, which the manager then simply proceeded to change. This case was brought forward via a complaint received by the Central Investigation Body within the whistleblowing system (Central Complaint Management System). Subsequently, the allegations were investigated by the Group’s audit department. It focused on the falsification of documents and the incitement of committing criminal offenses, both of which are considered serious infringements according to the Whistleblowing Directive (Group 3) definitions.
The current standards for dealing with infringements were introduced by the VW Group last July. They are valid for all brands and companies, which have to take the individual circumstances of each case into account when making decisions. For example, it involves finding out whether it was intentional, gross or slight negligence and also what the employee’s behaviour was after they had committed the act. This is to ensure the adequacy of disciplinary action. Furthermore, there are three different types of sanctions (staff interviews, breaches of work discipline and termination of employment), and illustrative examples are given. The standards are available in the Group Policy 35 HR Compliance document or at ŠKODA Space > Information > About Company > POD Documentation and Standards > Group Policies (KLR) > The list of valid KRLs issued in ŠKODA AUTO. RED
VW Group Board Member for Human Resources Management
Managers have to set a good example and prevent illegal behaviour. The VW Group does not tolerate any activity involving fraud, embezzlement, extortion, theft, abuse or any other intentional damage to the property of customers or third parties. An employee reporting a manager’s violation deserves respect.