Diversity is the fuel for innovation
The third OPEN TALK, dedicated to diversity, was held online
he third debate of the OPEN TALK series took place in June in a non-traditional setting. Owing to the strict safety measures put in place to minimise the spread of coronavirus, the talk was held online and had more than 70 viewers. Jana Šrámová, Head of SB – Operative HR Care, Digitisation, HR 4.0, Jarmila Plachá, Head of ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab, Christian Strube, Board Member for Technical Development, and Dieter Seemann, Board Member for Purchasing, met together in front of the camera as participants during the face-masked debate, which the employees of ŠKDOA AUTO could watch on their company computers. Questions were then asked via the Slido platform.
The basic principle of diversity, namely the diversity of the workforce, was summarised by Strube in his introduction. Strube stated that diversity is the fuel for the power of innovation, adding that discussions about different views, attitudes and perspectives are of paramount importance and form the basis of innovation processes. In his opinion, diversity is helped by foreign experience. ŠKODA AUTO wants to make a contribution in this respect by bolstering its job rotations, for example. “Even though it is a more complex process, we do support them”, said Šrámová, adding that the entire system is continually being improved and adapted to the employees’ needs. In her opinion, flexible work, especially when it comes down to parents with young children, is another area that the car manufacturer should reinforce.
Have you had a positive experience with following or applying the principles of integrity in your work or private life? Do you want to share it with your other co-workers? If so, please send us a brief description of the situation and the circumstances under which it occurred via e-mail to integrity@skoda‑auto.cz.
The topic of diversity also significantly affects work with young people, who have completely different demands than other employees. “Today’s digital generation responds to a completely different motivation. They need to identify themselves with a vision. Young people want to develop their talent and have the opportunity to advance without having to tie down their personal lives”, says Plachá, adding that DigiLab has ample experience with this generation and can share it with others. “Talents in digital technology can join the company, and it is not true that older and more experienced generations would have nothing to say or teach”, she adds.
In response to one of the questions, the Board Member for Purchasing commented on the apparent contradiction between the fact that diversity promotes the freedom of individual employees and that the carmaker follows strict rules. “We are a large organisation. We cannot have absolute freedom. We need control mechanisms, but that doesn’t mean we will hinder innovative thinking. We need to generate and support creative ideas before we can assess how meaningful and effective they are”, Seemann said. You can watch a video of the entire discussion via ŠKODA Space. Luděk Vokáč
Pull in one direction
Interview with Barbora Špačková, Ambassador for Integrity from PFO/B – Paint Shop
What led you to become an ambassador for integrity?
I am interested in working with people, and I take pleasure in solving complex problems and situations. I’m glad I can work as an ambassador in the company.
What would you like to achieve as an ambassador?
I want the people in the company to be as satisfied as possible. This will happen if the cooperation between employees and their management works as well as possible. I would like to prevent them from coming across any unpleasant situations.
What benefits can you see if employees follow the principles of integrity in practice?
Good cooperation will save time and money and will improve working conditions. If we start addressing problems in time, we will mitigate their impact on the carmaker.
How do you understand the concept of integrity in the environment of ŠKODA AUTO?
I understand it as cooperation between individuals who pull in one direction, who are honest with themselves and their co-workers and who address problems together and without delay.
Integrity is often connected with situations without one right solution. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you couldn’t follow the strict rules but knew that you had to manage somehow?
Of course, everyone must have experienced a similar situation. For example, in order not to lose finished bodies in our Paint Shop, we have to make quick decisions in the event of a robot failure. We first find out how long the repair will take and then consider whether we will stop the line and wait for the repair or produce in emergency mode. RED