A culture of integrity
Integrity is one of the four corporate values that form the foundation for our business activities. A culture of integrity is the prerequisite for remaining successful in the future. That is because only those who act responsibly can achieve sustained business success over the long term. Integrity and compliance are therefore an integral part of our daily business activities. This goes beyond complying with the law. It also includes aligning our actions with shared values. This shared understanding of values enables us to make the right decisions also in difficult situations.
In order to further advance our culture of integrity, we conduct an ongoing and open dialog with our employees. We regularly address integrity issues in our internal media and make a wide range of materials available to our business units. We also value personal discussion. That is why we regularly conduct dialog events with employees at all levels of the hierarchy, as well as with external stakeholders. Such events are held in our markets abroad as well.
Our Integrity Code is one of the most important results of the employee dialogs we have been conducting since 2011. The Code is based on a shared understanding of values agreed upon with our employees and lays out the principles for our everyday business conduct. These principles include fairness, responsibility, mutual respect, transparency, openness and compliance with laws. The Code is valid throughout the Group and is available in 23 languages. A guide is available on the Group’s intranet to support the employees in the application of the Code in everyday situations, providing answers to frequently asked questions.
Requirements for managers
Our Integrity Code also defines requirements for managers, who are expected to serve as role models in terms of ethical behavior and to provide employees with orientation. All training seminars for new managers therefore include integrity modules that help them fulfill their responsibilities.
In addition, integrity and compliance requirements are important criteria in the target agreements and in assessing the annual target achievement of our managers. They are also part of the agreed-upon objectives for the remuneration of the Board of Management.
Contact and advice center
Our “Infopoint Integrity” serves as a central contact and advice center for our employees. The Infopoint team offers advice on integrity-related issues in the daily work environment and puts employees in touch with the right contact partner if necessary.
Communicating with employees
Further measures from our integrity strategy complement the range of information and advice offered on issues related to integrity. We use various event formats to approach these issues from different viewpoints and encourage the participants to think about integrity. For example, we conduct business simulations that enable employees to experience and discuss the relevance of integrity to daily business operations from a new viewpoint. We also have a network of integrity contact persons who help the business units address their specific issues in a targeted manner. In addition, we produce target-group-specific materials for managers who wish to raise awareness of integrity and potential ethical dilemma situations in their departments.
Extensive training program
The Integrity Code forms the basis for the extensive range of training courses we offer. Our integrated training program is defined on the basis of an annual planning cycle that starts with a needs analysis, extends through the implementation of the program and ends with a monitoring process. Among other things, the program covers the topics of integrity, compliance, data protection and antitrust law. Depending on the risk and the target group, we use classroom training or digital learning techniques such as web-based training courses. Basic web-based training courses on integrity, compliance and legal issues are offered to all employees with e-mail access. Every Daimler employee, regardless of position, professional field or location, must complete this training session as part of a “Welcome Package” when joining the company. The session also has to be repeated at regular intervals later on. In 2016, a total of approximately 73,000 employees from various hierarchy levels attended training courses or participated in web-based training courses.
Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility
The Advisory Board for Integrity and Corporate Responsibility has been an important source of input for Daimler since 2012. The Advisory Board consists of independent external experts from the fields of science, business and politics and from non-governmental organizations. These experts support the integrity process at Daimler critically and constructively from an external perspective. The members of the Advisory Board have extensive experience in addressing ethical issues and contribute their different points of view to the discussion of integrity.