- “Embrace our values. Take a stand.” – this was the theme of a four-week, internal event series at Audi revolving around integrity, culture and compliance.
During the Audi Convention, around 3,400 Audi managers and works council members at the brand’s German sites dealt intensively with these three key topics. The Audi Convention represents an important pillar in the successful cultural change of the company.
“Audi will only be successful in the future if we consistently follow the path of change. Along this path it is important to establish an appreciative, open and responsible culture and to act with integrity,” said Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG, in his welcoming remarks. Even when there is no one looking over the shoulder, integrity, compliance and a values-based corporate culture are the basis for winning back the trust of the customers and demonstrating new strengths, Stadler added.
Leaders play a key role in this. During a total of 14 daytime events and three meetings during the night shift, up to 250 participants discussed integrity, culture and compliance, heard lectures featuring examples of successful cultural change in other companies and discussed their experiences. The focus was on the questions: What constitutes integrity and compliance? And how can the values be incorporated in our everyday work routines today and in the future?
Integrity and compliance are not mere wellness topics or flowery words, according to Werner Neuhold, Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) of Audi. “The corporate values of Audi – appreciation, openness, responsibility and integrity – form the foundation. It is our task to breathe life into these corporate values. Integrity and compliance are not the job of a single department, but instead are a matter of some concern for all leaders – and, of course, all employees as well,” Neuhold said during the event.
Leaders in each department function as role models and ambassadors. The Audi Convention provided them with the necessary tools to demonstrate integrity and compliance to employees – in the factory halls and offices, in collaboration at all levels of the hierarchy and with all business partners.
“Cultural change is an executive task and can only succeed if it is exemplified from above,” emphasized Michael Schmid, Head of the Audi Akademie, in his speech. He therefore called on the participants: “Don’t wait until the cultural change arrives – work insteadto actively help shape it. Let us create a work environment in which our employees dare to speak their minds openly and honestly.” Not least because integrity and honesty are also economically relevant and contribute significantly to the future success of the company.
In addition to web-based training, the presence event was a mandatory training measure for all leaders and managers at AUDI AG. During the next few months the company will roll out the event concept to the international Audi sites as well as to additional brands in the Audi Group.