The ideas, skills, experience and opinions of our employees are our company’s biggest asset. Each and every member of our global team has an individual area of expertise and is in the best position to assess the efficiency of his or her own work processes, and understand the needs of his or her own customers. For this reason, we give employees at all levels of our organization a role in designing workflow and work processes. It is our way of tapping the innovative power of our company while fostering a culture of dialogue, openness and mutual respect.
Our annual Employee Opinion Survey (EOS), which we introduced in 2009, is our central tool for assessing employee engagement. The survey invites employees across the Group to share their opinions and take an active role in shaping their immediate work environment. Like a seismograph that monitors the pulse of the company, the EOS helps us identify action areas early and implement the appropriate changes effectively.
The survey focuses on key indicator areas such as "Employee Engagement" and "Active Leadership", which has direct relevance for executive bonus payments, but also gauges the level of employee satisfaction with regard to our Corporate Strategy or the culture of communication within the Group. The results of the 2012 survey indicate that we remain on the right track. Approval ratings in the areas surveyed have shown continuous improvement since 2009, confirming our employees' high degree of satisfaction with their work and employer.
Every year, the survey results are reviewed at the team level and used to identify potential improvement measures, such as new initiatives for employee volunteering and new learning and career development opportunities. The following table provides an overview of the most important key performance indicators and the respective agreement ratings.
We encourage our employees to challenge existing methods, to constantly re-evaluate processes, and to develop new solutions. With our Idea Management program, creative employees also have a financial incentive to develop and share their ideas. The high number of improvement suggestions submitted through the program, a great many of which have already been put into practice, is a testament to employee creativity and to the innovative power of the Group as a whole.
The positive results strengthen us in our business approach. Given the challenges we face, not least the digital transformation of our company, we take encouragement from the survey to strive for further improvement. For 2017, we have set ourselves the goal of improving the approval for the Active Leadership KPI by another percentage point.