Five days, 174 online sessions and plenty of initiative: Employees from Audi, Volkswagen and SEAT organized an internal digital conference for this week. At DigiKon22, they are acting as volunteer guides, showing their colleagues how to implement new tools, ways of thinking and forms of collaboration in order to simplify and improve their everyday work. The aim of the event, which runs from April 4 to 8, is to drive the digital transformation and cultural change at the four rings and its brand sisters. After all, the three car manufacturers are on course to become Digital Car Companies − with digital products, services and processes.
The topics featured at the conference range from specific instruction tips for tools such as Microsoft Teams through methods such as for dealing with information overload, all the way to positive psychology in everyday work. As at Audi’s first DigiKon last year, the 50-minute, registration-free sessions allow time for impulses, live demonstrations, workshops and direct exchange among employees and managers. What’s new this year is the cross-brand approach: The conference not only features guides and guest speakers from Audi, but also from Volkswagen and SEAT. And the patrons also come from all three companies – Frank Loydl (Chief Information Officer at Audi), Dr. Stefan Lenz (Head of Employee IT & Core Technologies at Audi), Beate Hofer (Volkswagen Group CIO), André Radon (SEAT CIO) and Claudia Aryus (Head of the Agile Center of Excellence at SEAT).
Audi inspires brand sisters Volkswagen and SEAT
The idea for the virtual event came from the Audi employee network “Collaboration 2.0 Guides”: The so-called #z20guides organized the first digital conference back in 2021. In the space of just a few weeks, almost 100 digital sessions were set up by employees for employees – more than ever before at Audi.
The success did not go unnoticed by the brand sisters: “We’re delighted that SEAT and Volkswagen are taking part this year and supporting us in the organization and speaker teams,” says Anke Rettenmeier, founder of #z20guides. “SEAT is even using DigiKon to build its own guide network, just like Audi and Volkswagen. I think that’s great!”
Guides and teamwork – “a new method of collaboration is required”
Self-organized employee networks like this play an important role in the transformation: The #z20guides, for example, provide help in addition to Audi’s digitization offensives and transformation programs. Without obstacles or hierarchies, the more than 300 guides show their colleagues how to use new digital tools productively in their everyday work and how to further develop the culture of collaboration.
“For the hybrid working world of today and tomorrow, it is not enough to be good at handling IT applications – we also need a new method of collaboration. Only when we are all willing to constantly develop and share our knowledge will the digital transformation succeed! And that’s exactly what our #z20guides and the colleagues of the brand sisters stand for,” says Sabine Maassen, Board Member for Human Resources at Audi.
Sharing knowledge, bringing digitalization to life
A total of 165 speakers from Audi, Volkswagen and SEAT are on board at this year’s digital conference. By Thursday evening, 23,615 participants had already attended their sessions. Thanks to comprehensive documentation, however, employees will also be able to access the content after the event. In addition, the guides will revisit various topics in joint meet-ups over the next few months and will offer an internal DigiDay in May. And for the general public, specific conference content will be added to the audi.com website in the coming weeks.
With qualification initiatives such as the #z20guides, Audi is bringing the digital transformation to life. For example, the four rings are driving a new, hybrid working world within the company – through mobile learning and flexible working in the office and in production. A pilot project for a new kind of working time model, for example, enables shift workers at the Ingolstadt site to work part-time. In addition, new approaches to hybrid working in a modern office environment will be validated in the coming months. Audi’s transformation journey towards a Digital Car Company is in full swing.