It’s a sunny winter day in Mladá Boleslav. The town, which has around 44,000 residents and its own leaning tower called the Putna, is located around 60 kilometers northeast of the Czech capital city of Prague. It is home to the headquarters of ŠKODA Auto. With a 120-year history, the company is one of the oldest car makers in the world. And it has become a real model for companies in Europe. The results are there for all to see: in 2015 it delivered more than a million cars in around 100 markets—twice as many as it did a decade earlier. “We are proud of the example we are setting for the Czech Republic,” says Bohdan Wojnar, the member of the Board of Management in charge of human resources. “And we want to continue doing so. We also have to keep up a reasonable pace. ŠKODA must never turn into a slow-moving tanker.” Czech native Wojnar emphasizes his point by citing the words of President John F. Kennedy: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.”

The future will bring major challenges for the automotive industry. Strict regulations, digitization, connected cars, e-mobility, self-driving vehicles—the list of large, complex projects goes on and on. They require companies to give their all, not only in production but also and especially outside it. ŠKODA is therefore examining all of its indirect areas of activity, with the aims of developing a high-performance organization and freeing up resources for future-oriented projects. With the support of Porsche Consulting, the company is putting the five different modules of its High Performance Organization (HPO) project into practice: Agile Organization, HR Evolution, Organizational Effectiveness, Smart Administration, and Change Management and Communication. Porsche Consulting Magazine presents excerpts from these modules, which are ensuring ŠKODA’s viability for the future:

ŠKODA is also benefiting from a new performance management system for its HR work. It is increasing transparency and constructive feedback in performance reviews. “High manager to employee ratios tend to produce excessively positive employee evaluations,” observes Wojnar. So in all of the company divisions, performance reviews are now compared within the teams in order to identify top achievers, for example. A clear basis for comparison strengthens the focus on performance and especially encourages a strong culture of feedback as well as individual support for employees.

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