In 2017 we were highly successful in recruiting the skilled and talented people we needed to support our company’s growth, ranging from technicians building our products, to service engineers delivering high-quality support to our clients and people in R&D driving our innovations.
Our workforce grew from 1,670 to 1,900 ASMI employees by the end of 2017. In addition to our own workforce, and taking into account fluctuations in demand, we had also hired 143 external employees by the end of 2017.
ASMI’s global focus and business spread is clearly reflected in the distribution of our new hires. Including turnover replacement, we hired in total 487 new employees in 2017: 23% in the US, 6% in Europe and 72% in Asia.
In 2017 our voluntary turnover rate increased to 10.4%, which although still below the industry benchmark figures, requires our ongoing focus. We attribute this turnover increase to the improving economies and industries in all of our regions, which means compelling alternative jobs are available.
At the same time, our focus on attracting the right talented people and our talent management related actions in developing and retaining the right talent, remain critical given our business requirements and developments in the international labor market. This is when our succession and talent review process is crucial in building a talent pipeline to ensure timely succession in case of turnover.
Through our exit interview process we investigate and analyze reasons for turnover, to help improve our HR processes and policies. The feedback received from exit interviews is also used to drive improvements an help retain talent going forward.
In 2017, we implemented improvements as part of our continuous people development process. We started a new online platform for managers to further develop their managerial skills, using the latest insights on management practices. This will enable managers to improve the quality of their conversations with employees, leading to more engagement and constructive interactions.
Further, we began piloting a comprehensive technical career ladder framework. The model is designed to support the development of our engineers, enhance their capabilities and ensure adequate rewards and recognition for continued performance. We will evaluate this pilot in 2018 and, if deemed successful, will roll it out to a broader target group.
ASMI is an equal opportunity employer. We recognize and respect the differences between individuals and we understand that these differences can include ethnicity, religious beliefs, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, family status, physical ability, experience, and perspective.
In 2017 we continued to employ a large number of nationalities throughout the company, with 29 different nationalities active in 14 different countries. This diversity is reflected at site levels, meaning that it is normal to work with people from different nationalities on a daily basis. This international dimension is one of the reasons why people appreciate working for ASMI. In terms of gender diversity, 15% of our workforce was female at year-end.
Our Code of Ethics applies to our Supervisory Board and Management Board, and to all our employees, consultants, contractors, temporary employees and critical suppliers. The Code of Ethics promotes honest and ethical conduct throughout our global operations. The full Code of Ethics can be found on our website.
For new employees, training starts on the day they begin working with ASMI. They are required to familiarize themselves with the Code of Ethics and associated policies and processes within the first week of employment and complete all the required training. In 2017, 99.8% of our new hires signed off on having read, understood and agreed to the Code of Ethics and completed the required training. In addition to the initial training, we also require all our employees to take refresher training every two years. In 2017, 99.7% of all our employees completed the bi-annual Code of Ethics courses.
Under the governance of our Ethics Committee, which reports to the Management Board, we continually track our performance against our goals and improve our ethics management system and performance. We continue to strive for zero ethics violations.
In 2017, one concern was reported through our SpeakUp! system, while five cases were reported via other channels to the Ethics Committee. All incidents were fully investigated and, in those cases involving violations to our Code of Ethics, appropriate actions were taken according to internal policies. The Ethics Committee reviewed all cases and approved the measures taken.
We work continuously to both increase awareness of and promote ethical behavior. In 2017, we issued three publications to all employees through our global Connect! internal newsletter. The articles highlighted a range of relevant topics, such as IT-related ethical questions, ethics in business, a BU perspective and challenges and opportunities of talent diversification. All articles were written by members of the Ethics Committee together with a business leader accountable for the relevant topic. All of these efforts aim to foster behavior in line with our Code of Ethics and in reporting potential violations.
In 2017, building on guidance taken from our Code of Ethics, we introduced a protocol to further prevent conflict of interest, corruption, and bribery. The protocol provides clear guidance and criteria on when to accept and when to reject a gift or entertainment. The ultimate aim is to avoid employees risking any conflict of interest.
In 2017, we finalized updates to the GES and implemented supporting systems in a number of areas including disclosing outside employment activities and providing employment contracts in native or preferred languages.
Our safety goal is ZERO HARM! Any incident or injury inspires us to push ourselves more to identify the risk and prevent the exposure. We continue to set an annual target that pushes ourselves so that we can ultimately reach ZERO HARM!
Our key performance measures are aligned with our industry and peers, and allow us to benchmark our performance year-on-year. The key measures include an overall injury rate indicator and a recordable injury rate indicator (see Glossary at the end of the Annual Report for full definitions).
In 2017, our total injury rate showed a 1.5% improvement from 2016. However, the recordable injury rate, the measure of serious injuries, improved to a record low since we started measuring 11 years ago.
In 2017, we continued to strengthen our own safety leadership, both internally and externally. We deployed our ‘BeSAFE - The 6Es of Safety Leadership’ framework to our employees.
We believe that focusing on the key elements of safety leadership within the company helps everyone become a safety leader. Together, we work to eliminate the risks and hazards that can lead to safety and health incidents. The model emphasizes this by empowering everyone to lead by example through taking action, an emphasis on eliminating hazards, and means of evaluating performance through surveys and incident rates. In 2017, we initiated a quarterly global safety leadership award that recognizes achievements in demonstrating the attributes of safety leadership. We have started to share this model with key customers during safety leadership collaboration meetings, which we believe will improve safety for our people and customers, as well as our industry overall, and lead to closer collaboration with our customers.
One of the most important connections we make is with the communities in which we operate. As a global company, we have roots in local communities in Europe, North America and across Asia. In 2017, we participated in a number of new community efforts, and continued with others we were already involved with. In all cases, we are proud to provide support for programs that are important to our employees and that address important community needs.
In 2017, teams at our Singapore and Phoenix locations, volunteered to help stamp out hunger. The Singapore HR Team members volunteered a half-day's work with the Food from the Heart (FFTH) charity organization. Established in February 2003, FFTH is a non-profit charity that feeds those on low incomes and those in need in Singapore through its food distribution. In Phoenix, a Global Operations team volunteered at Feed my Starving Children, packaging over 1,000 meals that could be sent around the world.
In 2017, two of our ASMI teams in Phoenix volunteered at Furnishing With Dignity, a non-profit group that helps families needing support get back on their feet with new furnished homes. The teams spent several hours in the heat packing up trailers for two families that were about to move into new apartments.
In Singapore, only 1.8% of the population donates blood. To contribute to what is a community necessity, each year ASMI joins a blood donation event. More than 30 employees (out of 395 employees) took part in the event in 2017. The donated blood will be used to save lives in times of emergency and for various medical conditions.
We embrace innovation challenges. Over the past decade, however, society has begun facing a challenge as the population ages and fewer students are attracted to technical education. Technology industries, including our own semiconductor industry, are facing shortages of talented young engineers, and the expectation is that this will continue unless something is done to reverse the trend. To help address this issue in the Netherlands, Dutch industry has established a collaboration program between the government and high schools, called JetNet.
JetNet aims to inspire children and teenagers to learn more about technology and to stimulate them to consider a technical education and career. We support JetNet as a partner organization, and joined the platform in 2015 by developing a relationship with Almere High School to promote technology classes. In 2017, we engaged with two high school classes and shared with them some of the diverse problems that we work on at ASMI. Our topics included actual challenges in mechatronics, reliability, and warranty. By showing them the practical application of the theories they are learning at school, we hope to instill a desire to help shape the future of our industry.
In 2017, we continued with our lectures, on-site experiments and technical games at the school, organized an internship, and gave some students the opportunity to visit ASMI to directly understand and respond to our technology challenges.
In Singapore, a local school had a unique request that ASMI was glad to help with. The Association for Persons with Special Needs (APSN) runs programs focused on developing individuals with special needs to their fullest potential so that they can lead dignified, fulfilling, and independent lives as integral members of the society. Among their services, they run multiple schools for children.
One of their schools relocated in 2017, but instead of just closing the doors of the old school and opening the doors of the new school, they wanted to hold a symbolic walk to raise the excitement among the children. But how do you safely walk dozens of children with special needs through a busy and bustling city? ASMI volunteered to help, both in scouting the route, planning how to get around obstacles, and providing walkers, crosswalk marshals, and sweepers watching the back of the line on the day of the event. The children arrived at their new school safely and ASMI was honored to have participated in this unique opportunity.
As part of ASM’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, ASMI is exploring how to support people with limited job prospects due to their health, mental or physical condition. This initiative is part of the Dutch Prestatieladder Socialer Ondernemen (PSO) program, the Dutch scheme for social entrepreneurship, to encourage employers to make a sustainable contribution to the job market.
During 2017, an internal analysis was made to identify the potential for formalizing and certifying our efforts. This analysis was executed by certified external experts and covered both the role of ASMI as a social entrepreneur, as well ASMI’s role within the supply chain of suppliers and vendors.
The outcome of the analysis provides ASMI with the required insights to determine a plan of approach to apply for the so-called 'Aspirant status', which is the first level of recognition for the Dutch PSO certificate. We expect to receive the certification in the course of 2018.