Ambitious & committed employer

As a leading player in the industry, ICT is active in a dynamic, quickly changing environment, supporting customers in innovative and often challenging projects. Our employees are crucial in our mission to make the world smarter every day, adding value for our customers with their technological expertise and specialised knowledge. ICT creates an environment where our people can grow every day, both personally and professionally, and always based on their ambition and passion for technology. Our HR department is fully committed to advise, connect and facilitate managers and individual employees in order to together improve the organisation and development of all of our people on a continuous basis.

Innovation and technology are key, and for people who resonate with that, ICT wants to be an employer of choice, ICT is a great place to develop. This is based on the following pillars:

  • The well-being of our employees
  • Continuous learning and development
  • Being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce

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Our key performance indicators to measure sustainable employability, categorised in three pillars, are:

The total number of employees at year-end 2019 was 1,468, 15% higher than at the end of 2018 (1,274).

The employment market for IT talents remains challenging. Being an employer of choice is crucial in attracting motivated professionals. To do so we are keen to ensure we have a well-defined profile and identity that makes it clear what ICT offers (potential) employees.

Developments 2019

In the year under review ICT successfully hired 459 (2018: 415) new colleagues, of whom 31% (2018: 36%) joined through the companies that were acquired in 2019. The retention rate came in at 84% in 2019, compared to 86% in 2018, slightly below our retention rate target of 85%. The retention rate at ICT Netherlands was above the industry average, despite the ever-challenging labour market and shortage of IT talent. In Bulgaria and Sweden the retention rate was lower.

At Strypes Bulgaria this was mainly caused by heavy competition for young IT professionals in the country. Additude, which was acquired in January 2019, showed a lower than average retention rate but also a vast amount of new hires during the year under review.

Our retention programme which is based on exit statistics and exit interviews enables us to react quickly to exit trends.

Well-being of our employees

A safe and pleasant work environment is a prerequisite at ICT. Well-being and engagement are strongly connected. Apart from the involvement managers have in connecting with their team members in monitoring development, motivation and well-being in general, we continuously work on sustaining and nurturing the health of our employees through:

  • the company culture, including ethical behaviour; • employee engagement surveys;
  • vitality and work-life balance;
  • the physical working environment;
  • employee recognition; and • engagement initiatives.

Company culture
While ICT has grown significantly in the past few years, its open culture remained. It creates an environment in which our people feel welcome and supported. All employees are at ease in taking responsibility, we continuously encourage them to develop their talents and skills, trial and error is part of the job. We highly value entrepreneurship and freedom to act, both preconditions to enable our employees to look beyond boundaries, to be innovative pioneers developing ground-breaking solutions, to develop and share knowledge while being able to be who you are.

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights are intrinsically linked to our ethics policy. This is also embedded in our Code of Conduct which explains that, as an employer, we make every effort to create a positive, transparent working environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, intimidation and in which all employees have equal opportunities.

Employee engagement
To ensure a healthy working environment the operational management team and human resource management are in contact on a regular basis. To monitor employee satisfaction the result of the annual employee engagement survey is an important indicator. The 2019 survey, with a response rate of 71% (2018: 68%), showed an overall score of 7.3 (2018: 7.3), indicating that ICT is performing satisfactorily, above our own target of 7. Especially having the opportunity to be part of innovative solutions, the continuous encouragement to learn and develop and the entrepreneurial environment are highly appreciated by our employees. The survey is also very valuable in identifying improvements on more general themes like working proactively on inclusion or gender equality. ICT uses this valuable feedback to remain the employer of choice for our people as well as to increase our attractiveness as an employer for new employees.

Health and safety
Another important indicator linked to employee well-being is absenteeism due to sickness. The absenteeism rate remained low at ICT, coming in at 2.4% in 2019 (2018: 2.6%), below the industry average of around 3%. Vitality and a healthy work-life balance are essential to delivering the best possible performance on a day-to-day basis. Our prevention programme – which includes a health and safety manual – also involves managers and the HR department working together and learning from
every case of absenteeism enabling us to provide a healthy environment. Professional healthcare support is available and covers a wide range of options, from providing healthy snack alternatives, accommodating healthy workstations including adaptable desks to sit and stand at, to individual training and coaching.

Our policies and guidelines regarding health and safety are reviewed every three years. Our dedicated prevention officer ensures that health, safety and environmental policies and guidelines are adhered to throughout the whole ICT organisation. The number of health and safety incidents was again minimal in 2019.

Engagement initiatives
ICT has several engagement initiatives in place, including a Council of 20, a group of young professionals under the age of 30. This group of disruptive thinkers are encouraged to think about new ideas to fuel ICT’s pipeline of innovations. Besides providing valuable input enabling ICT to stay connected to the world of millennials, the Council increases the engagement of these young professionals. The Council meets every quarter and is joined by a selective group of members of the Group Steering Committee. It serves several purposes, from enabling a continuous dialogue to improving knowledge sharing.

Another element in our drive for employee engagement is our Equity Participation Plan for employees. The equity participation plan is open to all ICT employees with a permanent job contract. More than 21% of the employees eligible to join currently participate in the plan (2018: 17%).

Continuous learning and development

As an innovative frontrunner ICT uses the latest technologies and tools, ensuring our employees are equipped with the skills to match. We continuously make significant investments to increase the technological, innovative and personal skills of our employees. Next to encouraging our employees on a daily basis, by providing innovative and challenging projects, we also offer technical and personal training to ensure that our people remain well-equipped for their roles. Ongoing personal development is an integral part of daily working practices and is discussed regularly in employee feedback sessions, making sure we can identify and support individual development needs.

Career development
Our people are our most important asset and ICT wishes to fully facilitate employees in shaping and building their careers. Employees can for example add new specialist technical skills or are provided the opportunity to develop management skills. ICT aims to fill the majority of all management positions through internal promotion, supported by the in-house leadership development programme.

ICT conducts career development evaluations on a yearly basis. To keep track on the employees’ development path during the year, one on one dialogue sessions between the managers and employees are organised every quarter to share feedback.

ICT Academy
To facilitate the individual development of our people, ICT has set up the ICT Academy. The execution of the trainings is entrusted to the specialised training unit Improve Quality Services. The ICT Academy provides a platform for employees to turn to for learning and development. Our people are trained by our own professionals or by carefully selected trainers or institutions. To fully support learning needs, we offer online training facilities in addition to traditional classroom facilities. We offer more than 100 training courses, covering a wide range of knowledge and expertise, from technical skills to leadership skills, as well as access to an array of free e-books. To ensure that teaching material truly provides the information needed, the content is always put together in close consultation with the business.

The ICT Academy initiates and organises a curriculum for managers on leadership skills. Prominent speakers are invited to share their vision on leadership to help inspire our managers and help them reflect on their own leadership style. In 2019, ICT’s professionals followed a total of 28,324 hours training
(2018: 25,751 hours). This translates into an average of 22 hours per professional (2018: 23 hours), slightly below our average aspiration level. This included both internal and external training hours.

Knowledge sharing
ICT highly promotes the exchange of technical knowledge between employees and teams. We develop cross-functional skills by organising interdisciplinary workshops. Creative workshops
are also organised to share knowledge between employees, customers and partners. In 2019 ICT arranged internal workshops and training for employees. One of these initiatives was Dragons’ Den, which was launched in 2017 to stimulate employees to come up with innovative ideas.

Our 66 external events and workshops were also well received by our customers. A new initiative in 2019 was the ICT Developer Day, during which over 100 of our developers were invited to come to Papendal. The day started with an inspirational keynote speaker on trends and innovations in IT and related domains and continued with breakout sessions. These sessions were organised and moderated by ICT colleagues, enabling knowledge sharing between co-workers of ICT Group and all its subsidiaries. The programme allowed plenty availability to discuss the newest innovations and inspirational projects in which developers were involved.

Inclusiveness – Embracing multiculturalism and differences

At ICT we are convinced that diverse views and perspectives add value and are essential to drive innovation. It is a proven fact that diverse teams perform better and deliver better results. Being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce is not only a given, it is part of our strategy to welcome every professional that meets our competence profile, irrespective of gender, age, religion or (ethnic) background. ICT facilitates the realisation of a positive, transparent working environment that is free from discrimination and gives all employees equal access to opportunities.

Despite efforts and ambitions to increase the number of female staff, we are not yet meeting our ambitions when it comes to gender diversity. By the end of 2019 14.1% of total staff were female, an increase compared to 11.4% in 2018. ICT believes that getting women interested in technology and ultimately increasing the future female talent pool, starts in school. This is why ICT supports initiatives which support realising a better gender balance in this field.

Of course, ICT respects gender equality. There is no difference in the base salary and total remuneration between women and men across all employee categories.

In the year under review, ICT continued to broaden its profile in terms of diversity in nationalities, with foreign nationals now accounting for 35% of our total workforce (2018: 24%). ICT employs people from all over the world, representing 25 different nationalities (2018: 29). ICT supports international employees with the relocation and integration process, offering all the help it can, both on the social front and with other more practical day-to-day issues. We also organise culture sessions for international employees and Dutch nationals to create a better reciprocal understanding amongst employees.

The diversity of our workforce is also reflected in the age breakdown of our employees, which was as follows in 2019:

Information on the gender diversity in ICT Group’s Executive and Supervisory Boards can be found in the Report of the Supervisory Board.

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