ICT’s success is highly dependent on the people working within the company. It is the people that make the difference at our customers. The ability to attract and retain the right people is a key driver of growth. ICT is an attractive employer that invests in its people and encourages entrepreneurship. ICT continuously develops and implements initiatives to reinforce this strategy. ICT’s HR development strategy is aimed at helping our people to bring out the best in themselves. The key goal of this strategy is to create an environment in which our people can discover their passion and their strengths. With this knowledge, we can define goals and help our employees to reach these goals. Making people proud of themselves and of the company they work for.
ICT is firmly convinced of the importance of having an appealing and recognisable profile as an employer. ICT’s core values are instrumental in this, as they embody ICT’s identity as an employer. This well-defined identity makes clear what ICT has to offer its (future) employees. Entrepreneurship, freedom to act, passion for customers, expertise, innovation and, of course, technological challenges are all part of the ICT identity.
ICT’s strategy is clearly aimed at growth and moving up in the value chain. This makes our ability to attract new people vital for the company’s future. In the past year, ICT successfully hired more than 150 new ICT colleagues. Of the new people ICT attracted last year, around 40% were young professionals, around 40% were medior level professionals and around 20% were more experienced seniors.
ICT’s online presence played a key role in this success. Last year, we launched a new branding campaign aimed at potential new employees. On top of this, a series of short films, animations and photographs of various interesting ICT projects, spread through the ICT website and our YouTube channel, clearly helped us to reach our target group. ICT works with several high schools to create more awareness and appetite for technical education. We also cooperate with various universities. As part of this cooperation, ICT offers a number of interesting assignments for graduates, as we see this as a useful way to attract the best students for jobs at ICT once they graduate. As in recent years, our latest new hires once again included a large number of different nationalities. ICT is keenly aware of the added value the diversity offered by these different nationalities gives us. A diverse workforce offers different ways of approaching challenges and provides new insights for both the company and its customers.
The total number of employees in FTE’s at year-end 2016 was 919, 20% higher than at year-end 2015. This was due to acquisitions and increased recruitment efforts. The 12% attrition rate was at an acceptable level, given the “battle for talent”. But we will be devoting even more attention to talent retention in the future. Based on the insights and experience we have gained from exit interviews with former colleagues, ICT has identified a number of ways it can improve and add value as an excellent place to work. Based on this experience, we have launched a special retention programme.
Learning and development
Professional Leadership programme
In this fast changing world, it is important for everyone to be able to adapt to continuous changes. We therefore see it as very important that ICT employees are equipped for these changes and adaptations. ICT challenges its people to perform to the very best of their ability and seize the opportunities ICT has to offer. We encourage our employees to develop talents and skills in a Professional Leadership programme. Progress on personal development is an integral part of daily working practices and is discussed regularly in employee feedback sessions, so we can identify individual development needs. ICT invests a great deal in technical trainings for our professionals. For us to stay at the forefront in our industry, our employees need to be fully up to date on the latest technologies and tools. ICT also aims to promote the exchange of technical knowledge between employees and teams and to develop cross-functional skills by organising interdisciplinary workshops.
These development programmes help employees to shape and build their careers. Employees can develop in terms of technical skills, in other words to specialise further, but we also give them the opportunity to develop their skills for management roles. Our aim is that our leadership development programme supplies around 70% of all management positions.
As ICT regards training as one of the most important drivers of its success, the company has set up its own ICT Academy. Employees are trained by our own professionals or by selected trainers or institutions. To fully support the need for learning, in addition to traditional classroom training facilities, ICT also offers online training facilities. There are more than 100 online training courses available, for instance on technical skills but also on leadership and a wide range of free downloadable books. And last but not least, ICT offers several “learning on the job” training programmes. All employees have a personal training budget, for training, books and development kits. We have developed and operate our academy in close collaboration with our specialised training unit, Improve Quality Services B.V.
As a result of our prevention programme, the absenteeism rate at ICT was low at 2% in 2016. This was lower than the average absenteeism rate of around 3% in the countries in which we operate. Maximum vitality is essential to deliver the best possible performance on a day to day basis. This is why ICT has a prevention programme in place; managers and the HR department work together to help employees by learning from every case of absenteeism, so we can help our employees to stay healthy. Professional healthcare support is available and covers a wide range of issues, from psychological help to RSI complaints and more.
ICT employs people from all over the world, covering some 23 different nationalities. They join us from all the continents in the world, from countries ranging from China to neighbouring Germany. ICT supports these international employees in the integration process and offers all the help it can on the social front and with other more practical day-to-day issues. ICT is keen to increase the proportion of female employees. We are making a concerted effort to increase the number of female students in technical studies, which should ultimately be reflected in a more balanced proportion of male/female professionals in this field. It is worth noting that the growth in the number of female professionals is particularly marked among our new international colleagues.
Embedding the entrepreneurial spirit
In 2016, ICT completed the change of its organisational structure from verticals into business units to better align the organisation with ICT’s business approach. This also boosted ICT’s culture, as entrepreneurship has now been more deeply rooted in the business units.
Council of 20
In 2015, ICT installed a “Council of 20”, a group of young professionals under the age of 30. This group of disruptive thinkers has been given the task of coming up with new ideas to fuel ICT’s pipeline of innovations. This increases the engagement and job satisfaction of these young professionals, while at the same time helping ICT to stay connected to the world of the millennials.
Equity Participation Plan for employees
Another element in our engagement drive is ICT’s Equity Participation Plan for employees, as this increases involvement and engagement by making employees owners of the company. The equity participation plan is open to all ICT employees with a permanent job contract. Once per calendar year, employees are given the opportunity to purchase ICT shares at a 13.5% discount on the stock exchange price. The shares have a lock-up period of three years. ICT employees were able to participate in this programme for the first time in 2015. More than 20 % of the employees eligible to join have already participated in the plan.
In 2016 we conducted an employee satisfaction survey. We saw improvements compared to the outcome of the 2014 survey. We had a high response rate of almost 80%. We have recorded improvements across the board on all topics, ranging from working atmosphere and team spirit to remuneration. Remarkable improvements were seen in the job enjoyment, using your talent and appreciation fronts. The survey also revealed that there are still areas that offer room for improvement. ICT uses this valuable input to increase its attractiveness as an employer.