DSM Integrated Annual Report 2020

Preparing the future People & Organization strategy

Over the past few years, we have demonstrated a strong focus on performance in line with our strategy. At the same time, a series of internal and external forces, trends and themes have emerged, requiring new approaches from a People & Organization (P&O) perspective. In early 2020, we began designing a new P&O strategy with input from across our organization.

Launched in the fourth quarter of 2020, the new P&O strategy will guide the focus of our P&O function in the coming years, define the investments in people by the Executive Committee, and help steer the company toward a better employee experience.

The evolution of our business, the profound changes brought about by the pandemic, and a renewed leadership with changes in DSM’s Co-CEOs and Executive Committee have largely influenced the path forward for our P&O strategy.

Building on the People dimension of Triple P

Building on many of the elements and foundations of our previous strategy, the new strategy will involve a renewed focus on ‘People’ — a focus that is at least as strong as that for ‘Profit’ and ‘Planet’.

Four focus areas, anchored in DSM’s Culture Compass

The new strategy has our Culture Compass at its center and aims to enhance our approach to Organization, People, Workplace and Leadership, enabled by the right rewards.

Four focus areas (graphic)

Creating a flotilla-style organization

The pace and depth of change we are faced with requires us to create a flotilla-style organization, with critical direction coming from the center, surrounded by agile units who are empowered to achieve our common goals. We aim to fuel our talent pool in equally agile ways, through a more liquid workforce that replaces an exclusive direct employment model.

Empowering our people

In a world characterized by high-pace change, digitalization, and business transformation, we aim to provide a personalized and empowering environment for all our people to take ownership of their performance, development and careers while continuing to develop sustainable high impact as individuals.

To this end, in 2020 we introduced, among other initiatives, a new software platform offering a new and improved talent experience for our people. By leveraging artificial intelligence technology, it facilitates the exchange of talents internally and externally.

The chosen platform supports our forward-looking approach to recruitment and career planning. It places greater emphasis on current skills, rather than past education or experience, and mitigates the impact of unconscious bias, enabling the complete masking of profiles.

Based on the learnings of a pilot involving 2,600 employees in four countries in the second half of 2020, we plan on further refining our approach to be able to expand our efforts and geographical scope in 2021.

Creating a contemporary workplace

The 2020 pandemic has led us to reevaluate our understanding on work and the workplace, and led us to design a future vision of a more contemporary workplace, with an inclusive environment where diversity thrives.

In 2020, we installed a dedicated, cross-functional global taskforce to develop directional guidance for our post-pandemic work practices, which resulted in a commitment to a ‘Next Normal’ built on the concept of the Hybrid Workplace.

The Hybrid Workplace capitalizes on the benefits of working from a mix of home, offices, and other workspaces — while respecting local rules and regulations that may affect certain employees. Our teams will define their own working arrangement based on their collective tasks, and personal situations, in collaboration with line management. We also ask our people to think more responsibly about when and why they travel, so that they can champion sustainability.

To ensure we get the best from this balance, and that everyone feels included and able to make an impact, we will launch new working ‘Rituals’ in 2021. These will be accompanied by regional policies to optimize local implementation, along with other initiatives to create a more modern and inclusive workplace.

Resetting the context for leadership

The new context and way of working we aspire to demand that we develop our leaders as coaches who create the inspiring, empowering and inclusive environment needed for our people and our business to grow and to be successful. In 2020, we began developing a ‘Leading through Culture’ program for all DSM people managers, helping our leaders to develop a deeper understanding of how culture is brought to life, team by team. The program will be further developed and rolled out in 2021.

Enabling our focus areas with modern, flexible rewards

We aim to change the way we reward our people to best reflect and enable our key strategic pillars. More flexible reward systems are needed to meet the diverse challenges and needs of our people and businesses. In 2020, we launched a new Recognition Framework that supports our people with a range of tools to recognize and emphasize key behaviors and accomplishments.