How ASML Should Retain Its Talent

Max van Veen

Business Developer at intuo

Being at ASML, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-maker equipment, life is pretty great overall. You are in a successful, international company, situated in a rapidly growing market with a lot of potential. But the competition is fierce... So how do you make sure you keep attracting the best talent and retain your best people in this war on talent? It is a question that keeps HR managers at ASML, and every other high-tech firm across Brainport Eindhoven, awake at night.

The Hot Girl In The Bar

Since the beginning of times, highly skilled people with a technical background have been very scarce in the labor market. So for high-tech companies like ASML, losing experienced people with specific product know-how to competitors is extremely costly. And while old-school motivators, such as compensation and growth opportunities, are definitely strong weapons, ASML needs more firepower to retain high-performers.

The average employee tenure in the tech industry is estimated to be only 3 years

Let's not fool ourselves. Working at a profitable, international company where you can work the rest of your life doesn’t cut it anymore for talented whizzkids. In a time where employer branding is hot as hell and vacancies have become way more open and transparent, high-potential people are constantly on the hunt for new job opportunities. This is especially the case in the tech industry, where the average employee tenure is estimated to be only 3 years. And can you blame them? They are in high demand and can work anywhere they want. And when everyone wants you, you become picky. It’s like you’re the hot girl in a bar full of single men, and everyone is trying to buy you a drink.

How To Stand Out From The Crowd

So what are employees looking for? It’s not necessarily a work floor flooded with ping-pong tables and beanbags. The key word is engagement. At ASML, a number of young employees took the initiative to set up a youth society, who meet up regularly for drinks and events to share knowledge across teams and departments but also to create a platform to pitch new ideas to senior management. Initiatives like these show that there is a new generation of employees who emphasize personal development, networking for career paths, and giving feedback to their bosses.

It underlines an important trend in the world of today. Differentiating yourself on talent management is what makes your business REALLY stand out. People want more than just doing their job: they want to be engaged in it. They want to develop a career where they can optimise their work/life balance, be actively coached on their personal strengths and weaknesses, and get regular feedback on their performance. And a new structure is needed to meet these demands.


Enter: the Agile organisation. Yes, written with a capital A, because it’s so damn important. It has already been put into practice by tech giants such as Google and Netflix, but now other multinationals in more conventional sectors, like ING Bank, have started to implement this idea by giving their teams more autonomy and responsibility. An Agile organisation fits in this so-called “New World of Work”, in which the focus lies on creating flexibility and empowering engaged, high-performing employees.

Ready, Set, Action!

ASML has carefully started to pick up on this idea, by launching some initiatives to increase engagement and by mentioning individual development as the main focus area for 2017. Now, it’s time to put those words into action.

In order to guide companies like ASML towards becoming a more Agile organisation, intuo has developed a simple, online tool that stimulates engagement, and makes people more competent and happier at work. At INTUO, we believe in:

  1. Making praises visible to get acknowledged for your efforts
  2. Facilitating 360-degree feedback at regular intervals
  3. Active coaching during the “one-on-ones”, to align expectations of both parties
  4. Visualising personal, team, and organisational goals to show how one’s individual target contributes to the overall business strategy
  5. Encouraging engagement through short, regular pulses, instead of the large, end-of-year (yawn) survey

 This New World of Work is already being implemented at Unilever, while companies like BMW, Essent, and HAYS have already started using our tool to create the Agile organisation. ASML could be next in line to offer futher support to their number one asset: their people.

Are you also looking to retain your talent? Send us an e-mail or plan a demo with one of our talented employees!

Disclaimer: We would like to point out that ASML does not operate with the intuo tools at this moment. We merely want to give a clear overview on how ASML operates, what the benefits are of this approach, and what the challenges are. Challenges that intuo can help to address. We have also noticed that a lot of organisations are finding themselves in a comparable situation. Cases like this might offer a better insight into what the next step can be.