Interview withBASF The Netherlands Freek Bosse
Head of Human Resources
Products in this case
- HR Management
Case in short
BASF is drawing up uniform HR processes for all its Dutch sites and digitizing them together with Raet. The pay slips and the leave applications are already digital and the next phase will see BASF introducing Flex Benefits to give its employees the freedom to make their own choices.
Uniformity of processes, freedom in the choice of terms of employment
Enabling all Dutch sites, with their own individual cultures and processes, to arrange their HR affairs in the same uniform way. That was Freek Bosse's challenge when he started work as the Head of HR for BASF in the Netherlands in late 2013. The worldwide chemicals company works to a ‘One Company’ strategy where transparency and uniformity are key. “Formerly, every site used to work in its own way,” says Freek Bosse. “For example, there were seven different ways in which the gross allowance could be shown on a salary slip. This is rather inconvenient and it also takes too much time if you just wish to print one management report.”
“We are standardizing HR processes to make it easier for employees to make their own choices.”
Besides bringing uniformity to its HR processes, BASF is working together with Raet to achieve a flexible package of terms of employment for employees to choose from. Freek Bosse: “I believe that employees should be able to make their own choices. Employees in different stages of their lives have different needs. One employee values extra pension, whereas another employee might actually want to go on parental leave. We were looking for a solution that caters to all those different needs.”
All HR processes arranged through one location
Currently, BASF is drawing up uniform HR processes for all sites and digitizing them. Freek Bosse: “Our employees now get digital wage slips and they maintain their leave records in the Raet system. The next phase is to go live with Flex Benefits: every employee will then be able to choose a range of flexible terms of employment.”
“The good thing about Raet software is that we can now arrange all our HR processes through one location.”
“The good thing about Raet software is that we can arrange all our HR processes through one location. Our managers and other internal customers want to have figures such as the headcount, absenteeism, staffing costs and capacity utilization at their disposal as soon as possible. Now that we are working from one system and in a uniform manner, we can report such figures much faster and much more easily. This blends in beautifully with my view of HR: I believe in ‘HR as a service’, where we support our business with the right services and information.”
Efficiency improvement and being an attractive employer
Uniform processes will also improve BASF's efficiency, says Freek Bosse. “We only file one wage tax return now, instead of filling in seven different ones. Leave is applied for in one system and the linkage with our financial accounts is much smoother.” This has enabled BASF to spend more time on the real HR work: employee and talent development, performance management, mobility and sustainable employability.
“Raet helps us offer flexible terms of employment, enabling us to attract the best people.”
The introduction of Flex Benefits will help BASF to remain an attractive employer in the future, thinks Freek Bosse. “Flexible terms of employment really match the spirit of this time in which employees find themselves even more in control of their own careers. An ageing workforce will also have a big impact on our company. But flexible terms of employment are good for how your organization is perceived in the labor market. To continue to lead the way in innovation, we will have to attract new talent over the next few years. If employees get more freedom to choose, this will improve their commitment to the company. And eventually that will benefit their performance.”
BASF develops, produces and sells raw materials ranging from chemicals, plastics, refining products, pesticides, and fine chemicals, to oil and gas. BASF employs around 112,000 employees worldwide at more than 376 production sites. BASF Nederland consists of seven locations in the Netherlands.