Excellent leadership is one of the foundations of Infineon’s success. It helps us to achieve our operational and strategic goals. That’s why good and strong managers are so important to us. Human Resources promotes and supports them with sophisticated programs and tools.
It is the responsibility of managers to assign their employees the right tasks so that business objectives can be met. It is also important for them to create an attractive work environment and to retain these employees long term. That’s what we here at Infineon call “excellent leadership”.
As a member of the leadership committee, I have the opportunity to contribute to the success of Infineon in America by defining our mission, our vision and our goals for the next fiscal year. This depends on our strategy to communicate clearly and effectively to all our stakeholders. For me, helping to drive this task forward is both a challenge and a thrill.
The leadership culture lived at Infineon makes managers optimally able to support and encourage their employees. Managers have a great responsibility: They lead their employees to success, and for supporting them in their professional development. The HR department advises them and provides them with the tools at its disposal so they can best meet this responsibility.
The managers should clearly communicate to their employees the following three aspects:
The aspect “responsibility” includes the clear clarification of roles, tasks and resources, as well as the behavior in the workplace. At Infineon, we have a corporate culture that is characterized by mutual trust and openness. A good manager is respectful and honest with all their colleagues and allows their employees to reach their potential.
Feedback - the constructive exchange between manager and employee - is clearly in the foreground. To ensure regular, open feedback and honest communication, Infineon has several tools and methods, which are presented below.
The STEPS dialogs between the manager and the employee are held every fall. STEPS stands for “Steps To Employee’s Personal Success.” During an open dialog, manager and employee discuss a feedback form together and fill it out online.
The most critical aspect here is that everyone gets honest feedback. This also includes the question of what development opportunities there are for the employee in the coming months and years. For Infineon, STEPS also means that performance, behavior and development are formulated in a uniform way, and orientated towards our High Performance Behavior Model.
To support managers in formulating and assessing performance objectives, Infineon offers managers in Europe a practical workshop on „what“ and “how”. Here the participants learn how to meaningfully describe, observe and assess specific job goals (the “what”) and especially behavioral objectives (the “how”), based on job descriptions. This year the practical workshop was held in Asia for the first time.
Good feedback is the foundation for successful cooperation. While the “what” goals are usually clear, with the “how” goals it’s much more difficult to formulate them in such a way that they can be observed and measured. That‘s why HR offers support here.
The further development of employees is actively supported – spread out over the whole year – as part of the Infineon People Development Cycle. The STEPS talks are followed by major global conferences where development measures and new career moves are discussed within the management team.
The Development Conferences are held in the spring. The main focus here is on employees with potential – those who are recommended for a switch to an advanced function on the basis of their recent STEPS dialog. These employees are not only offered new opportunities within their own area or location, but also across the entire company. Suitable positions for employees returning from abroad are also evaluated in these rounds of meetings.
Finally, in the Succession Plannings, all the key functions in the company are examined in detail. These are, on the one hand, all the positions at the management level and on the other, individually defined key functions such as that of a location HR manager or senior experts. At the Succession Conferences, discussions are held as to whether there should be a staffing change to a new position and which people might best fit the vacated positions. Succession management is thus a comprehensive approach to systematically identify and develop talent for key roles within the organization. This approach provides Infineon continuity and ensures an effectively functioning organization.
Unlike the STEPS dialog, in the leadership dialog gives managers the opportunity to receive feedback from their team. In these facilitated dialogs every two years, employees tell their line managers how they perceive them in terms of their daily leadership behavior. The constructive feedback provided by their employees gives managers useful pointers showing specific areas in which they can personally further develop and how to better promote and improve their
cooperation with the team.
To successfully navigate today’s rapidly changing business environment, mangers need to have the right leadership qualities. Infineon’s mission is to equip them with innovative skills so they can optimally motivate and lead the workforce of today and tomorrow.
Therefore, the Infineon Leadership Excellence Program (ILEP) provides an ambitious concept that provides the individually-appropriate steps for the development of our managers worldwide, customized to their stage of development.
First, managers are responsible for one team (“Leading Teams”). In their next development step, they lead teams with several managers (“Leading Leaders”). Finally, they are responsible for entire organizational units (“Leading Organizations”). During their careers managers must overcome different challenges, which differ at each level. This development demands the right preparation and continuous guidance. This what ILEP provides.
The individual development programs consist of several modules with action-learning approaches, which fosters ongoing learning through regular real-life application phases, continual self-reflection and support from a coach.
„ILEP 3 – Leading Leaders“ was created to accompany the transition from team leadership to leader leadership. The program was launched in September 2017 in the Americas region. It provides managers with dynamic learning experiences that help them meet the demands of a changing marketplace by creating strategies that translate into tangible results. At the same time, managers need to learn to master strong leadership skills in a matrix organization and to navigate it through organizational change. ILEP 3 is expanding its knowledge and skills in these areas and can reveal hidden potential among managers, thus paving the way for future success.
In addition to the ILEP training, Infineon also offers two internally developed trainings in Asia: LOFTT and LEAD.
While only executives with HR responsibilities are allowed to participate in the ILEP training, LOFTT was specifically designed for shift supervisors. It stands for Leading Others for Today and Tomorrow and has been running for two years. Thanks to the success of this concept, the program is now being rolled out in Mexico.
LEAD stands for Leadership Exploration And Development. This brand new program is aimed at managers with functional responsibilities. While external trainers were used earlier, Infineon’s new concept in Asia now seamlessly and consistently covers all training needs relating to leadership.
The first training was launched in Singapore in August 2017. The program begins with an online self-assessment, followed by two two-day modules each. The four core elements of the LEAD program are: lead yourself, lead teams, communicate with and manage and develop your team. Here, the participants not only acquire theoretical knowledge, but also deepen their knowledge with role-playing, learning partners and group activities with scenarios that reflect their personal experiences.
ILEP, LOFTT and LEAD - all three training programs share the same goal: to give the participants the skills they need to succeed in leading teams efficiently and effectively to become High Performance teams. And to do so in a highly targeted way for Infineon.
In order to keep pace with the dynamic changes in the markets and to be able to act quickly and with agility, Infineon needs an organization with clear roles and responsibilities that is transparent and aligned with the corporate strategy.
Should internal or external circumstances change – as a result of an acquisition or the organic growth of a business unit for instance – the organization must be adjusted accordingly. The optimization of individual business units can only make sense in the context of the overall organization. What is the best way to approach this sensitive and complex topic?
Infineon has globally uniform organizational development methods that can be adapted to different levels of complexity. They make it possible to quickly identify the necessary need for change, to work out holistic solutions and to anchor them sustainably into the organization.
Recognizing and addressing the need for organizational development is a classic management task. Nonetheless, management needs to be supported by methods. The use of uniform methods not only creates a common language, but it also makes it possible to compare organizational challenges and solution approaches from individual areas. On the one hand, this provides the basis for organizational learning and consequently the systematic development of organizational competencies across all levels of management. And on the other hand, holistic organizational solutions are made possible, which consider the context and the consequences and are not aimed at just ‚‘treating the symptoms‘ by rearranging the boxes‘ for example.
The HR department supports the organization in order to optimize its effectiveness and efficiency.
Two methods are used consistently in our organizational development: the Five Star Model and the Seven Step Process.
Organizational development is absolutely necessary for us. On the one hand, we expect very strong growth, especially in the area of electric mobility, and our team is growing accordingly. And on the other, customers in new markets such as California and China are presenting us with completely new challenges. The support of the HR department is extremely helpful for the systematic development of the organization. The methodological approach makes a lot of sense, because it avoids the urge to unilaterally change the structures or only the processes instead it supports a holistic approach. Plus it lets you compare possible solutions objectively. However, the most valuable aspect of this approach, in our case, was that we were able to involve our entire management team right from the start.