People & Leadership

New STEPS and Leadership Principles: A summary

The publication of the Infineon Leadership Principles in April 2019 and the revision of the philosophy and corresponding adaptation of our target and performance management process "STEPS" in September 2018 were decisive steps on the way to modern, employee-oriented people development.

Infineon's global STEPS process ("Steps To Employee's Personal Success") provides managers and employees with a framework for orientation and action: Goals, expected behaviors and development steps are agreed on and the employees' goal achievements and performances are discussed in an ongoing, open dialog between manager and employee.

A new aspect (both in terms of the process and in actual practice) is that it is now not solely the responsibility of the manager to define goals, document the next possible career steps or to propose development measures. The rigorously implemented new STEPS philosophy places the focus on the employee's ownership and responsibility: Among other things employees can define their own goals and can make their own suggestions for a next career step as part of the "Career Projection". This strengthens the abilities of the manager to coach and empower.

Every career is individual

Today, two STEPS cycles and three Career Projection cycles later, we see how well the new philosophy is being accepted and lived out. In the meantime, many employees have filled out at least one Career Projection for themselves over the years and are working together with their managers to realize their next development steps. We are completely convinced that a career may take any of a wide range of possible turns: The 'horizontal' step upwards, a step 'to the side', i.e. a lateral or horizontal development for example in another specialty area, the expansion of the employee's own areas of responsibility (Enrichment) or a reduction in the employee's scope of responsibility. This is an example of two additional components in the STEPS philosophy: clarity and future-orientation. The employee and the manager are motivated to approach the joint dialog openly and with transparence, resulting in clarity on roles and mutual expectations. Planning a career with a target time-frame from one to three years allows rigorous future-orientation.

Success comes from good and clear leadership

Infineon's leaders continue to take on a central and increasingly demanding position within the company. We are entirely convinced that success is the result of good, clear leadership behavior. In April 2019, Infineon published the Infineon Leadership Principles, a transparent, behavior-oriented framework for its managers. The Principles supplement the High Performance Behavior Model and use eight dimensions to answer the question of how our managers can shape and live out their roles.

The Leadership Principles have been integrated as a reference framework in established formats. Thus for example the Principles are an addition to the regularly occurring Leadership Dialog between employees and managers. The Leadership Dialog is a continuous instrument for feedback between the team and the manager. The two sides share observations and future expectations based on the eight dimensions of the Leadership Principles, including among others the desire for exemplary behavior, defining motivating goals, focusing on and specifically promoting team success and understanding trust, integrity and consistent behavior as a foundation for working together.

We are experiencing how the exchange along specifically defined dimensions has a highly focused and thus very valuable effect on the teams. We will integrate the Leadership Principles in additional formats in the fiscal years to come.

In summary, it can be said that the various frameworks and processes implemented by Infineon in recent years have successfully impacted the development of the employees and managers, and have thus had a positive influence on ensuring the success and future viability of the organization.

Our management training reflects the Infineon Leadership Principles

Excellent leadership is one of the pillars of Infineon’s success. One paramount success factor is the fact that our managers receive solid training on all levels and in all career tracks and are also able to strengthen and further develop their Leadership skills and competencies.

In 2020 we put together a comprehensive range of management trainings aimed at facilitating the proper application of leadership abilities. Many different management training programs are available for every career track, accompanying our managers throughout all their career levels.

Our training landscape consists of leadership and management trainings that includes integrated forms of learning such as face to face formats, peer consulting and virtual training formats going well beyond in-person training sessions. We benefited from the investments made in our virtual learning infrastructure as a part of the HR 'connect' project, making it possible to integrate virtual formats like LinkedIn Learning and WebEx Training Center in management training.

Career opportunities at Infineon

Attractive possibilities in a dynamic environment

External trend studies confirm the fact that employs want more empowerment when it comes to shaping their own career paths. Self-determination and control play a major role here, as does the possibility of continuing further development above and beyond career tracks. Based on such findings and the experience gained in the context of HR 'connect', we will make our career landscape more attractive as part of a company-wide project, and also in the context of our defined strategic focus areas for the upcoming years. In the project we use a holistic approach to apply concepts, processes and instruments relating to all aspects of career paths at Infineon. The objective is to provide employees with transparent, equally valuable and attractive career paths. These career tracks are supported by scalable processes as well as user-friendly instruments.

An attractive and effectively administered career landscape is a crucial milestone for our success with regard to our continuing growth and the achievement of our strategic goals.

A career example: The road from Business Psychology studies to a leadership position in the "Intelligent Power Modules" product line at Infineon

Julia Halasz has already had extensive experience in the area of M&A during her career. She began to build the Infineon M&A department in 2016. Since March 2020 Julia Halasz has been the head of the product line "Intelligent Power Modules".

If someone had told me at university that one day I would be a product line head in a semiconductor company, I could have never imagined something like that would actually happen.
It took a little while before I was able to take leave of the M&A field. I had recently accompanied the Cypress acquisition all the way to Closing. My time in M&A taught me what it means to be a good entrepreneur and to understand what a company needs in order to be successful. This knowledge and the experience I gained now make it possible for me to take on business responsibility for a product line.
I can encourage everyone to take that step into the unknown, to have the courage to jump into the deep end without knowing for sure what's in store for you, whether or not you'll succeed. Infineon has a very strong network and I can count on many people and mentors who support me and give me the help I need. What I particularly appreciate about Infineon is the openness and confidence placed in the ability of those changing careers to tackle something outside their area of specialization and to let them grow in their roles.

Julia Halasz VP & Product Line Head IPM

We are ready for the Digital Transformation

We are convinced that the Digital Transformation will also have a decisive impact on HR.

In order to jointly prepare all HR employees for this transformation, we have developed a multi-stage training concept for acquiring digital skills and knowledge. The concept is rolled out in different waves on a global basis. The training spectrum addresses content which is specifically relevant to the requirements placed on HR in an increasingly digital working world. The varied functions and assignments of our HR employees call for different levels of expertise. Correspondingly, we have defined various qualification levels, ranging from conveying basic knowledge on a topic all the way to qualification as an expert. The primarily digital learning formats offer our HR employees a maximum of flexibility and make it possible for them to continue their training and development wherever and whenever they would like.

Experience for the entire organization

The Digital Transformation has an impact and changes all of areas of our company. Accordingly, the demand for digital skills is increasing throughout the entire organization, skills which have to be properly developed and promoted. Based on the multi-stage training concept it was possible to test a method in HR for bringing digital skills and expertise to the organization. At the same time the experience gained indicates that, for a variety of reasons, this kind of approach cannot be transferred to the company as a whole. We have therefore launched the development of a "Basic Digital Skills" learning program. We have conducted research on the most important digital skills and compared them with the requirements at Infineon as the basis for offering our employees a spectrum of online trainings ultimately covering every area of expertise. The "Basic Digital Skills" learning program currently functions as a collection of various LinkedIn Learning courses relating primarily to interdisciplinary "Soft Skills". In the future, the program is to be expanded in collaboration with the functions to include function-specific trainings for conveying digital skills.

Reshaping Equity @Infineon

Employee stock programs are an attractive instrument in variable compensation and also have a positive effect on employee loyalty. We at Infineon have offered a stock-based Performance Share Plan (PSP) since 2013 in order to win over employees for key positions and provide them with a long-term share in the company.

This year we reviewed our stock program and have realigned it towards the markets that are important for us. The modifications were made on a worldwide basis due to changes in German regulatory requirements placed on the Management Board and due to the integration of Cypress. The new stock program is now a compensation element reflecting performance, an orientation towards capital markets and incentives for sustainable growth. It is linked to objectives with long-term relevance as well as to employee loyalty.

The result is a two stock programs which will be offered in the future in most countries.

We offer the Performance Share Plan (PSP) as a worldwide and competitive standard for long-term compensation, which renders Infineon even more comparable with our direct competitors than in the past. The allocation conditions are tied to our essential performance objectives (Total Shareholder Return and Environment, Social & Governance – here in particular Diversity and CO2 targets). These goals apply to all managers at Infineon worldwide.

In addition, a time-based stock plan (Restricted Stock Unit Plan) is being introduced and is available to a larger employee group. This plan orients our efforts closely to locally prevalent compensation models, especially in important markets like the USA, in order to win over and retain important talents.