Employees forming the “best team” are the foundation of our excellent performance and ensure our long-term success: their skills, commitment and motivation make BASF competitive and fit for the future. This belief is seen in the tangible efforts and resources we put into the development of the employees as well as into company sponsored activities to strengthen the team. As of the end of 2017, BASF in Greater China had a total of 8,982 employees (2016: 8,805).
Finding new talent is essential to BASF’s human resource strategy. By offering a variety of programs for fresh graduates, BASF collaborates with Chinese universities and vocational schools to cultivate the next generation of our talent pool.
The 24-month BASF “Grow” Graduate Program® prepares the talent pipeline at the entry level. Coached by designated mentors, each trainee experiences three to four rotations in three professional areas – business and functions, manufacturing and engineering, and research and development. In 2017, BASF conducted a special series of campus talks. This series reached more than 2,500 students at eight key universities, among other outreach activities in more than 100 universities across Greater China. Additionally, we initiated online campus talks in 2017, engaging with 6,800 students from more than 660 universities both at home and abroad. So far, the program has helped BASF enroll several hundred trainees in China, and many of them are now working at key positions in the company.
The joint apprentice program “ROOTS - Operator” enriches the pool of production operators. Since 2015, we have run the program with Shanghai Petrochemical Academy (SPA), including joint professional training sessions and a twelve-month internship at BASF production sites in Greater China. Many of the participants are already employed at BASF.
BASF jointly runs the practice teaching program for full-time professional Master candidates with Eastern China University of Science & Technology (ECUST). Composed of full-time classroom lectures in the first year and a half-year internship at BASF, the program allows the students to combine theory with practice – especially with a BASF mentor's one-on-one coaching and on-the-job training during the internship.
At BASF, each employee is expected to actively shape his or her own development. To support this, we offer a variety of learning opportunities and career patterns to help employees reach their aspirations.
As a learning organization, BASF provides a wide range of opportunities, from classroom sessions to online courses, for various stages of career development. In 2017, we held courses for units and sites throughout Greater China, targeting at diverse business needs and operational excellence. The Marketplace of Connected Minds (MoCM), a regular regional training program, offered deeper insight into the business in general and facilitated exchange across the region. In 2017, training courses were also extended to the new online platform Micro-learning@BASF to supplement face-to-face learning. In the first six months, the new platform enabled over 1,000 employees to make use of gap time for learning. Jointly hosted by BASF and SPA, an Operator Summer Camp helped the operators at BASF to intensify their job-related knowledge and skills. Since its launch in 2016, 40 operators have completed the program by the end of 2017, covering pumping, distillation, absorption, drying, heat transfer, chemical instruments, process control and chemical process.
Developing leadership excellence is another priority of our employee development strategy. Launched by BASF globally in 2017, a new Leadership Impact Model connects the three fundamental dimensions of strategy, operations and people. Held in both virtual sessions and workshops, the model has been adopted by units throughout BASF in Greater China, coupled with follow-up sessions on self-reflection and feedback.
To diversify the career patterns for its employees, BASF launched a new career track for research and development (R&D) employees in Asia Pacific in 2017. The new R&D Specialist Track aims to recognize contributions and outstanding performance of its specialists, as well as to build up a strong collaborative network for innovation.
BASF strives to meet the needs of its employees at different stages of their career, by tailoring benefits, lifelong learning and development opportunities, an inclusive, safe and collaborative working environment, as well as competitive compensation. In 2017, we further developed this approach by extending awareness throughout the organization.
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP), first launched in Greater China in 2013, offers psychological and emotional support to employees and their families. Employees can call a round-the-clock hotline which is answered by external qualified professionals and treated with strict confidentiality. In 2017, EAP workshops were held at offices and sites around mainland China. In Taiwan, the program also provides employees with personal legal, financial and medical counseling in addition to psychological consultation.
BASF’s Joint Trade Union further contributes to the harmonious and enjoyable working environment of the company. Focusing on culture and education, a variety of activities were held in 2017, such as the launch of a “mobile library”, a poetry society, a young journalist group and a kids’ Christmas party.
For the eighth consecutive year, BASF has been certified as one of China’s Top Employers by the Top Employers Institute, this year ranking third. BASF was also awarded “Employer Excellent China 2017” by 51job.com for the eighth year, and acknowledged in the category of “Excellence in Employee Development Planning”.
For BASF, inclusion of diversity is one of the essential keys to business success and the well-being of its employees. We promote an inclusive culture that embraces the diversity of people, experiences and capabilities, with the aim to boost creativity and motivation, and enhance the teams’ performance.
All employees are offered equal opportunities at BASF regardless of gender, race and age. In 2017, the largest proportion (61.3%) of employees at BASF in Greater China was in the 26-39 year-old range (2016: 62.2%).
Compliance with national laws and the core labor standards of the International Labor Organization forms the basis of BASF’s operations around the world and in Greater China. Commitment to the highest standards of legal compliance and business ethics runs deeply through the entire organization. To this end, our globally standardized Code of Conduct summarizes important laws and corporate policies that govern the behavior of all BASF employees in their dealings with business partners, officials, colleagues and society. The Code of Conduct is supplemented by further internal guidelines such as the Asia Pacific Gifts & Entertainment Guidelines of BASF.
At a global level, BASF’s Chief Compliance Officer reports directly to the Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors and manages the further development of its global compliance organization and its Compliance Management System. He is supported in this task by more than 100 compliance officers worldwide in the regions and countries, including Greater China, as well as in the divisions. All employees are required within a prescribed time frame to take part in basic compliance training, refresher courses and special tutorials.
In 2017, BASF held a special series of more than 50 live compliance training sessions in Mainland China, including initial compliance training for new BASF employees, comprehensive compliance sessions and tailor-made anti-trust workshops. Those training efforts, in addition to mandatory electronic training sessions, covered more than 2,700 employees in Greater China. Legal and compliance team in Greater China was invited by business partners of BASF to share more information about BASF’s well-established compliance program.
BASF particularly encourages its employees to actively and promptly seek guidance if in doubt. For this, they can consult their managers, dedicated specialist departments, and company compliance officers. BASF has also set up external compliance hotlines worldwide, including in Greater China, which employees can use – also anonymously – to report suspected or actual violations of laws or company guidelines. All hotlines are also open to the public. Each report is documented according to specific criteria, properly investigated in line with standard internal procedures and addressed as quickly as possible. The outcome of the investigation as well as any measures taken are documented accordingly and included in internal reports. Several cases have been investigated in Greater China in 2017, some of which resulted in additional control measures and other consequences.
BASF’s Corporate Audit department monitors adherence to compliance principles, covering various areas in which compliance violations could occur. Overall, the audits confirmed the effectiveness of the compliance management system both in Greater China and around the world.
BASF’s business partners in sales are monitored for potential compliance risks based on the Guideline on Business Partner Due Diligence, which has been in effect since 2015, using a checklist, a questionnaire and an internet-based analysis. A dedicated global Supplier Code of Conduct applies to its suppliers.
For more information on the BASF Code of Conduct, please visit basf.com/code_of_conduct.