Helping our teams thrive

Meet Mark Bergkotte, who believes focusing on employees’ health and well-being is the key to success

3-minute read - , February 14, 2024

This story is part of our 2023 Annual Report. Read the full report.

“Managing expansion in high-stress situations means focusing on your people and their well-being.” 


Mark Bergkotte has worked at ASML for 13 years managing our supply chain and logistics in various roles. As Director Logistics Operations, he oversaw the ramp-up of our logistics to meet increased customer demand in the face of formidable internal and external pressures.

Scaling up logistics under pressure

In 2020, I started a new position with responsibility for delivering materials and tooling into our factories in Veldhoven and shipping finished systems to our customers. This was a time of rapid evolution for my team. ASML was ramping up delivery of new systems, which meant taking on many new employees. And six months after I started, we launched a new logistics setup including new IT systems and much more automation.


All this was happening at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Needless to say, stress levels were really high and, consequently, so were sickness and employee absence. As a logistics organization, we were struggling to meet targets.


Something had to change. There needed to be more focus on the health and well-being of our people. It’s a cliché to say that people are our most important asset, but it’s a cliché because it’s true.

Developing a culture of well-being

The combination of work pressure and external stress from the COVID-19 situation was very difficult for many people. Working with ASML’s health services team, we hired a personal coach to help individuals find ways to switch off at the weekends so that the stress didn’t become too much. This proved so popular that we have continued it through the cost-of-living crisis and other global events. Obviously, we can’t solve external non-work-related events, but we can help our people deal with these in the best possible way.


We also made some organizational changes to put the right people in the right jobs. A key step was creating a new management culture based on ‘servant leaders’, managers who have the empathy to understand what their people need to do their job effectively. I also adapted my own management style to become more visible on the shop floor and set an example of how things should run. For instance, as I really don’t like mess, I would make a point of picking up any rubbish I saw as I walked through the warehouse. As a manager, I may be higher up the organizational structure, but I still need to tidy up!


Focusing on health and well-being is working. Sickness and absentee rates are back to pre-COVID levels, and people are more motivated and engaged in their work. You see that in our employee engagement numbers and, more importantly, the atmosphere in the department. As a result, our KPIs for on-time delivery have improved from 98% to 99.9%.

Building a bright future

Throughout this process, we recruited many new people. We made this growth as painless as possible by decoupling our day-to-day work from the onboarding of new recruits. One team leader was focused exclusively on supporting new hires, and each team was supported by an onboarding coordinator.


We also teamed up with Summa College in Eindhoven to create a new logistics degree-level course – to give back to the institutions that produce new talent and invest in future generations. Students work at ASML for four days a week. On the fifth day, teachers from Summa come to ASML to give lessons and join the students on the shop floor. This gives us a chance to tailor the syllabus to our specific challenges – for example cleanroom logistics.


Students rotate through our various teams every four months. Each team has a designated ‘buddy’ to support and mentor students during their rotation. One of the most rewarding aspects of this initiative is seeing how many of these buddies have enjoyed their mentoring experience so much that they are now stepping up to leadership roles.

This story comes from our 2023 Annual Report which features people at ASML and the impact they are having on the company and society.


Click on one of the people profiles below to read more stories.