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Training remains key during COVID-19

Sep 01, 2020
5 min read
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Selma Metin, Learning Solutions Leader - Middle East & Africa, Global Human Resources, Schneider Electric spoke to Julian Walker about the importance of investing in training

What is Schneider Electric doing in the training space?

As Schneider Electric we do provide the safe environment to our employees to have access to learning anytime. We #LearnEveryDay in the flow of life and work because we believe in the power of life-long learning to continuously innovate for our customers, keeping us ahead of the game, individually and collectively. We take ownership for our learning. We are curious and we never stop learning.

Access to learning is available anywhere, anytime and for everyone, just a couple of clicks away and placing the ownership of career development at the fingertips of our employees. We are strongly focused on digital, future skills and learning in the flow of work and life. Whilst digital content has been a key component of our learning ambition and philosophy, the pandemic has provided the opportunity to open our minds, think differently and widen our horizons, the virtual learning environment being the new normal, now accepting that a 45 minute burst of content each day on diverse topics is critical for engagement, motivation and underpinning lifelong learning.

What is the value of ongoing education?

A future of rapid digitisation and automation makes upskilling more and more important every day. Keeping people’s skills in sync with the constantly changing world of work is the biggest talent challenge of our time. To meet this challenge, at Schneider, we need to constantly upskill our employees.

Learning is crucial for keeping us ahead of the game. Knowledge is power – the more employees know and the more they can do, the more they can contribute to the organization. It is also more cost effective as investing in the development of employees is less expensive than rehiring and retraining new employees.

We recognise the value of development and if we stop learning we stop growing, so it’s written into our core values, Learn Every Day, reinforcing our belief in lifelong learning. Through this value we have empowered our employees to develop their careers within Schneider Electric whilst being a key driver for potential new hires to the business.

How important is training and development to retain staff?

Investing in learning and development not only increases employee satisfaction, but also improve their expertise. It can arm them with the information they need to position themselves as leaders, becoming more invested in their skills and more likely to progress within the company.

The key indicator to track progress in this direction is the percentage of employees who express their satisfaction via the learning driver in the OneVoice employee survey in response to the question ‘I can learn and grow personally and professionally at Schneider’. In addition, the Group also focuses on tracking the learning of its ‘worker’ population as part of the Schneider Sustainability Impact.

To accompany the immense shift that digital provokes in all parts of the organization, Schneider Electric has an upskilling program called Digital Citizenship. Mostly based on a combination of the digital acumen library, a French start-up called Coorp Academy and self-developed videos and digital mindset assessments, the Digital Citizenship program enables employees to progress in either awareness on digital topics like blockchain or big data, up to being certified on agile scrum mastering or deep technical knowledge.

 How much are you investing in training?

Learning at Schneider Electric has evolved from traditional classroom training and tracking the number of learning hours to ‘Learn Every Day’ as one of five core values in the people vision of the organization. The learning transformation journey continues with a focus on digital learning, driving partnerships with the business and our learners, fostering a learning culture where people learn for today and tomorrow.

The Bersin by Deloitte infographics on the Modern Learner (2018) show that the half-life of a skill today is between 3.5 and 5 years. Because Schneider Electric wants to achieve its business goals and stand out from the competition, it must invest in its people and prepare them for the future with the right set of skills, at the speed of change. The innovations conducted in the past three years in digital learning are solid steps in that direction.

My LearningLink, Schneider’s global learning platform which integrates e-learning, webinars, social learning, classroom learning, assessments and full certification paths. More than 41,000 employees visit My LearningLink every month. In November 2019, a learner survey answered by 1,200 employees revealed a satisfaction of 4.2 out of 5 for the learning experience at Schneider overall.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted training? Are you looking to more digital ways of training?

Our employees embraced more and more digital learning during COVID-19, compared to last year our digital learning hours have been doubled. Many courses and modules have been adapted to digital to ensure we can all continue to #LearnEveryDay to ensure continuity of upskill activities. Currently, 73 per cent of the total learning consumption is digital and average learning hours have increased +2 hours compared to last year.

This interview first appeared in the August issue of Pipeline Magazine

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