Apr 18, 2019  Stamford, CT

How to prepare a company for the future

Henkel starts worldwide digital upskilling initiative


Henkel has launched a digital upskilling initiative for employees around the world

Meeting the challenging demands that digitalization poses on the workforce, Henkel has launched a digital upskilling initiative for its 53,000 employees around the world. The company is currently analyzing the status quo by assessing the digital knowledge of its people. This serves as the basis for new digital training offers that will clearly target future business needs.

“In an increasingly challenging and volatile environment, we need to stay ahead of the game. Digitalization has a huge impact on our work environment,” said Sylvie Nicol, Corporate Senior Vice President Global Human Resources. “We need to know where our organization stands, in order to systematically advance the skills of our employees. That’s why we joined forces with our Chief Digital Officer and his team to drive this company-wide initiative, which will significantly support the e-transformation of our organization.”

“Digital transformation offers us the opportunity to strengthen and extend our global business. This can only be fully leveraged when the whole organization has the right mindset and knowledge to drive this together,” said Dr. Rahmyn Kress, Chief Digital Officer (CDO) of Henkel and founder of Henkel X.

How to upskill people around the world

Henkel has introduced a new approach by launching a global, company-wide digital upskilling initiative. The first step is a profound analysis of the status quo. Based on anonymous online self-assessments, Henkel is evaluating the employees’ digital skills. These comprise tests on general knowledge in a playful way (“Digital BaseFit”) as well as an advanced review of experts’ skills targeted to specific job roles (“Digital ExpertFit”). The results help Henkel to understand how digitally savvy the employees are and what kind of trainings they need.

The Digital BaseFit has been developed together with H-Farm, the innovation hub which created maize.PLUS, an innovative online learning experience that is designed to help professionals develop an innovation-driven mindset. The personalized assessment and learning provided explore technology, consumer trends, new ways of work, and other relevant business topics.

For the Digital ExpertFit, Henkel teamed up with the leading global professional services company Accenture and developed a digital capability framework for each “job family” (e.g. Marketing, Sales, IT or HR), which will serve as a future-oriented industry standard. In the development, Human Resources joint forces with the CDO and its team, Business and Functional leaders. Each employee group will complete an anonymous online self-assessment. Based on the results, Henkel will develop tailored training recommendations, matching the “ideal future skill set-up” captured in the framework. Trainings will focus on aspects such as analytics, eCommerce or sourcing the future work force.

Tailor-made, personalized learning platform

The specific trainings for digital skills and knowledge are offered on a new learning platform, that has been launched to support all employees on their digital learning journey. It has been developed together with Cornerstone, a leader in cloud-based Talent Management software. Employees will benefit from the intuitive platform, which offers engaging learning experiences and truly personalized content. This encourages constant upskilling and learning on-demand, while perfectly responding to the users’ individual needs.

“In this transformation process, our people are key. We want to ensure that they have the digital skills and knowledge that is needed – now and in the future,” said Sylvie Nicol. “Driving such a change is a challenge, as we have a highly diverse global team of over 50,000 individuals with many different backgrounds and job profiles. This change will not happen overnight but is a journey that will last three to five years.”

Henkel has launched a digital upskilling initiative for its 53,000 employees around the world to meet the challenges that digitalization poses for the workforce.