The learning and development industry is booming and HR teams everywhere are leveraging technology to reskill and upskill their workforce.
Therefore, it is hardly surprising that French-headquartered engineering software company Dassault Systèmes is so focused on L&D.
Aneta Jajkowska, senior director of people at Dassault Systèmes for the nine countries in the EuroNorth region, explains “the aim is to enable the organization to achieve our objectives by engaging and empowering our teams”.
Jajkowska adds: “We want to build an inclusive learning culture where everyone can grow and develop with the business, take on new challenges that inspire them, and deliver for our customers, partners, and societies.”
Therefore, the company invests in “building for the future” by supporting staff to continue focusing on their career aspirations.
To do this, Dassault Systèmes relies on HR tech apps like MyJourney, as well as its own 3DEXPERIENCE platform, which is also its core offering to clients.
Jajkowska explains: “We launched the MyJourney app where each employee can share their career aspirations, check tested career paths and look at the transferable skills they have.”
“This is also an opportunity to discuss with managers areas of development or projects of interest,” adds Jajkowska.
The pandemic and Dassault Systèmes
Dassault Systèmes’s 3DEXPERIENCE platform came to the fore in the pandemic. Not only did it allow the company to seamlessly continue its focus on learning and development, but it was also invaluable when the firm successfully shifting to remote working.
Jajkowska explains: “As the world drew to a halt, we had to closely analyze what the pandemic meant for our businesses, and the actions we needed to take to adopt to the fast-changing conditions.”
This was particularly problematic as Dassault Systèmes’ almost 20,000 employees are distributed across the world.
However, “as a digital first company, we already had the right tools in place…to quickly pivot to remote working”. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform allowed Dassault Systèmes’ employees to have immediate access to tools that allowed them to continue collaborating with their teams.
Therefore, Dassault Systèmes did not need to “to bring in any external tools or resources” to help with the shift.
This also allowed the company to make its events “virtual overnight and change our learning curriculum so it was all accessible online”.
For example, Jajkowska notes, the company organized an employee wellbeing week and leadership development days — and local office communities put on localized fun events that helped to keep employees connected to their colleagues.
In fact, making these events virtual, which meant employees didn’t need to travel to attend, provided a chance for them to focus on their learning; many of them used the time to obtain certifications and qualifications in hyper-specialized areas and then applied that new learning at work.
According to Jajkowska, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has become the “foundation” of how employees work – it helps to keep them informed about the goings on, and particularly around the reopening of offices and working spaces.
“I believe our appreciation for what our internal tools can deliver only grew over the past 12 months.”
The future of work
Despite the successes over the past year, Jajkowska says Dassault Systèmes will not adopt a fully remote working model. “We certainly miss seeing our colleagues, we definitely miss the energy and vibe of meetings in our offices with our customers and partners,” she explains.
“After a year of working from home, there are times when we think we need to rekindle, reconnect, and reenergize [as a team],” Jajkowska explains. “There is only so much that can be replicated in a virtual environment.”
It seems like a hybrid model – one that has been thought about carefully in order to avoid losing “what makes this company special” and balances the benefits of both in-office and remote working – is the way to go.
Much of Dassault Systèmes’ future of work strategy leans on HR technology. The company is leveraging some of the customer-facing products in its 3DEXPERIENCE platform; Jajkowska gives the example of the DELMIA workforce planner, which has helped the company “manage the return to offices in a safe and phased manner”.
It allows employees to easily log the days when they want to be in the office – thereby enabling mangers to have visibility and “effectively manage clashes or overcrowding”.
In addition, it is clear that the company’s final hybrid model will have sustainability at its heart. This is not surprising given its 3DEXPERIENCE platform builds virtual models or universes for companies across a range of industries ranging from manufacturing to science and healthcare to help them ensure their future innovations are sustainability.
Jajkowska explains that in 2020, the company committed to the Science-based Target Initiative to reduce its greenhouse gases.
“This will help us to form the way forward in how we design and develop, travel, use our facilities and what the future of work will look like for us,” she concludes.