Learning and development is not just a nice to have for French multinational retail giant Carrefour – it is a business necessity.
Speaking exclusively with UNLEASH, Zoe Grandon, group HR transformation manager at the French retailer, shares: “We understand that our people are our greatest asset, and nurturing their growth is not only a commitment, but a strategic imperative.”
There is a need to ensure Carrefour’s more than 320,000 employees across 30 countries have “the chance not just find a job but build a lifelong career”, and “climb the ladder of success”.
In turn, this learning and growth agenda drives business outcomes for the retail giant.
“Empowering our people with continuous learning ensures they remain agile”, but also drives efficiency and innovation, and means Carrefour can “ultimately better serve our customers”, adds Grandon.
Bridging the digital divide at Carrefour
The retail giant is very aware that its frontline employees working in its more than 12,000 stores worldwide are the “face of Carrefour, interacting directly with customers”.
However, given the “rapidly evolving retail landscape” – Carrefour’s CEO and chairman’s ambition is to transform the business from a traditional retailer with retailer with e-commerce capability into a truly digital-first, data-centric retail giant by 2026 – it was necessary to close the digital divide between the HQ, and the frontline, where the majority of the workforce is located.
By equipping frontline employees with digital skills, “we empower them to deliver better experience and stay attuned to technological shifts”, notes Grandon.
So, the HR team launched a new digital upskilling initiative called ‘Tous digital!’.
According to Grandon, the goal was “to equip every Carrefour employee with foundational digital literacy and to foster a shared digital culture across the organization”.
Grandon describes ‘Tous digital!’ as “groundbreaking”.
This is linked to it being an immersive, gamified learning experience – the partner that Carrefour chose to work on the project with was French-based Emeraude Escape.
She adds that “Emeraude Escape was a strategic choice. Their ability to create a custom, 3D immersive experience aligned perfectly with our vision for ‘Tous digital!’”.
HR tech is a core part of all learning initiatives at Carrefour – tech is essential to create “engaging, participative and immersive experiences that resonate with employees”, notes Grandon.
“We meticulously assess vendors to ensure that the technology we adopt is tailored to our frontline workforce” – the priorities are “user-friendliness, scalability and alignment”.
The future of digital upskilling
While the actual ‘Tous digital!’ project only ran for three weeks, a whopping 60,000 employees were trained through it.
Importantly, Carrefour sees it is part of a broader movement around digital competencies, and for all employees to be upskilled by 2024.
This is perfectly aligned with 2023 being designated by the European Union as the European Year of Skills (with digital skills top of mind).
Not only is Carrefour “in the process of crafting a second season of ‘Tous digital!’, it is also looking into leveraging emerging technology to continue to support learning and development.
One example is Carrefour hosting a Digital Week at its HQ in France with Google – “four days of information, training and digital acculturation [which] will be accessible to all”. Generative AI will be one of the topics on the agenda.
Digital skills at UNLEASH World
Want to learn more about digital upskilling at Carrefour? You’re in luck! We are thrilled that Grandon will be speaking at UNLEASH World 2023.
She is super excited about “the opportunity to connect with fellow thought leaders and professionals who share the passion for transforming HR”.
“UNLEASH World presents an incredible platform to exchange insights, innovative practices, and collectively pave the way for the future of HR”.
It’s not too late to grab your ticket for the show!
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