Capgemini Invent: “Having the Individual at the Heart of Any Program Is What Makes It Successful”
An interview with the winner of the 2023 Best Use of Training award
At the end of 2023, we held our annual Engage Awards ceremony, recognising organisations which have implemented outstanding employee engagement strategies. One such company was Capgemini lnvent, who were awarded the ‘Best Use of Training’ award for their development of ‘The Institute’. In an interview, they have now shared what makes their training and onboarding stand out and what they learned during the development of their innovative learning centres.
CONGRATULATIONS ON WINNING THE 2023 BEST USE OF TRAINING AWARD! COULD YOU PLEASE INTRODUCE CAPGEMINI INVENT AND ‘THE INSTITUTE’?
Capgemini Invent is the digital innovation, consulting and transformation brand of the Capgemini Group, a global business line that combines market leading expertise in strategy, technology, data science and creative design, to help CxOs envision and build what’s next for their businesses.
The Institute is a 15-week graduate development programme serving as a kick-start to our existing 24-month graduate scheme, ‘Accelerate’. It is a safe ‘training ground’ environment to learn, experiment, and grow. We assign each Institutee:
- A personal development manager
- A dedicated coach with vast experience in consulting to provide continuous feedback, help familiarise the Institutee with internal processes, and build core skills
- A buddy from the previous intake to provide support, encouragement, and all-important networking opportunities
We challenge Institutees with assignments that emulate real project experiences, giving them the freedom to design and develop solutions which aid continuous development and learning. They ‘learn by doing’, throughout their projects, culminating in a final delivery and feedback session. This is replicated across the multiple projects they complete, giving them a range of experiences. The focus on innovation underpins our culture and fosters our entrepreneurial spirit – accelerating their sense of cultural belonging.
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT MAKES YOUR TRAINING AND ONBOARDING PROCESS STAND OUT?
We are focused on our people from the start. Before Institutees join us on their first day they are assigned an Intake Host. This individual sets up a group message for the cohort for everyone to start getting to know each other and connect prior to their start date. They also organise (at least one) Q&A session prior to their start date. This is a mix of a what to expect presentation, meet some of the coaches, time to connect, and a Q&A. As a team, we are passionate about bringing up the people around us, and that starts with our new joiners. We want them to feel welcomed into an environment where they experience the comfort and safety necessary to excel.
The Institute harnesses the 70/20/10 learning principle throughout the 15 weeks, and we’ve found that learning through innovation is key to the Institute’s identity and is what sets it apart from competitors’ programmes. We focus on individualised learning and communication styles which enables us to tailor the experience to each Institutee. In this way, we create a sense of psychological safety and belonging that is crucial to the success of Institutees and the graduate program.
Our Institutees have formal training at least once a week to refine their core consulting skills. The trainings that take place are determined by business need and are refreshed and re-evaluated before and after each cohort passes through the Institute. Some of the trainings / certifications include agile, stakeholder management, and design principles.
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT ‘THE DESIGN HUB’?
The Design Hub is our Centre of Excellence for everything design related within our graduates Institute journey. It offers training, a full design methodology and weekly 1-2-1 coaching opportunities for our Institutees, all delivered by our alumni. The benefits are two-fold, as our alumni grow their management skills, whilst our current cohorts gain confidence in design. It was born out of a recognition that our graduates had a diverse range of skills; however, design is something that touches all deliverables. It aims to give confidence in creating high quality deliverables, that enables our people to tell their story.
WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN DURING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INSTITUTE AND THE DESIGN HUB?
In creating the UK Institute, like in any new project, there were unanticipated lessons learned. The Institute is an ever-growing and evolving program, and with that comes the need for consistent and honest conversations reviewing the successes and short comings of each aspect of the program. At the end of each Induction cycle, a “lessons learned” call is hosted with the coaches, and at the end of the year a retro is performed. The team uses the data and insights gathered in both sessions to further tailor the Institute for future cohorts.
Similarly, the design hub has had to change as the technology available to us has improved and we have scaled our operation.
One of the biggest learning experiences has been the need to provide different learning journeys and pathways to tailor to different learning and working styles. Whilst we offer an initial training, where we deliver the full training in a live session, we have also introduced “drop in” sessions. This has allowed us to standardise our approach, as it gives a beginning, middle and end to the design process – allowing for more specific coaching. We have also developed videos on specific skills and design capabilities to ensure our graduates have access to continual support and learning material.
Our next iteration will be to create training in an E-learning format, which will allow both the graduated Institutees and the wider business engage with design support effortlessly.
FINALLY, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ORGANISATIONS SEEKING TO ENHANCE THEIR TRAINING?
We believe that having the individual at the heart of any program is what makes it successful. Taking a pulse check on how people are currently feeling about the available trainings/structure and assessing the gaps is a great place to start. Knowing where your baseline is allows program leads to continuously benchmark and evolve the content.
Understanding where the business priorities lie will enable you to begin tailoring trainings to specific skills, conversations, and requirements that will be coming down the line for your employees.
Communication around trainings available has also been a key to successful trainings for us. Partnering with your internal communications manager to push your messaging will help to drive awareness and engagement. We’ve also found utilising multiple platforms (e.g., company Newsletter, Teams, email, etc.,) has been a crucial part of our L&D journey.
Finding people within the organisation to champion the work you are doing is also an important factor in driving engagement. We’ve found that often people want to get involved where they can, and having champions for L&D is a great place to start. These ambassadors increase the validity of the time and energy spent on voluntary training and help drive confidence in the outcomes obtained. With that, finding the right mentors, and facilitators to run your sessions is massively important. Having people you trust to deliver not only high quality sessions but feedback and coaching as well is a key to translating trainings into practice on the job.
Entries for the 2024 Engage Awards will open on the 1st of February.