Infrabel jumps on the employee experience train

09 January 2020

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Infrabel puts employee experience high on their agenda. With ‘My Talents’ they’ve introduced a brand new approach to support the personal growth of their employees.

Infrabel is changing on an industrial, digital and cultural level. Their aim is to implement a more constructive ‘Go Blue’ company culture where everybody feels good and performs at its best. With ‘My Talents’ they want to support this cultural shift accross the organization.

‘Blue’ refers to the OCI leadership model in which a ‘blue’ leadership style stands for a constructive approach. On top of that, Infrabel wanted to enhance the user experience of their current HR applications and make them mobile accessible.
The central goal for this project was two-fold: on the one hand the focus is on the introduction of a new talent management strategy, on the other hand this drastic cultural shift is supported by modern HR technology. A progressive approach for a public sector organisation!

A renewed vision on continuous growth

Infrabel kicked off 2019 with the launch of their brand new talent management strategy. They said goodbye to their classic yearly review process and introduced ‘My Talents’. With this new approach, they put every employee in charge of his/her own career path with a strong focus on continuous, personal growth.

Infrabel believes that a renewed focus on performance management will boost the personal development of its employees and take the overall quality of work to the next level – in the long run.

Let’s look back at the predecessor of ‘My Talents’, the classic yearly review process had the following characteristics:

  • The conversation took place once a year at a predetermined timing. Mostly in January or February.
  • It was mandatory for all employees and linked to the manager’s KP
  • The focus was on the past: ‘What are the improvement area’s?’’
  • The manager is in the drivers seat. He or she takes initiative and determines the content and direction of the review conversation.

Based on these characteristics – and limitations – the key pillars of the new talent management strategy were defined:

  • The employee is in charge of his/her own growth and continuous development
  • The focus is on individual talents/skills and how they contribute to the overall team goals
  • The focus is on the future: managers and colleagues can give constructive and future oriented feedback (=feedforward)

They’ve redesigned the end to end performance management process and renamed their yearly review process to ‘My Talents’.

So, what are the characteristics of this new approach?

  • Continuous feedback: you can ask for a conversation at any possible timing throughout the year
  • It’s no longer mandatory but strongly encouraged
  • The focus is on the strength & talents of the employee, we look at the future (= feedforward)
  • Manager steps up as a ‘coach’

New Talent Management Strategy supported by intuitive technology

In order to introduce the initial target group (+/- 2000 employees) to – and make them become familiar with - the new performance management approach, and to support the roll out of the new talent strategy, Infrabel decided to invest in a new HRIS tool.

If we want our employees to take responsibility of their own career path, we need to enable them to do so.” says Liesbeth Leyseele, Project Manager Internal Talent Management at Infrabel.

Easy access to the right information as well as providing the right tools is key. In SAP SuccessFactors Infrabel found a user-friendly, intuitive software package to facilitate the transformation and shape their renewed talent management strategy. It offers them 1 integrated system to digitize all their HR processes

The My Talents platform, to which every employee has access, is build around 4 key pillars:

1. Check-ins

Employees are encouraged to take initiative and schedule regular “check-in” conversations with their manager. Via the ‘My Talents’ tool they can easily keep track of their actions as well as the topics that have been discussed during each check-in.

2. Goals & Actions

Each employee is responsible for setting their own development goals:

Where do you want to grow?
Which talents can you further develop in order to contribute to the overall team goals?

In the My Talents tool employees can keep a record of all actions that were taken in order to realize a specific goal. This information can than be used for the check-in conversations. Each conversation is tracked in the tool to continuously measure and follow up on the individual growth. In this way, SAP SuccessFactors supports a result-driven performance management strategy.

3. Feedback & Feedforward

Employees are encouraged to ask for constructive and future oriented feedback (= feedforward) from their direct team/colleagues. The new tool stimulates informal feedback. People no longer solely look at their manager for feedback but are enabled to give each other feedback as well.

4. My profile

On this page each employee can add his/her personal information: studies, work experience, talent profile .... All information is public and can be consulted by colleagues. A great boost for internal mobility!

Mobility = key

Out of the 10 000 employees, 6000 people work as mobile technical staff. Due to the large blue collar population, easy access to the digital tools was a key prerequisite (anywhere, any time, any place). User-friendliness and mobile access were at the base of the renewed HRIS environment:

User experience

Next to ease of access, Infrabel wanted to enhance the lay out and user-friendliness of their current HR applications (intuitive use). That’s why they’ve decided to migrate the HR applications to SAP Fiori Launchpad. Infrabel Fiori serves as the new central hub from which employees can click through to the different HR applications (amongst which SAP SuccessFactors).

If an employee logs on from an Infrabel pc, they immediately land on their personal homepage with the different applications needed to perform their daily job. These applications have a modern look & feel (tiles) and are divided into different categories:

  • Leave requests
  • Timesheets
  • Team calendar
  • Personal profile
  • SAP SuccessFactors talent management applications

Integrated change management

As the new talent management strategy implies a cultural shift within the organization, intensive training and communication were key. The change management process ran in parallel with the implementation of the new software. This resulted in a harmonized way of working and clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

Infrabel started from the following EVP (Employee Value Proposition) to promote the cultural change both internally and externally:

“Become an entrepreneur of your career. Grow at your own pace. Together we go for sustainable mobility.”

With My Talents they want to bring this EVP to life and contribute to the company wide cultural shift.

The main communication channel throughout the change process was the ‘My Talents’ information platform. This website was build to introduce the new strategy as well as to stimulate employees to start using it in their day to day job and making it their own. The communication on this website focuses on both employees and managers in order to fully support both parties in taking up their new roles.

The portal is build around 4 main topics:

1. What is ‘My Talents’?

Here the employees can find a detailed explanation of the different building blocks of the new performance management strategy.
What’s the added value for you as an individual? What are the key pillars for this new strategy?

2. Get started!

How are the 4 main pillars supported by the new tool? How can I get started?
In this part of the website employees can find practical information about the use of the new tool as well as tips & tricks to get started with the new performance management approach: How to give and ask feedback?, How do is set my personal goals? ,…

3. Demo’s

Several demo movies were made, specifically targeting employees or managers, with a guiding them step by step through the new talent management tool.

4. Support

Here employees can find an overview of all FAQ’s as well as who to contact in case of questions/issues.

The implementation of a continuous feedback process in a complex organization like Infrabel doesn't only require deep Tech expertise but also a people focused approach and strong expertise in HR. Together with Infrabel HR we've shaped the renewed talent management approach in a successful & challenging transformation project.

We are really proud that our joint efforts have been recognized with gold at the HR Excellence Awards 2019!

Any HR challenges we can help you with? Get in touch!

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