Distance training at Geodis: a necessity and a strategy IT

"Il en ressort pour le moment une satisfaction forte aussi bien du côté RH que des apprenants"


DRH International de la division GSCO, Geodis



Distance training at Geodis: a necessity and a strategy IT

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Geodis is the fourth largest logistics organization in Europe, operating in 66 countries and employing 32.000 staff. It has fi ve main areas of activity in the supply chain and road freight sector.
Distance training was initiated in the GSCO (Global Supply Chain Optimisation) division which operates in 42 countries; it was soon extended to all the group’s divisions. From the outset, the group has been able to implement a global approach without affecting the autonomy of its local entities.

“We want to develop a range of skills in all the countries where GSCO operates, not only in business and technical areas but also in terms of personal wellbeing”, says Jérôme Puissant, international HR director at GSCO. The question is, how do you train staff from a range of cultural backgrounds on a wide variety of topics when you don’t always have the time or the means to provide face-to-face training sessions? It quickly became clear that e-learning was the way to go, and this observation was soon transformed into a full-blown strategy.

G-Campus, a multi-facetted group learning portal

Once CrossKnowledge solutions had been selected following a call for tender and an initial pilot project, the strategy was deployed in the GSCO division in 2010 and extended to the rest of the group in 2011. E-learning is seen as a solution that makes it possible to industrialize training initiatives on a global scale whilst improving consistency. It’s also a cost-effective way of offering “on demand” training in response to specific professional needs.

The group’s training portal, named G-Campus, has been designed with these specific criteria in mind. Based on the CrossKnowledge Learning Suite, G-Campus is unusual in that, although it’s a group portal, it offers customized pages for each business unit. Each entity defines its own training strategy and can create its own blended training paths using both resources from the CrossKnowledge catalogue and “core business” modules developed using Mohive. “We’re eager to develop more and more “home-made” content. Our staff need practical training that relates directly to what they do”, explains Jérôme Puissant. “We want to set up modules that specifically relate to the supply chain, international freight transport, road haulage, logistics, and so on”. To date, 80 such core business modules have been built into training paths and there are 180 more in the pipeline.

Getting everyone involved

Each Geodis division is responsible for rolling out its own training programs. G-Campus correspondents are dedicated to each business unit, and about once every three months, all these representatives get together at a steering committee meeting with CrossKnowledge. Each unit trains its staff at its own pace depending on its own priorities. This way of working seems to have won universal approval, according to a survey carried out by Geodis in June 2013. Based on open questions, this quality-driven survey has made it possible to collate a great deal of feedback. “We’re still analyzing the results. For the moment, what we’re seeing is a high level of satisfaction on the part of both HR and learners”, says Jérôme Puissant.

But Geodis never loses sight of the importance of unity within the group. As Jérôme Puissant explains, it is eager to offer corporate training that reinforces a sense of belonging. “For instance, we’ve worked with CrossKnowledge on developing an induction module. A general presentation now tells new recruits all they need to know about Geodis, its branches and core business areas”.

Cohesion and mobility: keys to the future

The e-learning approach and the operating method that has been implemented have made it possible for divisions to work in a more cross-functional way whilst preserving their independence where core business training is concerned. “The next step will be to optimize and rationalize our entire training suite. In 2014 we’re going to start integrating more corporate training paths. There are already a few on professional equality and diversity, induction, corporate values, Group transformation projects and sustainable development. But it makes sense to consolidate certain training paths on management and personal performance at Group level, so we’re going to start building them into a common core”.

Aware of the progress made in three years, Jérôme Puissant is delighted to have given 12.000 staff members access to G-Campus. “But we’re finding it hard to give all our staff access to training because many of them are on the move, for example in warehouses or lorries. So we’re going to be focusing more and more on mobile solutions”. There’s no doubt that mobile learning will be a training priority over the coming years.

Today, all staff members recognize G-Campus as the Geodis e-learning portal. “Our teams are very proud of this achievement, which rewards all their efforts in implementing this shared tool”, concludes Jérôme Puissant.