EULER HERMES FOCUSES ON SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
In charge of Human Resources function at Euler Hermes since 2016, Florence Lecoutre has lived in different countries. She first joined the company as CIO for Euler International in London, then CIO of Euler Hermes Benelux in Brussels. She became Group CIO of Euler Hermes in 2009, before taking over as Group Director of Human Resources in 2016. In 2020, she became Member of Board of Management, in charge of Transformation, Human Resources, Communication & ESG. She also took 1 year of sabbatical leave in 2015 to pursue the International Business Management Executive Program in GeorgeTown University, United States, before returning to Europe. This unconventional career path has shaped her dynamic, pragmatic and innovative approach. Her aim is to introduce new strategies to support Euler Hermes’s 5,800 employees. She talks to us about her views, plans and ambitions for the group.
Euler Hermes places a great emphasis on internal skills development. Why is this essential for you and how are you going about it?
Our business activity requires very specific skills, and it takes time to train people from outside our environment. Therefore, as the Director of Human Resources, I tend to encourage skills development within the company. The idea is to invest in our employees, who already know our business well, and upskill them through training.
Skills development is therefore a core element of our HR policy. To succeed, we have put in place several approaches.
In September 2018 we launched our platform ‘EH Learning’, which brings together a full catalogue of both classroom-based and online training programs. We also added LinkedIn Learning modules to our existing programs. This gives us access to an expandable catalogue allowing us to add new training programs. In time, this dedicated training platform will also be available on iPhone and iPad, so that employees can learn on the go. My vision for the future is to create a true “digital campus”. We’re working to move towards this and we frame training within a process of permanent individual growth.
We also have our ‘LEAD Program’ specifically reserved for 16 talented managers whom we handpick every year. We bring these 16 individuals of very different backgrounds together to work as a group on three sessions over three days. It’s always a rewarding experience as they have to deal with new situations and this is well appreciated. At the end of the program, they present a project to members of the Group Board of Management. The LEAD Program allows managers from all over the world to meet and create their own network. They tend to stay in contact at the end of the programme, and naturally form a network across different countries.
Skills development is my obsession for 2019. We still have a lot to do to optimize our programs. My aim is that, upon completing their training, employees feel like they’ve learned and achieved something. Too often, training days are seen as a waste of time. This has to change and we're working on it this year by offering modules that will really make a difference.