How Schneider Electric staved off the Great Resignation with Career Planning

Catching up with Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation at Schneider Electric

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By Nicole Schreiber-Shearer, Future of Work Specialist @ Gloat

February 17, 2022

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Visionary leaders see the Great Resignation as a once-in-a-lifetime call to action. Employees are no longer settling for dead-end jobs; instead, they’re demanding meaningful careers, and they’re not afraid to jump ship when employers fail to live up to their expectations.

As a result, savvy businesses are raising the bar and looking to internal mobility to retain their workforce during the Big Quit. But while many leaders are contemplating how they can reimagine careers, only a small fraction of executives have begun taking action.

Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation at Schneider Electric, is one of these select few. After Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace launch several years ago, Pelletier knew it was time to leverage the platform’s Career Planning offering to empower employees to take ownership of their professional development. A few months after rolling it out, we caught up with her to learn how the enterprise is leveraging the tool and explore the game-changing results that they’ve achieved.

The background

A few years ago, Gloat partnered with Schneider Electric to bring one of the first internal talent marketplaces to life, and the giant organization hasn’t taken its finger off of the pulse since. As a global leader in sustainability and efficiency with over 135,000 employees, Schneider Electric first turned to the talent marketplace to break down silos and put employees in the driver’s seat of their careers.

Prior to launching their platform, a lack of internal mobility posed a major threat to Schneider Electric’s workforce retention rates. In fact, nearly 50% of exiting employees cited subpar growth opportunities as their primary reason for leaving the company. Today, over 60,000 Schneider Electric employees are harnessing Gloat’s Workforce Agility Platform to achieve the internal mobility that they were once yearning for.

Improving internal mobility with Career Agility

After implementing their talent marketplace, Schneider Electric recognized the powerful role that marketplace dynamics and AI could play in unlocking agility and transforming internal mobility. Pelletier and her colleagues wanted to take career progression to the next level, so they decided to utilize Career Planning to improve long-term development.

“Career Planning is an incredible tool for exploration,” she notes.

As an employee, your job requires you to deliver on a very specific need for a period of time—but you are more than just that job. Now every employee can have visibility into how their capabilities relate to what the enterprise needs, what they want for their careers, and what kinds of opportunities are available to them.

Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation, Schneider Electric

How Career Planning works

The talent marketplace aggregates information from employee profiles and their engagement with the platform to discern their skills and interests. Then, the platform matches those skills and interests to roles within your organization, creating suggestions for viable career paths as well as guidance on the skills gaps employees will need to bridge to reach their desired career destination.

“What Open Talent Market did for us is we have the best inventory we’ve ever had of the skills and capabilities within the company that goes beyond the current role that you possess today,” Pelletier notes. “It’s a game-changer, right? Why does Linkedin have this information about our employees that we didn’t? Now, we have it.”

Curious how Career Planning complements our talent marketplace’s offering? Pelletier explains the nuances and explores the complementary role that the tool plays, noting, “Where the portion of the talent marketplace offers transparency to experiences through mentorships and projects, career pathing is how the employees explore opportunities to perform those actions. The career exploration component provides context and motivation to identify and create an actionable development plan.”

With Career Agility, employees can see the following:
Popular Path: Paths others with similar skills and experience have taken successfully
Desired Path: Career options to meet an employee’s unique interests and developmental goals
Managerial Path: Suggestions to get more managerial and leadership experience

3 Reasons why Career Planning is a game changer during the big quit

Since the new war for talent is intensifying, most leaders know they need to take action, fast. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about which tools and initiatives will really move the needle on employee turnover. Career Planning has emerged as a powerful secret weapon thanks to these three key benefits:

#1. Giving your employees choice and agency
A desire for greater autonomy and increased decision-making power are some of the factors driving today’s turnover crisis. As our VP of Insights and Impact, Jeff Schwartz, explains, “Agency is a critical concept. It’s not just that employees can see projects and opportunities, it’s that their organization is set up in such a way that they can actually take advantage of them.”

Career Planning will empower your people to do just that, as Pelletier explains. “The employee has the agency here for discovery. The AI delivers paths that match their experience and interest, and if the employee isn’t satisfied, they have their profile and development plan as tools to adjust their preferences to discover different career options.”

#2. Upgrading your job architecture
Since the Great Resignation isn’t a simple problem, there’s not going to be an easy solution. In addition to increasing access to opportunities, organizations need to recalibrate operating models and make profound structural changes to set themselves up for success in the new world of work.

Career Planning can equip leaders with the insights needed to identify how their current structures and strategies are falling short. In Schneider Electric’s case, the tool shed light on a misalignment between job recommendations and business priorities. “Gloat’s Career Pathing actually helped us identify a disconnect in our internal structure. We realized that the recommendations were not aligned with our enterprise goals and that we needed to revisit our job architecture design so we were more future oriented,” Pelletier says.

#3. Aligning business priorities with employee ambitions
Every leader wants to see their people and their business grow together. But how can you make sure that your employees’ goals align with your business priorities? Career pathing tools like Career Planning can turn internal mobility into a win-win that benefits both your workforce and your organization.

At Schneider Electric, leaders are looking into using promoted paths to highlight the career options that are both highly critical to their business and highly beneficial to a specific employee’s professional growth. As Pelletier explains,

I need to bring focus and transparency to highlight roles that are a priority to the business and want to leverage promoted career paths, to find qualified talent within the company. It’s a way for me to suggest paths that makes sense for employees and help us meet our business needs.

Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation, Schneider Electric

The benefits of enhancing internal mobility

Right now, no organization can afford to take a passive approach to retain critical talent. Fortunately, Schneider Electric began reaping the benefits of Career Planning within just weeks of introducing the tool. In less than three weeks’ time, more than 5,000 employees started using Career Planning to identify and save a long-term career path to work towards and 10% of those employees took action by applying for a mentorship, project, or new position.

More importantly, more than two in three employees said they saw the value in the platform for their particular development needs. One worker even went so far as to call it, “The best advice around career planning that I received within 10 years at Schneider Electric.”

Perhaps the greatest indication of Career Planning’s success is the fact that Schneider Electric has not experienced the same kind of turnover tsunami that so many other organizations are grappling with. “The traditional question I get is ‘how did your retention improve right now?’”, Pelletier explains.

What I will tell you, especially with the Great Shuffle and the Great Resignation, is that we’re holding steady. And that’s super important to know.

Jean Pelletier, VP of Digital Talent Transformation, Schneider Electric

If you’re looking to join the ranks of visionary organizations that are thriving during the Great Resignation, taking advantage of game-changing tools like Career Planning should be at the top of your priority list. To learn more about the impressive results that Schneider Electric’s talent marketplace has helped the enterprise achieve, read their case study

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