To uncover the opportunities for corporate learning today, we spoke with Xavier Durochat, Head of Learning & Development – Group Strategy Orientations & New Ways of Learning and Catherine Schuler, Head of Corporate Learning & Development – Group Human Resources, at BNP Paribas, a self-proclaimed “learning company”.
What does it mean at BNP Paribas to be a learning company?
We are a learning company, first and foremost, because we provide thousands of hours of training that employees can pick and choose from thanks to a large and continuously updated catalogue. Second, because of our rich and diverse human capital, offering huge potential to knowledge share at BNP Paribas.
We want our employees to feel fulfilled. To achieve this, we’ve developed a dedicated, personalised and increasingly digital experience to support the professional development of all employees.
Thanks to a rich and varied training catalogue, our employees can follow training paths related to business skills or soft skills ranging from sustainable finance, to agile methodologies or even active listening.
The Group’s innovative and ambitious training policy demonstrates its commitment to promoting learning opportunities throughout the professional career of its employees, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal #8 (decent work and economic growth).
In 2020, we provided a total of 3,589,014 hours of training across the Group, through pedagogical solutions adapted to the needs and ways of consuming content of our employees (video learning , blended formats, micro-learning, virtual classrooms, …)
What is the learning culture like at BNP Paribas?
We have a very strong learning culture across the entire organisation as it is the first pillar of our Learning and Development (L&D) strategy. This is reflected in various initiatives, including our Learning Festivals and other more targeted events dedicated to strengthening it. The opportunities to develop their employability also acts as a strong lever of attraction for our employees, but also of retention.
Continuous learning is second nature and we believe that learning methods should be mixed whether we are talking about learning on-the-job, peer-to-peer, or blended learning.
A true tri-party relationship exists between the employee, the HR Business Partner and the manager in regard to learning and development at BNP Paribas. While employees are in the driving seat of their professional development, they can rely on their manager to help them with their Professional Development Plan and identifying areas for growth.
The HR Business Partner and local L&D expert then help guide the employee towards the training programmes most adapted to them, while balancing their personal interests with their long-term employability in the Group.
At BNP Paribas, we’ve also seen a significant shift in the way people acquire new skills. Digital is here to stay, especially when it comes to learning.
As a result, professional development has become a lot faster and a lot more fun! For example, we make growing use of mobile digital technology as it’s the most flexible way to learn and means employees can work through self-paced training programmes anytime, anywhere, with any device.
Generation, gender, culture… (how) does it impact the ways you address the topic of continuous learning?
Every individual at BNP Paribas is unique, and our learning policy reflects this. We prioritise personalisation in tailoring each employee’s professional development plan to their needs and talents. The diversity of the training courses we offer also ensures that there is a learning path for everyone.
Overall, our HR roadmap supports our commitment to the development and employability of our employees. This means developing their skills in order to adapt to our customers’ expectations and anticipate the Group’s future strategic needs, developing agile methods and encouraging intrapreneurship.
Opportunities for knowledge sharing also help us make the diversity of our teams a learning asset. Mentoring and reverse mentoring run throughout our organisation, and are above all a means for personal development. In fact, we have employee networks that promote it, including WeGenerations that aims at matching different generations of employees to share knowledge and skills all while breaking down stereotypes.
In addition, BNP Paribas has graduate programmes that cater towards young professionals looking to get a taste of our organisation and to step out in the world.
Thanks to a combination of outstanding training, early responsibilities and ongoing guidance from seasoned professionals, all graduates are supported and encouraged to go as far as they can during their programmes lasting anywhere from 12-24 months across many of our geographical locations.
We support young people throughout every step of their BNP Paribas journey, as soon as they join the workforce and beyond.
Every individual at BNP Paribas is unique, and our learning policy reflects this. We prioritise personalisation in tailoring each employee’s professional development plan to their needs and talents.
What are the main achievements you are proud of in terms of continuous learning?
We are particularly proud of BNP’s Digital Data Agile Academy (DDA Academy), which was launched in 2018. The academy forges a culture of continuous development and allows a rich professional offer to develop skills for 30 digital, data and agile roles.
Employees are encouraged through online courses to pursue either reskilling or upskilling training ranging from roles such as Data Analyst, Data Scientist, AI Engineer, Digital Project Manager, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Coach, DevOps Engineer or Digital Marketing Officer, etc.
As of June 2021, the DDA Academy has trained over 1,896 active participants covering 39 countries and 43 entities. And last but not least, 44% of participants are women.
Being a learning company means supporting employees as we transition and shape the future of work
In 2018, BNP Paribas and BivwAk! became partners of the Reinventing Work Chair, sharing with ESCP the conviction that digital transformation goes hand-in-hand with a strong demand for changes in working methods and, more generally, in the way professional activities are performed.
Though our research on the future of work with ESCP began over four years ago, the last couple years have certainly upped the ante. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the urgent need to scale up investment in lifelong learning in order to adapt to the changes in the banking sector and the new ways of working that are transforming the business.
Lifelong learning or continuous learning, whatever you call it, is not an option anymore. BNP Paribas is committed to supporting its employees towards the businesses of tomorrow and to shaping skills for the future of work.