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Leadership: April and GEM Create an Immersive Learning Experience

Leadership: April and GEM Create an Immersive Learning Experience
Published on
26 February 2018

April and Grenoble Ecole de Management joined forces to create an immersive educational program that fosters greater managerial agility. Last December, the April Group was awarded a trophy (Victoires des Leaders du Capital Humain) for its majors efforts in terms of training in partnership with GEM. The April Group is an underwriter for insurance in France and around the world.

The April Group received the award last December in the category "professional training." The award was also reinforced by recognition from the Magazine Décideurs. The trophy is delivered during an event dedicated to human resources and aims to reward initiatives in terms of management and change. Grenoble Ecole de Management was partner to the event.

Transversal cooperation

The 30 year old April Group relies on 3,800 employees across a variety of independent entities in France and abroad.

"One of our challenges is to reinforce transversal cooperation between subsidiaries and harmonize managerial approaches centered on flexibility and agility," explains Véronique Galdin, director of HR development and director of the April University.

With the goal of encouraging greater autonomy and freedom for managers across all levels and regions, the group worked with GEM to create a leadership program. "Our goal was to go beyond theory and concepts in order to raise awareness and initiate deep changes in terms of management," adds Véronique.

Increasing performance

Launched in January 2016, the program will be welcoming its 7th group of participants in February 2018. More than 90 employees have already participated in the training course. The program is built on two key approaches: providing personal development for employees and managers, and increasing cooperation between teams.

"In concrete terms, these goals are achieved through greater personal awareness, 360 degree evaluations, individual coaching and individual work plans. The addition of group workshops creates an immersive and interactive learning process built on hands on experience," says Véronique.

The workshops aim to facilitate a participants ability to question their own interactions with teams. Each class of 12 to 15 people takes parts in a live learning experience as a specialized worker in order to test various styles of management on a production line at a Caterpillar location in Grenoble (Caterpillar is also a GEM partner). Two more training days include a horse-coaching experience. The immersive learning experience ties back into everyday work through a project on the subject of leveraging tools for company growth, which is then presented to a jury of directors.

Projects that spread throughout the group

Of 12 presented projects, 6 were kept to be implemented more largely throughout April. The project implemented by the Human Resources Department, for example, was the idea to map group skills in order to support the transformation of jobs tied to digital technology and offer skill training and transversal missions that would enable employees to be more involved in their career evolution.

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