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The Capgemini Research Institute spoke with Xavier Chéreau, Chief Human Resources & Transformation Officer, Stellantis.

Xavier Chéreau was appointed Chief Human Resources & Transformation Officer and a member of Stellantis’s top executive team in January 2021. He has built his career in HR, alternating between head-office roles and operations activities within different sites and divisions, including R&D, Manufacturing, and support functions. 
 
The Capgemini Research Institute spoke to Xavier about Stellantis’s transformation into a tech company through upskilling and reskilling, and how the organization is attracting young talent in the hybrid world of work. 

TRANSFORMING OFFICES INTO COLLABORATIVE SPACES 

Under the “New Era of Agility” initiative, Stellantis enables employees to work 70 percent from home and 30 percent from the office. How are you helping your workforce adapt to these new ways of working?  

Our New Era of Agility program was launched in 2020 with the aim of improving employees’ work-life balance, boosting their motivation, and protecting their well-being. It was also designed to spur the use of digital and collaborative tools, reduce bureaucracy, and reinforce autonomy and flexibility. To achieve these objectives, we took a 360-degree approach to employee well-being, comprising five axes: physical, mental, professional, social, and financial well-being.

We have mobilized stakeholders from HR, Real Estate, ICT, plus employees and leaders, to evolve ways of working, behaviors, and the mindset within the company.  

The most important aspect is to change people’s mindsets and, through that, their behavior – especially among our managers. How will we create team cohesion and instill a feeling of belonging to the company? How will the organization need to be led in the next normal? 

For example, we are using digital skill assessment to profile 50 percent of our managers by end-2022 and the remaining 50 percent by end-2023. We want to help them help us to make our work relevant to employees, giving them more autonomy in decision-making and offering opportunities to make meaningful impact, for example in addressing climate change. 

Are you redesigning your offices to adjust to the new hybrid work requirements? 

We are evolving our workspaces with 25 percent of space for individual desks and 75 percent for creative and collaborative spaces. If you come back on-site, it should not be just to sit behind your laptop, but to interact with your colleagues, feed off each other’s energy, and brainstorm solutions dynamically, in a way that is difficult to achieve online. We have decided to redesign our technical centers using this approach in areas such as France, Brazil, Italy, the US, and Germany. 

DIVERSITY MATTERS  

Why is diversity such a strong focus at Stellantis? 

Diversity is in our DNA – we see ourselves as “powered by diversity” – and one of our great strengths, with 270,000 people across 170 nationalities from 42 countries. This is a real competitive advantage. We have an ethical obligation to ensure that talent from anywhere in the world is given the same opportunities and treated equally; there are also great commercial benefits to this approach. Our objective is to drive real advantage, both locally and globally. With the new way of working, we can draw on our collective intelligence, from many different perspectives and geographies.  

“We have many different types of customers, so it makes sense to draw on as many different viewpoints as possible from within the organization. We want to give people the automobiles that they want, and the most effective way to achieve this is to gain access to as many different market viewpoints as possible.”

Stellantis has a stated goal of achieving 35 percent representation of women in its leadership by 2030 (up from 24 percent in 2020). Which strategies are you adopting to reach this goal? 

Gender equality is a clear priority for us, as is equality among nationalities, ethnicities, and disability levels. To bring this about, we need to improve our HR processes to promote meritocracy. Meritocracy is the foundation of diversity. 

We have dedicated governance under the leadership of the CEO and me to manage the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policy in the company, with a specific DEI committee at the top level. We are aiming for a minimum 20 percent of employees from diverse backgrounds at middle-manager level by end-2022; this target will increase to 24 percent next year and continue to rise by 2 percent every year.

SKILLING FOR THE FUTURE 

How does Stellantis create an agile workforce with future-ready skills?  

We have a global employee expertise community, connecting experts in specific domains throughout the business, which is designed to strengthen the evolution of skills. This community plays a key role in research and experimentation, building external relationships and partnerships to develop technical knowhow, all of which supports our strategic plan. For example, the transition from combustion engines to electric is transforming our skills requirements throughout the value chain and leading to new “professions” at all levels, including that of blue-collar workers. 

How have you invested in upskilling and reskilling your workforce to prepare for electrification and “softwarization” of the automotive industry? 

We have established a dedicated Software Division to manage the shift to becoming a sustainable mobility-tech company. Stellantis intends to create a software and data academy to retrain more than 1,000 of our engineers every year to fulfill multiple roles within our software community.

We aim to hire top software and AI talent from technology and other industries globally. By 2024, Stellantis has targeted developing a network of 4,500 software engineers, creating talent hubs around the globe. These engineers will be crucial to Stellantis’ software ambitions.

“By 2024, Stellantis has targeted developing a network of 4,500 software engineers, creating talent hubs around the globe.”

We have to recruit the right talent for all divisions – especially R&D – if we want to reinforce the new primacy of our software-based strategy. We launched an “electric academy” in early 2022 to upskill the entire Stellantis sales workforce around electric vehicles (EVs) by 2025.

We will also double the amount of leaders with direct responsibility for the bottom line and provide entrepreneurial training to our identified high-potential leaders to encourage value creation across the business.

My main objective as CHRO is to unleash the talents of everyone. Every employee should feel they can contribute on the journey. 

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