ENGIE believes in developing each of its employees to the maximum of his or her potential, putting human capital and individual talents at the heart of its system. But how does that impact concretely on the leaders who tomorrow will defend the sustainable performance of the ENGIE Group? Answers from Rosaline Corinthien, Director Talent Development and HR Innovation.
Interview published on September 14, 2018 in Grandes écoles et Universités magazine
How do you define leadership “made in ENGIE”?
We have worked around a leadership style that puts the human at the heart of the system and defends four key behaviors: daring to try, the benevolence of working in a collective momentum, openness to others and to difference, and the need to go beyond one’s own scope. Lining up their heads, hearts and guts, each leader is encouraged top fulfill five objectives:
ENGIE sees its 155,000 employees as “imaginative builders”. The leaders of tomorrow – the ENGIE Boosters – are dormant among them. Who are they?
Men and women who have enough self-confidence to trust others in their ability to be resilient, to find energy deep within themselves and within their teams. Agile future leaders who can open the way for others by saying to them, “It’s possible.” They are aware of their potential and eager to get out of their comfort zones and open up to other cultures.
How do you spot these gems?
This is a vital question for which we seek for help from middle management, the local managers of our 25 BUs who work alongside these leaders of tomorrow on a day-to-day basis. Of course, this means keeping up a permanent dialog to make sure we receive profiles of Boosters that are not too old-school. At ENGIE, financial performance and diplomas are not the only criteria for recognizing talented individuals.
Have you set up specific programs for them?
Yes, we are developing programs on transversal topics to validate in the collective fiber, open-mindedness, agility and ability to lead the way of these Boosters. Two programs – Rise! and Pulse! – give the Boosters the opportunity to be put in a situation every month on topics such as entrepreneurship or oral fluency and confidence, with the aim of getting people into action giving them a desire to collaborate for achieving collective success and individual development.
What makes these young managers heading teams and projects essential links in ENGIE’s sustainable performance?
Our company plays a strong role in society and it is essential for our leaders to be a mirror of that society. We have to be able to attract different profiles who are going to question things, look in a different way at our actions and our strategy: by shaking us up they enrich our organizations. Men and women daring to be themselves, to place the collective ahead of the individual.
Diversity of talents is at the heart of ENGIE’s HR policy: do you have to be a “different” leader in order to break the codes?
Everyone can break the codes. What makes us break the codes is our ability to accept difference, to have enough confidence in ourselves and in others to turn this exercise into a winning collective exercise. Breaking codes doesn’t necessarily mean adopting different codes, but being tuned in to difference.
Why should people with leadership in their souls join ENGIE?
ENGIE is an incredible playing field for citizens wanting to engage and to be useful to society, with abundant curiosity, a good level of technology, pride in being part of a harmonious project: What we are doing here is not just a mission that we carry out when we get up every morning, but also to do our utmost to ensure that our activity has a positive impact on several generations.
What advice would you give young graduates wanting to start their careers successfully on the rails of new generation leadership?
Maintain your ability to question. And to dare to question, you must have confidence in yourself. That needs an effort in terms of personal ecology: you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your ecosystem. Drop the mask, dare to turn up with your own personality and show that you have something to contribute to the collective through your own authenticity.
Let the Boosters speak!
Elsa de Froment graduated from Sciences Po in 2006 and has been working at ENGIE for 10 years. She is chief of staff for the Group Executive Vice President responsible for HR, Transformation, Global Care, Real Estate and Global Business Services, and not long ago she was identified as a Booster. She tells us about the Rise! program, which she recently joined.
What makes you proud to take part in this great professional adventure?
The program is personalized to suit my profile and my potential. It enables me to develop my leadership and to build my career for tomorrow. It’s a springboard for my career, but also a fine endorsement from my managers, proof they t they perceive the commitment and the investment I am showing and that they believe in me. That makes me proud, but it also puts me under challenging pressure.
The best thing about the program?
Its customization. The Talent Director who is monitoring me and I are thinking about my progress in the Group, about the type of businesses in which I could flourish and develop my skills, and we are defining the training modules offered by ENGIE University that will help me progress. Thanks to this approach, I can find a meeting point between the Group’s needs and my own and so work out what is good both for me and for ENGIE.
Your next step?
At ENGIE of course, but I can see myself anywhere and everywhere! At ENGIE, building a fulfilling and challenging career does not necessarily require having a specific predefined path.
What makes you a happy “leader of tomorrow?”
The fact of working in the world of energy and in a company that is promising harmonious progress. I’m also happy to work with the people who are surrounding me. It’s important to be able to say that you work with highly motivated people with whom you can meet challenges and deliver performance but also enjoy a laugh. It’s impossible to demonstrate leadership without putting the human side at the heart of our performance.
Why should people with leadership in their souls join ENGIE?
Vision, sense, confidence and responsibility are the attributes by which a leader can deliver individual and collective performance… which is ENGIE’s message precisely!