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Our Client:

Givaudan logo

Givaudan is the world’s largest manufacturer of flavours, fragrances and active cosmetic ingredients. The company’s products are developed for food and beverage makers, used in household goods and in care products and perfumes. Givaudan employs over 13,500 employees across EMEA, APAC and the Americas.

Our client’s needs:

In 2020, Givaudan formally announced its 2025 strategy – ‘Committed to Growth, with Purpose’ – a five-year roadmap for how it will deliver sustainable value for all stakeholders. The supporting HR strategy highlighted the critical importance of building the right skills, mindsets, confidence and knowledge in HR to deliver now and in the future, with a key focus on business partnering.

HR needed to invest in bringing every HR leader, manager, and specialist – all levels, all regions, all teams – on a business partnering development journey. By doing so, enabling them to fully align on what partnership means to the business, to build trusted relationships, to persuade, and to influence. And, ultimately, to add strategic value, deliver on business demands and the overarching strategy.
The programme needed to be delivered to 120+ HR colleagues in over 25 countries, future-proofed for new joiners to participate annually, as well as having broader application and relevance to other internal functions also requiring these skills.

Our solution

The programme was initially planned as face-to-face, running over three days, and delivered regionally. Then, COVID-19 hit requiring a design rethink. To delay was not an option.

This would be the first fully virtual program in HR. The Oxford Group were able to reassure Givaudan of the power of virtual learning, and that it could be even more impactful than a face-to-face programme by providing more opportunities to collaborate across geographies and provide the blueprint for the future of virtual learning at Givaudan.

The Business Partner Programme launched in September 2020 to 120 participants – divided into eight pods, each with a pod coach, overseen by six HR senior leader co-facilitators. Uniquely designed, the 10-month development journey (see below) is interactive and practical, providing opportunities to explore real case studies, share challenges and experiences, and apply learning. Importantly, it accommodates different levels of capability and experience.

The outcome

To take 120+ HR specialists across 25 countries, simultaneously, on a 10-month virtual learning journey was a bold move coming after what had been the usual tried and tested shorter face-to-face programmes. However, the leap of faith paid off.

The pre- versus post-survey revealed substantial increases in skills development. Confidence increased from 6.80 to 8.02 (where 10 is strongly agree), Competence, from 6.89 to 8.09, and Behaviour where learners rated their “business partnering, when faced with real situations and challenges” 8.00/10 post-programme (versus 6.35 pre).

The program also fostered relationships between the global community – a big win, almost transcending skills development. As a result, the working experience of learners has significantly increased, with a jump from participants rating, “Support and connection with their HR colleagues globally”: 7.64/10 (vs. 6.17/10) and “How I contribute to the performance of the business”: 7.58/10 (vs. 6.79/10).

Ultimately, the concept and design of this dual-category award-winning programme has demonstrated what can be achieved virtually, and the robust, collaborative design process has been so impactful that Givaudan are looking to roll the programme out to other functions where business partnering is essential to business performance.


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