How Manor’s top executives and managers train on soft skills and digital culture: exclusive interview of Graziella Ribic
Manor is the largest department store chain in Switzerland. It has its own online shop. With a market share of 60%, it is the market leader. The company employs around 9,750 people in its 60 department stores, 28 Manora restaurants, 31 Manor Food supermarkets, 4 distribution centres and in its headquarters in Basel. Tradition and innovation come together in this company; since its founding in 1902, it has reinvented itself time and again. After all, change is – and will remain – a great constant. As the dynamic, fast-paced and innovative company that it is, Manor began working with Coorpacademy in October 2018, mainly to help its employees adapt to digitalisation.
The partnership with Coorpacademy is based on the following premises: no content generated, but the desire to train Manor employees on topics related to digital culture, the future of retail, management and leadership skills. On the occasion of the beginning of this partnership, we met with Graziella Ribic, Head of Executive Development, who is leading the project.
How does Manor implement its innovation strategy in everyday life, particularly in the areas of human resources and employees’ personal development? What does the company do in real terms?
We offer a range of professional development courses in these four areas: Digital Basics, Sales, Leadership and Purchasing. These courses are tailored to the future needs of the company and of the market, which we continually adjust in the face of emerging changes. For example, we are currently offering our managers the ‘Leading Change’ training course, which is made of 2 parts: digital courses with Coorpacademy and a subsequent classroom training component. In addition, our managers have free access to all Coorpacademy course offerings. This allows them to engage in continuous training in an independent manner on a whim.
You already have a process for designing training content. What were the requirements and what did you like so much about Coorpacademy and its catalogue that you wanted to add it to your existing content catalogue?
Since we were primarily looking for content and methods that would help us in the areas of digitalisation and leadership, Coorpacademy suited us immediately. The playful approach also appealed to us, as we already make sure our self-made e-learning courses have content that is as easy to understand as possible and that the knowledge is tested using short quizzes. The option of doing a five-minute learning session on a break or on the go is something that really goes down well with us, as our days usually have too few hours. Such short learning nuggets always fit in somewhere in the day!
Why do you think having a proper digital culture and learning soft skills are a key 21st century challenge?
Digitalisation has brought with it – and continues to bring with it – so many innovations that directly or indirectly change our daily lives. Who can imagine life without smartphones today? And we must know about all these innovations and learn how to use them. People who cannot keep up will one day – sooner rather than later – be left standing puzzled in front of a machine, helplessly looking around for staff that will no longer be available. But in my opinion, the question will not be one of ‘humans or machines‘ but rather of ‘both humans and machines‘. There will be areas where machines will dominate, but there will also be areas where humans will prevail. In order to find our way in daily life, we need to engage with the digital world. After all, digitalisation has come to stay.
Thank you very much.