New scheme bridges generation gap

French pharmaceutical firm Galderma has introduced a competency scheme to tackle a generation gap between more experienced staff and younger managers who were not being developed for succession.

Head of HR, Alain Kirsch, told the Barcelona conference the scheme had been effective because the competencies were developed from staff focus groups, using HR managers as facilitators.

“Perhaps the key is that staff developed the competencies,” Kirsch said.

HR managers were trained to run performance management discussions and to train line managers to manage performance.

There has been no attempt to link the competency framework to financial performance.

“To be frank, I can’t tell you how many Euros it has brought to the bottom line of Galderma,” said Kirsch.

“What I can tell you, is if we didn’t have this tool in place… we could be having some serious difficulties discussing capabilities in the organisation.”

Other issues were the need to encourage co-operation across functions, to share expertise and develop an organization-wide learning culture.

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