“At Proximus you can determine your own career path”

Published on 06/01/2022 in Inspire

“At Proximus you can determine your own career path”

Hybrid working requires new skills. “We offer a great many training trajectories, but we let our personnel determine their own career path”, says Kathleen Vande Kerckhove, Director People & Organizational Development at Proximus.

“Hybrid working primarily requires the necessary digital skills,” says Kathleen Vande Kerckhove, Director People & Organizational Development at Proximus. “You have to be able to quickly set up a consultation via Teams, or know how to participate in a brainstorming session on a digital platform.”

Apart from the use of digital tools, hybrid working also requires other soft skills. “When we work digitally, communication with colleagues is different. Scheduling tasks, sharing information, in short, working together is different. Working digitally often requires more flexibility from people as, often, everything goes a lot faster.”

New work appointments

In practice, hybrid working also means: dealing more consciously with how and when you work. “I am convinced that hybrid working offers us the opportunity to improve our work-life balance,” said Vande Kerckhove. “But to achieve that, we have to make new working agreements.”

Hybrid working offers the opportunity to improve our work-life balance.

Kathleen Vande Kerckhove, Director People & Organizational Development at Proximus

About the importance of disconnection, for example. “Hybrid working requires a bit of self-discipline because there is no direct control. At the same time, mutual understanding and respect is also required between employees and managers. Hybrid working offers the opportunity to organize your working day yourself, but it also comes with the risk that employees will lose themselves in their work and stay busy all the time. If hybrid working is to be successful, this area also needs attention.”

Digital heroes

Anyone who needs to brush up on their skills in the context of hybrid working will receive the support and backing of Proximus. “In recent years we have built a community of digital heroes,” Vande Kerckhove continued. “They are employees who have developed in-depth expertise in a specific domain – for example, around a tool. Colleagues can contact them with their questions.” In addition, Proximus organizes short training sessions to help employees get started with certain digital applications. “At the same time, we encourage our colleagues to take initiative and sharpen their skills.”

At the same time, we encourage our colleagues to take initiative and sharpen their skills.

Kathleen Vande Kerckhove, Director People & Organizational Development at Proximus

Digitization has a very far-reaching impact on some employees, for example when their analogue job disappears. “In those cases, we offer a process around reskilling. In this way, the employee builds up the competencies that are needed in a new job.” In the same context, Proximus also offers programs related to upskilling. “These are training courses to move on to another job. In general, we encourage our employees to take charge of their own career. Self-directed learning is the watchword here. Employees have access to all kinds of programs and can take control of their development.”

Developing new competencies

'Building The Future' is an example of this. “It includes a range of (mainly digital) learning paths around the competencies that are important for the future of Proximus,” Vande Kerckhove explained. “It concerns very diverse domains, such as data, user experience design or network engineering. More than 700 employees have already followed such a trajectory.”

Classroom training is provided for employees from the operational departments in collaboration with Technobel. “More than 400 technicians have undergone additional training in this way.” For technicians who want to delve into fiber, there is the 'Work4Future' trajectory, while a project with BeCode focuses on classroom training in digital skills. “These are examples that show how we offer our employees the opportunity to direct their career at Proximus themselves.”

Kathleen Vande Kerckhove studied educational sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven). She worked at USG People and Delhaize. In 2018 she joined Proximus. Since the beginning of this year she has been Director People & Organizational Development.

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