A global digital upskilling initiative came into focus

On its journey to secure future growth, Henkel needed to foster innovation. The concept of a relationship with a brand is rapidly evolving. Consumers and enterprise customers are no longer content to simply sit back, absorb marketing messages and product offers and then purchase accordingly. Today customers buy one or more products that best suit a range of situations or moments.

Consumers in particular are sensitive to how brands fit into their lifestyles. And with new brands emerging all the time, there is increasing pressure on large, typically fragmented companies—especially those with multiple product categories for both consumers and B2B customers. Henkel wanted to enhance its systems to better nurture existing talent, pinpoint skills gaps and offer targeted learning programs. By more quickly upskilling its workforce, Henkel could better anticipate customer needs and readily launch new products that engage—and build deeper relationships with— consumer and B2B customer microsegments.

In a competitive market environment, we are now in a position to manage challenges quicker and better.

Sylvie Nicol

Executive Vice President – Human Resources and Infrastructure Services, Henkel

What Accenture did

Accenture and Henkel already enjoyed a relationship spanning 10 years and multiple successful initiatives.

So, as its vision for a global digital upskilling initiative came into focus, Henkel knew that Accenture would be the ideal partner to help execute it across all business units and functions. They joined forces to roll out the program globally and at speed.

The project moved quickly through four stages:

Digital capabilities assessment

Henkel employees voluntarily participated in an assessment of their strengths and skills gaps plus their aptitude in terms of digital-skill trends.

Digital upskilling

Once the strengths and skills gaps were identified, the team conceptualized job family-specific learning programs.

Digital talent experience

New talent-management processes enable role assessment, performance evaluation and talent lifecycle tracking.

Digital talent sourcing

A "Recruiter Toolbox" was created for digital roles within the newly introduced system, connecting the skills required and candidates' CVs.

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People and culture

A corporate transformation often meets resistance

However, Henkel had a large team of people eager to embrace and advocate the idea of lifelong learning. Better still, Henkel was able to say, " We hear you," and respond appropriately to employees’ desire for new skills and opportunities.

Digital upskilling is now a key element of Henkel’s culture and long-term growth plans—not just a momentary answer to a human resources or recruiting issue. In the future, the learning management system will open new pathways for talent recruitment and development.

Henkel also transformed its internal and external image of an established corporate giant to an entity that, despite its size, can be flexible and forward-thinking enough to compete with start-ups. The company effectively sent the message, globally, that learning is fun, and that Henkel understands investing in and developing employees’ skills is not only valuable, it’s critical.

Lifelong learning has become part of our culture at Henkel. It is motivating and gives our teams the confidence to grow together.

Lucas Kohlmann

Director – Human Resources, Henkel

Value delivered

The rollout scale and speed were possible due to Henkel’s progressive thinking, proactive drive, and flexible approach in which it leveraged, built and customized programs to suit specific needs.


Accenture and Henkel successfully implemented and deployed the new learning management system in 18 weeks, setting a new paradigm for such a platform.


Henkel strengthened its prospects in an exceedingly complicated and competitive environment by doubling down with a major investment in its most valuable asset: the 52,000 employees it already had.


In the last 12 months, Henkel employees have completed 215,000 eLearning courses.

Awards & recognition

Henkel and Accenture brought home two Learning Excellence Awards from preeminent research and analyst firm Brandon Hall Group.

Gold award winner

Henkel and Accenture won a gold medal in the “Best Advance in Competencies and Skill Development” category.

Bronze award winner

Henkel and Accenture won a bronze medal in the “Best Unique or Innovative Learning and Development Program” category.

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Meet the team

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