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From the bar of soap in your shower to the adhesives used to assemble your car, you may not even realize just how many Henkel products make your life easier, every day.

But competition is fierce in today’s world, with new brands and technologies emerging all the time. Even large, multinational companies like Henkel are feeling the pressure to keep up with change and remain not just relevant, but thrive into the future.

Their core solution?

Making major investments in their most valuable asset: the 52,000 Henkel team members around the world.

Because arming their people with the right digital skills allows them to better anticipate customer needs and develop innovations and new solutions faster and better.

Their partner to help make it happen? Accenture.

Our teams joined forces to design and roll out a global digital upskilling program for Henkel, based on a new digital-learning management system implemented in just 18 weeks.

Collaborating for digital-learning success

In my role as managing director in Accenture’s Strategy and Consulting/Talent and Organization practice, my functional footprint—and my passion—is helping organizations and their people build the skills they need to leverage all opportunities and master the challenges of digital transformation.

As the engagement lead for the Henkel project, I oversaw all the project components. Our upskilling program is multifaceted and ranges from helping define and assess digital skills to implementing digital talent management and learning technology.

The Henkel project has been quite unique in terms of scope, scale and timing. We’ve had to be creative to develop targeted, yet very pragmatic and quick-to-implement solutions.

The key to this project’s success was the overall integration of Henkel and Accenture teams, who were all selected based on their expertise and experience. We worked across all business areas—from strategy and consulting to technology and Accenture Song—to co-create and deliver the best possible solution for Henkel.

Here’s how we worked together to make it happen:

  • Digital capabilities assessment: The first step was to define Henkel’s digital skills and assess their team members’ skill strengths and gaps. The Accenture Song team brought their expertise in digital marketing and digital sales for a co-creation approach, together with Henkel experts. The approach was then scaled by the Strategy and Consulting group, with teams from multiple functional practices and Talent and Organization.
  • Digital upskilling: After identifying the strengths and skills gaps, we needed to conceptualize job-family-specific learning programs. Blending our own Accenture Academy courses with Henkel training elements, our Capability Network learning experts and the client team developed an innovative, award-winning digital upskilling learning journey.
  • Digital talent experience: A new talent-management system helps Henkel employees focus on professional development and career ambitions. A combined Henkel and Accenture project team, consisting of members from Talent and Organization, Capability Network and Accenture Technology, designed the processes and implemented modules for the new Talent Management Suite.
  • Digital talent sourcing: In addition to upskilling and supporting its current team, Henkel needed a better way to recruit new, digital-savvy talent. We helped create a “recruiter toolbox” to help recruiters connect digital skills with specific roles and more accurately match the right people with the right jobs.

The Accenture and Henkel teams orchestrated their efforts so that in the end, we successfully reached our goal: helping Henkel’s people build digital skills and build skills digitally. 

Success by the numbers

So far, Henkel employees have completed 215,000 eLearning courses, and Henkel’s global learning initiative has clocked 272,000 training registrations.

Current Henkel employees can better manage their own career path, with tools to help them learn about the digital skills they need. And external candidates can now get through the application process in around 60 seconds, making applications for open roles increase by 40%.

Skilling for the future

So, what’s next?

Lifelong learning is more important than ever to help guide businesses—and careers—into the future. The team is taking the training offering to the next level, based on the newly implemented digital learning management system, making learning globally and easily accessible.  

This was a great opportunity to co-create solutions with a fantastic joint Henkel and Accenture team where every person’s input was respected and valued, at every level.

The best part of working at Accenture is, by far, our people, and the challenging, interesting projects I get to work on. And even after almost 17 years here, I still have the opportunity to learn something new every day.

Create real, lasting value with the work you do, every day. Join our team.


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Anne Kotzorek

Managing Director, Management Consulting Executive, Duesseldorf, Germany

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