With more than 160.000 employees and 5,169 stores in 96 markets around the world, Inditex is one of the world's largest fashion retailer and a retailer with a high level of ambition when it comes to developing its staff. This perfectly captures why Inditex launched a talent program allowing staff to raise and grow internally. A talent program consisting of two modules: a) A fundamental one introducing talents to the basic store processes, and b) a specialization module allowing talents to develop skills and competencies even further and within specific areas related to HR, operations and processes.
Inditex needs a great system – one that can ensure high-quality content, scale and a true global structure that brings out the best in the employees, truly develops talents and keeps workforce planning and recruitment internally. Also, systems that can be implemented broader in the organization and be used in the digital transformation of communication and procedures.
To get a full overview of the challenge, we began by conducting interviews and observational rounds to map the everyday routines of both talents and managers in a Zara flagship store. This gave us unique insights into the on-boarding process and retention rates throughout the program as well as the barriers keeping talents and managers from finalizing the program and staying on track with feedback sessions.
Based on our research, it became clear that to optimize the talent program on a global scale, we had to develop and test different behavioral strategies like improved feedback and reminder-systems combined with a social-proof approach. This made the individual manager’s and talent’s progress evident in comparison to others on the same program.
To support a high level of commitment throughout the program and make sure managers and talents stay on track on crucial milestones and evaluations, Inditex asked us to take the structure and the content program to the next level. This included making a strong connection to the everyday routines and habits of an ever-changing, busy and global fashion industry. But also, to increase the rate of talents that would finish the program in a timely manner, all while keeping the motivation high.
The engagement at the end of the program was high. 90% of the talents felt mostly motivated to continue their position and development within the Zara family We achieved that by testing the new structure and incorporating new talent material that made it clear what specific skills and tasks to achieve as well as specific visual feedback on performance and steps.
The remaining 10% felt neither less or more motivated than at the beginning of the program. Moreover, the solutions ensured that 84% of the talents completed the program within the optimal 12 weeks. In comparison – before the behavioral strategy was applied – none of the programs met the time frame; all participants would exceed the time frame with more than 3-5 months.
Nudging to retain employees and talents