Internal mobility at Essilor – A strategic approach

At Essilor, internal mobility is key to talent and career management. It is possible to develop one’s skills through new experiences, or even change the path of one’s career, through work in other subsidiary or country, or starting a different job. Read on to learn about Kamonchanok’s experience of changing jobs and countries, hear from Melany about why internal mobility is key to the Group strategy and from Simon about what is in place to support individual mobility projects.

Kamonchanok VORAVONG
Europe Supply Chain Management – Demand Planner

Kamonchanok, can you describe your role today?
I am a demand planner in Europe Supply Chain team, responsible for collaborative demand planning for European countries. We are a team of five people involved in a monthly forecasting process: it starts by computing and validating sales forecast with country planning coordinator taking into account all sales information, as well as data from Marketing, Supply Chain, Operations and Finance. We then validate replenishment forecast and manage distribution keys for all European subsidiaries.

What attracted you to join Essilor?
Essilor is a company with great values – promoting visual health. I joined Essilor in Thailand as a graduate trainee after my studies. My role allowed me to meet and work with many people from different departments.

You have held several positions within Essilor. What has been the driving factor for change each time?
At Essilor Thailand, I was assigned to different positions within Asia Mass Production Supply Chain: first as demand planner and then as new flows/products coordinator. I enjoy challenges and new professional experiences. It helps to increase my skills and builds my career path.

What was your motivation to work in another country? How was your integration in this country and with your new colleagues?
One of the reasons I first applied to Essilor is that it is multinational company. I always wanted to work in an international environment with people from different cultures and languages. After applying for my current position with Essilor International in France, I was lucky to be integrated quickly in the country and with new colleagues as you have to understand different culture and be open minded. Also, I think cross-cultural training has really helped.

Over the years and through your different roles is there anything you have learned about yourself and the Group that you would like to share?
Thanks to this opportunity, to move to France, I have learnt a lot about Essilor. The company has many opportunities to offer and allows its people to move to take up new professional challenges.

Vice President Human Resources Global Operations

Melany, can you explain why internal mobility is important for Essilor?
Internal mobility is an engine for people development. It allows employees to continue to learn and stay relevant; it contributes to top talent retention and succession planning, it helps to build long-term employee success stories for an effective internal recruitment strategy.
It is especially important at Essilor as we are a company with a mission. Whatever we do in HR, we aim to support Essilor to better serve our customer in the long term enabling us to achieve our mission. There is a saying: it is not the strongest species that survives but the most adaptable. As a business, Essilor can only survive if we are adaptable. Internal mobility provides a platform for employees to train their adaptability muscles, to stay fit and agile enough to face the continuously changing business world..
Internal mobility allows employees to enhance their skills and grow to learn ones, to gain experiences, and to be exposed to different environments. This may or may not lead to career advancement, however internal mobility almost always guarantees personal growth for all who embrace it. At Essilor, we want each employee to have personal growth. Growth will foster engagement. Engagement propels business success. Business success is the ammunition for us to meet our mission. Internal mobility is an important lever to achieve this.

What trends for internal mobility do you see for the near future ?
Many companies today are encouraging internal mobility to meet their business agenda. This will continue and the link between mobility and serving business needs will only strengthen.
At the same time, we will also see more and more companies embracing and supporting employees who look for internal mobility opportunities to pursue career goals which may not necessarily conform to the traditional way that we see a career path. We will see more and more companies supporting employees pursuing internal mobility to fulfill a higher purpose.
The two may sound contradicting but in fact they are not incompatible. It is of course very possible to fulfill a higher purpose while serving the needs of a business.

International Mobility Department Manager

Simon, how do Essilor HR teams encourage internal mobility on an international scale?
At Essilor we have developed a range of dedicated tools to support international mobility. An employee may express a desire for a new challenge through mobility during their performance reviews with their manager and HR contact. These are discussed according to the needs of the business and, of course, they must be in line with individual expectations. Today, many Group employees pursue either long or short-term international assignments outside of their country of origin. These range from short-term contracts (typically between 3 and 12 months), an expatriate contract (between 3 and 5 years), or a local contract. In any case, Essilor assists the employee and family to relocate, and supports them on complex topics as taxation, social security, cross-cultural challenges or settling in a new city. Employee mobility helps the Group transfer skills across countries where such skillsets may not be currently available. It also allows our future managers to develop international experience.

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