Sonepar is the global market leader in B2B electrical distribution. Founded in France in 1969, the company currently has activities in 44 countries, over 24,000 employees, and an annual turnover of 21,000 million euros. Its mission is to identify and select the electrical products that its customers need and make them available to them at the right time and place.
To achieve this mission, Sonepar strives to train its employees and develop their interpersonal skills (soft skills), especially in the area of leadership and team management. The company has to conduct this type of training all over the world constantly to have the best professionals and maintain its leadership in the sector.
The challenge: a useful, practical and flexible training
Within its training initiatives and with a view to continuously improving the company’s human capital, Sonepar faced three major challenges:
• Numerous employees who were widely dispersed geographically. With a presence in 44 countries, the company has traditionally had to incur high costs and many efforts to train its staff. This time, Sonepar was seeking a more flexible method capable of reaching its widely dispersed staff and could also be done in several countries at the same time.
- Useful and practical leadership training. The company identified leadership as one of the areas that it wanted to emphasize, particularly among the company’s managers. For this, the company needed a course that went beyond abstract theories and ideas, one that offered advice, tricks and tools that employees could use in their day-to-day activities.
- An innovative training. Sonepar also wanted to surprise its employees with a different and innovative training. The company wanted to smash the stereotype of a boring and bureaucratic human resources departments by offering employees not only a course that would engage and motivate them but also one that they would enjoy.
Solution: Pacific, the serious game for leadership and team management
Sonepar decided to tackle these challenges with Pacific, Gamelearn’s serious game for leadership and team management. In this graphic adventure, employees are stranded on a desert island, where they must put all the leadership principles into practice if they want to get off the island alive.
Pacific offered the company at least three advantages:
- Training without borders. Through the Gamelearn platform, employees only need an Internet connection to complete the course, which makes training in several countries much easier, since they can do it anytime and anywhere. Thanks to the advantages of the online format, the company not only had no restrictions on how many students could take the training but also avoided the costs of classroom training (travel, staff salaries, opportunity cost, etc.).
- A simulator to guarantee practice. Pacific is a practical and useful course focused on developing the leadership skills of employees. Thanks to its powerful simulator, students are challenged to make decisions and practice from the very beginning, thus guaranteeing “learning by doing”. The situations appearing in the game are based on real life, which makes it easier for employees to easily apply what they learned (and practiced) in Pacific to their day-to-day activities.
- An innovative course that engages employees. Set up as an adventure with numerous gamification elements (rankings, points, peer competition, storytelling, etc.), Sonepar employees were immersed in the video game and interacted with the pedagogical content from the outset. This innovative format served to increase employee engagement and improve knowledge retention.
Results: 100% applicable to the job
The training carried out with Pacific at Sonepar had a very positive response. The company managed to tackled the three challenges it faced and also provided leadership training to hundreds of employees worldwide. The 88.9% student recommendation rate and 75% completion rate soared well above most online training programs.
In addition, 100% of the employees who finished Pacific said they can apply what they learned in their job. This means that the course effectively served to generate new habits and offer practical and useful tools, contributing to developing employee skills and ultimately to safeguarding Sonepar’s leadership in its sector.