HRIS Strategy

Jumbo: How employees become entrepreneurs of their own talent

jumbo flags in front of a building

As the second-largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, our customer Jumbo fully understands the HR challenges in the Retail sector. ​

In this customer story video, Alrik Boonstra, HR Director of Jumbo, elaborates on these challenges and further explains why the Jumbo Academy is key in not only retaining but also developing talent, making their employees ‘entrepreneurs of their own talent’. It goes without saying that Jumbo needs the right tooling and software to streamline their employees’ journeys. ​

Video transcript:

Neelie Verlinden – Digital Content Manager at Talentsoft: Hi and welcome in the Netherlands! We are here at Jumbo today, one of the largest supermarket chains in the country. And we’re going to have an interesting talk with Alrik Boonstra, H.R. director of Jumbo. Let’s go inside!

The biggest HR challenges in retail

Neelie Verlinden: Alrik, what are the biggest H.R. challenges in the retail industry, and how does Jumbo deal with these?

Alrik Boonstra – HR Director of Jumbo: The first big challenge is the transformation of the business, which completely transforms the organisation. We are moving from a single channel, I would say brick-and-mortar store, into a omnichannel organisation. That has a lot of impact on roles, competencies, skills and talents of people. So that’s one.

Second is culture. Client-centric culture is key in our organization. We have to put as much as possible focus on it, because experience is becoming much more important than in the past.

Third is leadership. Leadership in the stores is really important for us, because they make the difference. They make sure that the people in the store, at the end of the day, go the extra mile.

And last but not least, it’s inclusiveness. An inclusive culture is very important for us because we want to reflect our client base. Our client base is very diverse, so we want our associates to be a very diverse group of people. That’s why we embrace a very inclusive culture in our organisation.

The Jumbo Academy: retaining and developing talents through training

Neelie Verlinden: You have also the Jumbo Academy. Can you tell us what role the Jumbo Academy plays, when it comes to the retention and development of people?

Alrik Boonstra: The academy is central in everything we do. Actually, the academy was first, HR came after it. So the academy is in the heart of  our HR policy. When we attract people, when we hire people, we start onboarding them,that’s where any academy kicks in.

We are touching. We are training 25,000 people a year. So that’s a huge volume. And that’s where the academy is built for.

And lastly, we also offer our own bachelor degree in the Jumbo Academy. So, people working in our stores, who might not be the best scholars at the end of the day, we offer them a bachelor’s degree. So they can become an assistant store manager, and a store manager as well, so it’s it’s absolutely crucial.

The role of HR tools and software for people development

Neelie Verlinden: Could you perhaps explain what role tools and software play, when it comes to the development of talent?

Alrik Boonstra: We are with 90,000 associates. So touching these 90000 associates can only happen with a fully digitized HR platform. That’s where Talentsoft actually kicks in.

So when we really want to touch all these 90,000 people, we really want to bring them on board in a very efficient way. We want to train them, offer them e-learnings, but also physical training. When we offer them 360° feedback, succession planning, talent profiles, all that kind of nice HR stuff, it’s now brought together in Talentsoft. And it helps us actually to scale up, and helps us to grow the organization at a very fast pace.

So what’s really important here in Jumbo: when you put in the mixer passion for products, passion for clients, passion for stores, that’s a good recipe for a great career in Jumbo.