Meet The Dive: a new way of learning and developing
At the start of 2023 the doors to our brand-new training and visitor centre for our current and future employees swung wide. The Dive is not just a physical building, it is also the name of our overall vision on personal development, training and education. The Dive takes our world of learning and development to the next level.
The name The Dive is based on the idea of delving into information, exploring, deepening knowledge and continuing to evolve. The physical training centre was a new milestone in our training vision. It provides our current and prospective employees with an experience that cannot be found anywhere else, something of which talent Development Partners Lies Langedock and Sarah Van Marcke are thoroughly convinced. They are happy to lift a tip of the veil.
Sarah Van Marcke: “The Dive is more than just a cutting-edge training centre for our existing employees and new hires. It is a visitor centre that uses technology to familiarise people with the world of Unilin and everything we have to offer in terms of job opportunities. How we look at learning and development, our vision that people not only choose a job but an entire career, is brought to vibrant life thanks to The Dive. For our employees there is a web environment that offers the same experience and we also developed a mobile application for job and campus fairs.”
What is The Dive experience like?
Lies Langedock: “It creates an accurate picture of what working and learning at Unilin is like and that’s a first. The expereince is tailored to our visitors and presented in a very accessible way using a large 3D wall. For instance, bachelors in electromechanics get to see what their work environment will look like. If you are someone who likes to acquire more expertise, then you can discover the various future opportunities in our company through testimonials from employees whose career has developed along the same path.”
Sarah: “The four career paths we mapped out (deepening, managing, broadening and sustaining) are made concrete in The Dive by elaborating them in a way that is tailored to the person standing there. Based on their background, ambition, etc. we want to show employees what the options are within the Group, inspire them through accounts of people who, for instance, have made the switch to another division or, conversely, who have been deepening their knowledge of the same role for many years.”
Why is The Dive so important to Unilin?
Sarah: “As a fast-growing international company we are faced with a saturated job market and a number of recruiting challenges. The lack of technical and operational profiles in this region is the biggest obstacle but we are noticing that the search for other profiles is also becoming harder. At the same time we are seeing a trend of people who would like to give their career a new twist without possessing the right skills to do so. The idea to only recruit people with all the right skills on board is therefore completely outdated. That is why we have been focusing on on-the-job learning for such a long time: when we feel there’s a match between our company values and those of the candidate, we are more than happy to train him or her on the shop floor. And we make sure they stay on board by continuously investing in their development.”
Lies: “We don’t just train people on the work floor; for the last five years we have also organised in-house trainings in the Operations Training Centre. These are mainly technical trainings or safety courses. The Centre not only trains starters but also people who wish to hone their existing skills.”
Sarah: “The Dive was the logical next step, a centre where all our employees can take training courses. I’m not afraid to say that in terms of learning and development we are pioneers in the region. This was the case with the Operations Training Centre, and with the curriculum of The Dive and the experience it offers, we have once again assumed that trailblazing role. Incidentally, we haven’t seen anything like it anywhere in the world so the inspiration for The Dive came entirely from inside our own heads (laughs).”
Has The Dive changed the training curriculum in any way?
Lies: “No, our training offer is already very extensive and available for all of our employees. Some trainings are set up in-house while others are organised in conjunction with external partners, with a growing number of e-learnings that make it easy to take the training when you most need it.”
Sarah: “What is so convenient about The Dive is that it brings together everything we’ve developed over time in terms of learning and development in a clear and transparent manner. Our training offer is highly diverse and wide-ranging but over the years it had also become fragmented so that it was not always easy to see the forest for the trees, not for our existing employees and even more for potential hires.”
Does Unilin intend to extend this concept to its foreign divisions as well?
Sarah: “Definitely. Every country faces different recruitment challenges but our vision on learning and development is something we want to offer to our entire workforce worldwide. The curriculum of each Dive will depend on local needs.”
Lies: “In a later phase we will also make a web application of the 3D experience wall in our visitor centre. This will enable us to reach all international staff who wish to evolve in their career and find out more about the possibilities our company has to offer. This web application will deepen their insight into the world of Unilin: our roots and our growth history, products and divisions worldwide.”
One thing is certain: The Dive is an inspiring place. For everyone at Unilin but also for potential new colleagues!
You’re interested in a job at Unilin and would like to learn more about career paths and trainings? You’ll find a practical overview at jobs.unilin.com.