Annual Report 2019

1.2 How we develop and nurture talent

Our P&C team established several key initiatives to support our goals to attract talent, enhance career growth and gain global leadership experience for GrandVision employees.

Regular dialogue to establish a talent management mindset

GrandVision’s Talent Management Program team has created a culture of dialogue with our employees. This helps us match our company’s current and future capability requirements with employees’ individual aspirations. Our talent program is a bottom-up process with bi-annual formal talent reviews for every level of professional experience. It includes team discussions, succession planning, goal-setting and formal performance feedback moments.

In 2019, we implemented a unified global talent management approach and rolled it out across all the countries where we are present. This led to the creation of individual development plans and high potential employee groups.

We also implemented a clear leadership profile, which is aligned with our strategic ambitions. In 2020, we will continue to work on this profile through leadership development and launch specific high potential programs.

Professional training and growth opportunities

We offer equal training opportunities to all GrandVision employees through GV Academy, our global center of excellence for continuous learning and development. It features a blended learnings approach, such as e-learning, classroom lessons and on-the-job training. In addition, our integrated Learning Management System facilitates sharing best practices and adapts content to meet local needs and circumstances.

GV Academy’s training programs cover three topics:

  1. Strategy, e.g. digital empowerment
  2. Local business needs, e.g. new products launches in specific markets
  3. Global business needs, e.g. leadership development

The content is localized to specific requirements and targets all commercial and retail employees. Learnings include retail training, optical, sunglass and contact lens expertise, the customer journey and store management. Each topic has specific KPIs and targets, and our global P&C team is responsible for following up on each of them.

The total training hours dedicated to our employees and their specific functions reflect our strategic, local and global business needs.

Global training for local store consistency

We ensure our store experiences around the world are consistent by offering the same high level of professionalism through our training program for all store employees. It is segmented in three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Within six months of joining GrandVision, 100% of our store employees pass the mandatory Bronze level. Employees can further develop their professional ambitions based on specific business needs by taking the Silver and Gold level training.

Total and average training hours




Total training hours




Average training hours/FTE




In 2019, we provided more than 590,000 hours of training, an increase of 8% compared to 2018, which is in line with the acquisition of new retail chains in Spain and Switzerland. On a global level, we provided an average of 17.3 training hours per FTE. Store managers and their employees generally receive more training hours than non-store employees due to their daily contact with customers.

Omnichannel employee training

In late 2019, we also launched an omnichannel digital improvement program to develop retail management skills across all countries. In 2020, we will launch a digital magazine with inspirational, leadership-focused content tailored to local retail brands' unique needs and digital maturity.

GV Academy goes mobile

In 2019, we launched a mobile version of our GV Academy training platform. Now employees can take their e-learning sessions anywhere, on any mobile device.

We developed the app in response to feedback we received from GrandVision employees and our suppliers. Training topics include:

  • Eyewear brand-specific courses
  • Optometry
  • Customer journey
  • Product quality and safety
  • Compliance

And in 2020, we will continue to update the GV Academy app. Users will see even more modules, training options and collaborations, including our partnership with the LinkedIn Learning platform.

Young talent

More than 18 of our operating companies partner with universities and vocational programs to prepare students to become professional eye care providers. Programs range from two months to three-and-a-half years and provide students with in-store work experience, soft skills and technical training.

In 2019, we received multiple awards for our young talent training programs. They include:

  • U.K.'s Vision Express won 'Best Apprenticeship Program' for the East Midlands region
  • Germany's Apollo Optik was awarded for its training and apprenticeship programs by Deutschland Test, TEST Bild and Capital
  • Spain's +Visión apprenticeship program was recognized by La Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Functional and geographical global mobility

At GrandVision, our mobility policy supports our talent pool and measures our international value. It encourages the exchange of best practices among operating units, enhances GrandVision’s culture, and trains and prepares our future eye care industry leaders.

GrandVision continues to benchmark our mobility policy against international best practices, which consist of three employment types:

  1. Long-term assignments: last from three to five years, ideal for career development, green field operations or to backfill key positions.
  2. Short-term assignments: last three to 12 months and are project-based.
  3. Transfer assignments: roles for talent who transfer permanently from one country to another.

We also facilitated a mutual exchange of experience between our operating companies and global headquarters. Our international talent mobility strategy resulted in 15 internal job changes across countries. Now we are boosting the visibility and accessibility of internal vacancies to our employees across more than 40 countries.

In 2020, we will further enhance our global and functional mobility efforts. We will launch an organization-wide mentoring platform to harness internal knowledge-sharing and employee connections across all countries, job functions and professional levels.