Trust & partnership are the two main values driving GlobalFoundries's employee experience

The Employee Experience Awards 2022, Singapore, saw the GlobalFoundries (GF) team walking away with nine major wins of the night — five gold awards, two bronze awards, and two overall wins:

  • Gold: Best Holistic Leadership Development Strategy
  • Gold: Best Learning and Development Programme
  • Gold: Best In-House Certification Programme
  • Gold: Best Capability Development Programme for the HR Team
  • Gold: Best First-Time Manager Programme
  • Bronze: Best Soft Skills Training Programme
  • Bronze: Best Organisational Upskilling and Reskilling Strategy
  • Overall Leadership Award
  • Overall Learning Award

In this interview, Jennifer Pickering, Senior Director, Global Learning & Development, GlobalFoundries, shares how all of this was made possible through a culture of collaboration, trust, psychological safety, DEI, and respect, among other values the organisation thrives on.

Q Congratulations on the achievement! Walk us through the highs and lows of your winning strategy – and how important is it for the organisation to have these efforts recognised this year?

People are at the heart of everything we do. As the only foundry in the world with a global footprint, diversity has enabled us to harvest amazing ideas and deploy solutions for technology, manufacturing, and for life. Keeping up with the evolving needs of our teams in this dynamic business environment has also presented challenges. Intense times call for creative measures to accelerate employee development and deliver business results.

Throughout this, we have maintained a passion for problem-solving, collaborated across borders, and delivered on our commitments all with unyielding integrity. To be recognised for these feats in a tremendous time of turmoil and change is incredibly humbling.

Having clinched a record number of awards reaffirms the GF efforts to build better humans as we aspire to change the industry that is changing the world.

Q Understanding and meeting your employees’ needs and expectations is never an easy feat. How did you and your team identify the business & employee needs, and craft out the perfect solution? 

Trust and partnership are the two main values that help HR deliver the best employee experience. A culture of trust and psychological safety enables us to elicit real and authentic feedback from our employees to act on. Nothing beats direct feedback that comes from the talent that drives this business forward.

Partnering and collaborating with the business leaders in our initiatives and solutioning helps to amplify the impact and synchronise our shared direction. This partnership begins early in the ideation stage so our shared vision can come to life, blind spots can be immediately rectified, and buy-in and alignment are simultaneously garnered.

GF is re-imagining bold and delivering a new era of more. 

Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience, in terms of ROI, when it came to fruition? Share with us the benefits of having such a strategy in place.

In a tight labour market plagued with turbulence, our people-centric strategy has enabled us to attract, retain, engage, and accelerate our people. An attractive compensation and benefits package, a holistic learning and development experience alongside career growth opportunities, and an engaging workplace built on innovation and creativity are all factors that enhance the GF experience. These factors combined together enable us to improve retention, enhance productivity, and deliver quicker and better business results for ourselves, our customers, and the world.

This time-tested 'OneGF' strategy has helped to unite our employees together and enabled GF to not only accelerate our IPO plans but also to move ahead with expansions across multiple sites in the world.

Q Could you offer some recommendations to your peers across industries – what advice or lessons would you have to guide them into implementing something similar for their own EX foundation? 

Always put your people first and they will make the impossible possible for you.

GF believes in the limitless potential of people but also understands that this potential can only be unlocked with a culture of diversity, inclusivity, and respect. When you take care of your people, they will take care of the business for you. Be agile, be responsive, and care deeply.

Q If you were to reflect, what is one thing you’ll do differently in executing this strategy? 

While GF has done many wonderful things for our people, we had always been reserved and conservative about sharing our achievements externally. Building on the momentum of the EXA, we hope to play a more active role in the HR community and industry to share our learnings, success stories, and opportunities, and to learn from others as well. When this happens, we all grow stronger together.

Q Looking ahead, how is GlobalFoundries going to take this winning strategy higher and further in the coming years? Give us a sneak peek into your upcoming plans to grow the overall employee experience. 

As technology, globalisation, and the world evolve, future trends of HR would also evolve. We will continue to leverage best practices from the industry, cull the collective wisdom of all our global experts from each site, partner with our leadership team, and most importantly, listen to the voice of our employees to enhance the working experience for them.

More specifically, in our continuous journey of evolution and growth, plans are on the way to implement one-stop HR technology solutions that create an interactive talent marketplace and AI-powered learning solutions. We will rethink and reimagine the employee experience, leverage on diversity, equity, and Inclusivity, and continue the social transformation of learning. It will be an exciting time for everyone.

Q 10 years down the line, where do you see the future of HR? 

The future of HR will be a braver, bolder, and louder voice in growing our talent and driving business results.

We anticipate the globalisation of HR platforms that unlock transparent, predictive, and proactive solutions for our talent as they learn to navigate their careers & solve business problems in a more agile way.

We also anticipate that HR will be able to forecast talent needs and provide proactive solutions before the need even arises. There is an indispensable future ahead powered by unstoppable HR functions.


Image / Provided (Pictured: Jennifer Pickering, Senior Director, Global Learning & Development, GlobalFoundries)

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets section!  

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