Guiding learning and development: the Miele X competency framework

The culture at Miele X is built around the diverse people who work here – and the People & Engagement Team play a key role in ensuring that our people have the very best employee experience. One such example is a recent project where the Learning and Development team (L&D) worked closely with business stakeholders to develop a shared competency framework. A framework designed to support personal and professional development across the business. We talked to Miele X’s L&D Program Manager, Emily Wong, and HR Consultant (ext.) Joost van Dam, about the importance of this project and how they made it happen.

Emily is originally from Vancouver, Canada, and moved to the Netherlands in 2017. She’s always been interested in human behaviour, merging her experience in consumer insights and product marketing with learning and development. It was the combination of a start-up organisation backed by a global brand that attracted her to Miele X in 2022. “It was just the right balance of L&D and the world of digital innovation.”

Joost is native to the Netherlands and says it’s the constant change that he enjoys most about his work. “If you consider that Miele X didn’t exist a few years ago, it’s been such an exciting ride,” he explains. In his role, he works with People & Engagement colleagues to improve the systems and processes that give the company’s people a great experience. On the competency framework project, he emphasises that it was all about “developing the people of Miele X into even better professionals, experts and leaders.”

An important part of the experience

“In simple terms,” Joost continues, “The People & Engagement Team is about our peoples’ experience at Miele X. It’s about how we make people feel welcome in the organisation. That ranges from onboarding and culture to the opportunities to learn and thrive professionally and personally.” He explains that a good proportion of Miele X people are from different parts of the world. “They leave behind friends and family to come here, so it’s critical to make them feel at home and help them thrive professionally so they want to stay at Miele X.”

Emily explains that this is also reflected in the vision for the People & Engagement Team, “We’re creating a Miele X experience to be proud of, built upon an inclusive culture where motivated X-perts can grow and get X done. So, inclusivity is a strong part of it,” she says. “By creating a valuable experience that attracts, develops and retains the best talent, we’ll have all the expertise we need to propel Miele and Miele X forward.”

Continuous development

Emily describes the kind of people who work at Miele X as “people who are curious about the world, and who want to stretch their own ambition.” She says this means they want an employer who will invest in them as much as they invest in themselves. “So we need to make sure that we’re upskilling them, helping them grow and reach their heights of ambition so that Miele and Miele X can remain at the cutting edge.”

Joost supports this, “Typically they don’t want to do the same job for a long period of time. They want to know the next step for them and what it will take to reach it. That doesn't necessarily need to be a vertical move, broadening your expertise can also result in a meaningful horizontal move. Not all people aspire to be leaders, some simply want to be top-level specialists.” As Emily says, “By offering both vertical and horizontal development options within a role, Miele X offers a more flexible growth path that fits each person’s capabilities. And internal movement encourages knowledge and innovation to cross over from team to team, which adds value to the overall business.”

 Identifying the right behaviours

In a clear demonstration of this commitment to focused development, the team recently created a framework that describes the most critical competencies covering all Miele X roles. “Last year we enhanced our continuous feedback and performance process,” says Emily. “Now, we're continuing to build on that foundation by developing a set of behaviours that set a clear standard and expectations for each role. This helps people to understand what’s expected of them and gives them a roadmap for future roles.”

She says developing the framework wasn’t an easy task. “It was a bit of a balancing act, because we wanted to be true to the Miele X vision, but also needed to link up to the Miele Group competencies.”

In the end, they created a solution that covers a set of Miele X competencies that apply to everyone in the business. In the next phase of the project, role-specific competencies will be added for each position in the organisation.

Joost says, “There was a lot of debate about why we chose one competency and not another one. But the competencies aren’t set in stone, what we need today will change to some extent in the next year or two, so I’m sure we’ll make a few adjustments along the way.”

Making an impact

“Although the project is still in progress, we're happy that we got this first delivery in place. And we're already looking forward to building on what we've achieved so far. We want to make sure that people get even more insight into the organisation’s expectations for their role,” explains Emily. “With these competencies, people will see opportunities for growth and development. We want to make sure we’re able to meet that need and provide impactful learning opportunities. It's all about finding the perfect next role for our colleagues, which in the long run will benefit them and the business.”

For Joost, the competency framework supports the People & Engagement Team in several areas, from professional development and succession planning to recruitment and retention. “If you have a clear organisational vision, understand the competencies you require to get there and have people who possess those competencies, you can make your vision come to life. And I think we’re in a good place to do that.”

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