May 04

Testimony of Vincent Gailhaguet, HR Transformation Manager at ENGIE E&P International

Vincent Gailhaguet is an innovative HR director who is not afraid to change the mentalities and practices of the companies in which he works. Formerly responsible for GrDF's Digital project and now HR Transformation manager at Engie E&P, he defends a digital which serves above all the human and which allows to establish a real dialogue between the employees of his company.

Octomine launched with Engie E&P at the end of 2016 on the initiative of an internal QVT Observatory.

Why did you set up Octomine at Engie E&P? What management project is it part of?

Engie has always been a group very committed to quality of work life operations and there is a genuine desire to improve the experience of its employees. It is also a company with a real digital project in which Octomine fits perfectly.

At Engie E&P level, the company is undergoing a strong strategic transformation with a very important human resources aspect. It is therefore all the more important in this context to listen to employees while being very responsive to the social climate. As a result, the annual surveys were no longer sufficient, the last one we conducted did not even come out because it was already obsolete a few weeks after its launch. We therefore needed a much more regular and flexible social barometer.


"It is therefore all the more important to listen to employees while being very responsive to the social climate [...] We therefore needed a much more regular and flexible social barometer.

Comment pensez-vous qu’Octomine puisse améliorer la performance de vos équipes ?

In a rapidly changing business world, and with much uncertainty, the debate on social dialogue is in full swing. It has even become a real subject in the political news. Octomine then acts as a tool that enables a more direct, franker dialogue to be established, reporting on employees' real questions, while being secure and anonymous. It also provides answers to employees' questions while measuring their impact on their state of mind.

One of the great advantages of implementing a digital tool is indeed the freedom of speech for a more frank dialogue because protecting respondents' anonymity reduces response bias.

"Octomine then intervenes as a tool that allows a more direct, franker dialogue to be established, which reports on employees' real questions, while being secure and anonymous".

What did Octomine bring to you as HR Director?

First of all it was important for me that the approach be credible because these may not always be well perceived by the social body. In this Octomine offers several advantages:

Its founders have sufficiently varied profiles to make the right mix between expertise in digital, QWL and business issues. Moreover, there can be a lot of bias in the way questions are formulated and the fact that Octomine develops its own in partnership with the Laboratory of Social Psychology of the University of Aix-Marseille is a guarantee for partners and unions to reduce these biases.

It is also important to note that at Engie E&P, the proposal to set up a continuous barometer did not come from management but from an internal QWL observatory made up of managers, employees and staff representatives. They chose Octomine because they felt in this team the importance of neutrality and benevolence for them.

And for your employees?

First of all, Octomine's flexibility has allowed us an original breakdown: the employees are not grouped by department but by coffee machine, which means that the manager of a team is never put to shame and that he can express himself like any other employee.

As far as the employees are concerned, it was important to me that everyone could express what they think but also know what their team thinks. Indeed, thanks to a sufficiently significant sample of the opinion of the collaborators, each one can quickly see how he positions himself in relation to the others while realizing the plurality of opinions and thus the fact that there are perhaps several visions for a given problem.

It is also crucial in my opinion that Octomine is not just a measurement tool but a real dialogue tool that must generate actions on the part of management.

"I think it is crucial that Octomine is not just a measurement tool but a real dialogue tool that must generate actions on the part of management."

Quelles ont été les réactions au moment du lancement d’Octomine ?

The launch with Octomine was different from other conventional barometer launches. First of all because it was an initiative of an internal observatory and not of the management, but also because of the way in which it took place. Indeed, digital must allow us to be more human. This is very important for me and that is why the fact that the Octomine team came to the launch, that they went in contact with the employees in order to establish a real exchange, answer their questions and explain the solution, was very appreciated.

We quickly saw the impact of this more'human' launch on the participation rates in the weekly questionnaires, which were very quickly high.

"Indeed, digital must allow us to be more human"

What do you think of the link between economic and human performance?

I'm an HR manager! I am in the front line to observe the fact that if there is social progress, there is economic progress, that one goes with the other. When people work in a supportive and caring environment, they are more agile, more flexible, but also more supportive. It therefore seems quite obvious to me to make the link between economic performance and human performance.

We must make everyone an actor in the system in which they find themselves, make them aware of the role they have and for that we must have their trust in their managers and their management.

Octomine, if used properly, can help restore this bond of trust because we can forge a true partnership with this solution that understands the specificities of the companies with which it works. This is the strength of a small structure that privileges reactivity and a frank and human dialogue.

Many thanks to Vincent Gailhaguet and Engie E&P for their testimony on Octomine!