Kristin Martinez

Director of Learning & Development, US Commercial and State Government, CGI

Supernova Award Category: 
Future of Work - Employee Experience
The Organization: 

CGI is a global IT Services company, with 90,250 employees (employees) in 40 countries, delivering consulting, IT, and business process services to more than 55,000 clients worldwide. We provide secure and flexible end-to-end services include strategic IT and business consulting, systems integration, IT managed services and intellectual property solutions. Our business consulting focuses on ways to improve business agility and manage change, for example, while our intellectual property helps accelerate innovation. We use our systems integration capabilities to advance clients’ IT modernization efforts, and our managed IT and business process services help clients mitigate cost pressures while driving more value from their technology supply chains.

The Problem: 

Over the last five years, CGI has seen an ever-increasing need for new hires who are prepared with rapidly changing, innovative technology skills, and agile software development, management, and consulting skills. CGI is actively hiring early career professionals for the Business Analyst (BA), Software Engineer (SE), and Data Engineers (DE) roles. CGI Launch was designed to help new hires – whether they came from a college campus or a tech training program – to be best prepared as a BA, SD or DE through bespoke skill build for the new hires who would be filling these high growth roles. Launch's entire program centered around practical ways to enable new hires in these three roles to be confident, clear, and competent after graduating from CGI Launch.

Having consultants with the right skills at the right time and in the right place is vital to the company’s success and growth, as well as the satisfaction and engagement of their employees. CGI’s U.S. Commercial and State government strategic business unit needed to create an upskilling and onboarding (OnSkilling) program for early careers professionals ensuring: the shortest possible time-to-productivity on client projects; flexibility to onboard hires from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations; and a standardized OnSkilling experience which will lead to a lighter load on the new hires’ managers.

The Solution: 

The blended learning program combined online and onsite synchronous and asynchronous learning with structured videoconferences, self-directed eLearning, work simulation, and group and individual activities, aiming to create a fun and innovative learning experience that could grow and scale to answer changing hiring demands.

Local office interaction gave them a broader new hire cohort. In addition, CGI Launch lifted many of the heavy lift elements of OnSkilling from the new hire’s managers, allowing them to focus on other strategic priorities all the while engaging with their new hires through weekly, targeted one on one discussions held during the five weeks of CGI Launch. Virtual sessions included leadership behaviors, Gallup Strengths, Oxygen (well-being), Employee Resource Groups (DEI) and much more. They prepared for the Capstone week together in Pittsburgh and we celebrated their group projects the final week of CGI Launch.

The Results: 

The team that won the competition in Pittsburgh in February working with our global Digital team about helping to bring their proposed mobile onboarding app, called Buddy Up, to life for the whole organization. The Launch faculty are thrilled at the possibilities ahead for these new hires, and for all the learners who will potentially benefit from their innovative and creative ideas. Surveys completed during the program revealed learners had a strong need for more experiential learning for early career communication skills.

The post program survey is underway with managers and learners being asked questions to ascertain the long range effects of CGI Launch. In addition to that, the Launch faculty will survey learners who only went through the first week of CGI's OnSkilling. These learners and their managers will serve as a control group, allowing us to examine and isolate the ways in which CGI Launch affected and shaped participants. The Launch faculty will keep and celebrate the overwhelming positive elements of the first CGI Launch cohort – the local office experience, the Capstone Week experience, the networking with senior executives, the ongoing professional, business and technology support through CGI Academia, Skillsoft's Global Knowledge role based learning, Codecademy, as well as the great Capstone team mobile app creation partnership with CGI’s Human Centered Design team mentors.


CGI Launch learners spent 42% of their time in CGI-specific ILT, 26% in simulations, 16% in self-directed virtual learning, and 14% in Skillsoft ILT. This included 43.5 hours in video conferences and ILT,  26.5 hours on learning simulation, 16.2 hours in self-directed virtual learning and 14.7 hours in virtual ILT provided by Skillsoft. End-of-CGI Launch surveys showed 100% of learners either Agree or Strongly Agree with these statements: "I feel confident I have the professional skills necessary for my role at CGI" and "Because of CGI Launch, I created a professional network at CGI"

The Technology: 

 We built the program on multiple interaction platforms, including Skillsoft Aspire journeys, Global Knowledge Instructor Led sessions, MS Teams Channels and Video Meetings, Codecademy and CGI’s IT Academy online process, as customized for the learner’s role. CGI integrated AI-based and digital learning tools that could be accessed after OnSkilling for continued skills development through a partnership with Skillsoft.

Disruptive Factor: 

CGI exec sponsors and Launch faculty set out to design a highly engaging, interactive and meaningful experience for our new hires at a time when business pressures are everywhere. We knew that the request from our business leaders was a big lift that had not been done before and we had less than 4 months to do it. We hadn't coordinated live local learning at scale since 2020. We had never created live local virtual learning for new hires across the full organization. We are proud that we built a collaborative community over five weeks with ongoing support not just for today but for their full careers. Creating an employee experience that was challenging and innovative and that would yield a  network of talented colleagues, supportive managers, invested senior executives and enthusiastic subject matter experts took an enormous amount of energy and investment from all parts of our business, and we are thrilled with the results. We would not have been successful without our C Suite supporting every element of the program. In every interaction, our focus was on highlighting the path to confidence and competence for each learner, so that they felt that they not only belonged at CGI but that they could thrive in their career long term. Our overarching goal was achieved - we created a program that sets our early career hires up for a long and meaningful career at CGI. 

Shining Moment: 

Launch’s greatest benefits overall were in creating a sense of connection and belonging.Learner quotes included: "I enjoyed the sessions that talked about the available resources at CGI, such as Oxygen, Skillsoft academia, MRG groups, navigating Intranet, etc." " All the Launch leaders were very supportive and encouraging. It's also great that they are always open to feedback on how to improve Launch for future employees!” 

About CGI

Across 21 industry sectors in 400 locations worldwide, our 90,250 professionals provide comprehensive, scalable and sustainable IT and business consulting services that are informed globally and delivered locally.
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