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Principle n°4 — Reuse

Principle n°4 — Reuse

In the circular economy

Reuse leads to the fact that substances, materials or products that are considered as waste can be repaired or dismantled and be made again.

The principle applied in HRM

  • Mentoring of a worker who may consider living the company (because they are close to retirement or at the end of a project) to apply their skills in a different role within the company (for example to pro-actively use their skills set prior to retirement or as part of a new project)


Reuse in circular HRM can go through:  

  • Involving workers in a mentoring programme
  • Offering coaching or training to perform another function
  • Retention and/or training of workers about to retire to bring them to share their expertise or skills within the company
  • An in-placement or employment placement programme or the promotion of internal mobility

Examples of good practices observed

Boston Scientific (Ireland) — An Informal Mentoring Toolkit is freely accessible to all employees, providing an opportunity for employees to avail of a mentor if desired. An online coaching programme provides access to a selection of coaches around the world. Within the company there is a network of young professionals and, during an annual event, they are able to discuss their career pathway with experienced colleagues. Workers’ approaching retirement are encouraged to pro-actively contribute to nurturing this network.

Nextsense (North Macedonia) — A three-month programme must be followed by all new hires, and the relationship with the mentor can carry on thereafter. Mentoring is also aimed at transferring skills, particularly upon the retirement of a worker with specific skills or for the preparation of successions. For each skill, a “champion” of the skill is appointed, the one who masters it best in the company. Whenever a colleague needs to progress in the field, he knows he can turn to the champion.

Prayon (Belgium) — A skills’ transfer project involving people who are going to retire was launched in 2014, but it was deemed very – too – ambitious. This programme was refocused on critical functions, to operate the transfer of skills identified as critical to the operation of the company, which implies identifying and analysing them. Transfers can then be targeted. In certain very specific cases, Prayon extends the contract of the person who retires by six months to ensure this transfer.

GEMAK Trade (North Macedonia) — A mentoring programme is in place for the benefit of junior profiles, with a one to two month work plan on what needs to be transferred to them. A remuneration is allocated to the mentor for an amount equivalent to 20-30% of the salary of the young supported.

L’Oréal Libramont (Belgium) — For each new recruit, an integration path is predefined at the level of the group, involving a mentor. As the factory is very innovative, a six weeks’ training course is required to learn how to operate production lines and to master information, quality, etc. This is accompanied by tutors who stay on track until the person becomes autonomous. A training is organised for tutors, in order to support them and to help them in their role. When we talk about mentors, we spontaneously think of older workers who enjoy transferring their knowledge, but l’Oréal Libramont also has young people who appreciate to coach newcomers.

SPIE (Belgium) — Recruiting is costly and seeing a worker leave, especially shortly after hiring, constitutes a waste of the investment in training and integration. SPIE Belgium noticed that workers leave it within the first 12 to 18 months after being hired.  One of the explanations is that due to the shortage of qualified personnel in the market, it is not able to hire the first choice, but rather the available choice. Now, after 100 days, the HR team organises an interview with the worker to check if their integration is going well and/or if any aspects need to be corrected or developed. On the other hand, a second wave of departure is often observed among the 30-35 year olds with 5-6 years of experience : SPIE Belgium has put in place career interview for this target population in order to verify that their career aspirations are met and also to identify workers who wish to do something else, who have the ambition and the ability to do it and who, because they lack a career path in the company, would look for it somewhere else.

GEMAK Trade (North Macedonia) — A decline in activity was noted with the Telecom subsidiary, putting three workers in the hot seat. One of them decided to leave the company, but the other two wished to stay there. Interviews were then organised to define where they wanted to go, what their skills were and those that they needed to develop to join the targeted sector, this led to the activation of training, mentoring and to new positions.

Intesa San Paolo (Italy) — The bank’s 2018-2021 plan identified important staff renewal objectives, with a particular focus of channelling excess capacity towards priority business objectives. To achieve these objectives, a specific initiative was launched (Proactive HR “In-Placement”) aimed at re-affecting at least 5.000 people to activities with higher added value. The intra-group mobility structure and the proactive HR placement service have put in place processes and tools required to identify the needs, develop workers for new roles and support the change trajectory.

L’Oréal Libramont (Belgium) — Internal mobility and development also apply to production functions. Example: electromechanics profiles are very hard to find due to lack of students in these fields, and in particular in the province where the plant is located which is relatively sparsely populated. A solution put in place consisted in launching an internal call to see if operators could be interested in a conversion path. Two young people applied as candidates and will enter into this journey which is quite long. Ultimately, the plant will thus be able to count on two new electro-mechanics, but who can also, if necessary, exercise the role of operator.


Project Coordinator

Rue Coenraets 66,
1060 Bruxelles – Belgium
+32 2 535 06 86
Salima Chitalia, Project Manager

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