Twangout: How DHL Group is preparing 600,000 employees for the AI era


How DHL Group is preparing 600,000 employees for the AI era

Dr. Thomas Ogilvie, the global CHRO, unveils the logistics company’s strategy to prepare its workforce for the AI Era while delving into broader challenges and opportunities for HR.
How DHL Group is preparing 600,000 employees for the AI era

In his role as Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Dr Thomas Ogilvie leads the charge in shaping the people strategy for logistics powerhouse DHL Group across more than 220 countries. Ogilvie envisions a future where friendly AI seamlessly integrates into operations, predicting optimal parcel routes and automating customs processes, ultimately freeing up employees to embrace more creative and fulfilling roles.

Recognising the transformative power of strategically integrated emerging technologies, Ogilvie emphasizes their potential to catalyse efficiency while enhancing employee fulfillment. However, he also understands the importance of proactive reskilling and role evolution in navigating this evolution.


DHL's proactive approach to preparing its workforce for the future involves a mix of formal LEARN programmes, on-the-job PERFORM experiences, and personalised GROW recommendations, all supported by AI. This strategy ensures that each employee's strengths and interests align with the ever-evolving needs of the company, fostering success across diverse teams worldwide.

DHL envisions itself as the top employer, with a workforce that unequivocally says, "This is a great company for me!" The foundation of this vision rests on crucial pillars: safety, tools, respect, camaraderie, impact, and advancement scope. These cultural cornerstones serve as magnets for talent, reinforcing DHL's commitment to cultivating and retaining a diverse workforce.

Offering a wide array of over 1000 positions, Thomas emphasises a learning approach where the majority, approximately 70%, happens on the job. This is complemented by 20% near-the-job training, including updates specific to roles, and the remaining 10% is dedicated to off-the-job training for acquiring new skills.

The company's development strategy is enhanced by the "CERTIFIED" methodology, which delivers specialised, accredited training precisely matched to current functions. This approach ensures that employees continually enhance their skills and stay aligned with the dynamic demands of their roles.

In the Career Marketplace, Thomas emphasises personalised recommendations and upskilling opportunities, fueling targeted advancement across the entire group.

DHL envisions AI enhancing logistics efficiency, optimising delivery routing, aiding customs processing, and streamlining operations with robotics across divisions. Ogilvie notes limitless possibilities with this coordinated AI assimilation strategy.

Ogilvie remains bullish on AI and automation empowering employees. Recognising the need for mastery, DHL proactively examines role-specific shifts, responding with targeted personnel planning and capability building tailored to local needs. This strategic approach ensures a harmonious integration of AI and automation with DHL's evolving workforce.

DHL's "Respect & Results" ethos aims for sustainable success by fostering mutual prosperity for employees and the company. The pandemic reaffirmed the company's greatest asset – its people. Prioritizing health and wellness became integral, and certain roles demonstrated effective location flexibility while upholding a strong company culture through sufficient in-person collaboration.

Ogilvie's top priority is for every staffer to declare, "DHL is a great company to work for me!"  For more insights, read the detailed interview here.

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Topics: Leadership, #BigInterview, #HRCommunity

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