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An interview with the former executive director-EMEA for Dell, Xavier Molinié
Date 14-08-2014
Viewed 2397
Author Berk Özberk

An interview with the former executive director-EMEA for 


Dell, Xavier Molinié






Xavier Molinié is the former executive director-EMEA for Dell. Xavier will be presenting on How To Organize Flexible Working at the Global HR Trends Summit taking place on the 29-30th of September in Istanbul Turkey.

He has postgraduate diplomas in Philosophy and Organization Management and started his career as a teacher. He was a civil servant in Vanuatu teaching French and Philosophy and then back to France he had several experiences in the world of Education. Xavier pursued his career in Sales organizations, as a sales representative and evolving to sales management responsibilities. His Human Resources career starts in 1997 when he takes over HR Development for the CANAL+ Group. He contributes to expanding the CANAL+ best practices to Vivendi Universal at global level prior to joining JCDecaux as HR Director. Then he joins Gemplus as VP Global HR. Xavier Molinié has recently left Dell where he was the EMEA HR Executive Director. He joined Dell in 2006 and was highly involved in all the fields which promote diversity and drive mindset transformation so diversity and differences are considered as strengths and assets that play in favor of a company which purpose is dedicated to make people grow and thrive. 



How did you start working in HR? 

I started my HR career joining a Pay-TV company. This company had to go through a transformational path and reach to an international governance standard. I took over HR Development and built up the backbone for Human Capital Development and Talent Management. Prior to this I was a Sales Manager and that background was and is still pretty useful to me being an HR person. I never lose out of my radar that HR serves the business and is acknowledged when bringing value to business and strategic decisions.


How different was HR from when you started compared to today? 

The main differences come from IT and Globalization. Very mature HRIS are now available on the market and they offer faster and more accurate data management to deal with complex topics such as acquisitions, pay-planning, talent management, equity… They also enable to give back to people managers a more and more active role in HR-managing their teams.  On another hand, globalization is pushing for thoughts about what is the purpose of HR? What is the HR best cost and organizational model to deliver against strategic plans? I think we are today at a crossroad where the future of HR is under design and may drive to something highly different for the next generation of HR people.


What are the three most important things that you need to Implement when you work in HR? 

Design an HR strategic plan that reflects the company overall strategic plan, then align the HR organizational structure so you can implement the plan and build on Talent Management & Employer brand to retain and attract the best talented people.


What is your advice to young HR professionals starting in the industry? 

Take HR as a business lever.


In your session you will be discussing workplace flexible solutions. What is your number one advice for setting up flexible working in a huge company, such as Dell? 

My key advice is to link it with a wider intent – eg Great Place to Work initiative – and to balance well global and standard principles with local requirements and culture. Let’s also bear in mind that setting a cap number of flexible days is instrumental for making it successful; that means maintaining a mandatory space for networking and socializing at the office so people don’t suffer from isolation.


What are some of the benefits, that Dell as a company, has gotten through flexible working? Give us some examples. 

Many benefits came from this initiative. A better worklife balance for employees is a major one by offering time management flexibility and obviously a leaner and stress less way to address private issues. Another good one is offering to the XYZ generations a flexible working time structure that is in sync with the collaborative and virtual relational and working space they have grown up in. Last but not least is also to protect the company against external risks impacting transportation such as weather conditions, public transportation strikes, etc.


In times of crisis it is very difficult to promote and sustain the idea of flexible working. What is your advice on cutting costs and promoting the ROI of this to senior management? 

Flexible working is obviously driving cost savings on facilities and motivation increase. That can be of high interest in times of crisis.


What would be an ideal balance, when it comes to flexible working? 

It really depends on the roles and IT capability to securely access data from outside the company. I don’t think there is a unique and ideal balance. Not all the roles can be eligible to flexible working and that’s something to consider from the beginning in regards to requested availability to customers, remote access IT constraints, scope and nature of the jobs, etc.


What is your opinion on the move of Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer to end the work-from-home policy of the company? Why do you think it didn’t work out for Yahoo? 

My understanding is that the Yahoo policy was unique and global and was not considering the local requirements and had not sufficiently established the eligibility criteria.