About Company

  • Industry: Telecommunications
  • Size: 93,000
  • Region: Global/Finland


From its beginnings as a single paper mill operation 155 years ago, Nokia has evolved to meet the needs of ever-changing societies: first manufacturing paper products, cable, rubber boots, and tires before moving into electronics, including televisions. By the turn of the century, Nokia had become fully immersed in the production of powerful electronic devices; today their offering is focused on supplying network operators and enterprises with cutting edge communication infrastructure, such as 5G. With a focus on creating technology that helps the world act together in times of constant change, Nokia delivers critical solutions that address global challenges.

The Challenge

Workforce capabilities must adjust with changing business needs

At the start of the 2020s the evolving digital environment, coupled with dramatic shifts in customer demands, called for a renewed corporate-level workforce strategy for Nokia. As expressed through their “Vision of 2025,” Nokia recognized that “what got us there in the past won’t get us there in the future” and that its approach to talent management needed to evolve for the company to maintain its traditional high level of business agility. There was a particular focus on the sales organization, as a main business driver: Nokia needed to find a way to bring the new vision to life and identify, in a reliable way, where each salesperson would stand against new expectations. They understood that a one-size-fits-all approach to people development, irrespective of skill level, was no longer efficient, and neither was “on-demand” training, whereby only the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

SHL Insights

95%+ Employee participation rate in SHL’s voluntary assessments across all Nokia sales regions, validating the new approach.

The Solution

Systematic, data driven upskilling and reskilling: “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”

Nokia has always been dedicated to constant reinvention, and its approach to moving into the future started with an honest, objective assessment of the current competencies of its workforce. What they needed was a scalable digital approach to evaluate sales people’s aptitude level, identify top talents, and derive concrete development advice that would ultimately help drive efficiency and effectiveness. SHL’s science-backed solution was able to easily accommodate Nokia’s role-based competency model and its reporting needs, providing the scalability and flexibility to enhance their approach to capability management. SHL met Nokia’s challenge with a two-pronged approach, including our Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ) complemented by a competency self-evaluation tool developed by Nokia. Custom sales development reports were designed and built for distribution within the project. Each employee in the program received personalized and tailored coaching based on the suggestions in the Development Report.

The Results

Ensuring the right capabilities in the right place at the right time generating high value to the company and individuals

Leveraging the combined power of the OPQ and the self-assessment provided transparency to company stakeholders, delivering insights into macro-level, division, team, and individual capabilities. As a result, SHL’s assessments and the resulting very focused upskill measures are now being utilized in every Nokia sales region. Across Nokia, employee participation rates in these voluntary assessments are higher than 95%. A post-program survey confirmed that participants recognized the quality of the reports and found value in the coaching offerings. Data continues to come in from this relatively new program at Nokia, but the company can already analyze the impact of skills on distinct key performance indicators. Skills data from the self-evaluation, coupled with skill potential revealed by the OPQ, gives Nokia insights into employees’ potential performance, and the customized development tips provide an actionable, immediate impact across Nokia’s global sales workforce. Here at SHL, we’re proud of helping this global telecom leader take capability development to the next level, and we’re looking forward to helping them continue to up their game in the years ahead.

Explore SHL’s Wide Range of Solutions

With our platform of pre-configured talent acquisition and talent management solutions, maximize the potential of your company’s greatest asset—your people.

See Our Solutions