2016 Sustainability Report

2016 Sustainability Report

Xylem People


2016 Training
By The Numbers

of in-person and
web-based training

in Learning
Management System

internal promotion rate
who have completed Career Frameworks training
completed Leading for Continuous
Improvement training

Training Areas


Code of

Six Sigma

Career and Leadership Development

One of Xylem’s strategic objectives is to cultivate a high-performance organization, and training is an essential element of this effort. Providing opportunities for employees to build and reinforce their skills is vital to engagement — and, in turn, to building an enduring company.

Talent development at Xylem is grounded in frameworks of integrated talent management and our Connect, Perform, Grow Process (CPG). The process of integrated talent management standardizes our talent management practices, from recruitment and selection through development to performance management and compensation. CPG, meanwhile, creates a quality assurance process for our people, offering regular feedback conversations throughout the performance period, including discussions on individual development that captures advancement goals for employees, created with input from the individual and his or her manager or supervisor.

One of Xylem’s strategic objectives is to cultivate a high-performance organization, and training is an essential element of this effort.

The purpose of these programs is to provide a platform for a collaborative review and development of employee results against goals, objectives and outcomes, as well as employee behavior and competencies. We strive to ensure that these goals and objectives are aligned with Xylem’s strategic and operational objectives. It is not a one-time exercise; on the contrary, ongoing development guides employees through every stage of their careers at Xylem.

We also utilize a Career Frameworks tool to provide more clarity to employees regarding how best to position themselves for career advancement. Using this multidimensional tool, employees can receive detailed direction from their managers about the competencies they need to succeed in their current job or to be considered for the next step in their career journey. They can also view standard competencies that are expected of employees in particular career functions, which define the behaviors exhibited by top performers and the desired outcomes of those behaviors. Xylem offers technical training for managers on how to use Career Frameworks and how to have development discussions with employees.

In 2016, we launched the Xylem Learning Center (XLC), a new online global learning platform designed to maximize employee learning and development through the delivery and tracking of training, knowledge sharing and e-learning modules. Combined with Career Frameworks, XLC provides a meaningful, comprehensive guide to development for our employees as they progress. The platform offers:

  • The ability to create competency-based training and curriculums linked to career frameworks.
  • Training for sales teams, product teams, managers and channel partners.
  • An easy-to-use interface with search capability.
  • Automated training notifications for required training.
  • Easy reporting capabilities.

This platform enables us to deliver training programs across Xylem, such as our Manager Development Program (MDP) which is intended to reach all managers and supervisors across the globe or our Leading for Continuous Improvement (L4CI) program.

By Doing

Members of the Executive Development Program’s third cohort wrapped up their training by taking part in a Xylem Watermark event. The final meeting took place in the United States, and the team chose to organize a project that would promote interest in STEM fields among schoolchildren, particularly girls and minority students. Partnering with a local nonprofit, Xylem leaders conducted an experiment for the students on cleaning wastewater. Students learned how to add a coagulant to clean the water and apply a financial formula to determine how to get the cleanest water at the lowest cost, using Xylem equipment to test water for contaminants.

Jay Iyengar, Xylem’s Chief Innovation & Technology Officer, spoke to the students about challenges and opportunities as a woman in an engineering field. At the end of the day, students left better informed about the opportunities that degrees and careers in science can afford them. Xylem participants departed inspired to continue to support and mentor others from all backgrounds.

Training for Every Phase of the Employee Life Cycle
For many employees, especially those with engineering or operations degrees, training begins at the very start of their career. We have taken a segmented approach to delivering training and development focused on the executive leadership of Xylem, managers and supervisors and early-in-career. For example, we offer a program in which participants rotate through three locations, and then are placed in a full-time role within Xylem. These programs include international assignments where high-potential professionals build key foundational skills and also create strong networks across the company. This program is enabling Xylem to build a deep bench of future leaders.

As individuals settle into their roles at Xylem, we continue to develop their knowledge and talents through a robust selection of online learning courses available via our Learning Management System. Subjects include leadership skills and technical and product training for a wide variety of job functions.

Around the world, we are providing our colleagues with additional educational opportunities. In Europe, we have “functional academies” that provide training on sales, engineering, manufacturing and finance. In the U.S., we offer a skills-building curriculum for front-line managers and supervisors, and in China, our Leadership Institute provides employees with foundational skills to lead effectively. We also offer tuition reimbursement to employees who are pursuing education to further their careers.

Other development programs include the new Strategy Fellows Program for high-potential individuals — typically product managers and sales team leaders — who are interested in expanding their skills in strategy. The second cohort of this program graduated in 2016. The Innovation & Technology Fellows Program will be a similar initiative for those who want to build engineering and technical skills. In addition, a new sales training program introduced in partnership with Wilson Learning, a leading workforce training company, focuses on helping colleagues develop effective solutions and selling capabilities.

Training for Leaders
Training doesn’t end once employees begin leading others. We have a variety of development programs for new and established Xylem managers.

Our Manager Development Program consists of an in-person kickoff for groups of 25 participants, followed by an 18-month blended learning curriculum. It includes virtual online learning, webinars with senior leaders, virtual teamwork activities and Manager as Coach, a two-day, in-person workshop that equips managers to transition from a directive approach to a coaching style. As with all Xylem training, active learning is an important part of this program. We don’t just teach models; we provide opportunities for participants to practice the skills we are teaching.

The Executive Development Program is an in-depth program designed for leaders who report to our Senior Leadership Team. Building upon Xylem’s vision to become a high-performing operating company with a common culture, the program focuses on building enterprise leadership approaches and empowering leaders to take charge of our company’s transformation. We kicked off our fourth cohort of this program in late 2016.