Equal career development at Kvadrat: The High Potential Programme

To grow and evolve, we need a diverse workforce comprised of committed employees with the necessary skillset, expertise, and qualifications to drive our business forward. At Kvadrat, we prioritize attracting and retaining the best talents and achieve a high-performance, quality-driven culture, we employ and foster a diverse workforce. We actively engage with our local communities to nurture and grow local talent, give a high degree of responsibility and opportunities to perform and learn, ensure a healthy, attractive workplace with a good work-life balance, and provide equal opportunities for development and learning. In all of our training and development programmes, we use transparent and objective criteria to identify opportunities for career development. One example of these growth opportunities is the Kvadrat High Potential programme.

Kvadrat High Potential is an annual learning programme which a group of Kvadrat employees are invited to join. The purpose of the programme is to accelerate learning for the participants and provide them with competencies that will help them succeed in leading cross-organisational and complex tasks. Throughout the year-long programme, participants are invited to join seminars and work on live learning challenges, which are often real-life situations that Kvadrat needs to solve. The High Potential programme is also a vital part of Kvadrat’s journey towards our female leadership target of being 50% women led by 2025. In 2022, we achieved our aim of achieving 50% of the underrepresented gender (women) in the High Potential programme, an improvement from 42% in 2021.

To give an insight into career progression and the High Potential programme at Kvadrat, we spoke with one of our team members in London, Charlotte Napper. Charlotte is a Key Account Manager for our corporate end-users’ clients, who graduated as part of the Kvadrat High Potential Class of 2022.

How long have you worked at Kvadrat, and has your role progressed?

I’ve worked at Kvadrat for four years, and since the day I started, my role has continued to evolve. I’m fortunate to have a diverse role within Kvadrat Limited. Predominately, I support my colleagues on projects within our architecture and end-users’ segment, ensuring that we retain our specification when it reaches procurement, that we are ‘at the table’ should value engineering be relevant, and working with some end-user clients to influence specification. We continuously evaluate the market, looking for pockets of growth and work with the disruptors.

What are your career aspirations at Kvadrat?

My dream is to drive and inspire a sales team. After fifteen years in the industry, I’ve often questioned what motivates me, and in recent years it’s been moments when I’ve seen those around me flourish or grow in confidence under my guidance.

What is the High Potential Programme?

The High Potential Programme is a thought-provoking internal programme designed to challenge the participants' approach, make them think beyond the task, understand the why and find a long-term solution. The programme educates participants on Kvadrat’s core values, how to become a great team player and how to identify their personal strengths and weaknesses. Participants take part in several group challenges, both short and long term, learning to be transparent with your skills and embracing others – allowing everyone to have a voice.

What do you feel you have gained through the High Potential Programme?

Firstly, the feeling of being recognised by your direct line-manager as someone with high potential is very motivating. During my time on the programme, I have learnt the value of reflection, how to work with constructive feedback and the ability to learn with curiosity. I also learnt to develop a deeper understanding of my strengths and weaknesses. For example, despite having an undertone of nerves, I have always been a confident presenter, but the programme has helped me to and reevaluate how I present. I have learnt to give myself space to read the room, be led throughout the presentation by the client and most importantly watch the clock.

We were also fortunate to get a glimpse into Kvadrat’s Leadership Toolbox, which has given us an understanding of great leadership qualities, such as offering clear instructions and value-led conversations, being transparent and empathetic, actively listening, taking responsibility, and allowing others to grow. As a group we will continue to learn from each other, having expanded our internal global network and having a deeper understanding of our different cultures and local market challenges.