Discovering talent through training

At the heart of Decathlon’s people-focused strategies lies a determination to help each person develop and flourish. Training courses, inextricably linked to the responsibilities issued early on within departments, aim to promote autonomy and employability anywhere in the world.

Number of hours training worldwide in 2015
1,828,780hours (vs 1,973,456 hours in 2014)

Each team mate receives an average of 23.9 hours of training.

We encourage everyone to create and innovate with complete confidence, regardless of their position and area of responsibility, in a supportive environment, as the right to make mistakes is vital to every learning experience and can be the key factor in future success.

Entretien de recrutement / pause. Décathlon Namur. Belgique.
Decisions are made by those who are most affected by their consequences

At Decathlon, we encourage all our team mates to be decision-makers, either alone or collectively, if these decisions have direct ramifications for their own area of work. To make this possible, we organise ourselves so as to give each person the necessary levels of autonomy, training and information. This means that all employees are responsible for the decisions within their own areas. We use an empowering, agile management model that advocates the talents of all our team mates: value creators.

Departmental training: choosing the right course

As soon as employees join the business, they are given a Personal Training Plan (PTP) relevant to their area of activity, which aims to make them operational as quickly as possible. The training course is staggered in line with the team mate’s level of experience:

  • Integration: training courses vital to mastering the basics, acquiring the fundamentals, and to be followed during the integration period.
  • Initial training: courses designed to help team mates improve their skills, plan their work and achieve within their role.
  • Development training: training courses designed to improve levels of proficiency.
  • Additional training: courses that can be followed independently of a team mate’s role, or to develop skills useful for a future role.

The PTP is the company’s own training plan, the result of capitalising on all the skills identified as being important when exercising responsibility.

Various formats are available, suitable for a range of contexts and needs, such as group courses, coaching, e-learning, seminars, etc.

Les échanges Oxylane. Villeneuve d'Ascq.
Our training strategy

Most courses are led by Decathlon team mates, who are accredited training leaders. Trainers for the purposes of one or more sessions, these team mates transmit their expertise and knowledge with their peers in a practical manner, thereby helping to develop their skills in a spirit of mutual fulfilment. In 2015, Decathlon drew on the educational skills of 11,588 in-house trainers.

Skill is like a move in sport: to begin with you have to learn it, but then you make it part of your game and gain a long-term, more strategic view.

One of the projects undertaken to make training plans more effective involves essentialising the courses. For example, in the product manager role, there are now 3 training courses available instead of the 21 offered previously:

  • listening to and observing user needs
  • constructing and managing the product range
  • product development

These modules are fully aligned with departmental needs, so as to convey a stance and a collaboration/management method in a logical order.

The team mate is the main driving force in their own personal development, free to follow the suggested plan at their own pace and the advice of their manager, who has a natural interest in overseeing his/her teams’ training.


Ready for Responsibility!

At the Decathlon Exchange, everyone can develop their self-confidence in order to take on more challenges; this is the purpose of our internal training centres dedicated to management. ‘Ready for responsibility’ is all about taking decisions and making mistakes, but above all learning from these.

“Responsibility helps me to develop" % of people who answered “yes, absolutely” or "yes, quite"

of the company's team mates say that having responsibility helps them to develop*

*Result from Decathlon Team Barometer conducted among Decathlon team mates in September 2015, when polling 47,130 employees who responded.

Since 2005, the Decathlon Exchange team has focused more intensely on this drive to encourage employees to take on challenges and responsibilities, and to safeguard the longevity of managerial skills that have made Decathlon the success that it is.

Putting people at the heart of our projects is what has made us so strong over the last 40 years. It means that every team mate can understand their true purpose and subsequently enjoy coming to work every day!

Amelie Toursel, Decathlon Exchange leader.
equipe DE-web
An international team, like Decathlon itself

Thirteen people, all from different parts of the globe, are motivated by the desire to innovate in the interests of creating the managerial practices of the future, so that Decathlon’s management is always one of its differentiating features.
There are four training centres worldwide: the first is in Villeneuve d’Ascq (France), the birthplace of Decathlon, while the other – more recent – three are based in Shanghai (China), Bangalore (India) and Sao Paolo (Brazil), rooted in countries where the company has trailblazed its development. Their role is also to promote the purpose, values and basic principles of Decathlon’s human relations. This mission helps to strengthen the roots underpinning the company’s success, through continuous improvement.

The training courses focus on 5 key themes:

  • management
  • personal development
  • groups
  • values and intentions
  • skills
  • The courses are available in several different formats: training courses, learning expeditions, sharing events, workshops and documentation.


    training courses were organised by the Decathlon Exchange in 2015

    We offer a range of management training courses, depending on the person’s role and level of responsibility. The content of our training courses remains the same regardless of the country, as the principles we endorse are valid everywhere, even though our management style is unique!

    Pawel Antolec, Training manager

    In the future, the challenge within these areas will be retaining the benefits of in-house training whilst offering teams formats that are as fast-paced as the world in which we live. ATAWAD, MOOC and SPOC are just some of the concepts and solutions that could therefore soon form part of our e-learning strategy.