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Raising the Bar for PepsiCo

Updated: Sep 11, 2023


Talent management at PepsiCo was seen as an activity for HR, rather than people managers within the business. Too often, high potentials were leaving PepsiCo because leaders were not properly investing in their futures. New roles tended to be filled by expensive external hires - rather than from internal promotions - and the hiring process struggled to produce diverse candidates. Managers were being overwhelmed by engagement and wellbeing issues within their team and were not always utilising the support resources PepsiCo had invested in, either because they were not aware of them or because they did not see the benefit.


PBS had no existing solution for this talent management challenge. In line with the PBS game-based learning methodology, the full talent lifecycle at PepsiCo needed to be re-created in a compelling game format. A game story was developed which positioned participants as leaders of a virtual team, able to make lifelike decisions around training and development, pay and recruitment. Each decision impacted individual and team KPIs such as engagement, capability, diversity and performance. A live competitive talent marketplace was integrated in the game to create an exciting centre-piece in each game round. After fact finding workshops with PepsiCo stakeholders, the first step was to produce a playable proof of concept game experience on Google Sheets. Following feedback and revisions in conjunction with PepsiCo, the full game was designed and built for the web. Within 14 months of the first workshop, the game was rolled out across PepsiCo Europe.


Andrew Collier, L&D Director, PepsiCo Europe writes:

"PepsiCo strongly believes in the long-term career development of our employees, so we recognise the value in fostering a high level of capability in our managers to be able make effective talent decisions for their teams. We sought a learning solution which could simulate the types of real life, day to day talent challenges our managers face – but also be fun, engaging and provide a very different learner experience than traditional classroom training.

We decided to work with PBS to co-design the game because they have a proven record in designing and delivering high impact L&D solutions. Importantly, we knew that PBS would enter into a partnership with us and be able to design something that fit PepsiCo’s culture and unique context. The experience has already resulted in higher learner engagement scores and significantly increased our managers confidence and ability to make better talent decisions."


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