“More than 90% of our department, store and district management roles are filled internally,” said Nan Oldroyd, VP Human Resources, Loblaw Companies Limited. “It’s really part of recognizing and rewarding our colleagues' contributions to the company.”
From posting jobs internally to offering corporate internships and including career pathing in discussions between managers and staff, Loblaw focuses on finding the high potential workers and helping them get to the right job in the company.
The advantages were huge, Oldroyd said. The staff who come up from stores have a focus on customers and branding that’s difficult to build outside that atmosphere.
“Performance is a key indicator in judging what is their potential for next role. Loblaw frequently succession plans for store management roles and throughout the company, which includes assessing talent, performance and potential and how ready are they for the next role.”
The company has 14 learning stores, as well as an online training system that offers courses for employees to upskill in specific areas.
Oldroyd has no doubts about the value of the programs for retention and engagement – their annual employee survey shows that learning and developing new skills, and getting more responsibility are correlated with engagement. And those same factors are indicators of whether someone will stay with the company.
One worker who has benefited personally from career pathing is Kristen Hunter, who spent eight years working at a No Frills before being accepted to an internship position at head office. Now she works as a public relations coordinator.
“I think being in store gives you a really great understanding of brand standards and values. When you move into a corporate level position you take those values with you and apply them to your everyday actions,” Hunter said. “It’s helpful for understanding the customer and understanding the brand.”
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