We know those who feel con-nected
to others within
their workplace are more
engaged and are more likely
to stay with a company. Connecting with
others is also one of the best ways to learn
and grow … through watching, listening,
sharing, asking and debating.
At Maple Leaf Foods (MLF), we fo-cus
on learning and growing through
real work experiences, supported by feed-back
and coaching. We also continually
look for ways to build and support con-nections
as a way to provide on-the-job
In 2013, MLF piloted a peer mentor-ing
program to explore a structured, yet
organic and flexible, way of building peer-to-
THE PILOT GROUP
MLF’s Leadership Track is a well-established
leadership development program for early
talent. High potential graduates are recruit-ed
from great universities and are provided
accelerated development over the first three
years of their career. The lion’s share of de-velopment
occurs through challenging job
rotations that align to the career aspirations
of each Leadership Trainee (LT). To date,
this has been supplemented with executive
mentoring, workshops and webinars.
The program has a fantastic track
record for developing leaders for the orga-nization.
The LTs are in high demand by
the business, and some of MLF’s most se-nior
leaders are program alumni.
Even with this, there was opportunity
to be better.
The LTs knew what it would take to get
there. It was just a matter of listening to them.
It was felt that there was opportuni-ty
to improve the development support
to the LTs, so they were asked what they
thought. Over the course of many conver-sations,
three core needs emerged:
1. I need support on issues and devel-opment
areas that matter most to
me. This will help me be the best at
what I do.
2. I need to connect with others. I en-joy
sharing and learning from other
LTs at our workshops. I would love
more opportunity to do this.
3. I need development that fits my
GROWING LEADERS THROUGH
By Carmen Klein and Glain Roberts-McCabe
30 ❚ MAY/JUNE 2014 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL