Supporting the professional growth of Heinz employees is one of the keys to our success. Across the globe, salaried employees start the year with clear performance goals and a plan for developing specific skills or knowledge areas for that year. A mid-year check-in meeting includes a review of their performance against goals, as well as a robust assessment on how they have conducted the work against the Winning at Heinz Leadership Model and our values. An end-of-year assessment compares results based on previously established goals. Heinz expects all regions to conduct these reviews with all salaried employees routinely. The insights about an employee’s performance, strengths and areas for improvement are then used as input for the next year’s development plan and performance goals.
While on-the-job learning is important, Heinz also provides additional opportunities for employees to develop their skills and leadership abilities in a more formal way. Professional development training occurs in four major areas:
- Core skill development
- Management development
- Functional development
- Leadership development
Core skill and management development training is ongoing in each market, utilizing an internal train-the-trainer approach. For example, our sales officers in India are able to take advantage of a Talent Development Program that provides future growth opportunities and helps to build the talent pipeline as officers learn higher level responsibilities. The Heinz Academy in our North American business enables employees to participate in educational courses including “Making Meetings Work,” “Writing Advantage” and “Developing Extraordinary Leaders.” The Heinz Academy is also offered at many of our affiliates around the globe. In addition, a Global Management Development Academy is currently in the design phase.
Functional training is offered locally and globally. Functional academies have been developed to create a shared approach to developing functional excellence in the following areas: Marketing, Procurement and Supply Chain. A Sales Academy and Human Resource Academy is currently in the design and development phase.
Heinz has many initiatives underway to develop leaders. These efforts are tightly linked with our annual People and Organizational Planning Process. Each Business Unit conducts an in-depth assessment of its leaders through the manager level. This information is then presented to the CEO and Office of the Chairman during week-long meetings each September. From these discussions, people development activities are identified for leaders, with a special emphasis on key, high-potential individuals.
Development efforts for these people include leadership academies hosted by the CEO, CFO or the Regional Presidents. Executive coaches are used across the globe to help individuals refine their leadership styles. The Emerging Leaders Development Program at Heinz has a three-prong approach targeting people going into Functional Head roles, Business Unit President roles or Regional President roles. The Business Unit and Regional President programs contain a deep assessment process that combines psychometric assessments and behavioral-based interviews that then drive unique development plans.
The Functional Head program includes assessment and emphasis on shared experiences, including people and business leadership, which occurs over an 18-month period. Additionally, Heinz Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer William R. Johnson commissioned a study of 28 sitting CEOs of larger organizations to identify the skills, attributes, knowledge areas and experiences it takes to be an effective CEO. This study is being published in a book titled “What I Wish I Knew,” and is entering production. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities, Inc.
Employees at Heinz are encouraged also to take advantage of the Company’s generous tuition reimbursement policy to enhance or broaden their existing skills and knowledge. Employees are eligible to take up to two classes per semester with 100% reimbursement upon successful course completion. Classes must relate to their current or future career aspirations. Employees are also supported in their participation of professional seminars and associations.
Lastly, Heinz believes that leaders develop best through a variety of experiences, from ex-patriot assignments and our pilot shorter term “Swap” program between Australia and the UK, to global programs that develop talent.