A recipe for nurturing talent: C and D Foods’ Emerging Leaders Programme

At C&D Foods, we are committed to developing our team and the people in our business, giving them all of the necessary opportunities to be the best they can be in our company so that we can keep leading our sector and delivering excellence to our customers.

To ensure we keep achieving this, we have recently launched the first wave of our ‘Emerging Leaders’ employee development programme within the business. This programme is a key initiative within our ‘Strive’ people agenda, which is our strategy for attracting, developing, and retaining industry-leading talent and maximising the potential of individuals already in the company. Our people are crucial to delivering our goals for excellence in service and products and our aim is to leverage their talent as we grow and create opportunities for them to progress in their careers.

Knowledge sharing

Our Emerging Leadership Programme aims to empower and enable individuals by developing awareness of their individual styles, as well as a deeper understanding of the way they lead and develop their teams.

We have selected members of our team from across a wide range of departments and disciplines, based on their leadership qualities and career aspirations, and their potential to progress within our organisation, inspire and coach others, and embed their new knowledge in how we serve our customers. Our Emerging Leader cohort is drawn from across our European network: from our HQ in Ireland, to our factories in the UK, France, Spain, Denmark, and beyond.

Modular approach

Taking place over a nine-month period, the Emerging Leaders programme combines face-to-face workshops, one-to-one coaching from the course leader, and peer learning, to help the delegates get the very best out of their involvement and facilitate knowledge sharing across the business. Following the launch of the programme in October, the participants will embark on three core modules, each of which will be sponsored by a member of our senior leadership team. They will offer their support and share their own experiences of the leadership journey with the delegates.

The programme is also being facilitated by our specialist trainer, who has excellent expertise in leadership, high-performing teams, talent, change, and communication – all of the values that are core to the programme.

Making it count

Once the modules have been completed, our emerging leaders will reflect on what they have learned and how they can apply it to their role, their team, our service to customers and the development of our business.

Delegates will then be tasked with applying their learning in the workplace, looking for opportunities to grow within the company whilst considering how they can have a positive impact on the team around them. This may involve adapting their leadership style when dealing with different colleagues to support and motivate them, coaching others or even influencing members of their team to apply for the programme in the future.

The first two cohorts are already on their emerging leadership journey, with further cohorts expected to begin the training next year. One of those involved in the first group is category manager, Cassandra Moraine. She commented: “C&D Foods has always provided great opportunities for the team, from language learning through to our graduate training scheme and secondment opportunities to different departments and European locations. This programme provides a structured approach to learning about how we do things, where we could improve and where we can learn from and support each other. It’s a great way to encourage a broader perspective of how C&D Foods can connect and develop as a business and I am already applying what I’m learning to how I work with my team, other colleagues and customers.”