● By Jean Lee
Danone's employee development programs aim at developing talents through learning that goes beyond your typical formal classroom training.
Unleashing a talent’s capabilities requires investment, time and dedication not only from the employer but also from its employees.
That’s why Danone continues to invest in employee development programs not just to motivate their employees but also to allow them to develop, learn and contribute to its mission of bringing health through food to as many people as possible.
Danone recognizes the diversity in its 100,000 talents across the world and believes that through inclusive diversity, collaborative high performing teams will be developed to deliver breakthrough thinking and results.
“At Danone we see each employee as unique talents and we offer diverse career paths according to their learning appetite with ample opportunities to grow inside and outside of the company,” says Normalis Mohd Sharif, the company’s SEA HR Director.
There are many types of programs for employee development but we want to make it more relatable and achievable. “Learning can be in many ways and we go beyond the thinking that development has to only happen through formal classroom training. At Danone, the learning process can come in multiple ways including on the job learning, networking, digital and class-room training” shares Normalis.
So how is employee development done differently at Danone Dumex Malaysia?
#1 We practice monthly one-to-one sessions where employees meet their managers to discuss on work and personal development matters and together, work out the ways to support and improve performance. Managers and employees commit their time to ensure that these sessions take place and that employees are constantly supported through on the job learning and career development journey.
#2 Open culture - at Danone, we want employees to be open not just with their managers but also with peers. We provide the opportunity and create the environment for employees to have courageous conversations. Courageous conversation helps to address important issues that need to be resolved between two parties in order to move forward and achieve our company goals. We also practice knowledge sharing. This can take place across functions or within your own department. Anyone can provide knowledge sharing. This is to ensure that employees continue to learn from each other on best practices.
#3 In addition to performance conversations, we hold development conversations every year where employees discuss formally with their managers, align and record action plans on their development needs. Managers and employees take this as an important process for sustainable performance on the job and to prepare employees for the future. Development conversations are key for the company to know what each employee needs in order to help them grow. Action plans will involve both formal and informal training as well as formalizing the type of support needed for the employee to be better at what they do now and for the future.
#4 Leadership development. People and team management trainings are given to managers for them to learn how to be better managers with stronger ability to mentor, coach and motivate their team members. All Danone employees are also trained in Danone’s leadership values called CODES Focus to allow every employee to understand the leadership values and behaviours required to deliver business needs.
#5 We are proud to share that yearly, Danone organises a special learning event called Campus for All where we dedicate a week or month to give opportunities for all employees to attend at least one classroom training. The aim is to improve employees understanding of the business, grow their network with employees from other functions and develop their professional and leadership skills regardless of their position.
This year in Malaysia, the Campus for All program is held for a whole month from 9th July to 9th August. This significant one-month program was launched on 9th July which also commemorates with the day Danone celebrates its 100th year of establishment. The theme was “Learn to unleash your potential”. This theme resonates with the fact of being in a VUCA world today, where employees cannot remain comfortable but must be willing to stretch themselves out of their comfort zone to continue to learn and to unleash the potential in them. 17 classrooms trainings with multiple employee led training sessions took place for our 400 employees across all levels including our supply point. Employee led trainings are training sessions offered by our own employees on different topics of interest from digital classes, health and wellbeing sessions to Finance and IT sessions. This also provide opportunities for employees who cherish being trainers to sharpen their story telling, presentation and engagement skills.
#6 Keen to have cross function or overseas exposure? You can also shape your career path by alternating to a different function or even a different region to widen career experiences. When possible, Danone employees are given opportunities to participate in short-term overseas assignments, cross function assignments or specific training programs to help them shape their careers.
#7 The most important self development programme at Danone Dumex Malaysia according to Normalis? The one that you’ve created for yourself! “Each individual in Danone is responsible for shaping their own career development. We can offer programs, learning opportunities, guidance and support but ultimately, it is up to the individuals to make the best of the opportunities and design their own meaningful journey here. As a company, we believe that people are our greatest asset in achieving our mission. We have to continue to anticipate the skills and competencies required in the future and we will continue to invest in the development of our people, to equip them to address the challenges faced in the world today” she says.
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