Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Community-based project develops Sainsbury's graduate recruits
Article Type: Notes and news From: Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 40, Issue 4.
UK food retailer Sainsbury's is developing the leadership skills of its graduate recruits through a community-based project to bring about sustained behavioral change.
The Graduate Community Action Learning Program challenges Sainsbury's graduates to work with a primary school in London's Newham borough, in order to champion the retailer's Different Values corporate-responsibility principles: best for food and health, sourcing with integrity, respect for the environment, making a positive difference to communities and being a great place to work.
The supermarket teamed up with training company Impact, which designed the community-based learning project. It included providing a healthy-eating allotment for the school, which not only enabled the graduates to develop their leadership skills but also advanced the retailer's core values and promoted ideas of sustainability and environmental awareness within the community.
Impact's design challenged the graduates to bring to life sustainability and a green theme across the school. It elicited real behaviors that could be explored and experimented within everyday business lives.
“At Sainsbury's we aim to fulfil our responsibilities to the communities and environments in which we operate. The Graduate Community Action Learning Program truly embodied this,” commented Joanne McGuire, development consultant, graduate development, Sainsbury's. “We chose Impact as it understood from the outset what we were trying to achieve. The graduate program reflects the direction we are moving in as a business - it fully demonstrates our commitment to communities, young people, food and education. It also helps our graduates to feel they are an important part of the company and enables them to make the transition between university and their working lives.”
Andy Caldwell, Impact consultant, said: “Sainsbury's Graduate Community Action Learning Program is designed to forge sustainable enterprises that operate both profitably and with enhanced social responsibility. We look forward to repeating this successful project next year and investigating opportunities throughout the organization.”