Learning and development Providing educational opportunities and rewarding careers

Learning and development is an essential part of engaging and empowering our employees if sustainability is to be something we do together, every day. We take a localised approach to our employee engagement on sustainability, focusing on the topics, issues, and educational content that matter most in each region.

Our 2019 performance

Our in-store colleagues are the ambassadors of our sustainability approach to our customers, making them a particularly important audience for training and engagement on this topic. Every customer-facing campaign at C&A is supported by internal communications and engagement, allowing in-store colleagues to bring our messages to life for customers.

Supporting employee development

We aim to support our employees’ personal and career development while they are with C&A. Across our markets, we make e-learning available to employees on core topics, and provide management development programmes that deliver additional training to managers with outstanding performance and potential. In 2019, some of our employee training programmes included:

  • C&A Europe delivers a monthly orientation programme for new hires that familiarises new employees with the business and includes an introduction to our sustainability commitments and actions. In 2019, C&A Europe welcomed 180 new hires through this programme.
  • C&A China provided training to 100% of new employees on our Code of Ethics in 2019 and all completed it, passing the test to demonstrate their understanding.
  • In 2019, C&A Brazil conducted:
    • Week-long, in-person training for more than 600 leaders and 130 managers on human resources, operations, and other key topics. The initiative was valuable to help managers integrate new processes.
    • Launch of a new learning platform called the Fashion Academy, which is more modern and provides usability similar to streaming services.
    • New training initiatives in the commercial area, including Fashion Talks, which involve the entire commercial team and covers processes and fashion concepts.

C&A Brazil also has several continuing programmes dedicated to people development, such as:

  • Trainee Programme: designed to develop young talent to become Products or Store Managers. The 1.5-year programme exposes participants to several different development opportunities, including on-the-job training, classes, and participation in strategic projects.
  • Future Leaders Program: designed to prepare internal talent for a leadership position. During this 1.5-year programme, participants are exposed to several development opportunities, including classes, leading a strategic project, and others. In 2019, nine people joined the program.
  • Leadership Development Program: This two-day workshop is designed to develop C&A leadership (managers and above) by focusing on topics such as diversity, empathy, communication, trust, collaboration, conflict management and others. In 2019, 30 employees participated in the program from various departments.
  • Store Supervisor Development Program: designed to develop supervisors to become store managers. During the 1-year programme, participants are exposed to online initiatives   such as Store Management, Planning, Results Governance, People Management, and a final project focused on process improvement. IA total of 40 people are participating in the current class.

Where next?

Aligning sustainability with learning and performance management

For sustainability to truly become something we do every day, it needs to be embedded within training and objectives for those employees we trust with the delivery of our goals, such as our Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) team and the Fabric team that works with organic and Better Cotton. In Brazil, for instance, we provide annual training to the SSC team on audit protocol, document review, and checklist use.

Delivering on employee engagement plans
In 2020, we will continue refining our global employee engagement approach for sustainability in alignment with the retail markets' sustainability engagement plans. These plans leverage our Inspiring World initiative to:

  • Increase employee engagement in sustainability and pride in C&A for our actions in this area.
  • Develop employees as sustainability ambassadors who can drive further engagement and momentum among colleagues.
  • Foster a culture in which everyone contributes to our sustainability goals.
  • In the longer term, allow all employees to develop their own sustainability plan actively to our vision. This year's Inspiring World 'small action for big change' engagement project represents a good start.

Execution of these plans began with the launch of our global #WearTheChange platform in 2018, and has continued throughout 2020 to include the shift from employee ideas to employee action in the Inspiring World campaign.