Employee Development & Experience
Employee Development & Experience

Why It Matters

To us, our teammates are family—and the people who make our partnerships possible. Our ability to serve customers and communities, to advance business strategy and to deliver strong returns for investors all start with the energy and focus of our teammates. In an increasingly competitive labour market, we are investing in people so they are engaged, grow in their careers and can continue to be the high performers that we count on.

Our Approach

Being people-powered is one of our core values—and a critical enabler of our ability to deliver on our business strategy. Our multi-year People Plan is designed to support organic growth by investing in:

One winning team culture

including our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (see DE&I)

An engaged and empowered workforce
Development of capabilities

We continued to make progress and refine our approach to employee development and experience in fiscal 2022 in response to external challenges.

Like many companies, we had to adjust our approach to deal with higher levels of absenteeism during the pandemic, adopt more flexible working arrangements and respond to the increasing competition for talent. We also listened to what our teammates had to say in our most recent employee experience survey—and heard the high importance they place on having meaningful career goals and opportunities for learning.
Learning from these trends and insights, our approach is increasingly focused on creating internal pathways for promotion and growth along with developing aligned and consistent capabilities internally—all backed by strategic hiring.

We are helping our teams become even more results-driven by setting clear goals and reinforcing performance expectations—including setting personal development goals at all levels with a strong link to incentives. We have been focused on providing and implementing:

Regular performence

Regular formal performance reviews aligned with career development for all permanent employees


Initiatives for talent recruitment, development and retention

Formal mechanisms

Formal mechanisms to promote an open feedback culture, including employee experience surveys and new onboarding and exit surveys

Quantative targets

Quantitative targets and reporting on human capital development and risk assessment

Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in the right combination of company-wide alignment around capabilities and performance expectations, while continuing to empower our banners to find the right solutions for regional and local team needs.

Safeway ingredients Safeway ingredients life


Nationwide Capabilities Building

In fiscal 2022 we focused on developing a consistent, repeatable approach to building national programs, with an initial focus on our operations, merchandising and technology teams. Based on a rigorous assessment of capability needs and gaps, we launched a new merchandising learning and development program that includes a combination of structured onboarding, job shadowing, on-the-job training and continuing education. More than 375 teammates are undertaking certification with Elevate U, our new merchandising training platform.

Capability building Nationwide capabilities

Introducing Career Models

We are building a strong talent pipeline with a focus on leadership skills, functional capabilities and DE&I-related learning. We recently introduced new Career Models for teammates to understand expectations and opportunities associated with different roles and performance levels. This is a key tool to both identify and develop our people and future leaders through clear learning and career pathways. In our operations teams, we currently have our largest-ever cohort undertaking certification through our Nourish U training platform, and we continue to offer a range of industry-specific learning programs in all our regions and banners. Our focus on integrating DE&I into all aspects of talent development is driving results too, as we work to increase the percentage of women, Black, Indigenous and other under-represented community members in all our teams.

Introducing career models Introduce career models

Listening To and Empowering Our People

In our most recent experience survey, we asked our teammates what mattered to them most, and the answer was clear—they want to be part of a company that can help them meet their career goals through clear learning and development pathways. That is why, in addition to our work developing new Career Models and creating national capabilities programs, we are working to meet our teammates’ career-growth needs by supporting people leaders to establish clear goals and performance objectives for their team members. Our new people leader guide includes resources and expectations on goal-setting, including how to align individual roles with business strategy, set developmental targets and incorporate DE&I into everything we do.

Listening empowering people Empowering people


By creating transparent career paths, we support teammates to identify new opportunities for development and salary progression without having to leave the company. Our learning programs support technical, functional and leadership development, and we use the performance and success processes to help teammates grow in their roles. It is exciting to see the work we do on internal talent development play out at every level of the company – from new category managers to store leaders to our VPs.”

Kyla Boehk, Talent Development Specialist, Sobeys

Learn more teammates

Learn More

Taking care of our teammates includes prioritizing their health, safety and wellbeing and empowering them through our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

As a family nurturing families, we want to ensure Canadians are taken care of today, tomorrow and in the future. By doing OurPart™ for the environment, we hope to inspire our customers to do theirs. Every step we take together—big or small—can make a difference.

Learn More