Kerry Foods coaches
A combination of members of Kerry’s Talent Deal (High Potential Future Leaders) and members of the Exec Team – volunteered for the programme to improve their coaching skills, connect with the next generation of diverse talent and to bring to life core Kerry Foods values about doing the right thing and giving everyone the opportunity to succeed.
Arrival Education’s coachees – a combination of university students and recent graduates from socially and ethnically diverse backgrounds – applied for the programme to help them on their path to career and life success. The programme gave them the opportunity to work with business leaders who they would normally never encounter and helped them to achieve goals and develop key leadership mindsets, to support them through the big decisions they face at this stage in their lives. Over 9 months the aim was for the pairs to meet or speak at least 6 times, with the whole group reconvening in October – halfway through.
What the event entailed
The Celebration event gave everyone an opportunity to reflect on their development and to hear the impact on the students. Given the pressures the pairs had encountered throughout the 9 months, including major life changes for the students as some transitioned into their first full-time jobs, it was refreshing to have the time and space to reflect.
As well as providing the opportunity for everyone to reconnect with their pairs, and make plans for the continuation of their relationships, coachees gave short presentations on what they have gained from the programme and to acknowledge their coaches. The diverse cohort of students and early years talent spoke eloquently and from the heart, acknowledging their coaches’ roles in helping them grow. Their coaches had the opportunity to acknowledge their coachees, as the pair celebrated both their personal and joint successes. It was a hugely moving occasion, with Aston University student Samiha Shimla describing how “the thought of public speaking had always been a bit daunting for me, but as I started speaking and focused on sharing the story of mine and my coach’s journey, it allowed me to reflect and acknowledge the overall experience.”
After the presentations Duncan Everett, CEO of Kerry Foods, and Emma Rose, HR Director added their reflections on the day, the programme, and the culture of coaching and inclusive leadership at Kerry. All coaches and their coachees were presented with completion certificates to bring the programme to its close.