Supervalue, Inc Professional Development Program Essay

1200 Words Feb 23rd, 2012 5 Pages
SUPERVALU, Inc.
Analysis of Professional Development Program
There were only a few strengths in SUPERVALU’s Professional Development Program (PDP). The mere fact that they recognized they needed a program to develop leaders was one positive. As Paul Cimmerer indicated in the article, “SUPERVALU was not doing a good enough job of bringing new people on board or grooming them for growth and effectiveness.” That was the genesis behind the PDP program - to attract and prepare high-potential college graduates for successful management careers. In addition, it did provide rotational experience for the new hires, as they would spend one year in their work area of choice and then next year would spend six months in the two other areas before
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In fact, the criteria they used to select candidates were generic: college graduate, minimum 3.0 GPA, emphasis on diversity, strong analytical and leadership skills, and high degree of initiative and flexibility. They had “two years of food industry experience with a strong customer service focus is desired by not required” as part of the job description, but this should have been required instead of desired. In the “Building a Leadership Brand” article, it indicates that one of the five practices a company needs to perform in building their leadership brand is to connect their executives’ abilities to their desired reputation. They should have spent the time in linking their companies brand attributes to specific leadership traits and used those as part of their selection criteria.
In addition to the above fundamental weaknesses with the PDP, SUPERVALU also had issues with the design and execution of the program. The task force that was formed to lead the development of the program had all but one of their members coming from the human resource area of the company. They had no members from their sales group or mergers and acquisitions group, which was one of their strategic growth areas. They also had no customers included in the development or execution of the program. Other issues mentioned in the article were: existing training material could not be used as they thought it could, the consultant’s