McMan’s Career Development Program

Investing in People, Aspiring to Excellence

How It Works


We recognize that the future success of our organization is primarily dependent on McMan’s ability to engage and develop you, our people, and we know we need to do better at both.

We also recognize that many staff are nearing retirement and we don’t want to lose valuable years of accumulated knowledge and experience.  Further, we believe that developing our own people is far better for staff and our organization than attempting to recruit external candidates.

In addition to helping all staff develop themselves professionally, we want to focus on increasing the leadership skills of all our leaders.  We believe that people who strengthen their leadership skills will produce better results and create a better working environment for everyone.

Program Objectives

Our people motto is investing in people, aspiring to excellence.  We want to promote internally more frequently and with greater success. McMan may not always be able to promote from within however this is our preferred course of action.

We believe the best way to accomplish this is to support staff to develop themselves by providing with opportunities to gain new experiences that will help them grow and be successful.

To meet our Program Objectives, we have completed the following:

1. Separated Career Development and Performance Processes

Reviewing past performance and discussing future career development are distinctly different conversations, and they should be treated as such.  If we want to help our people accelerate their career development, we must dedicate the appropriate amount of time for it.

2. Established Clear Promotion Criteria To Assess Leadership Capability

To help staff, prepare for leadership roles, it is important that we define what good leadership looks like at McMan.  Otherwise, staff will not know how to qualify themselves for leadership positions and management may not know what to look for in potential candidates.

In most organizations, people are generally promoted to leadership positions based on their technical ability or their seniority.  Although both are important considerations, we believe that these are not the best predictors of success as a leader.

Focus groups consisting of frontline, supervisors, managers and directors helped identify the most important behaviours staff must demonstrate to be successful leaders.  We refer to these criteria as our Leadership Competencies.

3. Trained Career Coaches

A group from Leadership (not all) have received training on how to help others better manage their careers.  The purpose of Career Coaches is to help staff advance their career however they like, including preparing for more leadership responsibility, deepening their expertise, or broadening their skillset.

All staff will have the option to have regular confidential career development discussions with a Career Coach. Sign-up to the program is voluntary and participants will commit to creating a Personal Development Plan and engaging in regular career development discussions.

We may train more Career Coaches in the future based on demand.

4. Identified Key Leadership Positions That Require Succession Plans

Key leadership positions that require succession plans are: Program Supervisors, Program Managers and Director of Services.  We want to fill these key leadership positions with internal candidates who have been carefully prepared to be successful in those roles.

Both leadership and career coaches can nominate candidates for promotion to key leadership positions. They will nominate individuals who:

  • Are meeting performance expectations;
  • Want greater leadership responsibility;
  • Consistently demonstrate the Leadership Competencies; and
  • Could fill a key leadership position within five years.
5. Established a Leadership Development Committee

The Leadership Development Committee is comprised of our senior leadership.  This committee is primarily responsible for:

  • Identifying staff to fill key leadership positions;
  • Brainstorming and recommending creative activities to accelerate the development of program participants;
  • Recommending organizational changes or other ideas to improve the leadership development program; and
  • Making promotion recommendations and decisions.
6. Committed to Making Promotion Decisions by Committee

Decisions about who gets promoted to key leadership positions are too important to leave up to one individual.  Because of its importance, all promotions to key leadership positions will be reviewed through our Leadership Development Committee.

When the need for a promotion arises, the Leadership Development Committee will review all those who are currently in the Leadership Development program, who have completed the program, and who have been nominated by a career coach or leader.

The Leadership Development Committee will review those who have been nominated and the most prepared at any given time to take on a key leadership position.  This typically happens every time the committee meets (quarterly or more when required).

The committee will then present 2 or 3 potential candidates for consideration. The manager, or director, responsible will met with the Leadership Development committee to decide on who they believe is most ready of the candidates recommended.

Promotion decisions to all other positions will continue the way they are currently being made.

Join the Program


Step 1. Sign Up for a Career Coach 

Career Coaching is designed to put staff in charge of their own development, so those who sign up for a Career Coach are referred to as Career Owners.

Staff may request to be paired with any of the trained Career Coaches, you will be required to pick your top three choices for a career coach.

  • Because direct managers/supervisors are primarily concerned with staff’s performance in their current role, it is beneficial to have someone else work with a Career Owner to help them navigate their career, broaden their experience, and learn new skills. Having someone other than a direct manger or supervisor act as a Career Coach eliminates any potential conflicts of interest, or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Since Career Coaching is a time-consuming commitment, each Career Coach will coach a small number of Career Owners (2 max).

If you are interested in being a Career Owner and working with a Career Coach, please apply on the Career Coaches page.  After you apply, Human Resources will inform you of your Career Coach assignment.

Step 2: Create a Personal Development Plan

At the start of the coaching relationship, Career Owners will have multiple career development discussions to identify strengths, development needs, career objectives, and create development activities designed to help them achieve their career objectives.

From these discussions a career owner and their career coach will create a Personal Development Plan (PDP), which will identify career development activities and the support required from the coach, and their manager, to meet their goals.

Career owners will share their PDP with their manager so the manager can help integrate development activities within work responsibilities. If a manager and career owner are unable to agree on how to integrate development activities, they should consult the Manager of Human Resources together.

Step 3: Engage in Regular Career Development Discussions with Your Coach

To help a Career Owner work towards the goals of their Personal Development Plan, they will engage in regular discussions with their Career Coach. Ideally, these career development discussions will occur quarterly, but may be more or less frequent depending on the Career Owner’s need and Career Coach’s time constraints. Career development discussions will be held at least twice a year.

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