McMan’s Career Development Program

Investing in People, Aspiring to Excellence

Career & Leadership Program Overview


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 Career Development 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.

A career owners PDP can be forwarded to the Leadership Development Committee by a career coach or leader when they believe the career owner is ready to be added to the succession pipeline.

When the committee receives a career owners PDP it is reviewed by the committee members, the coach and the career owner’s supervisor or manger. The purpose of the review is to discuss the strengths of the career owner, possible competency gaps, how they are doing with the Leadership competencies established for the program, any suggested changes or additions to the PDP and lastly how the committee can support the career owner to achieve the goals they have set.

Based on this discussion the career owner can be made part of the succession pipeline or may be asked to work a little more on established goals. Regardless, all career owners will be provided feedback using the Succession Candidate Feedback form, which highlights their strengths, areas for improvement and suggestions for supports that the committee or other staff members may provide to support developmental goals.

The Leadership Development Committee typically meets once a quarter or more frequently if needed to review new career owner’s PDP.

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 and recommend by our Leadership Development Committee.

When a key leadership position open, an internal posting will go out agency wide. Those who are currently in a Leadership role that are interested in the position and those who are in the Leadership Development Program pipeline will be considered.

The Leadership Development Committee will review all those who are currently in the pipeline and appear most prepared to take on a key leadership position.

The committee will then present 2 or 3 potential candidates for consideration. The manager, or director, responsible will interview the potential candidates, including any current leadership that may have applied for the posting, to decide on who they believe is most ready of the candidates for the position.

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

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