Training employees, a top priority at Cargills | Sunday Observer

Training employees, a top priority at Cargills

29 September, 2019

Employees are the lifeblood of the organisation and grooming them in line with the vision to be a global corporate role model in community-friendly national development is at the centre of operations, said Cargills (Ceylon) Plc, Director/Consultant, Albert A. Page Institute (AAPI), Dr. Sunil Jayantha Nawaratne during a training session for 50 outlet managers in Colombo last week.

Cargills, a retail, FMCG, banking and restaurant company, which traces its beginnings to colonial times, operates around 400 retail outlets across the country with a workforce of over 7,000 employees. Listed on the Colombo Stock Exchange the controlling interest in the company is held by Ceylon Theatres PLC

“Our training program is based on around 65 models covering all aspects of retail operations and they are short courses which enables a staffer to excel in performance and become a supervisor or an executive within a short time,” Dr. Nawaratne said.

The training modules range from cashiering, butchery, grocery to customer service, team work and leadership.

“Through the training we expect to infuse a new work culture to young employees who predominantly hailing from remote areas and are not conversant with the city life and the urban culture. We help them develop skills to face competition, challenges and be professional in their work.

The training also focuses on developing good attitudes and imparting values,” Dr. Nawaratne said.

Cargills through continuous training endeavours to develop talented workforce equipped with modern knowledge and competencies with a proper mindset to grapple with emerging challenges to gain a competitive advantage in a highly competitive business landscape.

“On the job training is an effective mode of imparting knowledge and enhancing skills of employees who complete the program within five to six days.

The mode of training is primarily through picture demonstrations which helps young staffers to grasp facts easily,” Cargills (Ceylon) PLC Group Manager Agri-Business, Haridas Fernando said.

Employees could also follow e-learning courses through the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA), a US based nonprofit educational body that provides on-line training materials, web based job certification courses and class room training to support career development needs of its retail food associations across the globe.

Cargills uses online learning opportunities to empower youth in rural areas using ICT as a tool for development.

The company’s approach to sustainability is driven by its employees who continue to add value to communities we serve and each day seek out new ways to contribute to social advancement through business. It is deeply committed to compliance and social, environmental and local responsibility.

Operating with integrity is a cornerstone for building trust. The training and leadership development programs reinforce the mission of upholding the highest standards of integrity in all businesses.

The company encourages a learning environment by stimulating integrated thinking, personal mastery, mental models, shared vision and team learning. It facilitates training opportunities by continuously examining training needs.

“The training courses focus on orientation and motivation which are key factors to enhance performance and support career development of staffers,” a senior official of the company said adding that employees are encouraged and motivated to point out areas in which training is needed.

Cargills’ non-profit training arm, the AAPI of Food Business provides training and development opportunities for youth in the system and those from regional areas as part of the Group’s CSR initiatives.

AAP collaborates with civil society partners to identify and train youth who lack skills to gain employment in the private sector.