Life at CZ: nurturing growth through learning and development  

In the fast-paced world of global commodities, where markets shift and trends evolve, the key to success lies not only in staying ahead but also in empowering your workforce to adapt and innovate. At CZ, the commitment to learning and development (L&D) is not just a checkbox to tick. It is a fundamental part of the company’s strategy.   

This blog explores the vibrant landscape of life at CZ, delving into the key L&D initiatives undertaken this year, led by Claire Thornton, HR Advisor.     Claire places an emphasises on the cultural significance of learning and has envisioned the future of the Academy (CZ’s in-house training platform) and the company’s commitment to global training.  

  1. Key L&D initiatives this year: a refreshed academy and curricular overhaul  

This year, CZ took a bold step in reimagining its learning landscape by refreshing the CZ Academy and overhauling its curriculum. The Academy, once a repository of knowledge presented in a repetitive way, has now become a dynamic space, breaking down the sectors of business to provide employees with a granular understanding of the company’s operations. This transformation serves not only as a tool for self-study but also as a guide for new joiners, helping them navigate the complex web of the supply chain business and fostering a deeper connection with their roles.  

Central to this initiative is the emphasis on understanding individual skill gaps. The Academy acts as a mirror, reflecting each employee’s strengths and areas for development. Regular check-ins with managers have been integrated, creating a structured platform for discussions on career aspirations and developmental initiatives. This not only bridges the gap between employee expectations and organizational needs but also aligns the workforce with the company’s strategic objectives.  

  2. Why learning is central to CZ’s culture: a foundation for growth  

Learning is not an isolated activity at CZ. It is woven into the very fabric of the company’s culture. The diversified nature of the business strategy, spanning across a wide range of products and geographies, demands a skilled and adaptable workforce. CZ recognizes that the key to sustained success lies in having individuals who can grow with the business, take initiatives, and maintain a learning curve throughout their careers.  

CZ offers a competitive advantage as a business as we are always one step ahead in the commodities market, and this requires employees to be proactive within their role. This is demonstrated through CZ’s Academy through internal certificate programs, online courses and apprenticeships -particularly in IT development, which exemplifies CZ’s commitment to nurturing a special, engaged workforce. The in-house development of tools like the Czapp demonstrates the company’s dedication to fostering entrepreneurship among its employees, creating a win-win scenario of mutual growth and retention.  

This commitment to learning and taking initiative flows from the top down, with leadership actively promoting and participating in self-study initiatives. Robin Cave our CEO, serves as a testament to this approach, passing on his wealth of knowledge and being a vocal advocate for continuous learning.  

  3. The transformative impact of Claire’s leadership: charting new learning pathways  

Claire Thornton plays a key part in promoting L&D in CZ’s journey.  The addition of Claire to the HR team has activated the development of more structured learning pathways, ensuring that learning is not just a one-time event but an ongoing journey for employees.  

The uniqueness of having L&D in-house at CZ cannot be overstated. It adds intrinsic value, demonstrating the company’s investment in the growth of its employees. This culture of learning is evident in various angles of CZ’s operations, from formal apprenticeships to the availability of diverse online courses. The result is a motivated workforce that sees learning not as a requirement but as an opportunity for professional and personal development.  


4. Future development of the academy: a global vision  

Looking forward, CZ envisions the Academy not as a local hub but as a global epicentre for learning. The refreshed curriculum is designed to align content with specific roles, ensuring that the learning journey is relevant and impactful for employees. The Academy incorporates interactive elements such as checklists, quizzes, and practical tasks, offering a comprehensive approach to assessing individual progress.  

A standout feature of the Academy is its global nature. Employees from different offices contribute by creating and sharing videos, fostering a collaborative environment. Global training sessions involve different departments not only sharing knowledge but also being able to recognize and respect the nuances and cultural differences within the company. The commitment to inclusivity extends to acknowledging that the same opportunities can be approached in diverse ways in various countries.   

  CZ recognizes the importance of global training and is committed to bridging the gap between different offices. The company understands that what works in London may not necessarily be the best approach in other locations. To address this, efforts are made to streamline certain aspects of training while allowing for localization to respect the unique cultures of each office.  

In conclusion, life at CZ is not just about the daily operations of a supply chain solutions company; it is a journey of continuous learning and development. The key L&D initiatives, cultural emphasis on learning, future development of the Academy and the commitment to global training all contribute to creating an environment where employees not only exist but thrive. CZ is not just a workplace; it is a community that invests in its people, fostering a culture of curiosity, growth, and excellence. As the world of global supply chains evolves, CZ is not just keeping pace; it is setting the standards for what a modern, dynamic workplace should be, a place where learning is not just encouraged; it is celebrated.  


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