Developing the skills and capabilities of our people is a key part of our strategic priority to build our workforce. We offer a variety of ways to support our employees’ professional growth, and continuous training is a key part of this effort.
Talent development at Xylem is grounded in frameworks of our Connect, Perform, Grow (CPG) performance management approach. CPG creates a platform for our people to facilitate regular feedback throughout the year.
The purpose of CPG is to provide a forum for collaborative review and development of employee results against goals, objectives and outcomes, as well as employee behavior and competencies. We strive to ensure that these goals and objectives are aligned with Xylem’s strategic and operational objectives. It’s not a one-time exercise. Rather, managers and employees are expected to connect several times throughout the year; we validate the quality of this engagement quarterly through a survey. In 2018, on average 70% of our employees participated in the survey, and close to 90% of them agreed that the quarterly discussion with their managers was focused on how they were performing and their ongoing professional development.
Our Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP) targets recent university graduates with a passion for technology and engineering. Participants partake in a rotational program, which includes three different eight-month assignments, access to senior mentors, skills development programs and an end-of-rotation presentation to senior leaders. Approximately nine participants are selected per year.
The Operations Leadership Development Program (OLDP) is designed for recent university graduates with a passion for supply chain. OLDP is a rotational program, which includes three one-year assignments in roles intended to stretch the participants’ capabilities, including the opportunity for an international assignment and an end-of-program presentation to senior leaders. Approximately six participants are selected per year.
Our Customer Solutions Center (CSC), based in Charlotte, North Carolina, targets recent university graduates with a passion for sales and application engineering. Those in the program partake in a two-year assignment with job-specific training and the opportunity to transition into new roles at the end of the program. Approximately 12 participants are selected per year.
In 2018, we selected 10 universities across the United States to build relationships with through targeted recruitment, career fairs, technical talks and other partnership activities. In addition to recruiting graduates to our entry-level programs, last year we hired over 50 summer interns who worked at several of our U.S. locations, across all functions. We expect to grow our university relationships in the years to come and expand them globally.
Our Strategy Fellows program invites high-potential employees who have a passion and aspiration to develop their leadership and strategy skills to partake in a year-long program with trainings in global locations, group and individual strategy projects, access to senior mentors and an end-of-program presentation to senior leaders. Additionally, our Innovation & Technology Fellows Program targets high-potential early-in-career employees who have a passion for engineering and technology to partake in a year-long program with trainings in global locations, a group project, access to senior mentors and an end-of-program presentation to senior leaders. Approximately 15 participants are selected for each program per year.
Our Manager Development Program (MDP) is designed to help people managers cultivate and strengthen leadership and change management skills and develop a network of peers across the organization. The MDP focuses training in three core areas of development: self, team and organization. The program consists of an in-person kickoff for groups of 25 participants, followed by blended learning curriculum. It includes live-virtual learning, interactive webinars with senior leaders, virtual teamwork activities and two consecutive Manager as Coach programs. As with all Xylem training, active learning is an important part of this program. We don’t just teach models; we provide opportunities for participants to practice the skills.
In 2018, we initiated a pilot program called Manager to Leader (M2L) program. This new program provides a hands-on experience with colleagues across the globe to learn what it means to be a leader at Xylem. Furthermore, in accelerating the development of our leaders, it advances our strategic business transformation. In addition to convening three times throughout the program year, the cohort of 20 people managers will also work on a team project that is related to Xylem’s commitment to providing social value.
The Executive Development Program is an in-depth program designed for leaders who are part of the extended leadership team. Building upon Xylem’s vision to become a high-performing operating company with a common culture, the program focuses on building enterprise leadership approaches and empowering leaders to take charge of our company’s transformation. We kicked off our sixth cohort of this program in January 2019 with another 18 participants. Nearly 60 percent percent of those who completed the program have been promoted, had a role change or had their current roles expanded.
In 2018, we kicked off a new program for the Alumni of our Executive Development Program. Over the course of the end of 2018 and through 2019, the 40+ participants from the first four cohorts of EDP will continue their development as enterprise leaders, and work on disruptive projects that will help to facilitate the transformation journey that Xylem is currently on.
Diversity in all its forms allows us to compete more effectively around the world and drive exceptional customer satisfaction, innovation and company performance. We are committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities where we live and work, and the customers we serve. We work to harness our expertise and cutting-edge technologies to help water operators and communities around the world address the growing water challenges they face. And, we know the best way for us to achieve our aim and serve our stakeholders is to develop a world-class culture that taps into the power of diversity and inclusion.