Company: Cameco
Innovation: Career Planning Program
Date Introduced: 2011
Award Recognition: Award of Excellence

Cameco is Canada’s largest industrial employer of First Nations and Metis people. Currently at their northern Saskatchewan mines and mills, 49 percent of workers are Residents of Saskatchewan’s North (RSN), the majority of which are Aboriginal. In addition, 44 percent of Cameco’s northern Saskatchewan workforce (RSN and non-RSN) are Aboriginal. Through an array of programs to support students, schools, and communities, through on-the-job training and targeted recruitment and retention programs, Cameco has continually and successfully increased its Aboriginal workforce. A source of continued success can be attributed to efforts on the development and retention of employees so that they can advance within the organization, increase their contribution, and create entry level opportunities for new RSNs.

One of the programs Cameco is particularly proud of is its career planning program for RSN employees. The purpose of the program is to assist the company’s high-potential RSN employees in directing and advancing their own career within the organization. The program started as a pilot in 2011 and due to interest and positive feedback continued in 2012. Led by a consultant, the program consists of two full-day workshops and two one-to-one meetings with a career consultant. The employees’ supervisors also attend the session to prepare for career conversations they will have with their employees.

The workshop leads employees through a six-step process—self-assessment, reality testing, targeting, researching, action planning, and sustaining the plan. Throughout this career planning process, employees are able to develop career goals to pursue within the organization; attain a clear understanding of their strengths, skills, values, and interests; and are able to articulate these effectively to others, as well as accept self-ownership of their career development within the organization. At the end of the workshops, employees develop a personalized action plan/career portfolio.

In 2012, nine high-potential RSN employees were selected to go through the program. Three of the employees from the 2012 career planning sessions have already advanced their careers within the company. In 2013, Cameco plans to continue the expansion of career planning for additional RSN employees.