Attracting talent is just the start. At TJX, we believe our Associates are core to our success and, as such, we invest in training and mentoring. Our senior leaders consider teaching and mentoring a key priority to support career development.
Training happens throughout the organization and in a variety of settings, including in our stores, distribution and processing centers, and corporate offices. Some is formal, through courses offered in our learning centers and virtually, and some is informal, such as in huddles or through real-time feedback on the job. It was important to us to maintain our commitment to talent development while navigating changes to our work environments following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, we have been approaching our learning opportunities differently, offering more formal training classes online and connecting remote Associates through virtual formats. No matter the location or format, formal or informal, our career development initiatives are designed to foster open communication and relationship building, which are both key parts of our culture.
Our Leadership Development Toolkit has defined leadership competencies and cultural factors, which help express our organizational values and promote consistency in leadership development. In Fiscal 2022, we developed a new leadership competency and cultural factor, both focused on inclusion-based values and behaviors, and over the course of Fiscal 2023, we rolled these out to our global organization. We strongly believe our full set of competencies and cultural factors help set Associates up for success, which helps benefit our business overall.
We strive to foster career growth across the organization, and we are proud that in Fiscal 2023, 58% of managerial positions in our stores and field offices were filled with internal promotions.1 We are also pleased that 40% of people in managerial positions around the world have been at the company for 10 or more years.1 We believe our development programs support our Associates in building a career at TJX.
Our Global Leadership Curriculum is designed to offer a consistent development experience focused on our leadership competencies and cultural factors. With core and elective courses, this curriculum is designed to help Associates gain skills in communication, achieve their goals, enhance interpersonal dynamics, and more. We recently updated the materials in some courses in an effort to further align our leadership courses with our inclusion and diversity efforts.
Since 2017, the Global Leadership Curriculum has had Associate attendance of more than 33,000 across all of our divisions. We aim to offer development opportunities to Associates at every level, from hourly Associates to management and beyond, to help Associates build skills that we believe can enhance a fulfilling career. Recently, additional programs were added to provide development for higher levels of leadership that focused on leading differently, successful transitioning, and taking on new and expanded leadership responsibilities. For example, in Fiscal 2023, we launched a global online training to help managers prepare for the annual talent review process. This e-learning provides insight into what talent review is, why it is important, and provides tools and resources to help managers be objective in the evaluation process. Additionally, to further encourage Associates to take an active role in their own development, we have a Global Online Learning Library of over 2,000 digital, self-paced learning resources available for enrollment.
In addition to our Global Leadership Curriculum courses, we offer many other learning and development opportunities. Our global Emerging Leaders program is designed to help high potential Associates at the managerial level prepare to expand their leadership roles. The process consists of targeted assessments, review of feedback, and the creation of an individual development plan. Once completed, these Associates have the opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leader Action Learning, a seven month-long journey focusing on the skills needed to effectively grow from a leader of others to a leader of leaders. Participants are placed on cross-functional teams, assigned self-directed learning, participate in peer coaching, and spend time with executives, who share their stories and experiences. The program consists of critical skills training and business case scenarios, and it culminates in the Associate creating a personalized growth plan. In addition, we have developed strong initiatives focused on executive coaching which includes certifying Associates as internal executive coaches. We have introduced a virtual platform which allows us to offer this resource more broadly across the organization. We are also continuing a mentorship pilot, which aims to connect Associates with leaders in our organization and to subsequently foster their development.
More senior-level Associates may have the opportunity to participate in our Global Strategic Leadership program—an 11-month, global development program designed to accelerate leadership readiness. The program offers a variety of opportunities, including gaining exposure to different leaders, TJX businesses, and business units. Participants receive feedback on their leadership style and interactions throughout the process, with the goal of incorporating those learnings into their leadership plan. Participants learn to navigate the organization, build strategic planning skills, and deepen their understanding of the business and of themselves as leaders.
Our global “Be Your Best Self” philosophy promotes and encourages Associates to drive their own development. Through various tools, offerings, and manager support, we endeavor to empower Associates to build new skills, develop leadership competency, enhance their off-price knowledge, and participate in experiences to assist them in developing a career path, whether that means growing in their current roles, or exploring opportunities cross-functionally.
In Canada, we support development by hosting a National Learning Calendar that provides virtual workshops focusing on professional and leadership development, manage a vast set of online learning offerings, and offer a digital lending library. We refreshed our Be Your Best Self internal website this year, a “one-stop shop” for home office and distribution center Associates that provides support for building development plans, learning about our off-price business model, and enhancing personal growth through curated learning and enriched by storytelling from our Associates and leaders. We recently introduced our Be Your Best Self developmental theme to store Associates with a focus on inspirational Associate videos, promotion highlights, and leadership messaging that supports our tuition assistance, scholarship, and other career development programs available to eligible Canadian Associates.
TJX Canada also offers targeted training for many new and existing Associates to support their deepening business skills and leadership capabilities. These programs include Manager in Training (MIT) in our stores and tiered onboarding programs in Distribution Services. Our home office support functions have specific training curriculums designed to prepare Associates at all levels for careers in Planning, Merchandising, Finance, and Information Technology. Our focus on “accessible development for all” means providing the tools and support Associates can use to drive their career.
TJX Europe aims to enable our Associates to own and drive their development journeys, recognizing that they are as unique as each and every one of us. We offer Associates a range of learning and development options designed to provide skills and off-price knowledge through workshops, development programs, training, on-the-job learning, and the Graduate, Placement, and Apprenticeship Programmes. We also offer tools for self-learning and provide bespoke coaching for Regional, Country, District, Store, and Assistant Managers. Additionally, in Fiscal 2023, we widened access to our early in career program for internal applicants and as a result, 29% of our hires into these programs were internal candidates.
In addition, TJX Europe’s Leader in Me program is designed to accelerate the leadership readiness of managers who show potential for more senior roles. Associates learn more about themselves as leaders, as well as how to use these leadership skills in their current roles and for future opportunities. We also have a Senior Leadership Development program in Europe for Vice Presidents and Assistant Vice Presidents, which cultivates leaders who champion and bring our culture to life. The program develops skills to help leaders thrive in unpredictable circumstances. Participants gain insight into themselves as authentic leaders and gain self-awareness and leadership perspective. We recently expanded this program to include specific workshops on inclusion and diversity. We believe the program builds stronger, more collaborative teams across the organization and elevates the capability of our senior leaders.
We are particularly proud of our merchant training programs around the world. Our programs are designed to support Associates interested in pursuing careers as merchants and develop them as future leaders in our off-price retail business. The merchandising career path provides structured growth potential in Merchandise Planning and Allocation and Merchandise Buying, as well as potential management opportunities. The path consists of an initial, intensive training curriculum for a role as an Allocation Analyst. Afterwards, there are ongoing development opportunities and mentoring throughout the Associate’s career.
We are also proud to run TJX University, where we offer new merchandising Associates learning opportunities through a two-year-long, one-on-one coaching program. The program includes mentoring on negotiation skills, store exercises, and a curated curriculum to both further their development in their current role and prepare them for the next step in their careers. The coaching may take place in-person or virtually, in our stores, or in the marketplace. The University has a global reach to our merchants around the world. Our focus is to teach a consistent approach to our off-price business model, negotiating fundamentals, and building strong relationships—all of which have been a critical part of our success.
For some of the buyers and merchandising managers identified as having potential to rise to a leadership level, we offer a specialized learning experience called the Off-Price Leadership Center (OPLC). It brings together Associates from across our global divisions to get exposure to the critical merchant and leadership skills necessary for success. OPLC’s focus is on understanding the merchant role; integrating strategic, business, and critical relationship skills; and building a diverse, global leadership perspective.
In addition to our many internal development opportunities, we have established relationships with a variety of organizations to offer additional resources and learning. In the U.S., this includes National Hispanic Corporate Council, Catalyst, Diversity Best Practices, PFLAG, National Association of Asian American Professionals, Human Rights Campaign, and others. Our Associates also have the opportunity to participate in programs offered by some of our partner organizations. We belong to Conexión in Boston, Massachusetts, and, on a U.S. national level, The Partnership. Conexión pairs Hispanic/Latino Associates with seasoned mentors at organizations in various industries and provides workshops in leadership. The Partnership offers year-long programs in leadership and cultural navigation for Associates, as well as the Next Generation Executive Program, a five-month training course. We actively bring together Associate alumni of both programs to build a network that can support participants and encourage learning. TJX Europe is a member of the Business Disability Forum, and we partner with Purple Space and Business in the Community to support our efforts to help those who face barriers to employment thrive at work.
Afifah immigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. in 2015, and shortly after arriving in the U.S., she was hired as a dressing room Associate at Marshalls. She quickly took on different roles of varying responsibilities, including Coordinator, Assistant Store Manager, and Store Manager before joining the field Human Resources team in 2022. For Afifah, learning has always been a priority. For the past eight years, she has sought out numerous TJX learning and development courses to continue to enhance her career development. Additionally, while working full time, she earned a master’s degree in organizational development and change.
“The key to success is to always be willing to learn and to know that there are many resources around you to support your learning. At TJX, I had many people tell me, ‘You can do this.’ They encouraged me and helped me grow along the way and for that I am grateful.”
Human Resources Business Partner
1Managerial is defined as Assistant Store Manager (or equivalent level) and above across the Company.
Updated May 2023