Advancing Careers

Advancing Careers Investing in developing talent

We strive to develop a diverse pipeline of talent and provide employees with the opportunities they seek to learn and develop, stay challenged and take on new roles and greater responsibility. We know our people and job seekers expect a path to new opportunities that rewards them for their performance and the value they bring to our company. Offering our employees challenging work that tests and builds their capabilities not only sets them up for success it also makes our business stronger and more innovative.

As a retailer that values hands-on experience in our stores, we invest in providing opportunities for store employees to take on higher level field and corporate positions. Some of our best examples of career growth are employees who started out at stores and rose through the ranks to senior management positions. Fifteen percent of Gap Inc. executives at the VP+ level in 2014 started their careers as store associates.

Advancing Careers

We strive to develop a diverse pipeline of talent and provide employees with opportunities to learn, grow and take on greater responsibility.

Many of our people stay at the company or come back because of the opportunities and range of roles that our brands and business provide. It’s common for them to work for multiple brands and functions during their careers. Employees at the manager level and above average more than seven years with the company.

We also recognize the need to look outside our organization to make sure we find the best people for each role. We try to balance our internal promotions and external hires to achieve the most productive mix of diverse talent, functional and subject matter expertise and organizational fit.

Advancing Careers - At A Glance

Fifteen percent of Gap Inc. executives at the VP+ level in 2014 started their careers as store associates.

Old Navy Job Skills Partnership

Old Navy is committed to addressing the skills gap that makes it difficult for many U.S. job seekers to obtain entry-level positions. The brand spent two years researching employment issues in the retail sector and discovered that many people lack important skills, leaving managers struggling to find enough well-qualified applicants.

To address these issues and help build a pipeline of retail talent, Old Navy partnered with LearnUp, a San Francisco-based technology company that seeks to provide entry-level job seekers with job-specific training and coaching. Together, Old Navy and LearnUp ran trials of a web-based training tool in San Francisco, Houston and St. Louis in 2015 before rolling the program out to more than 350 stores. The tool’s interactive modules enable applicants to learn the skills needed for sales associate roles at Old Navy and allows them to sign up for in-store interviews. The pilot results showed significant improvements in the ratio of applicants interviewed to those hired (from 7:1 to 2:1), and stores received positive feedback from candidates about their experience.

Building on their initial success, Old Navy and LearnUp have also launched a new initiative called 'LearnUp the Ladder,' to provide free, online education for anyone interested in learning the skills necessary to move from entry-level to leadership roles in the retail industry.

Living a Growth Mindset

In 2014, we did away with our traditional annual review process for employee performance in favor of a new system called “GPS – Grow. Perform. Succeed.” GPS replaces annual reviews with frequent performance conversations and coaching sessions that provide employees with regular feedback and guidance on their work and development opportunities. GPS helps employees develop and overcome challenges by promoting continuous learning.

The GPS approach is based on the concept of a growth mindset, which was championed by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck. People with a growth mindset believe they can develop the abilities to succeed through initiative and hard work. A growth mindset contrasts with a fixed mindset where people believe their intelligence and abilities are pre-determined traits that they do not have the power to change.

Advancing careers

Old Navy is committed to addressing the skills gap that makes it difficult for many U.S. job seekers to obtain entry-level positions.

Learning and Development Model

We use a 70-20-10 model for career development that emphasizes learning through real work experiences and direct interactions with colleagues. Seventy percent of an employee’s learning and development takes place on the job and is built into their goals, and 20 percent occurs through mentorships and collaboration. Ten percent takes the form of courses or other formal training.

From onboarding new employees to grooming senior leadership, we offer employees a variety of training opportunities to support their personal growth and development. These range from online courses to in-person workshops and multi-day programs. A few examples of programs that improve our business by promoting employee learning and development include:

  • Retail Academy – a combination of classroom sessions, rotational training and business simulations designed to develop the skills to advance and navigate the increasingly complex and technology-driven retail space.
  • Adaptive leadership – a four-day development experience designed to help employees build the strategic capabilities to improve their careers and meet the business objectives for our brands.

Results

We filled over 45 percent of open headquarters roles through internal hires in 2014. For upper field sales positions that manage our stores, over 75 percent of open positions went to existing employees. Most store associates are new hires.

Global Share of Open Positions
Filled by Internal Hires
2011 2012 2013 2014
VP & Above 75% 60% 71% 57%
Director / Sr. Director 72% 65% 67% 65%
Manager / Sr. Manager 65% 56% 57% 60%
Store Management 57% 53% 53% 52%
Overall (including Store Associates) 15% 15% 15% 15%