Training and development

Wesfarmers' businesses have primary responsibility for training and development of their team members. This includes job-specific and career development training to full-time, part-time and casual team members. Training programs include developing team members’ technical skills, product knowledge, customer service, teamwork and leadership capabilities. Data and digital skill building has been an important theme for development over recent years as business models evolve. Our businesses continued to invest in technology to enable working from home and remote training and development. The businesses also increased emphasis on training leaders to provide wellbeing and mental health support.  

Wesfarmers partners with each business for the development of its executive leaders and connects all general managers to Wesfarmers' primary objective, values, leadership model, strategic focus areas and to other leaders across the Group.  

TALENT DIAGRAM_UPDATED 05 AUGUST 2021_VALUES & LEADERSHIP MODELWesfarmers Group Talent’s purpose, approach and workstreams are outlined below:

Our key Group leadership development and talent management activities over the last year are outlined below according to workstream. The ‘Include’ workstream is relevant throughout the Group and is more specifically outlined in the Diversity and inclusion section of the sustainability website:   



  • Twice yearly divisional succession and talent reviews, focused on divisional leadership team bench-strength, chaired by the Group Managing Director and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) 
  • Collective Talent Roundtable conducted at the annual Planning Conference to discuss critical talent and opportunities 
  • Assessment of candidates for selection/promotion into critical roles to add to bench strength 


  • Bespoke 360-degree, psychometric assessments and individual development plans for our Top 30 critical leaders e.g. Managing Directors, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Leadership Team members, on a rotational basis  
  • Biannual Development Reviews with each division, chaired by the Group CHRO and attended by divisional HR leaders and GM Leadership and Talent, with a focus on highest impact experience, exposure and education to accelerate general manager development 
  • Facilitating talent mobility across the Wesfarmers divisions 
  • Digital insight platform providing access to a digital library, curated emails on leadership challenges
  • Introduction of bespoke executive wellbeing assessments 


  • Pre-boarding, on-boarding and induction experiences for new general managers, including Wesfarmers induction workshops 
  • Virtual WES live events, connecting leaders with Wesfarmers leadership team members to explore key topics, such as data and digital, and navigating challenges from COVID-19 


  • Digital resource library for divisional human resources team members to access Group Talent resources for developing and managing talent
  • Best practice collaboration through a Group-wide Communities of Practice program, which aims to share collective data and digital knowledge  

The Advanced Analytics Centre and data analytics capability building 

Reflecting the Group’s strategic focus on data and digital, our divisions and the Group have continued to accelerate growth in advanced analytics, digital talent and broader business capabilities. 

At the Group level, a key focus of the Wesfarmers’ Advanced Analytics Centre (AAC) has been supporting divisions to grow their capabilities to deliver personalised customer digital communications and experiences. This has involved improving technical and business user expertise in data, analytics and technology along with embedding agile ways of working in combined analytics, technology, marketing and e-commerce teams.  

There has also been significant focus on developing the technology, processes and ways of working so that divisions can benefit from the collective data assets that exist across the Group, complementing the strengths of the data assets in the operating businesses. 

With the increasing importance of digital channels, the divisions have significantly uplifted their technical and people capabilities in data and digital. While strategic digital programs were already underway, COVID-19 served to accelerate the pace and agility by which these outcomes were delivered. This has then been supported by extensive focus on how data and digital can improve the pace, flexibility and resilience of supply chains to accommodate rapid changes in customer behaviour. 

In line with the Wesfarmers values and brand reputation, another priority across the Group and divisions has been to improve the awareness of and capabilities in cyber security and data ethics, including the processes and policies that reflect our responsibilities as custodians of customer data. These initiatives will continue to scale in profile and reach. 

More broadly, the Group-wide program of Communities of Practice, which has the goal of sharing and uplifting the collective data and digital knowledge, has continued to develop and expand. Alongside those focused on Data Science and Data Engineering, new communities have been created that cover specific technologies (cloud data platforms, visualisation tools) and business users (personalisation best practices). 

A recent milestone in the development of these Communities of Practice was the launch of Wesfarmers’ first internal hackathon based on the theme of Sustainability. Over 50 team members in 13 cross-divisional teams took up the challenge to identify solutions that can improve the sustainability performance of the Group across dimensions such as carbon footprint reduction, customer awareness and investor and community engagement. 

Finally, increasing familiarity with agile ways of working and remote working productivity tools enabled business and analytics teams to seamlessly move to remote ways of working that were vital during the various COVID-19 lockdowns. As our teams now move to more flexible physical and remote ways of working, we will continue to focus on how to retain the ‘best of physical and remote’ approaches.  

Building data and digital talent is a key enabler to successfully accelerating the Group’s progress in data and digital. The focus on building internal talent and attracting the best in the market will continue to be a core priority for the Group and divisions. 


GRI 404-2, GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2, GRI 103 -3