Training APEX Awards Best Practice: Kraft Heinz’s Manager as Coach Program

The program blends personalized coaching sessions with experiential learning and practical tools.

APEX Awards

Kraft Heinz’s Manager as Coach Program aims to enhance leadership effectiveness and employee performance by equipping managers with coaching skills that empower and support their teams, leading to increased employee engagement, improved communication, and a more positive work environment.

Program Details

The program blends personalized coaching sessions with experiential learning and practical tools. It is led by experienced Learning and Development (L&D) and HR professionals with deep knowledge and expertise in coaching managers to succeed. The coaching program includes a variety of topics such as effective communication, leadership, teambuilding, and conflict resolution. The facilitators work closely with managers to identify their strengths and areas for development and create tailored coaching training that meets their unique needs. The coaching program also incorporates a variety of learning methods, such as workshops, Webinars, and self-paced interactive coaching guides.

Mentoring and a community of practice also are critical components of this program. Mentoring helps bridge the gap between theory and practice, providing opportunities for participants to apply their coaching skills in real-world scenarios and receive feedback from each other. The community of practice provides a space for ongoing learning and collaboration, allowing managers to share their experiences, challenges, and successes with one another.

The program also includes many opportunities for participants to continue to hone their skills by offering expert answers to self-evaluate, 30-/60-/90-day follow-up nudges, and peer coaching groups to continue practicing on-the-job learning.

The program ensures that managers have access to a diverse range of resources that will help them continue to develop and refine their skills as leaders. Outside of the training session, a “Manager as Coach” playlist was established within Ownerversity to allow for continued learning. Each participant is equipped with an interactive journal to assess their coaching strengths and opportunities, foster a culture of coaching, make coaching a habit and priority, and empower others to develop. This journal has pre- and post-session action items to keep participants engaged once the physical sessions have concluded.


In 2022, 57 sessions were offered globally, with more than 2,000 people managers (nearly 50 percent of the people manager population at Kraft Heinz) actively completing the program. According to Kraft Heinz, this program has helped transform leadership practices, empowering managers to adopt a more facilitative and collaborative approach, fostering a culture of active listening and communication, openness, and trust.

Based on 90-day follow-up evaluations, 84 percent of participants stated they are using the Kraft Heinz Way of Coaching in their interactions with others. Other follow-up survey results pointing to behavior and impact include:

  • 36 percent shared insights with direct reports and 32 percent with their manager.
  • 53 percent indicated positive impacts on living Kraft Heinz’s Values and Leadership Principles, 52 percent impacting the quality of their team’s work, 48 percent impacting their team’s engagement, and 46 percent impacting how they foster an inclusive environment.
Edited by Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine, owned by Lakewood Media Group. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.