Skip to main content

Community learning for emerging leaders at Sainsbury's

Nature lines


Sainsbury's is the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. Impact worked with Sainsbury's to create a graduate programme that would bring to life Sainsbury's leadership behaviours using community action learning.

Sainsbury’s wanted to develop their graduates’ awareness of their personal impact and to increase their understanding of the interpersonal skills needed for working in a team environment whilst bringing to life Sainsbury's leadership behaviours


Impact designed a Community Action Learning project based at a primary school. The graduates were challenged to develop a green theme across the school and thus bring sustainability to life. It was a complex and consequential project to elicit real behaviours to explore and experiment with.

A half-day induction prior to the project framed the whole programme effectively, developing strategies and agreeing on outcomes without the risk of getting swallowed up in the task.

Innovative project design was required to meet the dual objectives of building leadership capacity and delivering a successful project for the community partner. The graduates worked in project teams to complete a healthy eating allotment, green team activities, an aromatic border and fence murals. Alongside the projects, a Learning Pod was designed to direct participants to explore and observe Leadership in Action.

"This is the first project we have undertaken with Impact. Our graduate induction programme has been traditionally very corporate - lots of slides and senior speakers. We strongly felt we wanted to provide an experience for these valuable new colleagues that better reflected the direction we are moving in as a business. The project delivered on every level; we were able to make a difference at the school in a way that was aligned with our different values and bring our behavioural framework alive for our graduates as they prepared to leap into the world of work. Their takeaways were very much about increased self-awareness and a great sense of camaraderie amongst the cohort, an experience we shall definitely repeat."

Sue Round, Head of Leadership Development

See what our customers say about us
Chris Ranger
Director of Services
"In summary, a fantastically positive outcome for the EMEA Services Management team. We have improved business performance and enabled sales to exceed their targets as well as services targets in terms of contract attachment, contract revenues and deferred revenues. All of this has been done within the true spirit of co-operation and respect for each other."
“Because of our great results, we were awarded Country of the Year, which was a first for Asia as an in-house commendation.”
Stephen Mason
Group Finance Director
"I am writing to say a big thank you for taking the time to give your excellent presentation to HCT’s chief officers. The succinct analysis that you produced of HCT and the challenges of its management team has given us some clear pointers and has focused thought processes. Our Chief Executive, declared the experience ‘Excellent!’.”