Client Spotlight: PepsiCo Foods Building Empathic Leaders Across the Organization


The Learning and Development Team at PepsiCo Foods North America (PFNA), comprised of both Frito-Lay and Quaker businesses, saw the need for a consistent leadership-development
program across the organization. The primary mission was to “develop every leader to achieve their maximum potential and create empathic leaders who are future-ready.” To accomplish this goal, they wanted a partner with high-quality, flexible content they could customize and deliver both in-person and live-online.


With a vision to be “the premier place to develop as a leader,” PFNA built a cross-functional program called CORE Leadership. CORE was designed by taking content from FranklinCovey’s
All Access Pass® and PNFA’s internally developed content, and aligning everything to three leadership values: Connect, Clarify, and Coach.

CORE Leadership was designed to be embedded into all levels of leader development—from onboarding, to three different leadership levels across an individual career. It was also intended to have the high-touch feel of an accelerated-development program while remaining available to all leaders. Webinars included role plays, polls, annotations, and breakout sessions. Designers incorporated cross-functional peer networking and peer coaching as sustainment following the program as well. This broadened participants’ networks and increased their exposure to other areas of the business. They also had access to On Demand learning, articles, and tools loaded onto PepsiCo’s learning-experience platform (LMX) for reinforcement following the sessions.

CORE Leadership was launched in January 2020 and was initially developed as an in-person workshop, but successfully pivoted to a virtual platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


PFNA was able to shift from three 2-day, in-person workshops to nine virtual workshops within two months of the start of the pandemic. Despite the interruption and change, they exceeded their goal by having 2,882 leaders successfully completing CORE Leadership in 2020.

Those who participated reported an increase in their targeted skillset between 10% and 13% after their designated workshop. And between 83% and 90% of participants reported that they would recommend the workshops to their peers.

Building empathic leaders is essential for engagement at PFNA. Even after an incredibly challenging year in 2020, their organization health scores came in a full 6 points higher than in 2019 and were the highest in the company’s history. CORE Leadership was one of many initiatives that helped drive that increase and create a positive change for the future.


PepsiCo Foods North America is an industry-leading foodservice company known for their Frito-Lay and Quaker Food products.

Click here to download a PDF version of this Client Spotlight.

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