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Global mentoring program at FrieslandCampina

FrieslandCampina have extensive, in-house knowledge and skills. They want to optimize the way these are shared internally. Together with Schouten Global, the dairy producer therefore developed the Global Mentoring Program. Senior Managers are trained as mentors and coupled with colleagues with development requirements. Leontien Kouijzer: ‘We want to promote the internal learning culture at FrieslandCampina through the exchange of knowledge and insights.’

Leontien Kouijzer is Global Learning & Development Manager at FrieslandCampina. The dairy producer provides millions of people with dairy products every day, all over the world.

FrieslandCampina previously used external coaches and mentors to provide professional support to employees. The question arose whether this could be internally resourced. The dairy producer needed a program to further develop the mentoring skills used by managers to guide their colleagues’ professional development.

Schouten Global developed a Global Mentoring Program in close cooperation with FrieslandCampina. Senior Managers worldwide who are keen to facilitate employees in their professional development become mentors in the program.
They meet with their mentees, write reflection reports and evaluate these with their fellow mentors in group WebEx sessions. They also develop their own mentoring skills by means of an individual coaching session with Schouten Global.


  • Internal knowledge and skills are better exploited and exchanged
  • The mentors strengthen their mentoring skills and apply them during their work
  • Mentor and mentee learn from each other, the relationship is reciprocal
  • The program encourages the learning culture throughout the organization

Why did you need a mentoring program?
‘FrieslandCampina’s extensive knowledge and skill is spread all over the world. We found that this expertise could be better utilized. We therefore wanted to develop a program that would position our own Senior Managers as mentors, to support and guide colleagues taking big strides in their careers. For instance a relocation overseas.’

You asked Schouten Global to help. Why them?
‘We chose them because of our good experiences in the past. This, together with Schouten Global’s mentoring and coaching expertise, meant we had confidence in a successful partnership. After an intensive development period with a lot of sparring and reflection, we ended up with the Global Mentoring Program.’

How is the program going?
‘8 motivated managers who want to become mentors are chosen, per round, from the Senior Managers of FrieslandCampina worldwide. They study the program and then come together in a virtual session with Schouten Global to discuss their expectations. We then couple them with mentees. They meet with each other and the mentor writes a reflection report on the meeting. The 8 Senior Managers discuss their experiences virtually under the guidance of Schouten Global. In addition, each manager receives individual coaching in
mentoring skills from Schouten Global.’

How has it benefited you?
‘There are now 32 mentors with a total of 75 mentorships worldwide. The ‘teachers’ help their colleagues in their professional development, but in return also get a fresh look at the organization. We find this reciprocity very important. The managers experience the Global Mentoring Program as valuable. The Global Mentoring Program stimulates our internal learning culture. FrieslandCampina Philippines was so enthusiastic that they now also
deploy the program locally.’

How is the partnership?
We have really made the journey together, since the start-up of this project. And it has been good. Communication is open and the lines are short. We can throw everything on the table and reach a solution together. It works very well.’

How will you go forward?
‘We continue to train groups of mentors. We also want to organize it in such a way that mentors and mentees can find each other directly in the future. This would enable many more learning relationships. At the moment we still match them individually.’

More information?
Interested in what Schouten Global can do for your organization? Fill in our contact form. We will get in touch with you for a non-committal conversation.

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