The most important investment a company makes is in its people. People devise strategies and execute decisions. People inspire, they form teams, collaborate, and support each other. Most important, they work with customers to better understand their business, their needs, and how they can help them succeed. At International Paper, our people lead.
Of our 58,000 employees, International Paper has more than 5,000 leaders—first line leaders, plant managers, managers in sales, process improvement, safety, human resources, manufacturing, customer service, IT, and senior leadership. Leadership at International Paper is expected every day, at every level of the organization. Leadership, however, is not just about a position—it is an attitude and responsibility we expect all of our employees to embody. Our simple and powerful model of leadership is called—The IP Way.
Every person at IP is granted a “license to lead.” They are free to take intelligent initiative to engage others in achieving the best results. This means empowering people to take on more responsibility and make decisions that help IP win in a highly competitive global business environment.
We also believe great leadership grows with increased knowledge, skill and experience. This is why we value—and are immensely proud of—the breadth and tenure of our leadership team. In our executive management team alone, we have an aggregate of more than 300 years of experience; our CEO and CFO have 30 and 33 years of IP experience, respectively. We change over the years, but we do so based on a strong foundation of experience.
The central focus of our leadership model is to Engage Employees in Exceeding Expectations. It is about a person’s character, capability and ability to be a catalyst. We believe leadership is ultimately about getting positive, sustainable results, with a fully engaged team of employees. We know there are direct links between high employee engagement and high levels of productivity, reduced turnover, and improved safety performance. Highly engaged employees build customer loyalty, improve profitability, and sustain growth.
We develop our leaders to inform and engage our employees so they are aligned in the mission of our company. We build great leaders, and great leaders build great companies.
REACHING FOR STARS
Leadership begins at the beginning.
International Paper is always looking for new leaders, and has a variety of development programs across businesses and functions. One such program is REACH (Recruit Engage Align College Hires). Our goal is to attract top-notch engineers who have graduated within the past five years. Rather than a dedicated training program, REACH allows engineers to work at one of our manufacturing facilities while also participating in a required core curriculum of face-to-face and IP-sponsored virtual courses, as well as “on-the-job” experiences that build technical and leadership competencies.
We have similar programs for our finance, human resources and supply chain professionals. We believe the development of talent requires collaboration between the employee, their supervisors, leadership, human resources and corporate departments, and that each of those groups plays a key role in the employee’s success. Our employees can have infinite career possibilities, depending on their capabilities, interests and the needs of the company.