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Mowi Canada West Case Study

Making measuring and evaluating behavior-based performance a top priority.Mowi_Case_Study-1024x399


“The built-in measures of ROI in dollars and team behaviorally-based performance improvements has tied perfectly into Mowi’s organizational objectives.”

– Dean Dobrinsky, Former Human Resources Director, Mowi Canada West



Company Background

Mowi Canada West, a leading salmon aquaculture company, operates salmon farms on the coast of beautiful British Columbia and Vancouver Island, where 600 people produce 45,000 tonnes of sustainable farm-raised Atlantic salmon each year. Globally, Mowi produces one-fifth of the world’s farm-raised salmon at facilities in Norway, Scotland, Canada, Chile, Ireland, and the Faroe Islands. Mowi is the first company in North America to have all of their production farms certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council salmon standard.

Global Aquaculture

People Analytics: Vital Statistics Report
Leadership Development Program
Executive Coaching Sessions


Mowi’s ocean-based operations are spread out over tens of thousands of square miles. Many operations are served by boat and/or seaplane. Weather, particularly in winter, is a major issue. Some of

Mowi’s farm-raised salmon facilities are integrated into first nations communities. Mowi’s entire operation is team-based and each team, while operating independently, also has
to be coordinated to ensure safety and efficiency.

Managers and supervisors, many of whom are fish scientists, have different levels of team and leadership skills and experience with varying levels of competence and motivation regarding effective communication, accountability, ownership, safety processes, adherence to safety best practices, and overall team performance.

Leaders have a diverse mix of experience, tenure, and technical job-related skills that influence how they lead. Due to a number of historical factors, there is also a lack of common leader/team language, best practices, and processes. Recent accidents, from minor to major, and subsequent investigations surfaced the need to train leaders as soon as possible to mitigate future safety issues.


“People are very engaged in reviewing and understanding the VSR findings of their own and each other’s teams. Small groups formed sporadically when results were shared and people had impromptu discussions about findings and their experiences on their teams.”

– Participant Feedback



One of Mowi’s operating assumptions is that leader/team effectiveness is a key set of skills that are crucial to building a culture of safety, productivity, and celebration of diversity.

Mowi Canada West’s executive team determined that it is essential to have a way of measuring and evaluating the behaviorally-based performance of learning and development. This data is important for Mowi Canada West to focus on particular behaviorally-based performance areas of improvement tied to business results. The data is also important for Mowi Canada West to present clear behavioral improvements and ROI in dollars to the board.

Vital Statistics Report (VSR)

Vivo Team’s proprietary Vital Statistics Report (VSR) is designed to produce data on how team members and their leader are performing in the six key indicators of team effectiveness. The VSR illustrates the cost of lost productivity, pinpoints specific strengths, weaknesses, leader effectiveness, and other factors contributing to the costs of lost productivity.

Teams and leaders create a VSR by responding to a detailed series of statements related to the six key indicators of high performance: communication, interactive feedback, accountability, emotional intelligence, structures, and cohesion.

The assessment takes about 15 minutes to complete and is used to identify areas where teams could use improvement in team and leader productivity.

The initial VSR gives a picture of how effective the surveyed Mowi Canada West team was at the start of the program. We analyze the results of the VSR, report our findings to team leads
and management, and together we place teams into targeted training modules. With the VSR, they can measure and evaluate the learning outcomes and organizational impact of the leadership development program that follows.


“The leadership program has been integrated throughout the organization. We have leaders representing every Department, at all levels of the Company, not only interacting in this process, but then taking their learnings to their teams for action.”

– Dean Dobrinsky, Former Human Resources Director, Mowi Canada West


Leadership Development Program

Based on the data from the VSR, the program focused on communication and interactive feedback. Live, virtual instructor-led training and coaching (in 60-minute sessions) were delivered in interleaving segments.

Each online learning session was supported with a Hot Sheet (brief summary learning cues for participants to refer to that help them retain, share, and apply new learnings on the job).

Participants also have access to a company-specific learning experience platform (LXP). The platform gives participants additional online learning content to support their in-session training and includes session recordings, should a participant miss a live session.

Coaching Sessions

1-to-2 coaching is two coachees working with an executive coach in 60-minute sessions. During the session, each coachee gets a 30-minute personalized coaching event while the other coachee observes. The roles are then switched. This technique deepens and accelerates the learning experience so people can easily apply those learnings into their work situations—a process referred to as double-loop learning.

Leaders with cross-departmental or different geographical areas can share ideas and gain key insights into how the organization works. Additionally, by observing their colleagues being coached, they learn how to coach their own team members.


“A key strategic objective was to develop leaders and create specific talent pools with specific deliverables, and this program has fit perfectly into helping us achieve that.”

– Dean Dobrinsky, Former Human Resources Director, Mowi Canada West



Initial Engagement

After completing the initial engagement, a second VSR was deployed to participants. In reviewing the new results, leaders can see the behaviorally-based changes and the ROI in dollars as a result of the training as well as areas that continue to need more improvement.


The results across teams were not equal. Some teams improved more than others and a few teams reported worse results. A benefit of Vivo Team’s people analytics is that Mowi Canada West was able to flag teams who are high priority for development so leadership can support and develop them.

Initial Engagement Overall Results


During the initial phase of the program (16 weeks), the aggregate of all teams reported an improvement across the board in all indicators, yielding an overall ROI of 375%.

Team Highlights

One team showed an improvement of 29% in communication. The motivation of this team to use the skills showed a 17-point improvement. The team also showed a 42% improvement in interactive feedback, with a 24-point increase in collaboration (the desire of the team to work together).

Another team demonstrated a huge increase in the indicators of communication and interactive feedback: 30% and 47% respectively, with another benefiting from an 18% and 16% increase.

Benchmarks for Success

All leaders engaged in the same methodology which included data driven insights, behavior-based learning models, and scenario-based group coaching while guided by a personalized learning experience platform.

Some leaders reported that by using the skills they learned in the sessions, they have reduced their performance review time by about 30%. Other leaders, upon hearing that, have made a commitment to be more disciplined in applying what they are learning.

Leaders are repeating back for clarity and accuracy, and interrupting less in coaching and training sessions. There has been a decrease in misunderstanding and conflicts, particularly during the unpredictable time of the emerging COVID-19 crisis.

Next Steps

Based on feedback from participants and the people analytics provided by Vivo Team, the Managing and HR Directors, in consultation with the program leaders, made the decision to continue the next phase of this year continuous learning experience with virtual instructor- led training, individual and group coaching, behavioral analytics, and access to Vivo Team’s learning experience platform. In addition, a new multi-annual program is being rolled out to next level leaders.


Throughout the program, Mowi Canada West faced a number of very challenging business situations. A year into the program, the Canadian Government announced it would cancel salmon farming licenses in the Discovery Islands of British Columbia, effectively cutting business by 60%. This was a huge financial and morale blow for Mowi Canada West while simultaneously dealing with the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic. The question arose: will Mowi Canada West survive the cancellation of licenses?

All budgets were revised—and budget cuts soon followed. In spite of this, the executive team decided the leadership development program should carry on—strong empathic leadership would be required to get through this double hit on operations.

The results of the program up to that point, in terms of team and leader effectiveness improvements and regular feedback from the participating leaders and their team members, indicated that because of this shocking decision, it was essential to carry on the program to help people navigate the anxiety and stress.

Vivo Team was retained through as Mowi Canada West’s learning and development partner and committed to help “rallying the troops” to complete the work that was still to be done.

Team Highlights


Full Program Results


Average Aggregate ROI Over 2-Year Program

To date, Mowi Canada West has reclaimed $551,000 in lost productivity costs and increased their team effectiveness by 12% overall. They still show a 101% ROI, even after the difficulties, budget cuts, and turnover they experienced during this time period.

When polled, 100% of Mowi Canada West learners indicated they would recommend Vivo Team’s programs.

Mowi Canada West has indicated that they will continue to partner with Vivo Team through 2022 and beyond based on the results they have seen in their leaders and teams.