Mazda GearUp screenshot

Empowering Employees


Mazda Canada​


Introduce a new performance management practice to foster a collaborative, self-motivated and high-performing workforce.

Mazda Canada set out to transform their organizational culture after an internal survey identified employee development as a barrier to workplace performance. Initial meetings with Mazda revealed that their current performance management process – a traditional forced-ranking system – was neither improving employee performance nor encouraging engagement across their workforce.

Mazda wanted a work culture that would support and reward collaboration and continuous improvement. Their goal was to align their corporate values and their organizational culture in a way that leveraged innovation in their talent management practices into a competitive advantage.




GEAR-Up: a custom-tailored, full-scale coaching program designed to drive change, increase employee motivation and encourage continuous improvement.

We began by meeting with Mazda employees to gain an understanding of employee-manager relationships, obstacles to performance and career advancement, and the problems employees saw with the current performance management system.

Our research team then examined the psychological and neuropsychological bases of motivation. We reviewed the latest research on employee performance and engagement from scientific journals, business literature and popular media, and then conducted a comprehensive literature review of empirical viable coaching systems.

With a clear understanding of the challenges faced by both employees and managers, we developed GEAR-Up, a change-enabling coaching program, consisting of the following tools:

  • A User Guide outlining the principles of the coaching system
  • A set of 12 Practice Beliefs highlighting the necessary skills for effective coaching
  • A set of infographics and job aids to facilitate just-in-time learning
  • A two-day in-person learning event, during which managers conducted scenario-based, practically grounded coaching sessions with their employees
  • A 12-week digital learning program consisting of brief eLearning modules to help managers build their coaching skills




Mazda Canada successfully transitioned to a conversation-based performance management practice, resulting in greater workforce collaboration, improved employee engagement, and increased productivity.

12 weeks after implementation, we conducted a follow-up workshop to measure the impact GEAR-Up. Since the program was introduced, Mazda Canada has seen a 40% increase in employee engagement, satisfaction, and performance.

Employees enthusiastically told us that the new system provides greater incentives for continuous improvement and opportunities for professional development. Mazda Canada managers also told us that they are better equipped to lead their teams in a positive and constructive way, engaging employees in a process of ongoing performance coaching that has improved productivity and employee retention.

Employees said that GEAR-Up has had the following impact:

  • Better problem solving skills
  • Feeling more empowered in their jobs
  • Feeling more engaged in their jobs
  • Having a better understanding of the business environment
  • Improved communication
  • Increased trust
  • Better relationships between managers and staff
  • Feeling appreciated
  • Time savings
“I can’t say enough about the quality of Dialectic’s work. They are truly world-class at what they do.”
Brian McDougall - Senior Director, Human Resources, IT & Administration
Brian McDougall
Senior Director, Human Resources, IT & Administration

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