Elearning! September


Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Page 37 of 52

Elearning! September / October 2014 37 Shaw Learning Academy Emphasizes the Importance of Leadership Training As an advanced manufacturing organiza- tion, Shaw relies on front-line supervisors to help meet strategic goals around safety, customer expectations, associate engage- ment, quality, and achieving world-class business metrics. Because Shaw's executive leadership team desired a consistent, across-the-board training program to develop core leader- ship skills and to build on the corporate culture, last year, the company developed a new Supervisor Leadership Academy (SLA). A competency-based training pro- gram of fve core courses, SLA also includes modules beyond the core curriculum to continue developing leadership skills. Tis new program is being implemented to more than 1,500 supervisors and managers across more than 75 facilities worldwide. Te leadership training uses a blended approach. Te core content is instructor- led in fve 8-hour modules in a classroom setting with role playing and group dis- cussion around what the team needs to apply the skills. It's truly interactive. "In the past, there was open enrollment, but this program has been re-designed for intact teams within our organization," notes Brian Cooksey, director of Opera- tions, Training and Development. "Te entire management team goes through it together. Ten, outside the classroom, there are practice exercises where partici- pants are asked to do one task each week over a 10- or 12-week period to apply those skills back on the job. It might be sharing, one-on-one conversations, team conversations and planning to provide the skills and implement the culture changes that we're encouraging. Tere are online modules as well, and coaching by facilita- tors to expedite this process." To continue to grow in a global econo- my, management realized that Shaw also must continue to be innovative and ef- fcient. Its front-line supervisors directly impact all of the associates on a daily basis and are key to helping the organization continue to succeed. Many of the supervi- sors, however, did not see themselves as leaders at frst, but rather as individuals directing workfow on a daily basis. Leadership training now focuses on four key themes: 1 Engaging associates in a high-trust, high-performance environment; 2 Making great decisions and becoming more proactive in identifying prob- lems/opportunities and generating ideas/ solutions; 3 Coaching and developing associates to reach their highest potential; and 4 Improving their own self-manage- ment (understanding themselves as supervisors, better managing their time, and dealing with stress). To design the curriculum, Shaw assem- bled a steering committee, profled fve diferent supervisory positions, and con- ducted a thorough needs assessment. Te company also organized focus groups with all management levels. Associate engagement surveys were analyzed. Te program was launched in March 2013 with more than 700 supervisors from many locations visiting the Dalton, Ga. headquarters. Aferward, Shaw rolled out the training to intact management teams at each location. Department and plant managers were also required to complete the same training so that all management understood the new skills. Managers served as coaches and men- tors for the supervisors. Online learning complemented instructor-led training. Practice assignments are required in be- tween classes to reinforce skills. THE FUTURE "We feel like we have a lot of challenges in front of us," says Danny Crutchfeld, director of Corporate Training and Orga- nizational Development. "But we have a lot of energy and attention in our compa- ny focused on making sure that our asso- ciates have the right leaderships skills to tackle those challenges. Leadership drives our culture, which drives our business." Plans are in the works to expand the training. "Individual supervisors have applied these skills and seen their depart- ment and shif numbers go up in terms of production, quality and safety," Cooksey observes. "We've begun the process of ex- panding the core modules. Our challenge is to not let this end, to continue this conver- sation and eforts to develop leadership." Phase 2 will ofer fexibility through modules. "We didn't want to have a one- size-fts-all for future modules," Cooksey says. "Our approach going forward will be to provide some complementary skills but also to work with plants to identify unique needs that they might have." Shaw Industries is a four-time Learn- ing! 100 honoree. AREA OF EXCELLENCE C U LT U R E Many of the supervisors did not see themselves as leaders at frst, but as individuals directing daily workfow.

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