Global Chemical Company Gives First Line Leaders Training Needed to Succeed
A large, global chemical company was committed to upgrading the skill sets and competencies of their first line supervisors. Across the company they were beginning to roll out a competency based model for evaluating and rewarding these managers. One manufacturing site was committed to giving their supervisors every possible advantage to be able to succeed in this new, and for some, threatening, model for performance. Many of the first line leaders were new to management roles and needed to develop their leadership skills to effectively deal with the day-to-day challenges they faced. In addition, the plant was a union environment, which further complicated any change initiatives they attempted to roll out.
The group of first line leaders took an honest look at historical incidents and decisions they had made about what was, and was not possible at the plant. They took responsibility for areas where they were not holding themselves or others to account. Each leader created a project in their area of accountability with the intent of developing their leadership while producing extraordinary results for the business.
Individually, and as a group, the leaders stopped arguing for what couldn’t be done and started to go to work on areas that they could impact and influence. The projects – which were in the area of safety, SOP standardization, implementing self-generating teams, site improvement, and security – produced demonstrable results for the plant and allowed the leaders to develop lasting skills and competencies. An unexpected byproduct of the initiative was that the leaders began supporting each other’s projects and starting operating as a team.