Learning to Lead
K&G finds ‘Social Styles’ breeds respect
By Lynn Shelton
Enterprise Minnesota's Vice President of Marketing
(Lynn Shelton, vice president of marketing, Enterprise Minnesota)
Cultivating a positive and productive work culture requires leadership to maximize employee engagement by empowering employees at all levels. Enterprise Minnesota’s Learning to Lead program provides small and medium-sized manufacturing companies the tools they need to create such a culture.
Under the guidance of Enterprise Minnesota’s business growth consultant Abbey Hellickson, Learning to Lead is a series of workshops that shows manufacturers how improving company leadership will better equip them to compete and grow in the difficult workforce market. Companies participate in the program either through referral or from intentional conversations Enterprise Minnesota business developers have with them about the program and suggesting it might be a good fit.
“Enterprise Minnesota focused on building a program around the concept of leadership because of the challenges manufacturing companies have voiced in terms of attracting and retaining talent,” Hellickson said. “Research proves the better quality leaders we have, the stronger recruitment and retention is within the company and, therefore, the company as a whole is stronger.”
K&G Manufacturing in Faribault, a machine shop with over 75 years of experience in the industry, sent members of its leadership team to participate in the program because developing leaders became just as important to them as product development.
“The environment Abbey Hellickson created with Learning to Lead was extremely interactive,” said Brad Holloway, program manager at K&G. “It forced participants to communicate with each other and learn different communication styles.”
Learning about Social Styles was a key program takeaway for Phil Marik, K&G’s shipping and receiving manager. After discovering his personal Social Style, Marik applied this knowledge within the context of his daily responsibilities.
“I was volun-told to participate in Learning to Lead, but it was really good for me,” Marik said. “Because I interact with machinists on the shop floor, it was important for me to understand my Social Style and the Social Styles of others. I earned more respect for myself and more respect from others.”
The Social Style model also encouraged Chad Bolton, a maintenance manager with K&G, to consider how his behavioral style and preferences contribute to leadership effectiveness. “When we learned about Social Styles, I realized my biggest challenge was with myself,” Bolton said. “Now that I understand how to express myself and share my ideas, I can get more involved in making K&G successful. Our management team listens better now. This class was the start of that change.”
The Action Plan portion of Learning to Lead helped K&G implement an IDEAS (Initiative for Developing Excellence and Success) Team that continues to make on-going progress within the company.
“The IDEAS Team was created to develop other leaders in our organization and bring the company up another level in how we communicate,” Pete Heyer, K&G’s engineering manager, said. “We are the next generation of management in the company, and we needed to prepare for the upcoming changes in leadership. By broadening the base of employees who get involved in projects, we hear ideas from all departments that will keep moving the company forward on a daily basis.” With bi-weekly check-ins, the IDEAS Team reviews each shift and what, if any, changes are needed to keep operations running smoothly.
K&G will continue to send employees to future Learning to Lead sessions. The information and knowledge shared in the program goes hand in hand with creating an involved and empowered workforce, Bolton said. “The workplace can’t treat people like a number. Everybody has to be part of the company. It doesn’t matter how much you make or what position you are in; we all need to empower each other and have input.”
How to Develop Your Future Leaders
**Exclusive to Manufacturers**
Thursday, January 24, 2019
9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
1200 Storrs Pond Rd, Rooms 527/529
Winona, MN 55987
What to Expect
Manufacturers know that the growing skills gap means they can no longer count on hiring applicants who will have the skills they need. Instead, they urgently need to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities of their current employees. Equally important, manufacturers need to focus on the unique competencies that comprise leadership skills.
Please join us to learn insights about the critical components of talent management and the steps necessary to develop a successful leadership development program. Upon completion of the workshop participants will be able to:
- Define talent and talent management
- Identify the talent management lifecycle
- Describe key components to talent management
- Explain the impact leaders have on an organization
- Depict steps to developing a leadership development program
- Create an action plan to implement within their own organization
This event is exclusive to manufacturers and is free of charge. Registration required.
To register please contact firstname.lastname@example.org