GREENVILLE — A Greenville company is teaming with Edison State Community College to grow its team leaders.
Ramco Electric Motors is a company which not only produces motor components but also invests in growing its teams. Ramco’s main purpose is “to improve the lives of their employees, so they can strengthen their families and the community.”
“At Ramco, we always want to develop other’s through our values of being: respectful, innovative, committed, a learning organization and having humility,” Matthew Stephens, a production manager at Ramco, said. “Investing in our people will help to make Ramco a destination employer and change the normal ‘come to work and do a job’ into an opportunity to utilize his or her skills to work through problems, to stay above the line and add a sense of fun to the culture while achieving Ramco’s vision of 100 percent safety, quality and on time delivery.”
Ramco teamed up with Edison to develop a special tailored program to not just data dump information on its leaders but to help plant the seeds to those skills and continue to water them in different approaches over nine weeks.
“Edison State has been conducting training for team leaders and supervisors for many years,” Peggy Wiggins, Edison’s director for the Center for Workforce Development and Education, said. “The programs usually consist of several sessions, each four hours in length, over a period of weeks or months. We always meet with management to learn issues relevant to each organization so we can modify the program to address their specific needs, and we often conduct needs assessments to determine the appropriate training curriculum. On occasion we provide sessions to management to help them reinforce the training program.”
The team leader training for Ramco went further. First, Ramco surveyed the employees who would be going through the training to identify their skill level in various leadership areas and how they perceived the importance of each of those areas. From those surveys Ramco could select specific courses that would address the issues identified. Then the trainer came to their facility and a get-to-know-you session was conducted with all the trainees and the two production managers present. Following that session, the trainer went out on the production floor and met with each team leader individually, observing how they interacted with their teams and probing further to get to know them even better.
The biggest gain for the team leaders came from the opportunity to meet away from the facility and talk about their successes and what they needed to improve, all while building their skills as leaders. They began to seek each other’s input when they faced challenges, rather than just dealing with them on their own. This helped them not only grow as leaders but also to begin to develop leaders from their own teams.
For Edison State, the changes that Ramco made of evaluating each team leader before, during and after the program enabled the trainer to understand each team leader more fully and be a better coach throughout the process. The team leaders participated more fully in each session, making the classes more effective. The experience was personally very rewarding to the trainer, to get to know each team leader personally and watch them learn, change and grow.
“This program has helped to change the lenses of our team leaders to different approaches they can utilize in different situations,” Production Manager Heather Brown said.“It has also helped to close the gap from being a peer to becoming a leader of those peers. Edison has helped to become the mirror that we can use to reflect on what’s working well and what is not and what tool can help us. Investing in the Ramco team leaders, Keith Bragg, Troy Stewart, Jason Hemmerich, Damon Miller, Jason Netzley and Steven Wike has been an absolute pleasure and Ramco cannot wait to see how they will help the company grow, grow their teams and grow themselves.”