We set out to build a foundation of well-trained, well-educated group of leaders whom we could rely upon to create and sustain an environment in which employees can succeed, grow, and enjoy their work, as well as to create a pipeline of talent for future growth.
We brought in an external consultant to assist us with building our program. Initially, it was somewhat of a one-size-fits-all program focused on a wide variety of topics, including Ken Blanchard’s Situational Leadership model, Innovation, the power of positive thinking, and HR related topics like wage and hour, interviewing and hiring, leaves of absence, etc. After several years, the program has matured and now has three distinct levels: Emerging, Developing, and Senior leaders. This program allows us to scale for growth as we build a bench of qualified leaders for our succession plans.
While this program pre-dates our diversity and inclusion initiatives, more recent efforts have been focused on ensuring we have representatives from diverse backgrounds, schools of thought, and generations so that our leadership ranks more accurately reflect our employee population.
While the program has been around for more than a decade, we have had 310 program participants since 2014. From this group, participants have earned 306 promotions. Of these 306, 235 self-identified as female, 86 self-identified as ethnic minorities, 3 self-identified as veterans, and 2 self-identified as disabled. Furthermore, from these diverse groups, 21 have been promoted twice and 1 has been promoted three times in the last four years.