Does Your Leadership Training Create Career Paths?

In recent years, Convergys (http://www.convergys.com/), a global leader in providing customer care, human resources, and billing services, implemented two training and development programs, Future Leaders and Emerging Leaders. Training magazine recognized the programs when it named Convergys to a recent Training Top 125 list.

“We are honored to be named to this select list of companies that excel at employee training and development,” he says. “Convergys’ leadership development programs help us recruit and retain the best employees, which translates into superior service to Convergys’ clients.”

Creating Advantage

The leadership programs were introduced to formalize existing programs, in response to employee feedback, and to “create a sustainable advantage in the marketplace,” says Handy. “We have a very people-intensive business. There was recognition that we could be doing a lot more to prepare people for leadership roles.” The leadership programs also provide internal career paths for employees, he says.

Introduced in January 2003, the Future Leaders program is geared toward existing and potential first-level supervisors. Participants are chosen on the basis of their current and previous contributions to the organization, as well on an assessment of their future potential, according to Handy. The 10-month program includes a 1-week seminar that is offered several times each year to about 25 participants at a time.

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Emerging Paths

The Emerging Leaders program, which was implemented in October 2004, is designed to help more experienced managers sharpen and enhance their managerial and leadership skills, says Handy. “It is a 1-week learning experience followed by monthly assignments and facilitated conference calls over 6 month’s time.” About 30 Convergys employees typically participate.

The leadership programs are designed to build upon one other, Handy says, and all of the company’s training programs are aimed at “enhancing performance, enhancing capabilities, and preparing people to assume greater and greater responsibilities.”

“All of our programs are built on the principle of self-awareness,” he says. “We believe that leadership starts by understanding who you are, how you got to where you’re at … knowing yourself before you can begin to coach others.” As such, the leadership training programs focus on participants’ strengths, as well as opportunities for improvement.

Content in the leadership programs is supplemented by self-paced, online courses, according to Handy. Convergys contracts with a third party to provide a library of course offerings, and it also provides internally developed courses through its Personal Development Center.

In addition to providing valuable information to supervisors and managers, the leadership programs help them get to know their colleagues throughout the company, form personal networks, and “break down walls across business unit lines,” Handy says.

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In tomorrow’s Advisor, what Convergys has to say about coaching, plus an introduction to a unique library of leadership training materials.

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