SUNSTAR AMERICA’S LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT TRAINING PROGRAM AND SUCCESSION PLAN PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY AND SECURITY
Company Profile: Sunstar Americas Inc., headquartered in Schaumburg IL, manufactures oral health and dental care products, and employs over 550 people in North and South America. Sunstar’s Senior Manager of Manufacturing identified a need to develop high-potential employees to fill their current and future Operations Team Leadership roles. After identifying potential candidates, Sunstar reached out to long-time training partner, Illinois Business Innovation Services (BIS), to design an extensive training program and succession plan.
Opportunity: Sunstar’s Senior Manager of Manufacturing identified a need to develop high-potential employees to fill their current as well as future Operations Team Leadership roles. He worked with the Human Resources Department to identify potential candidates recommended by Sunstar Managers, then reached out to long-time training partner, Illinois Business Innovation Services (BIS), to design an extensive training program and succession plan.
Solution: Sunstar and Illinois BIS worked together to develop a customized Leadership Development Program to prepare well-rounded employees in becoming future leaders in the organization. The program included an extensive “learning by doing” approach. Each participant was assigned a Sunstar mentor and a group project. This development program consisted of classroom training, personal assessments, case studies, group work, simulations, homework and mentoring. The program included personal and relationship training in areas such as: Understanding the Role of a Leader, Inspiring and Influencing Others, Respectful Communication, Building Trust and Commitment, Effective Conflict Resolution, Coaching, Performance Management, and Teamwork. The program also covered business skills training, including: Project Management, Problem Solving, Lean/Six Sigma, Innovation, Supply Chain Management, Presentation Skills, Business Writing, and Customer Service Strategies. Several BIS instructors were deeply involved in leading and successfully implementing the program.
Outcomes: As a result of this program, Sunstar has successfully filled the Operations Team Leadership Pipeline. Approximately 20 employees received certificates from the program. Participants also completed group projects that increased productivity and reduced costs, identifying thousands of dollars in cost savings. Sunstar senior leaders were thoroughly impressed by the project presentations as the project results exceeded their expectations.
So far, 25% of the participants have been promoted and/or given more responsibility. Participants value the positive impact of the training, both at work and in their personal lives. They greatly appreciated the support from management, and the relationships that they formed with their peers. The participants were a mix of ages and genders, from 15 different original countries, and many talked about gaining understanding and teamwork as a result of learning together. They are clearly committed to continuing to learn and excel, and to leading Sunstar into the future.