WIKA Graduates Second Class of Students from Leadership Academy
Gwinnett Tech Develops Training to Help Supervisors Succeed
WIKA Instrument Corporation, the Lawrenceville-based manufacturer of temperature and pressure instrumentation, graduated its second class of employees from the company’s Leadership Academy last week.
Developed and delivered by instructors from Gwinnett Technical College specifically for WIKA, the Leadership Academy is customized for existing or up-and-coming supervisors to equip them with the tools to be successful leaders within the company.
“It became evident to us that we need to supply our employees with the appropriate people and managerial skills that will help them be successful in their roles – and not just focus on their technical abilities,” said WIKA President Michael Gerster. “We see that as the role of the Leadership Academy – to help us develop on those often-overlooked ‘soft’ skills that are truly critical to becoming an effective supervisor.”
The Leadership Academy, now in its second term, will help the company continue to promote from within the company, which employs nearly 600 in its Gwinnett facility.
While the company routinely implements on-the-job skills training, it had not done much in the way of formal ‘soft skills’ training and assessments for potential supervisors, so it turned to Gwinnett Tech for help in developing a challenging training curriculum to develop these needed skills. The result: WIKA’s Leadership Academy. The Leadership Academy is one example of the company’s efforts to make the changes that keep them competitive in a rapidly changing industry, and reflects Gwinnett Tech’s role as a leader in workforce development.
Gwinnett Tech customized WIKA’s training program to fit its exacting needs and designed it exclusively for WIKA employees. WIKA’s training program – and all of Gwinnett Tech’s customized training programs – included:
- an initial assessment of training needs;
- qualified instructors with relevant industry experience;
- customized training materials;
- coordination of training activities; and
- evaluation and follow-up.
WIKA selects the employees for participation in the Leadership Academy, which includes meeting with Gwinnett Tech instructors for eight hours every other week over a six-month period on the college’s campus. The training is held at Gwinnett Tech’s Busbee Center, a high-tech corporate training center. Participants are given numerous reading and other assignments, as well as group and individual projects before completing and graduating from the program.
The Leadership Academy prepares individuals for basic to advanced leadership roles through 144 hours of training in 18 areas, including fundamental leadership, communication, business writing, conflict resolution, ethics, diversity in the workplace, finance for managers, quality management systems and enforcing safety procedures. Future classes of the Leadership Academy are planned for 2007.