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OSI’s Launches Professional Development Training Program in North America

February 25, 2022

At OSI and many other companies around the world, the career ladder has taken on a new shape. Today, a professional’s advancement inside an organization more closely resembles a matrix, formed by the various paths a person can take in pursuit of career fulfillment.

“To get to where they want to go, professionals are increasingly asking for metrics to measure their progress and ensure they are getting the support they need to advance in their careers,” said Brenda Michalek, OSI Human Resources Senior Director. “We know that development opportunities and training are a critical part of unlocking that personal growth and career progression for our team members.”

This understanding drove OSI to launch a new leadership development program for North American frontline supervisors, resulting in a 68% increase in supervisory skills in the first year. This intensive year-long program was the result of a strong collaboration between the Learning & Development, Human Resources and Operations Leadership teams. The first step was to identify key performance competencies for supervisors and assistant supervisors which were building trust, communication, leading teams and follow-up and follow through. The training courses were then designed to develop these four key competencies in frontline supervisors.

Training that is Tailored for the Company and the Individual

Developing a continent-wide training program for a diverse workforce is never a simple task. The training has to work for everyone from supervisors and assistant supervisors, to plant human resources teams and operations managers. Beyond the core audience, OSI wants the inaugural training to be open to a range of invited guests as well, including interns, rotational management trainees (RMTs), operations leaders and other invested non-operations leaders throughout the organization.

Training content was crafted to focus on core competency leadership skills while incorporating practical operations scenarios. OSI leaders presented six live online training sessions scheduled at various times to accommodate different shifts. Each session ended with an action plan that provided each learner a practical roadmap for ongoing development of the identified leadership competency.

"If people were not able to make one of the six live training sessions, a recording was offered. This flexibility enabled us to reach busy production leaders to achieve a high level of attendance and engagement,” said Carol Rich, OSI’s Manager of Training and Development.

An impressive 82% of core learners and invited guests attended the sessions, confirming a strong appetite for professional development at OSI. "The level of commitment to this new training program was only possible due to strong management support, advocacy for training, and a desire to empower the next generation of OSI leaders,” said Rich.

Tracking Progress

Post-curriculum assessments showed improvement in several areas compared to baseline assessments. Responses reported an increase in competence, knowledge and job satisfaction. Moreover, a majority of participants reported using learned skills in day-to-day responsibilities.

A training program like this is mutually beneficial for the participants and OSI. Participants receive clear expectations from OSI on what competencies are important for growth. Meanwhile, OSI gets to nurture an interested and promising workforce and empower its team members to lead the future of the company.

“We knew we had an opportunity to take the momentum we have built over the last three years as a learning company to create a training program that actually worked,” said Rich. “We are encouraged by engagement and results and believe that we have set a strong foundation to build upon for future training programs.”

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