Igniting Leaders: SMS Equipment


Growing a Business with the Best Leaders

Across the globe millions of people rely on the heavy equipment that SMS Equipment provides and services. Just as its customers rely on their products, SMS Equipment heavily relies on all of its 2,500 employees and it’s success was dependent upon their ability to get managers and future managers the skills required to be better leaders.

Moving to a Leadership Development Program

The company wanted to continue their growth in the marketplace and they knew that they would need talented leaders to get the job done. That is where Louise Meier,Senior Training and Development Specialist came in. Meier analyzed the challenges and along with Senior Management launched a 2-year Leadership Development Program in 2011 that leveraged the blended format of Vital Learning’s Leadership Courses as its foundation. The program has three primary phases:

  • Phase 1: The eLearning component of Vital Leadership courses. SMS Equipment enrolls employees in eight of Vital Leadership – Essential Skills courses. The Vital eLearning courses enable students to access the eLearning course their own branded campus on the VitalLearning – Learning Management System (LMS) as well as allow for administrative tracking and reporting.

  • Phase 2: Classroom based facilitated courses expanding on the content from the same eight Vital eLearning courses employees completed. (Classroom facilitation enables employees to review, ask questions about what they learned in the eLearning course and then apply what they learned in skill practice and behavior modeling sessions.)

  • Phase 3: Includes a mix of additional facilitated classroom as well as eLearning training in safety, technical support and job specific training.

A Leadership Development Program With Accolades

Since implementing the Leadership Development Program at SMS Equipment 20% of their employees have been promoted to leadership roles after graduating. Forty people graduated from the first Leadership Development Program and the tremendous benefit of completing the program spread throughout the organization. As one employee stated, “I had an opportunity to deal with a real world performance issue. I used the open communication, clear and concise messages, maintain self-esteem, focus on behavior rules and the discussion was a success. ”

Meier currently has 100 supervisors enrolled in the Leadership Development Program. This program is allowing SMS Equipment to promote technicians to supervisors and managers that are ready to apply the skills that they learned from the Vital Leadership courses.

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