Strong teams of experts comprising talented individuals armed with complex technical knowledge are valuable assets to any company. Managers, however, need more; they also need people skills if they are to manage effectively. When we at Bruker realized that we could do more to support our managers, we initiated a training program that would enable them to lead others with confidence.
Like many companies, Bruker BioSpin boasts many great managers, all experts in their own fields of work. Also like many companies, BioSpin has tended to focus on developing the technical skills of its leaders, rather than looking at the 'softer skills' of, for example, people management, communication skills and emotional intelligence.
Our managers receive technical training to enhance and augment their levels of expertize, but tended to receive little managerial or leadership training.
With that in mind, we decided to change the status quo. In 2016, we introduced a Leadership Training Program to support our global network of managers. Broadly speaking, the initiative has been designed to ensure company-wide adoption of harmonized managing methods and to equip our managers with the relevant tools to manage others effectively, with the goal of creating a productive and rewarding company culture.
Specifically, the course objectives are threefold: to develop stronger leadership competencies, which are demonstrated through action; to ensure a shared leadership understanding throughout Bruker BioSpin; and to provide a shared leadership culture.
Each year, we run a series of courses with a group of 12 people covering five modules - self-awareness, self-management, communication skills, effective leadership, and conflict management. Each module takes one day to complete.
In 2017, the program's first year, approximately eight groups of managers participated in the leadership training initiative. To date, more than 200 people have successfully completed the course.