Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Grooming Your Company’s Next Leaders through Leadership Development Programs


Leadership Development Programs (LDPs) are utilized at companies like Georgia-Pacific, Medtronic, and Michelin, where veterans are recruited for their intangible leadership abilities and then taught hard skills like engineering, sales, or operations. Because veterans bring with them positive leadership and organizational improvement skills, companies like these realize that they can combat an aging workforce and groom their next generation.

In his Inc.com article, How to Create a Leadership Development Program, Tim Donnelley lays out four important aspects of creating an LDP. First, he explains that you need to assess your goals and ask what it is you want your future leaders to accomplish. Second, he says you need to identify your candidates, which Hire a Hero posits should be veterans! Third, Donnelly advises that you use real world examples in the program, as an LDP is “only as good as its practical applications”. Finally, he writes that in an ever global economy, it’s important to teach leaders to be purposeful in establishing relationships with staff they may not see on a daily basis. 

A great example of a company successfully leveraging military talent and molding it into their company's next generation of leadership iArdagh Group, a leading glass container manufacturer in the U.S. Their Former Military Professional Development Program (FMPDP) is designed to provide glass manufacturing experience for candidates with a Bachelor's degree and those with advanced degrees, seeking careers in manufacturing management. After completing the orientation process, FMPDP members are assigned to a plant location to begin rotations as part of the plant's manufacturing team. The program is carefully structured to provide an opportunity to learn the various aspects of the Ardagh manufacturing operations. 

Companies that carefully create LDPs for military veterans find that exposing them to many facets within their companies helps in their development, retention, and performance.

Click here to learn more about recruiting veterans for your LDP.

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