Entrepreneurial thinking and strong employee loyalty are cornerstones of Sika’s corporate culture. Neither can be taken for granted. You have to continually work at achieving both. Sika invests in the continuing professional development of its employees, because the experience gained by your own people offers the greatest potential and the most solid foundation to build on.
Anyone who takes a job at Sika can count on their commitment to the company not only being recognized, but also rewarded and encouraged, regardless of business area and hierarchical level. A long-term partnership is in the interests of the company and workforce alike. Employees invest a great deal of effort and dedication, and the company invests in training and staff advancement, the management talent development program being a case in point.
Training at all levels
Good can always get better. This begins with the basic capabilities that a member of management must possess, including negotiation, presentation, organization and motivation skills to name just a few. Around 2,000 employees take part in Sika’s general skills training programs each year. Annually, about 400 staff members receive local leadership development training at country level, focusing on communication, performance, delegation, planning, and target-setting. Regional leadership programs are organized for anything from 20 to 60 employees in each of the four regions: EMEA, Asia/Pacific, Latin America and North America. Approximately 40 people a year are invited to take part in the Global Leadership Program. And the two-yearly Senior Management Development training is attended by some 160 Senior Managers.
Taking part in the Global Leadership Program means bringing something to the table, exchanging ideas and profiting from one another. The focus is on tasks from real-life practice and information exchange.
The Global Leadership Program
Held in Switzerland, the Global Leadership Program is a training and reinforcement initiative aimed at members of middle management from all over the world. It is designed to provide participants with clear strategy pointers and to help them reinforce or acquire skillsets in strategic analysis and planning, including how to implement a strategy in practice. Sika wants managers to understand and manage the company’s key business metrics and figures. Participants should be able to implement changes and new developments at their own sites, and they should be capable of handling complex tasks. Finally, they should develop outstanding leadership skills as an absolute prerequisite for achieving first-class results.
From trainee to Vice President
Sebastien Godard, who took part in the 2015/16 Global Leadership Program, began his career 17 years ago as a trainee with Sika France. He subsequently joined the Sika sales team in Southern France, where he stayed for 4 years. His trips got longer, and his work more demanding. The next challenge he faced was to develop markets for Sika in all business areas in West and Central Africa.
From both a personal and a professional standpoint, he feels that the most significant move he made was to transfer to Sika Vietnam. He stayed there for three years as Target Market Manager Refurbishment and Sealing & Bonding, before returning to France. Enterprise, effort, and experience are the essence of a model career at Sika. Today Sebastien Godard is Vice President of Marketing & Sales for Interior Finishing in the USA.
Develop and drive
Good management is being able to recognize employees’ talents. Sebastien Godard stresses that he was always happy to take up invitations from his line managers to attend in-house continuing training programs organized by Sika. He saw these events not only as an opportunity for professional development, but also as a sign of the company’s confidence in him. He always felt motivated to accept the responsibility of meeting new challenges. For him this didn’t just mean continuously growing as a Sika manager, but also at the same time being able to be a good husband and father.
Jarmila Novotná (Czech Republic) and Sebastien Godard (USA) were enrolled on the 2015/16 Global Leadership Program. Their contrasting career paths have one thing in common: they embody the outstanding quality of professional development within Sika.
A career in Research and Development
Jarmila Novotná, who was also a participant on the 2015/16 Global Leadership Program, can look back on quite a different career. Following the acquisition of Czech-based Panbex, she suddenly found herself part of Sika. It wasn’t long before she was given an opportunity to build up and head a new R&D department. She was also tasked with launching the entire Sika product portfolio on the Czech market. The transition from her old employer to her new one was not easy, she recalls today. Panbex was a company serving the Central European markets, while Sika is a global player. She feels that her biggest challenge was learning to understand how an international company of this size operates.
Passed with flying colors
What Jarmila Novotná appreciated and still very much welcomes today was, and is, the support of her international colleagues as well as the exemplary spirit of cooperation within her own team. She is proud to say that under her leadership, a local R&D department has been transformed into a regional technology center. She likes the fact that Sika offers her the chance to take part in internal development and training programs. Jarmila Novotná is firmly convinced that this support has enabled her to significantly broaden and enhance her skills and efficiency. She also greatly values the ongoing exchange of experiences with her Sika colleagues the world over. There’s always something to look forward to at Sika, says Jarmila Novotná.