MoenMOENThe story of Moen Incorporated dates to 1937,when company founder Al Moen designed thefirst single-handle mixing faucet. After more thanseven decades of growth and innovation Moen’snamesake company is a leading manufacturer ofkitchen and bath faucets, sinks, and accessories.As with most manufacturing organizations in the21st century, Moen has its sights set on globalexpansion. Moen, however, is a companydefined less by its growth or its global footprintthan by its people.“Like a lot of organizations, we’re focused ongrowing in very targeted ways,” says RobynHill, Moen’s vice president of human resources.“In order to foster growth globally you need lead-ers who can inspire people, who can motivatepeople and keep them on track, help themunderstand what’s important, and ensurethat the message around the direction of theorganization is carried through to all levels ofthe workforce.”Hill says that an important metric that Moentracks is employee engagement as measured byan annual survey. Survey results pointed to anopportunity for frontline supervisors to furtherdevelop their leadership skills.“We knew that the leaders at the supervisorylevel had largely been promoted from within,”says Terrie Szucs, senior organizational develop-ment consultant. “Yet, they manage the largestbulk of our population in the organization andprobably encounter the most difficult set ofdynamics.”Seizing this opportunity, Moen launched a front-line leadership development program based onits competency model for supervisors.A SOLID FOUNDATION TO INCREASEEFFECTIVENESSIn implementing the program, Moen needed toaddress some important challenges. For one,while the company did not have a formal leader-ship development program in place, many of theleaders who would be required to go through itwould have to be convinced of its value.“I’ve got probably 30-plus years of manufacturingsupervision experience and when it wasannounced that I needed to attend thesesessions I didn’t think I needed to go,” saysone participant, a production manager in Moen’sNew Bern, N.C., facility.GIVING LEADERS THE SKILLS TO DRIVEENGAGEMENT AND EXECUTE STRATEGYREALIZEDIT.STRONGER LEADERSHIP SKILLS FORSUPERVISORSABOUT MOEN:> Moen is a leadingmanufacturer of kitchenfaucets, bathroom faucets,bath accessories, shower-heads, and stainless steelsinks for residential andcommercial applications.> The company hasmanufacturing facilities,distribution facilities, andoffices in North America,Latin America, and Asia.Its headquarters is locatedin North Olmsted, Ohio.> Moen is part of FortuneBrands Home & Security,Inc., and employs2,500 people worldwide.
Szucs says that this participant’s initial skepticismwas shared by many of the more than 60 U.S.-based supervisors targeted by the program. Butshe also says that the aim of the program wasn’tto get leaders in classes but for them to developthe skills they needed and apply them back on thejob on an ongoing basis.To build a program that would do just that, Moentapped DDI.“We settled on the DDI frontline leadership pro-gram for a whole host of reasons,” says Hill. “Webelieved it would really give us a solid foundationto increase leader effectiveness and help ouremployees work more toward their potential,whether it’s somebody who wants to move beyondthe role they’re in or somebody who likes whatthey’re doing and they want to be able to do itmore effectively.”The program, which Moen christened the FrontLineLeadership Program, featured 10 courses fromDDI’s Interaction Management: Exceptional Leaders. . . Extraordinary Results®leadership developmentsystem. The courses included Essentials ofLeadership, Rapid Decision Making, Coaching forImprovement, Resolving Conflict, Building anEnvironment of Trust, Coaching for Success,Leading Change, Motivating Others, Delegatingfor Results, and Achieving Leadership Potential.The courses, which were facilitated by Moen’sinternal OD staff, not only gave the supervisors theskills they needed to be successful and providedopportunities for them to practice the skills in a safe,supportive environment, but they also introducedthem to discussion planners and other useful toolsthey could refer back to and use as they went aboutperforming their jobs on an ongoing basis.Rather than delivering the courses in tightsequence, the delivery was spaced out over a20-month period so that leaders would have amonth or more to apply what they had learnedand incorporate their new skills and tools into theirroles prior to going through the next course in thecurriculum.To ensure that the supervisors got the supportthey needed, Szucs says that managers receiveda preview of the courses so they would know whatskills the supervisors reporting to them would bedeveloping and expected to apply on the job.“We worked with the leadership team prior to andafter each course to discuss the content, the learn-ing, the areas of reinforcement, when to coach it,and the tools that were provided, so that theycould not only begin to utilize them as a leadershipteam but they could also incorporate the focus onthe skill development into their daily, weekly, andmonthly coaching.”Once the supervisors completed a class, theywere required to meet with their manager to createan action plan for how they would apply their newskills. “They were given some very clear actionsafter every class to do in the four to six weeksprior to the next course,” says Szucs. “From asystem standpoint, we looked at the whole organi-zation and the way in which the new skills couldbe embedded into the culture and really make itpart of the norm of the culture versus just an eventin time.”To further promote ongoing skill application, theskills imparted in the training were linked toMoen’s performance management system withobjectives and measures to drive accountability.Participants also took part in post-training monthlyroundtable discussions on topics related directly tothe course content.In addition, Hill, as a member of Moen’s executiveteam, served as the executive champion, buildingawareness and support for the FrontLineLeadership Program at the highest levels ofthe organization.“Never in engineeringschool did we talk aboutthe PEOPLE ASPECTOF CHANGE. It wasreally an eye-opener for me.”MATERIAL FLOWENGINEER, MOENDEVELOPINGLEADERS TO BEMORE EFFECTIVE
EMBRACING CHANGEWhile the FrontLine Leadership Program mayhave engendered skepticism among some of thesupervisors required to go through it, that skepti-cism was allayed once they attended the courses.For example, the production manager with 30 yearsexperience who didn’t think he needed to gothrough the program came to see it as valuable.“While I pushed back initially on going to the class-es, after completing them I was glad I did,” he says.He also insists that he came away from the pro-gram with “new ideas and techniques” that he didn’thave before.This positive assessment of the program wasechoed by multiple participants. Among the bene-fits supervisors have attributed to the program:better relationships with direct reports, moreconfidence in their leadership abilities, andgreater proficiency in managing conflict.“The supervisors are resolving problems instead ofletting them escalate up the ladder which frees upmore time for myself and my HR manager to beinvolved in more things and be more productive,”says the manager of Moen’s distribution center inKinston, N.C., who had two supervisors reportingto him go through the program. “Morale hasincreased as a result of that.”Part of the program’s success can be attributed tohow it was delivered, with supervisors from differ-ent parts of the business brought together in oneof two central locations for the classes.“The relationships that I saw start to blossom withthese folks across their facilities was tremendous,”says Heather Cornett, senior organizational devel-opment specialist, who, along with Szucs, facilitat-ed the courses. “They really learned from eachother. And that initial been-there-done-that attitudeand the I-already-know-this-stuff mentality wentaway quickly, which was great.”Beyond the raves from participants, the programalso contributed to significant improvement invarious areas measured on the annual employeeengagement survey. From 2009, the year theprogram was first implemented, to 2010, positiveresponses across six critical questions increasedan average of 17 percentage points, including a19-percentage-point increase in positive responsesto a question concerning the degree of trust andconfidence team members have in their supervisors.The program also succeeded in helping supervisorsfill out their skill set in ways they didn’t anticipate.Another program participant, a material flow engi-neer at the New Bern, N.C., facility, appreciatedhow the leadership skills he learned gave him anew—and needed—perspective.“Being an engineer, I spend a lot of time focusedon the technical aspects of implementing change.But never in engineering school did we talk aboutthe people aspect of change. It was really an eye-opener for me to learn to see both sides and reallyrelate both to those implementing a change and tothose affected by it. As a result, I focus a lot moreon communication than I probably would have ayear-and-a-half ago.”Having partnered with DDI to design andimplement a leadership development programfor its supervisors, Moen is realizing the follow-ing results:> 17-percentage-point average improvement inthe number of positive responses to six criticalquestions on Moen’s annual employeeengagement survey.> 19-percentage-point improvement in thenumber of positive responses to an engage-ment survey question concerning the degreeof trust and confidence team members havein supervisors.> Supervisors who have gone through theprogram cite multiple benefits, includingbetter relationships with their direct reports,more confidence, and improved ability tomanage conflict.> Managers indicate that the supervisors report-ing to them now demonstrate improved coach-ing and communication skills.THE BOTTOM LINE“THE SUPERVISORSARE RESOLVINGPROBLEMS insteadof letting them escalateup the ladder.”MANAGERDISTRIBUTION CENTER,MOEN