The Situation: TransEnterix, a surgical robotics company, has grown rapidly over the past several years. Started as a small research and development company, TransEnterix is now a global provider of surgical robots with over 150 employees. The company hired great people, but realized that they did not have a formal development program for their high potential leaders below the C-Suite.
The Challenge: TransEnterix operated for many years with only one HR professional, and, while others have now been hired, they are challenged with day-to-day operations and needed a way to bring in a high-quality development program for employees from the outside. Additionally, since the company was growing so fast, they wanted the program tailored to what the company and the employees needed instead of an off-the-shelf program. In particular, the program needed to address not just leadership qualities, but the development of real business skills that could be applied immediately in the work environment.
The Solution: LeadSpark co-founder Susan Rucker had been brought into the company to help provide some employee coaching as well as some targeted training, but it was not a cohesive program that took employees through a longer term development opportunity. At the request of HR Director Shannon Gardner, Rucker worked with Gardner and TransEnterix leadership to develop the Emerging Leaders Program which is now in its third year.
The program starts with individual leadership assessments, and then expands to include a set curriculum paired with individual coaching that is tailored to the individual employee’s needs. The program incorporates classroom learning, exercises, public speaking opportunities and a group project. Participant supervisors are invited to some sessions to interact with the participants and help them understand company expectations.
The Result: The Emerging Leaders Group is now seen as a win-win for both employees and the company. Participant behavior demonstrates immediate impact from the classroom learning, while their overall development has been noticeable to the company. The company has gotten the benefits of accelerated employee development and employees see that they are willing to invest in their success. Additionally, the individual coaching has allowed participants to get help with thorny business or development questions on a real time basis, delivered at the level they need.
The Reaction: "I have had the pleasure of working with Susan for several years through a leadership development program, including individual and team environments. With years of experience and a wide variety of tools in the toolbox, Susan is able to transcend any industry and work with talent along a diverse cross section of experience in a relateable and straightforward manner. She provides me with counsel and thought provoking questions that help me grow everyday as a leader." - Nick Jardine, Sr. Engineering Manager, TransEnterix
“The Emerging Leaders program has far exceeded my initial expectations. We now have a sustainable program that is tailored to our specific needs that allows us to provide targeted employee development opportunities. Employees are receiving training on a mix of business skills and theory as well as real-world application of these topics. We have seen the impact of this program in our daily work as communications have improved and early-career employees have emerged as true leaders.” - Shannon Gardner, Global Head of HR, TransEnterix