Brenda Broad is our new Global HR director, talent. She has had an exciting career and though she only started with us a few months ago, she is already running with ‘The PPG Way to Lead’ competency model. Like many of us, she didn’t exactly choose her career path, it chose her.
What Is ‘The PPG Way To Lead’?
Despite ‘The PPG Way To Lead’ initiative already being underway by the time Brenda came onboard, she’s already at the helm of it.
She explains how a group of our leaders came together and asked themselves what great leadership looks like. They explored the science behind great leadership and did some benchmarking against other companies. Through this research, they came up with ‘The PPG Way To Lead’.
One of the things they learned was that leadership is not just for managers and those who provide leadership to others, but an opportunity for each of us to show leadership every day.
Brenda tells us that ‘The PPG Way To Lead’ is about what leadership is from a knowledge, skill and ability perspective and what that looks like in action. There are a lot of people involved in the initiative, with a small core team working on how to build it into all of our people processes, starting this year with performance and hiring.
“Every single one of us can improve our leadership skills. Embracing ‘The PPG Way To Lead’ and reflecting on where we are strong and acting on where we can develop, will be our path to success.”
How This Initiative Champions Diversity
Brenda points out that it has been scientifically proven that great leaders have improved the engagement, retention and performance in their teams.
When teams are managed well, they thrive, they deliver, they grow. And when we give people a path to high performance and growth, we retain the top talent that we need.
The key is improving our diversity, equity and inclusion. We have to pay attention to the way we source, screen and select potential candidates. We need to leverage our Employee Resource Networks, learn from each other, embrace new perspectives and bring empathy into our work lives.
“We need to champion diversity, equity and inclusion and not tolerate anything less. When we are inclusive, when we are diverse, we will do better.”
Managing the Continuous Cycle of Talent
Brenda tells us that research done on the young talent of the future, generations Y and Z, shows us that above all else, they crave a sense of belonging.
“Don't micromanage Gen Y and Gen Z, you’ll push them out as quickly as you got them in.”
But she reminds us that just important as the new blood rushing into our veins are those employees at all stages of their career.
“We need to be really honest about the knowledge, expertise and advice we can get from all generations in our workforce.”
“The People Component Made the Difference”
Brenda never set out to work in human resources. In fact, her career started as a part-time cashier when she was 17 years old.
“I started asking questions about how we hire, onboard, staff new facilities, change organizational design for maximum impact… and I started to get more and more into human resources.”
Her company at that time helped her pay for her undergraduate degree, then a master's in business administration. She worked up and down the East Coast of the U.S. and lived in the Netherlands for 11 years. By the time she left the organization, 17 years later, she was an HR director looking after 19,000 employees.
She spent some time as an HR consultant before moving into a talent management role at a company in Western Europe and for a private organization in Delaware. That’s when she got a call from PPG.
“Be Bold, Dream and Then Do”
Brenda is now responsible for all our hiring, workforce experience, and learning & leadership development globally.
Still only midway through a spectacular career, Brenda has some great advice for those looking to develop theirs. She reminds us that learning and development begin with each of us and knowing what dreams you are trying to realize.
We have to be the protagonist. We need to prioritize time and attention for our growth. Embrace the hard challenges. Volunteer for things, be open and you will grow.
What’s Next for ‘The PPG Way To Lead’?
The focus now through the next few months is on leaders meeting with their teams to discuss what ‘The PPG Way To Lead’ means to them, where they believe they're strong and areas they would like to focus on for development. This will be followed by a self-assessment as part of our goal-setting process for 2023.
“We always want to do better, to be better. When I look at the fantastic scientific and engineering background that goes into our materials and our products, it makes me extremely #PPGProud.”