Talent assessment and training give company competitive edge

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by in Academic Departments, Annual Report, Economic Impact, Engineering Professional Development, Issues

Carl Vieth and Don Albinger

Carl Vieth and Don Albinger. Photo: David Nevala.

Through an ongoing partnership with the Johnson Controls North America building efficiency business, Engineering Professional Development Faculty Associate Carl Vieth (left) and Faculty Associate Thomas Smith have created a benchmarking tool called a competency model that will enable the business to make more informed, strategic talent-management decisions.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the business focuses on delivering products, services and solutions that increase building energy efficiency and lower operating costs. It has an aggressive growth strategy that calls for developing a new corps of energy engineers—however, engineers who have a very specific set of energy skills and knowledge are difficult to find.

To provide Johnson Controls with a clear vision for hiring and training high-performing energy engineers, Smith and Vieth conducted a study of personnel currently working in the building efficiency business analysis and design, construction, and building management specialty areas. Through a variety of interviews, surveys and self reports, the two gathered an array of data from the engineers, as well as from their managers, staff in the Johnson Controls home and field offices, and Johnson Controls customers. From the data, Smith and Vieth built and validated a model that defines key skills and attributes of high-performers.

The Johnson Controls North America building efficiency business implemented the model as a tool to help it assess its growth needs, and find, hire, train, evaluate and promote employees. “It’s a cornerstone tool within talent management for human resources activities,” says Vieth, who is EPD director of corporate education.

He and Smith also collaborated with Johnson Controls staff to design a professional development curriculum that helps the building efficiency business meet its goals. Already, the company has slashed training time for new energy engineers from two years to just six months.

The competency model also helps Johnson Controls develop its current workforce—an effort critical to ongoing excellence within the organization, says Don Albinger (right), Johnson Controls vice president of energy engineering and technology. “The Engineering Professional Development team is an important partner in helping us identify the ‘science’ around our employee-development needs,” he says. “This roadmap for recruitment and development is a critical element in delivering energy efficiency and sustainable solutions for our customers around the world.”

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