Category Archives: L&D

Careers & Professional Growth at L&P

At L&P, we offer a world of opportunity, employing thousands of individuals around the globe – from maintenance mechanics to IT specialists, office administrators to welders, marketing specialists to engineers, and everything in between.

Our Learning & Development team creates in-house training on subjects like front-line supervisor essentials, how to manage conflict in the workplace, and many others. We also have a Learning and Leadership internal site that features regularly updated tools, resources, and live training.

From taking on new responsibilities to learning new skills, our colleagues have shown dedication and commitment to their careers. This month on L&P social media, we’ll highlight some of their personal stories of professional growth.

Looking for a new opportunity and a place to grow? Join us today!

Unconscious Bias at Work

At work, we make a lot of decisions, and many of our decisions are affected by unconscious biases—subconscious beliefs that determine whether we approve or disapprove of people, things, and experiences.

Everyone has biases, and these assumptions and preferences seemingly help us simplify decision making. However, biases often reinforce stereotypes about people, exclude different perspectives, and stifle innovation.

At L&P, we strive to challenge the status quo and biases to make our workplaces better. Our Learning & Development team is helping us accomplish this by facilitating live courses on unconscious bias for our employees. These courses raise awareness about unconscious biases and discuss ways to challenge and mitigate them.

“I think it’s important to have a psychologically safe place to talk about these concepts and how they affect us in our daily lives,” says Rob Sotlar, Learning & Development Manager. “During the sessions, we explore our own biases (and we all have them). Then, we identify which of those biases require our immediate attention. Finally, we apply strategies to mitigate those biases. I truly feel that this subject gets us closer to being better colleagues, bosses, leaders, and people!”

Five Common Unconscious Biases

As we continue to spotlight safety and belonging at L&P, we’d like to share an overview of the five common unconscious biases we’re learning about and how to mitigate them:

  • Similarity — When people are similar to us, we tend to favor them. At work, this could look like giving an important assignment to or promoting someone who is similar to us. To mitigate this bias, we should look for commonalities with people we don’t think are similar to us.
  • Expedience — With this bias, we make decisions based on what’s immediately available to us and what confirms our assumptions. To mitigate it, we should give ourselves time to research and gather more information.
  • Experience — This bias says that our individual perceptions are accurate. At work, we might avoid giving a lead role to someone who we think is quiet and reserved. To mitigate this bias, we can invite others to share their perspectives and goals.
  • Distance — We tend to assign less importance to people and things that are farther away from us. To mitigate this bias, we can plan ahead to ensure that the people who aren’t physically close to us, like our colleagues who are working remotely, are included.
  • Safety — We show a preference towards what we perceive to be safe, which may prevent us from taking a growth opportunity or risk. When we are facing a decision and become aware of this bias, we can imagine that we are making the decision for someone else—what advice would we give them?

Spotlight on the Talent Acquisition Team

At L&P, our teams have creative ways to connect, collaborate, and celebrate.

Dedicated to recruiting top talent and strengthening relationships between our businesses and outside organizations, our Talent Acquisition (TA) team is no stranger to finding ways to stay engaged. We invited them to share how they stay connected across the world and do great work together.

Lauren Burns, Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, said, “We look for opportunities to connect at least twice a week. Once per week, we have a team meeting where we share wins, updates to our process, and invite guest speakers from across L&P to share what’s happening in their areas, details about the professionals they seek, and what a career in their area might look like.”

The team’s second weekly meeting is shorter and focuses on a training topic about processes, tips, tricks, market trends, and new legislation. Every other week, they use this meeting to discuss a chapter of a book they’re reading together and often share how it applies to their roles at L&P. They recently read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and are currently looking for their next book.

The team also stays connected via a group chat where they share good news, updates, Q&A, and—last but not least—memes.

Thank you to the TA team for giving us a glimpse of how you do great work together!

Members of the TA Team

Mental Health Awareness Month

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing our top tips to help relieve anxiety and overcome stress.

Leadership on the Front Lines: Supervisor Essentials Training

We care about learning at Leggett & Platt. It’s how we adapt, grow, and continually reinvent ourselves to succeed in our jobs. We’ve worked to foster a culture of learning for employees at every level, and at the core of our operations are hundreds of frontline supervisors who are ready to learn.

Supervisor Essentials is a training program geared specifically toward our frontline supervisors at manufacturing locations. “Frontline supervisors have a tremendous amount of influence on the culture of L&P,” says Stephanie Elliott, Learning & Development Program Manager. “It’s essential that we help equip them with the skills to be great leaders of people.”

For many years, a training program for frontline supervisors has been highly requested from our operations. Frontline supervisors juggle multiple demands throughout their workday. While facing deadlines and urgencies within their operations, they also often lead a team of people – which requires a different skillset altogether.

In response to this request, we launched a pilot program launched last fall, with a total of 65 participants completing a trial of the training in Missouri and Texas. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive as participants found the training to be relevant and impactful. One participant shared, “I learned how to look at both sides of an issue when working with my team, as well as how to be fair in my decision-making.”

This year, the same training from the pilot program became much more widely accessible to our operations, as onsite trainings are currently underway. Participants explore topics such as effective communication, leadership, safety, handling difficult interactions and conflict, and respect in the workplace. The program takes a blended learning approach of both eLearning and instructor-led training, which means participants will guide themselves through a series of online modules at their own pace, then also attend onsite training sessions to further explore to the material. Continue reading

Three Classes of Emerging Leaders

Here they are! L&P’s Emerging Leader Academy – Class of 2019, 2020, and 2021!

(Of course we ran with the silly photo. Anything with a front-and-center leprechaun jump is a winner in our books.)

We are so proud to host and learn alongside such a dedicated and diverse group of participants. Last week was a truly wonderful week!

A Few Scenes from The Summit

This week, our Corporate Headquarters welcomed an amazing group of people to the third annual Emerging Leader Academy (ELA) conference! Over 100 L&P employees joined us from across the globe to network, learn from senior leaders, and study concepts of change management. What a week it’s been!

Doug Thrasher (Plant Manager, Carthage Wire Mill) shares his thoughts on change management during the roundtable networking event.

Mitch Dolloff (COO) and Steve Henderson (President-Automotive Group) spoke openly about their vision for the future of L&P during the closing keynote.

Participants had many opportunities to network and build their relationships — some even enjoyed a quick game of horseshoes during lunch.

ELA participants Nathan Herndon, Chris Whitesell, and Vinny Dimino.

Ben Cuthbert (European Sales & Marketing Director) was peer selected to serve as Valedictorian of the 2019 graduating class.


Managing Risk with Mitch Dolloff

You can’t have forward movement without risk.

Today we learned how to recognize, assess, and manage risk with our Executive VP & President of Specialized & Furniture Products, Mitch Dolloff. He presented a live class and webcast as part of our in-house Choose Your Own Learning series.

As a bonus, he personally passed out cookies!

CYOL 1 Continue reading

A Few Scenes from The Summit

The Emerging Leader Academy (ELA) annual conference is in full swing at our Corporate Headquarters! We’re hosting nearly 100 L&P employees from across the globe to network, learn from senior leaders, and improve business acumen. What a week it’s already been!

Networking 1

CFO Matt Flanigan networks with ELA participants Andy Cline and Travis Sageser.

Networking 2

Sonia Smith, President of European Automotive, and Joe Espinoza, President of Asian Automotive, check in at the start of the conference.

Networking 3

ELA participants Andy Cline and Jennifer Little.

Networking 4

Mitch Dolloff, President of Specialized Products and Furniture Products, opened day two by sharing his vision for the future L&P.

Networking 5

A small warm-up activity for day two.

Networking 6

Our L&D Program Managers, Rob Sotlar and Stephanie Elliott.

ELA Seal Logo

Career Planning & Self-Development: Part 2

This article is the second in a two-part series on Career Planning & Self Development.

MushroomLast week, I invited you to ask yourself some foundational questions when planning your next career move. You need to know who you are and what you want, and you need to get curious about the opportunities around you.

But once you know those couple things about yourself, you’re ready to advance to the next level of your career planning!

Fill In the Gaps

Odds are, if you find a listing for your dream job, the required qualifications aren’t going to look like a photocopy of your own resumé. There are probably a few gaps along the path between you and occupational bliss. Whether it’s a certification you don’t have, a degree you never finished, or simply not enough years of related experience, it can be incredibly disheartening to realize you’re still far off from the thing you want.

But there’s good news: You can do something about it! Continue reading