Yokohama Off-Highway Tires: Empowering Women Employees and First-Time Managers through Focused L&D Programs
Case Code: CLHR086
Case Length: 5 Pages
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Organization: Yokohama Off-Highway Tires
Themes: Training & Development, Diversity and Inclusion, Employee Development, Leadership & Values
The case ‘Yokohama Off-Highway Tires: Empowering Women Employees and First-Time Managers through Focused L&D Programs’ describes the initiatives taken by Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT) on the issues of employee diversity and development. In line with the focus on internal branding by its parent company Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (Yokohama) and the strategic role of YOHT in the global strategy of Yokohama, the management decided to increase its focus on learning and development programs for early and mid-level managers. It also planned to increase employee diversity at its manufacturing facilities by hiring women employees who would comprise a large part of the total workforce.
The case first describes YOHT’s Lead – Leading Teams Effectively – program aimed at first time and mid-level managers. Through the program, the company wanted them to understand how to manage their teams, the stakeholders, as well themselves. YOHT believed that such leads needed some support, assistance, and guidance to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. In addition to the objectives, the case discusses the selection criteria, program structure, and assessment and impact of the training program which was held virtually owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was of 12-week’s duration, involving case studies on real time situations and industry relevant terminologies that managers would come across in the day-to-day operations in the organization. YOHT followed a competency-based assessment methodology before and after each session. As a result of the program, the company observed considerable change in its employees’ behavior.
The second part of the case discusses YOHT’s initiative on increasing gender diversity. It was the first tire company to hire women for heavy-duty tire shop-floor activities despite a lot of skepticism and apprehensions in the industry about the ability of women to tackle work of this nature. To overcome initial slack, YOHT facilitated training programs that encouraged and motivated women participation. The company provided extensive induction and training sessions for women. The efforts paid off as the productivity of women employees and their safety record were better at the plant than those of their male counterparts. This encouraged the YOHT management to decide to hire 50 per cent women staff at its upcoming plant, operational in mid-2022, in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
The case finally touches upon how these initiatives would help YOHT contribute to the strategic long-term plan of the parent company. YOHT also aimed to strengthen its global presence with a strong sales network, superior cost competitiveness, and diverse product line-up along with its leadership team based nationally and internationally, and continue to be a customer preferred company.
- Learn the importance of providing training to first time and mid-level managers.
- Understand the importance of continuous feedback to improve the effectiveness of L&D initiatives.
- Become aware of the need for continuous evaluation and measurement while conducting virtual training.
- Learn about the importance of employee diversity.
- Understand the need for a conscious effort to support women employees through various initiatives.
In October 2020, the Japanese company Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (Yokohama) consolidated its global off-the-road (OTR) tire business operations under a new single entity Yokohama Off-Highway Tires (YOHT). Yokohama had a leadership development program in place across its businesses. Post the consolidation, the YOHT management decided to increase its focus on learning and development programs in the new entity for early and mid-level managers since they would play a key role in the growth of the newly consolidated business. To impart leadership qualities and techniques that would help them manage their team members better, the company introduced the ‘LEAD’ – Leading Teams Effectively program. This was essential since the new entity was a key component in the long-term strategic growth plan (GD2020 strategy) of the parent company. One of the four pillars of the GD2020 strategy was to make commercial tires a pillar of revenue driven by off-highway tires..
Training & Development; Skill Development; Virtual Learning; Workplace Diversity; Organizational Culture; Leadership Training; Women Empowerment; Business Consolidation; Strategic Plan; Training Effectiveness; Training Content & Delivery
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