July 22, 2020
Sonoco’s core is built with a focus around innovation, and to develop something new requires continuous learning. Sonoco provides its employees with development opportunities to gain new ideas and to improve performance. With that comes Sonoco University, our own learning management system, which empowers employees to take charge of their development through a continuous learning experience.
Launched in May, Sonoco University is an innovative platform enabling employees to have the power to develop themselves personally and professionally through a digital library of courses. The platform includes general business and skill courses, plus those that are specific to Sonoco as a whole; our divisions, our history, and our culture. If you are a new manager, we have a course titled “The Reality of Being a First-time Manager” that will debunk some of the myths around what it's like managing people, and the truths about its challenges. If you are looking to sell your idea to leadership, we have a course called “Getting Your Pitch Heard.” If you are new to a team, think about enrolling in the class called “Humility Is Key to Collaboration." We even have courses around managing stress to be professionally and personally healthy. The great news is that Sonoco University is available for all employees in any role, at any level. And while the system is currently only available to employees in the U.S. and Canada, there are plans to roll-out the system out to our global workforce in the near future.
Iyen Ogbomoh, a current Maintenance Supervisor, has embraced the digital shift. “Working in a plant setting sometimes has its challenges, but Sonoco University's flexibility isn't one of them,” explains Iyen. “You take short courses at your own pace so you can fully focus all your attention on the material. This is helpful while working in such a busy environment. I can stop mid-course and go to a meeting, do a safety Gemba walk, go eat lunch, and resume my classes as if I never left.” As an added bonus, Sonoco University can be accessed on desktop, tablet, or mobile devices.
The goal of Sonoco University is to set employees up for success and help them reach their goals, no matter what their personal or professional goals are. As a former full-time associate in Sonoco's Emerging Leaders Program, Iyen appreciates having the opportunity to choose which classes he wants to take as he develops his career path. “Based on manager feedback and what I want to personally work on for continuous improvement, I can pick classes that help me reach those goals. As a new supervisor, I'm constantly facing situations where I need to give constructive criticism and praise to employees who have more experience than I do. I have applied the tactics I learned through Sonoco University and will continue to use them for the rest of my career.”
For new employees or even those that are well into their career, Sonoco University will help prepare you for the next level. Don’t be afraid to dive in, explore, and learn about something new! The course options are limitless! Iyen says it best, “This is the perfect platform for anyone who wants to grow.”