Member Productivity Showcase: Lockheed Martin

We premiered i4cp's new member showcase series in April with a look at Qualcomm. Our second member organization showcased is Lockheed Martin, one of i4cp's longest-time members. Lockheed, the world's #1 defense contractor, defines cutting-edge workforce planning with a comprehensive approach to employees that begins with recruiting efforts that target students as young as elementary-school age and continue through employment with an emphasis on manager training, coaching and career planning.

For many years, Lockheed has demonstrated their commitment to employee engagement by working with i4cp on a variety of projects. Company executives leverage our member-driven Pulse Surveys™ to help them benchmark their current practices, stay ahead of the curve, and challenge their assumptions when looking at ways to enhance employee engagement and productivity.

At i4cp's 37th Annual Member Conference, held in early 2009, Lockheed Martin's Orlando-based Missiles & Fire Control (MFC) announced they had won best-practice designation by Lockheed Corporate for their outstanding work in the MFC Career Center. The regional recruiting centers help entice new applicants by presenting them with the career development possibilities available to employees through the center. Here's how this division took a concept from initial creation to fruition and achieved a positive impact on the bottom line.

The Mission and Marketing

Two keys to success for Lockheed's career center are their clear and compelling mission statement and effective internal marketing of their services to increase employee utilization.

The career center's mission:

To assist each employee in setting career goals that best express his or her strengths while supporting the needs of the business.

The mission is all about placing people in the right positions to leverage their skills and passions. Of course, deployment is executed with the needs of the business in mind. The career center designs customized career plans based on psychological assessments, strengths feedback and actionable recommendations. However, the center's work isn't about just the individual employee. It also provides:
  • training to managers so they can help develop their employees;
  • training for leaders aimed at helping them become effective career coaches;
  • customized programs and workshops for managers and their departments to support professional development and career growth.
Started in the late 1980s with only one part-time employee, the career center has expanded to two physical locations with at least one career coach in each facility. Online capabilities enable the center to deliver virtual services to Lockheed locations worldwide. In 2008, the center held 1,500 individual coaching sessions (a 15% increase over 2007) and 54 workshops (a 30% increase) with 900 total participants (a 35% increase).

From the inception of the center, the staff worked closely with Lockheed's marketing department to create striking graphics and a logo to increase brand awareness internally. The branding is well recognized companywide, and images of Lockheed employees are featured on the marketing brochures.

Career Center Services

In order to develop careers based on projected future needs, the career center has taken a tiered approach to its coaching services. The first tier focuses on employees by providing professional counseling - one-on-one sessions that address career coaching only - face to face or via telephone. The second tier consists of consulting services for managers, delivering training on how to conduct coaching sessions. Group coaching workshops comprise the third tier: Talent Builder™ workshops are aimed at helping managers develop their teams, while Take Charge of Your Career™workshops teach employees how to take a proactive approach to professional growth.

Key objectives of the Take Charge of Your Career™ employee workshops:
  • Learn and apply career development process and develop career plans.
  • Assess capability: performance, strengths, reputation and network.
  • Anticipate and capitalize on future trends in industry, profession and organization.
  • Align aspirations with organization mission and strategies.
Key objectives of the Talent Builder™ manager workshops:
  • Gain understanding of the career coaching framework and determine major trends that impact careers.
  • Set specific career goals and understand the importance of "career fit."
  • Study and enhance performance, reputation and networking.
  • Clarify "why" developing, motivating and retaining employees is critical for success.
  • Assess strengths in five coaching practices and the risks of losing key team members.
Four-Step Custom Career Development Process

The cornerstone of Lockheed's development services is one-on-one coaching that focuses on four key steps: self-awareness and writing a personal mission statement, career exploration, goal setting, and managing/measuring goals. The customized development plan is laid out in an 80-page protocol that accompanies an employee for the duration of his or her career. It becomes a living, breathing plan to which all assessments are attached, and the career center supports the plan throughout the employee's tenure. One important point to note is that these services remain separate from performance management in order to avoid any potential for negative connotations or fears (associated with the performance management process).

Measuring Success

The most compelling part of Lockheed's story is the positive impact the career center has had on Missiles & Fire Control's bottom line. Each career coach services 66 employees per year via one-on-one sessions. In 2008, with 2.5 coaches helping 66 employees per coach, a total of 165 individuals were coached; each individual is met with approximately eight times. On the financial front, the cost to replace one employee is estimated at $140,000. If just 3% of those 165 coached employees are retained, the savings to Lockheed can reach $700,000.

Documents used in the preparation of this Member Showcase include the following:
  • Burnett, R. (2009, February 6). High-tech companies reach out to students this week. Orlando Sentinel.
  • Fillmon, P. (2009, April 17). A Career Plan for Everyone PPT.
  • Take Charge of Your Career™ and Talent Builder™ are registered trademarks of Mastery Works.
If you would like to have your company showcased or would like to connect with someone at Lockheed about one of their initiatives, please contact your account manager.