To encourage and develop a more dynamic and diverse workforce, Four Star Freightliner Inc., organized a leadership retreat specifically for women in its company.
Although the trucking business is a male-dominated industry, women are making significant contributions to the industry not only on the road as drivers, but at the dealership level, the company says.
Four Star Freightliner operates seven locations in three states. Currently, women make up 18 percent of its workforce. They are either at the managerial level or have customer-facing roles in parts, service, sales and at the corporate level.
“The single most important thing you can do for your team is to provide them opportunities to enrich themselves professionally and personally,” says Four Star Freightliner Dealer Principal Jerry Kocan. “Our ladies contribute so much to our success that I felt it was important that we provide an opportunity where just our lady leaders could gather together.”
During the two-day women’s leadership retreat at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., called G.R.I.T. (Gratitude, Respect, Initiative, Teamwork), the women tackled topics such as stereotypes, work-home balance, changes they’d like to see at their dealership and characteristics of a successful leader.
The highlight of the retreat was the personality assessment that each woman received. Administered by Tasha Scott of Maximized Growth LLC, the Maxwell DISC Personality Indicator Report helped the women learn more about themselves by taking a deep dive into each of their personality traits. From their behavioral styles to communication styles and tips, the insight the women gained was invaluable, the company says.
“Understanding DISC and what it means to be self-aware helps push the women further into their purpose,” says Suzy Herring, human resources director. “During the retreat, they learned how to communicate and understand others based on their personality profile, while gaining an appreciation for their female co-workers they did not already know.”
Herring, who says achieving diversity in the workplace is a top priority for her, found that this leadership retreat was another way to engage employees.
“Being able to provide something special just for the ladies is a big part of keeping them engaged and helps us to retain them,” Herring says.
But the benefit goes beyond retaining good employees. It affects customer service as well.
The subjects addressed at the retreat will benefit not only our leaders but their coworkers and customers because they had the opportunity to learn a little more about themselves, Kocan says.
“Anytime we can build togetherness and camaraderie with our teammates, it helps strengthen our bond and our core belief in investing in and developing our people,” he says.