Sharp Electronics: Attracting and Retaining Top Talent with a Custom Professional Development Program

March 18, 2020

Professional development program

Ranked one of the Top 100 Global Technology Leaders by Thomson Reuters, Sharp Electronics Corporation is recognized as one of the industry’s most successful organizations.

Sharp is a household name whose innovations—from the latest 8K professional displays and multifunction printers to network security services—have been improving lives for more than 100 years. But operating at the cutting edge of such a competitive market requires top talent at every level.

Upskilling for the future

Sharp wanted an engaging and focused approach to employee development and began to design a scalable program that would strengthen its talent bench, upskill new and existing employees, and help fill open positions by incentivizing new-hire prospects with learning.

“Employees view learning and development programs as a benefit, just like a 401K and health insurance, with increasing frequency,” says Matthew Martorano, training and development manager, Sharp Electronics Corporation. “A company like Sharp, with long-standing global brand recognition, needs to be competitive to continue to not only advance their people from within, but to attract and retain the right talent from outside as well.”

Prior to its partnership with American Management Association (AMA), Sharp didn’t have a formalized,
structured program in place to effectively develop high-potential employees and leaders. However, in 2018, Mike Marusic was promoted to president and CEO of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (the B2B arm of Sharp Electronics), and he brought with him a renewed vision for how to take Sharp to the next level. “We sought a solid professional development program, spanning from onboarding to succession planning,” Marusic says. “In addition, we wanted to facilitate a higher degree of collaboration and problem solving within the various divisions of Sharp, breaking out of any ‘silos’ to cultivate leaders who are focused on Sharp’s challenges to take them to the next phase of growth.”

While Sharp has always worked to develop its staff, the approach was on an ad-hoc basis to fill gaps or solve problems. There was also a scattered perception that they weren’t promoting internally frequently enough. Sharp always works to promote from within the organization whenever it’s the right fit, and addressing this misperception was a major focus to retain its best talent. “Our team consists of some of the most talented people in the world,” Martorano says. “We absolutely want to see them continue to grow with us.”

Armed with Marusic’s vision, Martorano began to design a professional development strategy that would bring the organization into the future. He was eager to launch quickly, and began to search for a partner that offered customizable best-in-class training and the ability to engage various skill-levels of employees. The resulting program was a collaboration with AMA called Sharp University, Career Development—an intensive, yearlong professional development curriculum designed to cultivate a learning environment for Sharp Electronics’ high-potential employees. It also allowed their current leadership to practice and refine their abilities…

Click here to download the full case study on Sharp Electronics’ partnership with AMA to develop talent.

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AMA Corporate Learning Solutions provides a broad range of management and professional development services to individuals and organizations worldwide. We’re committed to helping you achieve excellence through the development of your greatest asset—people.

About The Author

American Management Association is a world leader in professional development, advancing the skills of individuals to drive business success. AMA’s approach to improving performance combines experiential learning—“learning through doing”—with opportunities for ongoing professional growth at every step of one’s career journey. AMA supports the goals of individuals and organizations through a complete range of products and services, including seminars, Webcasts and podcasts, conferences, corporate and government solutions, business books and research.

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