Career development starts early at SC Johnson, Horton says.
SC Johnson's employee-development program doesn't wait to kick in for select fast-trackers, but instead starts with entry-level employees. "Development doesn't start at a certain level of an organization," says CIO Dan Horton, who's been with the company since 1978. "This keeps our talent pipeline full."
The test of many human-resource policies is when values collide. SC Johnson is a multinational company, employing twice as many people abroad as in the United States, and it considers global experience key to developing people. It posts job openings worldwide, encouraging overseas appointments. Yet overseas postings can strain the the family-work balance. In one case, business-process and technology staffer Ann Lawson was given a six-month assignment in Japan, when her husband, also with SC Johnson, had a short-term assignment there. Horton himself had a colleague live with his family for three months, as she adjusted to a move from China.
Many of these practices are deeply rooted in SC Johnson's culture as a fifth-generation, family-owned company. It's a culture Horton sums up this way: "We don't want people to have to make a trade-off between being a good employee and being good to their families."
Illustration By Paul Watson
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