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A Crystal-Clear Role for TD

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Sisecam: 2023 BEST Award Winner, #15

The past, present, and future of talent development are on display at Şişecam, a global glass manufacturer. Attracting, developing, and retaining a multinational workforce of 24,000 employees across four continents is a daily priority for the company's HR functions. Employee development is at the core of Şişecam's employee value proposition.


As Şişecam tends to its product-based mission, it also pursues a business plan to develop creative solutions with business partners, differentiate its technology and brands, and pioneer the future in its fields of activity following a "smart technology - smart people" motto. To enable employees to achieve the in-depth technical expertise and leadership skills of that new era, the company leans heavily on Şişecam Academy.

CEO Görkem Elverici underscores talent development's pivotal role: "The strategic priority of our academy team is to support our employees to have the new knowledge, skills, [and] competencies ... to adapt to the new structure. Knowledge is the key to moving them forward and to reconstructing the development processes from the perspective of reskilling and upskilling. We put a lot of emphasis on the compatibility of our development activities with our strategies."

Şişecam Academy's many initiatives include onboarding and training a diverse cadre—in terms of both nationality and skill set—of employees who interact in multiple languages, explains Deniz Hasanbaş, director of the academy. It delivers training and development in 11 different languages using a variety of methods.

A newly devised "unlimited learning platform" has capabilities that include a multilingual content catalog, microlearning content from various sources, as well as integrated personalized development journeys that meet the company's broad competency requirements.

Among the areas that guide training and development activities are functional excellence, training competent leaders of the future, and organizational culture. To shape the culture of the future, Şişecam Academy is instrumental in value-based leadership development with simultaneous support of employees' behavioral and technical development in tandem with corporate strategy.


Ensuring the future of the glassmaking craft is a concern for the company, especially the threatened skill set needed to produce handmade and boutique goods. Unless veteran employees pass on their high level of dexterity and know-how to the younger generation, Şişecam will lose those skills and knowledge due to retirement. Therefore, from the beginning, Şişecam Academy's main agenda has been to ensure uninterrupted knowledge transfer between the generations via distinctive training programs using modern technologies, mentorship, and continuous development.

In addition, Şişecam works with selected public high schools in Turkey to retain and bolster the skill set via apprenticeship training that accompanies students' traditional studies. Distinguished students graduate with a master's certificate in glassmaking and a high school diploma.

Chief HR Officer Şengül Arslan emphasizes that Şişecam Academy is critical to the preservation of corporate heritage and nurturing corporate culture toward a more global, diverse, and digital future. Further, because of Şişecam's role in its industry, the academy acts as a school of glass technology and manufacturing for all employees.

View the entire list of 2023 BEST Award winners.

About the Author

Paul Harris is a freelance writer in Alexandria, Virginia.

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