Brewer Science

Transparent Alignment Through Clear Employee Engagement

When culture elevates collaboration, cohesion, and connection

Brewer Science’s Challenge:

The Learning and Development team at Brewer Science focuses on enabling an employee-first openness to their learning, performance, and career programs, it furthers their culture of engagement, alignment, and success.

Established

1981

Headquarters

Rolla, Missouri 

Industry

Technology Manufacturing

Mission

To be a company of the people, by the technology, for the customer.

The Objective

In order to deliver a stellar customer experience, truly dedicated organizations are hyper-focused on their greatest assets – their employees. The Brewer Science team extended the flexibility of the Bridge Employee Development platform, to support their employee-first framework to deliver on:

Compliance-based learning objectives:

Ensuring that training and learning requirements are consistently delivered to meet all stakeholder groups’ needs, both internal and customer-focused. 

Impactful efficiencies that drive a proactive growth mindset:

Streamlining process- and people-related opportunities allowing for the optimization of targeted growth programs.

Formulating a progressive, more consistent approach to performance reviews:

Through continuous performance alignment, employees are more engaged from the beginning.   

Creating thoughtful communication channels that enable engaged career plans:

Creating a centralized, accessible collaboration platform that conducts deeper, more active planning between employees and their managers to enable career pathways.  

Transforming the Employee Experience: Brewer Science’s Journey

Since 1981, as a global technology leader in developing and manufacturing innovative materials and processes for the fabrication of semiconductors and microelectronic devices, Brewer Science is a steadfast titan within the industry. As they continue to expand their portfolio of products to enable advanced lithography, 3-D integration, chemical and mechanical device protection, nanotechnology, and thin-wafer handling; the focus on how they remain successful has not been forgotten. The dedication to their employees, their growth and development, and the engagement in the experience of carving their career at Brewer Science remains a critical objective. 

Brewer Science’s journey with Bridge started when the Learning and Development team needed a learning management system, “We were heavily dependent on our IT resources. And due to a finite number of resources, they are usually tasked with other company-related tasks and it wasn’t always easy for us to get requests customized or modified within our legacy system. So, we needed a system that was simple enough for people without an IT background to administer. The number one selling point for Bridge was that 100% of it can be administered within our small group,” says Amy Skyles, Learning and Development Manager. “Everyone has a very similar experience, no matter which part of the interface they’re interacting with. The fact that Bridge is beautifully simple is the number one reason why we have felt so comfortable with our adoption.”       

Extended Value, Enabling Success

Compliance-based training programs:

“Our learning use case began with compliance from our customer base. Our customers have a lot of Train-the-Trainer needs to make sure their teams are trained appropriately on the products they purchase from us. Additionally, as we are a government contractor, we have a lot of compliance requirements, like ISO and OSHA, that we have to certify,” explains Joseph Harris – Director, HR Systems, People Data, Learning & Development.  

Time gained translated into time for more targeted and deliberate programs:

“We’re striving for efficiencies in personnel, systems, and interactions so we can continue to promote a proactive mindset and continuous improvement. Because of the time savings we’ve gained through leveraging Bridge, it has allowed us to free up time where we can meet individually with managers to find out what development needs they have for their employees. That helps us collectively become more strategic so we can focus on different groups instead of coming up with broad, blanket concepts. We are able to create targeted programs that meet the needs of individual teams,” outlines Skyles of the advantages to leveraging programs through Bridge.  

Building Deeper Employee-Manager Connections

Career-pathing that works:

“For every 4 employees, we have about 3 unique job titles. So, creating a broad career pathway or ladder can be kind of difficult. As we think of ways to better incorporate Bridge into our career development experience, at least right now, our approach is to take a very one-on-one approach. While an organization-wide development plan isn’t in place yet for setting an individualized career plan, I’m loving what Bridge has to offer,” explains Harris of Brewer’s plan for connecting employees to their career, an experience that works for each employee in their initial career path in Bridge.

Identifying core drivers to help start purpose-driven plans:

“Bridge enables a good communication channel that begins the initial communication between managers and employees, so they understand each other. Our pilot users and their managers go through the “Career Drivers” exercise and document them in Bridge. This replaced our legacy process of forms. Data wasn’t captured easily; people wouldn’t remember tasks or they would expect HR to lead career conversations. But with Bridge, it really puts the onus on the employee and the manager to create the plan, as well as the related tasks.”

Impact & Feedback: Tracking Success

As Brewer Science continues their journey in creating a more engaging experience for their employees, Harris and Skyles anticipate leveraging Bridge in numerous ways: 

DEVELOPING TEAMS AND EMPLOYEES

A consistent experience, regardless of team or employee:

“From a career planning standpoint, everything is right there.  If you need to see performance, assessments, training, or what they need to do to complete a task – everything is accessible in the same platform. That is a huge leap forward for us,” Skyles explains. 

COACHING MANAGERS TO BE EFFECTIVE

A seamless, manageable experience, regardless of team size:

“It helps keep the managers on track so that they can help keep their employees on track, especially for managers who have multiple reports. For example, I’m working with a manager who has 11 direct reports and it’s difficult for him to keep up. But with Bridge, all the info is in the same system, in the same way. He is able to see all of his employees in one location and can easily toggle between them. It provides consistency, because the structure is the same, whether you’re using a check-in or performance conversation. It’s simple, pretty intuitive, and powerful – without being overwhelming,” adds Skyles.

You don’t know what you don’t know:

“A lot of our managers are PhDs; lots of technical people. Many times our managers end up being put into a management role because they were a good individual contributor, but they may have never had any type of management training. What we learned about two years ago, in our career planning partnerships, was that a lot of managers didn’t know how to talk to employees about career development. What Bridge provides, especially with tools like the suggested conversation topics, is a way to better facilitate conversations about career planning. Now they can sit down and think about what they want to talk about ahead of time,” says Harris of how manager training has evolved over time at Brewer Science. 

Approachable career development - course correcting performance:

“Theory right now is that the more that managers and employees communicate, the better performance and career discussions are going to be.  We’re removing the barrier of making it so formal, where there is a need to cram everything into one session. This more conversational approach eliminates surprises in performance reviews where you really only remember the things that either really ticked you off or really make you happy about that. We’re trying to coin this as real-time performance management. It’s ongoing and continuous. We need to be celebrating wins as they happen. We need to be making course corrections as they’re needed,” said Harris.

ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS

Accountable tracking and progress:

According to Harris, “Goals for this trial are based around making sure that managers and employees are having performance discussions; that they are discussing goals. The goals might change halfway through the year and not even be a reasonable goal anymore, but we wanted to make sure that they were discussing them. That’s how we continue to grow our culture and behaviors of success and develop those around us to be successful.” 

DRIVING BUSINESS IMPACTS

Connecting on personal levels, as self-defined:

“The Career Drivers exercises have changed how people interact with each other. Just thinking through the how and why of interacting with others, I think, is just kind of a big idea. When you’re putting the drivers into Bridge, you’re asked to describe what that driver means to you. That’s very important for managers to understand because what they may view as innovation may not be defined the same way for the employee. I call it an icebreaker for managers, especially the more introverted ones who are not used to having these types of conversations. Get to know your employees.  Who they are as a person and how can you get the most out of your conversations so the focus stays on the right things to help the company and employee, ultimately, feel successful,” said Harris.

Make sure to check back often as we update Brewer Science’s story with new employee highlights and data points of success as they continue on their journey of transformation!

To learn more about how Brewer Science is leveraging the Bridge Employee Development platform, please contact us at info@getbridge.com or 877-576-5634. 

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