Under Armour makes its teammates better through a holistic leadership development strategy
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Under Armour makes its teammates better through a holistic leadership development strategy

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This article is brought to you by Under Armour

Through various in-house programmes to cater to leaders at different stages, this global athletic performance company has built a robust talent pipeline to drive its future business development.

With a purpose to ‘empower those who strive for more,’ global athletic performance inventor, marketer and distributor, Under Armour (UA) is dedicated to enhancing the capabilities and performance not only of athletes and customers but also of its leaders and teammates.

“It is crucial for us to build leaders across our organisation as we develop strong resilience and agility as one team to navigate today’s VUCA business environment,” says Shawn Tan, Senior Director, HRBP – APAC (pictured below). This underpins Under Armour’s holistic leadership development strategy for teammates.

under armour 2022 shawn tan

Based on its ‘UA Competencies Model and Leadership Expectations’ framework, as well as the feedback received from engagement surveys and talent planning, the company has outlined a clear talent roadmap and accordingly rolled out various training programmes to help teammates grow and thrive.

Among the courses offered under its ArmourU initiative, there are three core training sessions for leaders:

  • UA Leadership Academy - equips new leaders with necessary skills and knowledge through functional trainings
  • Talent Accelerator Programme - accelerates the growth of emerging leaders with high potential to be a successor on critical roles
  • Leading at UA - senior leaders at the director level or above practice their strategic and leadership skills

The Regional HR Function has also evolved into its current ‘HR Pod Model’, supported by various HR Centers of Excellence. This enables HR Business Partners (HRBPs) to become strategic counselors to leaders and stay focused on business and talent needs. In this structure, HRBPs work closely with the business to formulate and drive the people agenda, and collectively make data-driven decisions with people insights and analytics.

Keeping people as a top priority, Under Armour has implemented different tactics to promote employee wellbeing and engagement. This includes employee activities, like Armour Day, Lunch-and-Learn session and Fitness Classes, and implementation of flexible work arrangements. One way Under Armour has supported work-life integration is through a corporate policy of no meetings on Friday after 2pm. Teammates can use this time to focus on their learning and development or plan and organise for the week ahead. This initiative has been greatly welcomed by all, as Under Armour continues to build and cultivate a culture of supporting teammates both inside and outside of work.

under armour 2022 team photo 2

All these efforts have yielded great results and helped Under Armour build a sustainable talent pipeline. The targeted L&D approach has led to high satisfaction ratings from teammates of all levels. Meanwhile, the vast majority of APAC leadership positions in its 2021 ‘Talent Planning Session’ have more than one successor identified and are on trajectory for readiness. These have also helped Under Armour build a more diverse leadership team, with equal gender representation among leadership, as well as diversity in nationalities.

“I envision building a world-class APAC HR team to partner and serve the needs of our teammates in the region, always ready and excited to take on whatever challenges that lie ahead of us” said Tan.

Sharing his vision for the future, Tan also stated: “I also look forward to the growth of all APAC teammates as we remain relentlessly focused on executing our mission and scaling the business in the region as ‘one APAC’ team. Under Armour mission is to make you better and that applies to our teammates, just as much as it does to our consumers.”

Photos / Under Armour

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