In commemoration of Black History Month, we celebrate the contributions and profound experiences of employees who play a unique role in helping Flex create the extraordinary.
We begin this celebration by sitting down with Scedella Gregory, an Operations Training Specialist in Memphis. As a 15-year employee, and one dedicated to the development of fellow team members and the community in which she lives, Scedella offers her insights on training, the power of collaboration and the impact created by employees dedicated to service.
What does an Operations Training Specialist do?
I have a unique role as an Operations Training Specialist. While my team members focus on delivering technical, hands-on guidance, I provide instruction to all of our leadership including senior staff, supervisors and team leads on several company culture initiatives and continued education programs.
Some of the courses I conduct include a frontline leaders’ program, which focuses on curriculum around Flex’s mission, values and goals for leads and supervisors, and then an emerging leaders’ variation of the same course for managers and senior managers.
Additionally, I teach a seminar on creating trust at the center of work relationships and lead a behavioral assessment workshop that helps employees better communicate and explore ways they can achieve greater alignment within their teams.
As part of my responsibilities, I analyze training needs, conduct subject research and develop and deliver the content after determining the optimal platform. From there, I assess participant learning and incorporate feedback to progress the training.
My role has evolved over the years in different learning and development capacities.
Can you explain that evolution, including how COVID-19 has affected training protocols?
Working at our Memphis site, our primary focus is services and solutions. While we execute some forward logistics, our larger offering is aftermarket returns and repairs. Accordingly, when I started 15 years ago, I was helping design operational training and repair processes.
But, as our corporate needs advanced so did my role.
Flex began sharing and collating best practices from various sites to collaboratively create core trainings that included a “best of” curriculum on individual subjects. I was able to contribute to our new hire training, which was a comprehensive 8-hour seminar.
In recent years, I have helped navigate the shift to more on-demand learning, and I have facilitated and administered courses that are specific to individual sites. That evolution has accelerated in the current COVID-19 environment.
What kind of education and background prepared you for this role?
It has been my good fortune to teach at all levels and to many audiences. My undergraduate degree is from The University of Memphis and then I earned a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Administration from Pepperdine University. I have taught in community-based programs as well as at Beverly Hills High School. Prior to Flex, I was a college instructor at Moore College of Technology in Memphis.
Each level of providing instruction has given me a new perspective on how to prepare for different audiences, and I have encountered a blend of experiences, backgrounds and skills.
The learning opportunity here is tremendous for those in supply chain and manufacturing.- Scedella Gregory, Operations Training Specialist
Are there different education materials or concepts you need to stay abreast of to remain current?
I study the latest trends in training delivery modalities and analyze if they are feasible for us. I also see if other Flex sites are having success with new methodologies. My goal is to keep up with technology to ensure that training formats remain fresh.
You have worked at Flex for over 15 years. What continues to inspire you about the company?
The learning opportunity is tremendous for those in supply chain and manufacturing. I often refer to myself as a lifelong learner. Just as I explain to new hires or anyone who wants to make supply chain services a career: working here is an education that you can’t buy.
Every project presents new challenges and the opportunity for great outcomes. We regularly work with team members who are continually challenged yet are driven to achieve extraordinary results for our customers and Flex.
If someone were to ask you about the company culture, how would you describe it?
Our culture is one of continuous improvement and built on our values, with one being ‘we support each other as we strive to find a better way.’ This particular value is a testament to our collaborative environment that challenges us to improve ourselves and our teams.
It starts with our leadership staff in Memphis. They are very accessible and personable. If someone is involved in a project that you need to discuss, the leadership team is available to help.
Teams have a desire to be our best and to excel. Flex gives us a road map of how to get to the next level and the collaborative means to support ourselves on this journey.
Having trained so many people at Flex, can you name one of your more memorable experiences?
One of my most memorable experiences was also one of my most inspiring. A few years ago, I lost my voice due to a neurological ailment for a period of time. I could not speak without impairment, but for some unknown reason I was able to read aloud with great precision.
We had a culture-based training I was developing for senior staff members, and I really wanted to deliver the session. From the start, my manager was supportive about finding a solution that worked for me, which involved creating and pre-recording eight hours of training content.
I knew the staff was not looking forward to sitting through eight hours of recording on a Saturday, but they turned up and were the ones who were deeply appreciative of me and applauded my efforts.
It was a great example of the open, collaborative and encouraging culture I mentioned previously - leadership supported me and made the adjustments necessary so I could successfully finish the project.
What are your hobbies or passions outside of work?
I have an incredibly deep passion for community service. I am the first national vice president of an auxiliary to an international fraternal organization. Our mainstay is providing service to the community with initiatives that support the National Association of Mental Health, St Jude’s Hospital and March of Dimes, among others.
I am also a graduate member of my college sorority. As the local chapter’s global impact chairperson, I am leading an initiative to make dresses out of pillowcases for children in Haiti, collecting eyeglasses to distribute to communities that lack equal access to vision care and providing support services to our local refugee resource center.
I’m fortunate I get to live my passion for community service at Flex. I am the site’s president of Flex Cares, which deploys employee community engagement, and serve as the lead for the site’s Black Flex Network, an employee resource group. I’m also the community lead and the editor of our site’s newsletter.
I am also passionate about my faith and my family. We are members of the A.M.E. Connectional Church where I serve as a deacon (steward). My daughter earned her Doctorate from Howard University and now works to expand broadband access to underserved communities. She and her husband are the parents of my two young grandsons, my firsts, whom I adore.