Quest Global invests in team development
by Matt Shinall
Dec 16, 2011 | 3537 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
"An educated employee is a better employee." That's the philosophy of Jason Dickerson, executive vice president of Cartersville-based trucking company Quest Global.

This spring, Quest Global initiated an emphasis on continuing education within the company, holding classes on-site each week covering a variety of topics.

Wednesday, Quest Global graduated their first class from the Leadership Development Certificate Program offered by Georgia Highlands College.

"It's extremely impressive that they are even investing in education," said GHC Continuing Education Facilitator and Consultant Tina Brush, adding praise for Quest's management team. "They are innovative, creative thinkers and their goal is to make this a strong and top-of-the-line company and they are moving in that direction."

Fourteen employees graduated Wednesday after completing seven workshops over the course of 10 weeks. Learning is based largely on group activity and participatory teaching. Materials learned cover a wide range of business and management skills, including communication, conflict management, driver retention, problem solving, motivating people, what drives behavior and influencing others.

"It pretty much all wrapped around how the various departments within Quest can operate together to achieve their mission, which of course is exceeding customer expectations getting the load from point A to point B," Brush said. "It's been a fantastic group to work with. They've been awesome."

With large groups of 10 or more participants, Brush is able to tailor curriculum to specifically meet the needs of the company in training. Sessions were conducted on-site at Quest's facility, a quality that graduate and Maintenance Director Taylor Wilson found beneficial.

"The fact that they were able to come in-house and do this course was great. It was a lot easier to get everyone assembled and assure participation," Wilson said. "It's been great -- the fact that we've been able to get individuals from different departments together as a group -- and really the best thing has been group participation."

Beyond the recent leadership program with GHC, Quest Global employees have participated in various continuing education courses taught in-house by department heads and certified instructors. Since beginning their emphasis on education earlier this year, Quest Global's 480 employees have gained updated knowledge in computer software programs, management and industry specific skills.

"We call it our continuing education program for all of our employees; that's our office staff, our shop technicians, our drivers -- everybody that is an employee here is expected to go to continuing education classes," Dickerson said. "You can definitely tell a difference in your business, your business structure, communication between departments. When you start seeing emails go back and forth between two or three individuals trying to figure out how to solve a problem versus all three pointing fingers at one another of who's fault it was -- that's a pretty big change in philosophy and we've seen that this year."

As he related with the example of employee emails, Dickerson has noticed an improvement in communication. Although electronic communication is important, he also wanted to place an emphasis on verbal communication.

"There is definitely an art to speaking correctly in the workplace and I think a lot of that has been lost in today's work environment, especially over the last 10 to 15 years," Dickerson said. "Now, people communicate more by email and text and they've lost the art of how to actually speak to someone over the phone or face to face."

Quest Global runs expedited freight across the country, most often transporting cargo from the East coast to the West coast returning with refrigerated fruits and vegetables. Management is committed to at least three years of strenuous continuing education efforts currently conducting about 20 classes each week on-site with plans to expand courses in the coming year.

For more information on corporate opportunities with GHC, contact Continuing Education Director George White at 678-872-8240 or by email at gwhite@highlands.edu.