Advancing Careers and Communities

As senior manager of talent, learning and development at Timken, Nicole Morrett supports a diverse workforce in maintaining a culture where everyone feels motivated to do their best work. She shares how Timken’s culture and values help her build integrated programs that strengthen the organization holistically.

Q: What inspired you to choose talent management as a career?

Morrett: I started out in pharmaceutical product development because I wanted to improve the quality of life for those around me, and I love solving complex problems. After passing out shadowing a bone marrow extract and struggling with the isolation of a lab environment, I realized I had to rethink that degree path.

In a turn of events, I was recruited by a talent management firm to build training and change management solutions for government manufacturing facilities and jumped at the opportunity to bring my love of behavioral neuroscience into the real working world. Talent development is about how we grow, challenge, advance and retain people — helping people see themselves in new and different ways — which is another type of complex challenge.

Q: Your job covers a broad spectrum of objectives. What’s your approach?

Morrett: Timken’s human resources programs build on and support each other, so none of my team’s objectives are separate, siloed efforts. That holistic strategy clarifies decision-making, whether we are training and developing Next-Gen leaders, upgrading performance management processes, developing metrics to hold us accountable, gathering employee feedback, or fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We’re charged with doing what’s right for our organization and our team members — creating practical solutions — and change when it’s called for. That perspective creates enormous clarity as we prioritize our daily objectives and deliver results for the business.

Nicole Morrett, Timken senior manager of talent, speaks with a coworker. “Talent development is about how we grow, challenge, advance and retain people — helping people see themselves in new and different ways.”

Nicole Morrett
Senior Manager of Talent, Learning and Development

Q: What is your approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?

Morrett: Diversity is core to Timken’s mission: Our employees’ ability to show up every day and do their best work depends on their ability to be seen, valued and heard. So, we start by focusing on our values: Ethics and integrity, including the principles of honesty, fairness, respect and responsibility, are essential to DEI work.

Teamwork is also key. Timken is a place where people seek out difference to help fill deficits or gaps — where respectful disagreement is valued, and we’re proud of the results we can achieve together. DEI is not a separate focus area in addition to our work, but a way of working that increases the quality of our decisions, improves the efficiencies of our processes and drives innovation in our products. Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) also play critical roles, bringing on-the-ground experience, networks and education to our global workforce to help us operate more effectively as one team.

Q: What programs and tools are essential in your work right now?

Morrett: We look for tools that help people address problems proactively. Data is critical to decision making, so our PowerBI dashboards and metrics help hold us accountable and reveal opportunities for development. Understanding our talent at a deeper level sets the stage for our priorities.

BetterUp, for example, offers whole person assessments and 24/7 confidential coaching, treating people as individuals with unique strengths and needs.

Our Development-Driven Leader initiative trains managers to value difference and use it productively as they coach and advance their teams. Employee resources through the Talent Management Resource Library place employees in the driver’s seat of their careers and support them with discussion starters and questions to kick off career conversations that can be uncomfortable to initiate.

We’re in the process of updating our performance management process, aligning it with industry best practices and employee and manager feedback that we’ve received through engagement surveys. As a high-performing organization, this solution helps us recognize more people for the work they do.

The talent management and development space are overflowing with system innovations and emerging technology — it’s exciting to work on relevant solutions that equip our employees with the processes and tools they need to be successful.

Q: What about the Timken culture inspires you?

Morrett: I love Timken’s commitment to the communities where we live and work. So many of the organizations we support share our goals — from the I Promise School to the Great Lakes Science Center to our new partnerships with Thrive Scholars and College Now. Our investments in those organizations help us cultivate the next generation of our workforce and create STEM opportunities for students who might not otherwise have access to them.

There’s something so special about sharing with younger generations the amazing work we get to do — mentoring and opening up new worlds to them — so they can see themselves and their future differently. I want to continue to find ways to do that because everyone wants to live a life of purpose.

Timken facilities all over the world support their communities in all kinds of ways. Here’s what that looks like for employees in Keene, New Hampshire.

Photograph of a precision bearing being examined with a magnifier.