Broaden the Horizons of Your Employees, Part 1...
I recently received a request from a social-networking site to discuss the complications companies encounter in locating well-rounded employees. In this post, I want to address the underlying problem, which is the lack of comprehensive training for production employees.
The most effective training systems provide the employees with (1) the information and skills to work and make effective decisions in their job and (2) prepare them for new challenges and advancement opportunities.
Regarding the first goal, the employees needs to know more that what is 'necessary' to do their job. For example, teaching the employee the basic steps in a die change is not effective long-term training. An effective die setter should have a fundamental understanding of many aspects including general safety, job-specific safety, tooling, machinery, processing, and the basic economics involved. Without this strong background, they lack the full knowledge and appreciation to bring true value to the company. Such a trained employee may be very helpful in identifying more efficient procedures, evaluating newer technologies, developing new solutions, and troubleshooting complications when they arise.
It has been said that your workforce is your most valuable asset, yet this is only true when your employees are treated as more than simple robots. Robots who perform specific functions can be easily replaced... competent and capable employees, on the other hand, will help your company improve, grow, expand, and take on new challenges.