Enterprise Minnesota’s talent expert Michele Neale likens the steps of building talent in a manufacturing company to what football coaches do to build a winning football team.
Like football coaches, leaders need to build a roster, develop best practices for teaching skills, and work from a written “playbook.” She showed attendees of one of our recent workshops how these methods can become – dare I say – real game changers.
Her years of working with manufacturers have helped her refine best practices for training the trainers: identifying those best suited to train employees, avoiding common training mistakes, and employing a four-step method she coaches for teaching a new skill.
She has developed a solid reputation for helping companies slash the time between training and productivity. One of her clients, she says, used the methods to cut a two-week process down to 20 minutes.
As they improve training methods and standardize and document job processes, manufacturers see the value of that consistency spread throughout their companies. Training helps employees become productive, but also helps develop a deep bench of players who can be called on to fill in for an absent coworker.
Michele’s coaching also helps manufacturers address a significant shift in employee population. Many manufacturers used to have a bell curve population: a few employees with 1-3 years of experience, a few nearing retirement, and the bulk in the middle years, Michele explains. Now, she says, a manufacturer’s employee population often looks more like an inverted J-curve or fishhook , with a few employees early in their careers, a lot nearing retirement, and not so many in between. These trends require employers to find a strategy for training new hires, cross-training existing employees, and documenting job practices to achieve quality and consistency goals.
The training methods Michele shares help companies fill current gaps, anticipate future needs, and retain employees. A consistent and effective training process helps employees feel productive almost immediately, fueling their engagement with the organization early in their tenure. By standardizing training and job practices, employees know which skills they need to develop to progress within the company, further contributing to their satisfaction and leading to higher retention.
Michele’s coaching offers manufacturers an ideal approach to the challenges of workforce development, employee satisfaction and retention.
Learn more about talent and leadership development expert Michele Neale.
Find upcoming manufacturing events and workshops on our Events page.
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