Most employers will agree that staff training is important to business growth and strategy, but even with the best intentions, many don’t plan the time or budget to implement training programs. This could be a costly mistake because experience shows that manufacturers with staff development programs outperform peers in everything from market share to productivity. The specific advantages of manufacturing employee training will show in staff retention, innovation, productivity, and safety.
At a fundamental level safety is the first benefit of employee training. This starts with mandated industry protocols but can be elevated to include training on specific equipment and company culture that you mandate. Safety is the first tenant of every quality machine shop. Basic safety should be reviewed regularly, and enhanced training will only help to establish a safety mindset in all employees for all tasks.
Ongoing training supports a culture of continuous improvement. Employees feel they are part of something bigger than themselves; the company is improving, and they are helping develop that path. Employees feel empowered to make suggestions to better company performance. This cultivates an environment that is supportive of their professional growth. The value they add makes them feel appreciated and develops loyalty.
The rapid growth of IIoT makes new equipment and processes commonplace in quality shops. Staff training enables the programming, maintenance, and operation of this new equipment. Ongoing training also introduces new methods and skills they can utilize to develop more efficient ways to complete tasks. As their proficiency increases, so does their productivity.
As new employees receive focused training, they become assets sooner. Training reduces waste and errors, which also adds to customer confidence and trust. In addition, even our experienced machinists were able to pick up best practices for increased efficiency through improved processes. Training is valuable to every employee, regardless of skill level or previous experiences.
Training should also include cross-training. We all have to be prepared for when the unexpected happens. Cross-training enables operations to continue if a key employee becomes ill or requires a leave of absence. The ability of cross-trained employees to fill in during absences, vacations, and peak demand periods can reduce production delays or the costs involved in hiring and training temporary workers or new employees.
Cross-training also allows projects and personnel to be moved to other equipment in the event of a breakdown. It will also improve the overall work atmosphere for your manufacturing company, which may, in turn, improve the bottom line. When you find yourself in a demanding situation, manufacturers that cross-train will have a better chance of bouncing back quickly from these major disruptions because they have developed a flexible workforce.
There is an inherent risk with training an employee that they take that experience and move on. Training is only part of the employee experience, and most often adds to a work culture that employees want to participate in. With the current skills gap, it is more important than ever to provide an attractive environment to keep employees for the long haul. Mentioning your culture of continuous learning when posting a new position will encourage quality applicants who are looking for a work environment that provides growth. Staff will feel valued and will contribute more to the company’s mission. As the training process develops manufacturers will be encouraged to invest more when they see the advantages of manufacturing employee training. It is an evolving circle of increased benefit.