Our 5 Training Best Practices

    Posted by Jacob Miller

    Jun 19, 2015 5:30:00 PM

    Jacob-1Forward-thinking contract manufacturers realize the importance of training their employees early and often. Developing an effective training program is an investment that can prove extremely important for the long-term development of your manufacturing organization. It’s essential to ensure a thorough training program is in place, one that both employees and managers appreciate and value. If your proposed manufacturing training program doesn’t incorporate these best practices, it could be a waste of time and resources.

    1. Begin early. Incorporate training sessions for your new employees as soon as they join the team. Training new employees from the start communicates their importance to the team and emphasizes their contributions to the company’s vision. By starting training sessions early, manufacturing employees are given an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the company’s processes, products and culture. This cultivates an environment that is supportive of their professional growth. Additionally, trained employees are less likely to leave the company, reducing costly turnover.

    2. Keep it going. Ongoing training supports a culture of continuous improvement, where employees feel empowered to make suggestions to better company performance. In addition, ongoing training helps them adapt to the constantly changing manufacturing industry by introducing new methods and skills required to do their job more effectively. As new employees are trained , they may develop an even more efficient way to complete a task because they have acquired new information and increased their proficiency.

    3. Document, document, document. Creating and standardizing a successful training program requires documentation. At Fusion OEM, we have developed a formalized training program as part of our ISO 9001:2008 quality management system. This program ensures that employees are trained consistently and accurately. Moreover, documented training sessions facilitate promoting internally qualified applicants who are ready and willing to move into a new position. Being able to promote internally also reduces recruiting and onboarding costs.

    4. Cross-train. Every manufacturer knows that sometimes 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 the costs involved in hiring and training temporary workers or new employees. Cross-training can also improve the overall work atmosphere for your manufacturing company, which may in turn improve the bottom line. When you need all hands on deck in schedule demanding situations, manufacturers that cross-train will have a better chance of bouncing back quickly from major disruptions because they have developed a flexible workforce.

    5. Involve everyone. When developing your manufacturing training program, ensure you get feedback and insight from all relevant members of your team. When an employee is given more responsibilities – such as helping develop training materials – they view it as management putting more time and trust into that person’s professional development. If employees believe they have the potential to improve the company by sharing their knowledge, they will be productive and loyal, improving overall morale. This adds value to the business in the form of happier employees and higher margins.

    In an age when manufacturers are striving to accomplish more work with fewer workers, anything that helps to motivate and retain a skilled workforce is worth the investment. A thorough, well-designed manufacturing training program offers a wide variety of benefits for manufacturers. Following these best practices can reduce costs, improve employee engagement, reduce turnover, and increase productivity. It can also give a manufacturer greater scheduling flexibility, and lead to operational improvements. Investing in the training of your manufacturing employees will lead to productivity gains that help you stay competitive.

    Topics: contract manufacturer, oem, employee engagement, employee training

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