Several years ago, while analyzing data on internal errors and defects, we realized that we needed to improve our employee training systems. By helping our employees develop exceptional skill levels through improved training and certification, we’ve been able to turn employee training into a competitive advantage.
Here is how we do it:
At USI, we realize that the proper transfer of knowledge and skills to all employees who build, inspect, and test product is a critical building block for quality and on-time delivery. We’ve mandated that we only want people who are skilled and qualified handling our customer’s products.
All new Manufacturing, Test, and Inspection employees attend a quality orientation where we explain the importance of quality and process controls.
Then Engineering and Manufacturing build a training matrix for each new employee. The matrix is a list of skills that they need to become certified to before they can perform work on their own. We use a 4-step approach when it comes to training and certification:
1. Explain the Job:
The purpose and method of each specific job step is explained so the employee gets a high level understanding of the job details.
2. Present the Job in Detail:
Step 2 is an actual “show and tell” of the job steps by the trainer, with focus on detailing how and why each piece of the job is done.
3. Try Out the Job:
Employees perform the job on their own, and explain each step as they go. Step 3 is repeated until each employee shows that he or she understands critical job content and can perform them well.
4. Perform the Job:
Employees perform the job under the watchful eye of the trainer for 5 separate lots. If and when they complete 5 lots in a row without any quality or workmanship issues, they will become certified. Their skill matrix is updated and their capacity is added to the master capacity plan.