An Onboarding Process Can Build a Strong Organizational Culture

Reading time ( words)

One of the biggest challenges faced by U.S. manufacturing companies is finding ways to attract, engage and retain workers. Today’s generation of 20-something workers is unfamiliar with manufacturing as a career option. Factory work is something their grandparents did. At the same time, some companies are proving that U.S. factories can be cost competitive and that the jobs created are transformative, in that production operators have a career path beyond entry-level work if they choose to pursue additional company-sponsored training.

In 2014, electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider Firstronic nearly doubled its workforce in Grand Rapids, MI, adding 110 workers. Most were entry-level workers. A $300,000 grant from The Right Place Inc., in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC), and the City of Grand Rapids, as well as a $289,550 Skilled Trades Training Funds (STTF) grant from the Michigan Workforce Development Agency, was used to offset the costs of the training required to hire the additional workers.

To efficiently meet their rapidly growing customers’ demand, the company adopted a 24/7 work schedule that has production employees working 12-hour shifts on alternating three- and four-day weeks. Of the four shifts, shifts one and two work the same schedule of long and short weeks, with shifts three and four covering the alternate weeks. Employee training was scheduled in four-hour blocks on one of the days during employees’ three-day “short” work week. Employees were paid for training time and could pick the day and time block that worked best with their schedules.

The quality department developed a training program, delivered in three phases, which was rolled out in the first three quarters of 2014. Phase I focused on core training for all employees; Phase II provided advanced system training; and Phase III defined and implemented certified operator training (COT) evaluations and classifications.

However, by early 2015, employee turnover was becoming an issue. New hires were going through training and leaving within the first year. Turnover on fourth shift (which includes every Friday and Saturday night) was highest, topping 6% per month. Virtually all of the turnover involved employees with less than a year on the job and the majority of that turnover came from people who had less than six months on the job. The question became, “how can we identify the right candidates who are geared for manufacturing jobs and change our process so that our new employees become instilled with Firstronic’s DNA and a desire to grow with our company?”

Read The Full Article Here

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of SMT Magazine.



Suggested Items

IPC Asia President Phil Carmichael on China Trends

05/01/2019 | Barry Matties, I-Connect007
At the productronica China 2019 show in Shanghai, Barry Matties joined Phil Carmichael, president of IPC Asia, to discuss the continued growth of IPC in Asia, including the increasing emphasis on training. IPC China has grown from hosting two technical conferences five years ago to 32 in the past year. Phil also addresses current trends he’s seeing as well as trade tensions between China and the U.S.

Blackfox on IPC Training and Certification and Mexico Expansion

03/14/2019 | Real Time with...IPC
Joel Sainz, sales manager for Blackfox Training Institute in Mexico, speaks with Guest Editor Osvaldo Targon about his company’s IPC training and certification services during IPC APEX EXPO 2019. Sainz also discusses their plans for expanding their reach in Mexico.

2019 Outlook: IPC Advocacy for Workforce Education and Training

03/14/2019 | Ken Schramko, IPC Government Relations
The chronic shortage of skilled workers is the top business challenge facing the electronics industry worldwide. Our skilled workers are aging and retiring faster than we can hire replacements.

Copyright © 2019 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.