Seven steps to training success


Separately, you often hear individuals suggesting the need to shadow a retiring craft worker for a period of one to two years in an effort to transfer all of that knowledge to the newbie. A wise plant manager once shared his response to that approach: That retiring craft worker took 20 to 30 or more years to reach that level of experience. Do you really believe that you will transfer that knowledge in two years or less, especially in an unstructured and typically reactive environment? Not going to happen, sorry. 

Building on experience

So how do we build a strong, vibrant workplace from a craft skills and knowledge perspective? Based on experience and the collective knowledge of many skilled educators, here is the roadmap.

First, we must understand exactly what we need to know from a skills and knowledge perspective. If you have good CMMS/EAM data (most don’t), we can review past work history. Otherwise, we could ask the technicians to tell us the skills and knowledge necessary for their success, but you will miss a lot of skill tasks plus have a lot of overlap to sift through.

Another method is to create a database of questions, such as “Do you work on steam traps?” I have seen these databases over time approach 600 to 800 questions. With the database approach, you might work with a representative group of technicians and spend a day or two stepping through the questions.

If you are trying to change the culture, you might spend the next day or two with managers and supervisors to get their input on what they want the crafts to learn, that is, changing to a multi-craft approach. If this is necessary, you will need to spend additional time getting collective agreement between the groups. The next part of this first phase is to rank each of the selected tasks in a priority matrix of:

  • Frequency: How often do we perform the task? Daily, weekly, monthly?
  • Criticality: How important is the task?
  • When required: When did you have to know the task skill? From the start, 3 months in, 6 months, 1 year? 

From the ranking process, we can determine two to four levels of skill and knowledge that can later be used in a pay-for-skills approach.

Anonymous , 01/12/13 01:53 AM:

My daughter just re-entered to workforce after a hiatus to be a "Stay-at-home mom" She landed a position as HR Director. Her first order of business is to train the rank & file co-workers. I told her about your article in the Dec 2012 issue titled "Training & Development" and e-mailed her a link to it. Excellent article!
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.