by Desiree Schnoor
Manufacturing tradition often places new hires with experienced technicians to train on new tasks. While this is tradition, it is not the most efficient, and now, not the only way, to train. Virtual QE recently rolled out Video Work Instructions, a way for companies to disperse expert tribal knowledge to all new hires, instantly, using video tutorials. Instead of a lead technician training one or two people at a time, in person, efforts are instantly multiplied using Video Work Instructions.
Every shop manager knows that every good lead technician houses an immeasurable amount of intangible knowledge and experience. Many are the longest standing or more versatile employees, causing them to be leaders in more than just a “knowledge” or “skill” sense. Many are loyal to their companies and want to see them do well, even after they are gone.
Now the question is, how can Video Work Instructions free up lead technicians to further impact their companies? Many of these techs have been working at plants for many years, and may only have a few left before they retire. How can companies best utilize these information powerhouses? What more could lead technicians do if they didn’t spend their time training one-on-one?
A unique feature of manufacturing is its workforce demographic. On either end of the spectrum there are older generation workers on the verge of retirement, on the other, millennial new-hires. Not only does experience level differentiate these two, but also age, maturity, and differing work and life values and expectations.
What could a mentoring relationship between lead technicians and millennial new hires look like? Mentoring millennial workers is of great importance. Not only will providing direct input attract more young workers, but it will also retain more of them.
The opportunities for connection and learning are endless. For example, senior techs can show their diverse skill set while work with millennials by cross-training them at new stations for new challenges, and understanding why task illegibility is important for them.
How could your veterans and new hires learn from each other’s patience and perseverance, and fast, changing and creative work preferences?
Desiree Schnoor holds degrees in psychology and public health. Her interests lie broadly in health and well being. She spends the majority of her efforts and love on her husband and four children. She has used her communication skills in health education and promotion for a large wellness corporation, as well as starting a women's mentoring program. She is utilizing her skill set at Virtual QE to convey the "quality of life" aspects of quality engineering.