Give Us a Willing Worker and We’ll Find the Right Niche for Them
April 18, 2021
People who aren’t familiar with a modern machine shop may be under the impression that committing to employment in fabrication may doom them to being stuck doing the same job at the same spot in the plant for the rest of their working life. They may also hesitate because they know they have nothing to put under the “Experience” section of the application. Well, if you’re looking for a career change, you should know that neither of these scenarios should hold you back from applying for a position at Laser Precision.
The Hybrid Worker
We know that the potential employees coming to our door may not even know what they want to do for us. That’s okay. We always try and hire go-getters, no matter what the job title. Most people start off where we need them at the time, or the job originally applied for. Then, if they find other areas of the business interesting, we like to give them the opportunity to move out of their assigned duties and try a job in a different department. Think of them as “internal internships.” If someone is a competent machine operator, why not give them a shot at running the press brake or part marking? It’s a somewhat new concept for us, but we think it may prove to be beneficial not only for the employee, but the company as a whole.
Under the watchful eyes of a mentor, they learn the particular safety issues of the equipment, how to interpret tight tolerances on prints, how to set up the machine, check the first part against the specs and run the job.
This “promote from within” process provides the worker with better earning potential while increasing their skill sets. We are building our bench now, but the benefit to us is that we have a crew of hybrid or “cross-trained” workers.
A hybrid work force allows us to cover for vacancies and send in backup wherever it’s needed on the line. With talent in depth at every position, we’re better equipped to handle the unforeseen without jeopardizing our on-time delivery record. We even have engineers who started with the company as press brake operators and managers who are certified as welders. Any one of them could jump right in to get backed up orders moving down the line.
The most important trait that management will look for in a potential hybrid is a significant attention to detail. If employees are identifying problems within a manufacturing process and bringing it to the attention of management to look at, it’s a good sign. We actually have adopted a “good catch” program. When an employee catches a non-conforming part, they fill out their name on a card with the part number and the nature of the defect. From time to time, we pull a card out of a bucket and that person gets a gift card. Everyone is a winner because it shows us these employees are paying attention to the process and preventing us from shipping non-conforming product.
Moving People Up
Giving workers a chance to try something different stretches their mental muscles and explore new possibilities. If they like a position and show talent, we help them get any training or certification they might need to grow in that position. (See the article, “Customized Internship Programs.”)
Shaking It Up
Going through the same motions every day can get a bit monotonous. At times, it’s nice just to change up the routine. When we switch positions on the floor, people usually come back to their original assignment refreshed, more alert, and hopefully an appreciation for a new skillset. They have a better idea of what happens upstream and downstream of their positions and why certain guidelines are in place. Knowing they are empowered to make a move if they choose and encouraged to climb as high as they can go creates a lot of job satisfaction. And we get a lot of gratification watching them grow.
Looking for a career change? Manufacturing is a great opportunity. If we sound like a place where you might like to work, check out our Careers Page. We’d love to talk to you.