Ensuring Employee Success at Laser Precision

In a previous article, Fabrication: The Pathway to a  Bright New Future, we discussed our recruitment methods and our search for new talent. But, what happens once you make the decision to pursue a career with Laser Precision? Our leadership team believes that the success of a company can be measured by the employees it retains. “The days when employees stayed with a company for 30 years seem to be a thing of the past,” Kim Wimer, HR Manager at Laser Precision, stated. “We’re trying to re-build a culture of loyalty where people are valued and retained for the long term.”

For that reason, learning is a career-long pursuit at Laser Precision. Working with management, Kim has developed a program that not only allows employees to get through a day’s work, but prepares them for a meaningful career and even a better personal life.

A Customized Onboarding Process
In many companies, “onboarding” or “orientation” – the process of integrating a new employee into an organization and its culture – is pretty basic. Fill out the tax forms, find out where the lunchroom is, get a copy of the employee manual, meet your boss and you’re done.

Like everything we do here at Laser Precision, we have taken the time to review the onboarding process with the aim of making it more productive and efficient. It’s much, much different from the usual hurried, haphazard process.

The First Day
Naturally, Kim meets with each person on their first day to provide the traditional necessities of orientation – tax forms, how to call in sick, emergency phone numbers, etc. But Kim allows two hours for this initial stage of the onboarding process to ensure understanding of the information.

Next, since the number one defining characteristic of Laser Precision’s culture is quality, the new workers meet with Matt Keller, our Quality Manager. Matt is the official quality liaison for the entire organization. No one is better positioned to communicate our expectations for each department and how the performance of one person can impact quality down the line.

The Plant Manager, Brian Connell, is then responsible for reviewing the safety and operational rules and regulations for a particular workspace. They also assign a mentor for the new worker to shadow and learn the basic skills required for the job and supervise their progress.

Kim checks in with the employee during the first day and the weeks that follow for feedback, to answer questions and to get a general feel for their comfort level.

Training: Continuous Improvement for People
While the onboarding process may provide basic information and get workers started on their new job, the education process has just begun. Along with specific on-the-job training, each new employee has additional meetings with Matt for specific skills such as blueprint reading and systems for defining and communicating engineering tolerances. The key to these classes is to fill in knowledge gaps of workers who do not come from a manufacturing background and to teach experienced workers how things are done at Laser Precision. This information helps avoid miscommunications or misinterpretation of data on the line.

Other aspects of our continuous training program include cross training on specific equipment and rotating personnel through different departments. This allows them to see if they enjoy the work in one area over another. People who are interested in what they are doing gain skills and confidence much faster. We want to stoke that fire whenever we can.

We don’t neglect formal education, either. The company offers incentives for employees who go back to school or pass certification programs in specific skills such as machining, welding or programming.

Building Life Skills
We are not only teaching work skills, but those that can lead to a better personal lifestyle. In-house classes are offered on budgeting, improving credit scores, how to buy a home in two years and how to purchase a car.

Professional, but Personal
Our onboarding and training programs have resulted in a low turnover rate and improved performance on the floor. The result is a workforce that is highly skilled, motivated and quality-oriented. We’re growing fast, but working hard to retain the family feel of the company as we expand. There are no strangers on our shop floor. Everyone knows each other by their first name.

Where You Come In
Our recruitment program has been successful so far, but we continue to grow at a rapid pace. If you are service-minded and interested in learning more about Laser Precision, please visit our careers page and review our current opportunities. We’d love the chance to get to know you.