A Successful Training Story

From his previous employment where an eLearning system was in place, Albert knew exactly what to do: Call in the experts. They firstly gave him an off-the-shelf course in staff handling and motivation for the shift supervisors; he immediately gave those two weeks to complete the online course in their own time and told them he wanted their feedback when they had completed it.

The first Saturday after they had completed the course, Albert took the supervisors bowling, and then for a meal, during the course of which he asked them their ideas on how to tackle the absenteeism and quality control problems.

Albert found to his amazement that the supervisors had never been consulted about anything regarding the running of the factory, and they were enthused and delighted to be even asked for an input. They were full of ideas and during that evening and the following week, a plan was put together to solve both problems.

The Problems

The absenteeism was mainly for two reasons: Firstly, the work was dreadfully repetitive; secondly, the factory floor was unbearably hot as the molding machines operated at high temperature.

The Solutions

  1. Making employees comfortable.
    Exhaust fans over the molding machine area coupled with a small air conditioning unit reduced the temperature from 45 plus to a more manageable 33 degrees; bad tempers disappeared and smiles reappeared.
  2. Cross Training.
    The boredom took a little longer to tackle. There were six different operations in the factory, and over a period of six months Albert arranged for everyone to be retrained in all six different departments, and then introduced a rota system where no one worked more than two weeks in the same area, but rather rotated. This way, employees not only did different jobs every two weeks, but worked with different people each time.
  3. Short online courses.
    While this training was going on, he worked with the eLearning company to produce a series of short training modules for each one of the production functions, thus ensuring that additional employees could be brought onstream with the minimum of fuss and disruption.

The Results

Absenteeism reduced to single digit levels, reject product below industry norms, staff turnover low, and production up by 15%, leading to steady profitability.

Albert was headhunted to a large firm in Mumbai, and in a hectic two years turned around one of its worst performing companies using the same tools as before; eLearning and good management.

In five years, Albert will be CEO, and will go on to use the same successful training methods to turn around the other functions of the group; who else will headhunt him then!