Why train and certify an employee?
Some of the most challenging decisions a manufacturer makes involve the allocation of labor costs. As something easily measurable for hourly employees and having a direct impact on the business bottom line, any time spent training requires thought and justification.
The most compelling reason would be to motivate employees to learn to acquire skills and new perspective. Thinking ahead—looking beyond what has been told to staff by other employees and supervisors who have often worked in same job or facility for years—can have positive outcomes. As the workplace becomes more challenging, technology changes and competition increases. Having a workforce that can properly do various jobs, troubleshoot and make good decisions on quality and safety without being constantly monitored becomes more critical. These floor level employee decisions can lead to better retention, less injuries, lower manufacturing waste and rework. Nothing is more demotivating to employees than a broken process, a clueless management team and frustrating work conditions.
Better decision makers and skills manufacturing employees can improve morale far better than any management dictated rule.
Employees with more advanced documented skill levels often become the future leaders and supervisors in the manufacturing facility. Having objective standards and requirements for promotion is another positive outcome of certification. John Palmer, Chief Learning Officer at AT&T, stated that certification provides “two huge motivations for employees. To be more relevant in their existing job or to get that next job that they are seeking.” These two reasons may also convert training time on the clock to motivation to prepare independently meet certification standards thus improving relevant skills.
Having a measured skill standard of composites manufacturing employees at hire from a school providing certifications is one avenue of acquiring better employees. The second opportunity certifications provide is additional advancement of processes, standardization and improved levels of knowledge for existing employees that will build future processes and products.