Most Important Tool is the 5 Inches Between the Ears
19. February 2013
Matt Gudgel of SourceOne feels so strongly about skilled workforce, it is included as part of its mission statement: To maintain a vibrant, skilled and dedicated workforce ... to use our diverse capabilities to meet challenges ... and facilitate growth.
Maintaining a skilled workforce is part of the company mission. Why? To meet challenges and facilitate growth. This mission statement decries the fact that we spend too much time teaching our employees to "use the tools of the trade" rather than "the tool 5 inches between the ears"--the ultimate tool we’re born with and have forgotten how to use.
In other words, we take it for granted that people know how to think, how to frame the problem, and to know when to use the "tools of the trade." Matt says the challenges to manage this issue are difficult. Changing thinking from “any warm body will do” to hiring quality, is one challenge we face as we continue to be squeezed on price by our customers. Also, finding time to train people in the face of hard deadlines for our production is another. Third, growing people into "general specialists" who can handle not just machining, but also have practical knowledge of electrical and pneumatic systemsis a need, not just a want.
One challenge though, is incumbent on our people, it is not just up to management.
“We want our employees to be well trained, and it is our responsibility to help them get trained. But employees need to step up, too, and master the skills."
When looking at employees, here is Matt’s advice: “They have to fit our culture, just as much as they need to fit the position in our company. Economic competition means we need to find the right people.”
Blog post originally from PMPA Speaking of Precision