“When business is a little slow” and “When we’re busy hiring” are two of the most common answers we hear to the question “What is the right time to train?”.
The problem with both of these answers is that the implication is that training is an event, done one time, then finished. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As we’ve talked about in this blog and as we always explain to our customers, you are training your employees every day. Sometimes it’s through word of mouth, sometimes it’s through mistakes and sometimes employees go get the training on their own. Given today’s low-cost technology, these are relatively inefficient training methods. Why? Because if you are manufacturing plastic parts, whether by injection molding, extrusion, blow molding or other processes, you are training your employees everyday.
Of course there is a need to watch the bottom line when business slows down, but if you’re not laying people off, it can be a very good time to increase their knowledge and skills. While there is definitely a need to watch budgets closely and eliminate waste, a temporary slowdown can be a very good time to take advantage of developing your current employees and improve all aspects of your operations..
Many plastics industry companies actually proactively work to accelerate their plastics technical training in their everyday business practices and operations. These programs are specifically designed to produce continual improvements every day by all employees, create a better relationship between employees and management, which can mean “problems” are solved before they become problems. It also has the added advantage of being efficient and very cost effective training. So you’re really getting the best of all possible worlds: you’re saving money, you are spreading valuable knowledge and skills to a broader range of plastics manufacturing employees and you are making your business more competitive.