Training and development in manufacturing

Manufacturing confronts a negative public image. Characteristic notions that are synonymous with this industry include: low pay, no scope for growth and so on. Consequently, few highly skilled workers seriously consider manufacturing careers.

But now the general perception is changing dramatically. Apart from providing a more structured career growth path, one of the reasons for this change in the mindset would be the nature of training and coaching provided to new entrants once they’re taken on board. Employers are quickly realizing that the quality of their manpower is directly proportional to the final bottom line, bringing forward the need to train and coach employees appropriately.

While an assessment process and competency-based interviews help identify talent, coaching and training are initiatives that aim at ‘grooming’ and ‘nurturing’ the talent.’ Training provides theoretical support to an individual’s development whereas coaching provides a more practical and personal form of support. The combination of both creates a powerful foundation stone for future development and potential identification.

Every organization has different processes, and at times, a different approach to work as well, leading to the need for process-driven training and coaching to facilitate relevant learning. Most hires may have the theoretical knowledge required for the job, but they need to be taught the tricks of applying that knowledge in the fashion that best suits the process.

A company-specific structured training program is extremely essential. Fresh engineers recruited straight off campuses cannot be put on the job straight away, as they have very little knowledge about the actual dynamics at shop floor level. They need to be introduced to Engineering Management skills in a systematic manner.

The manufacturing industry also boasts about the fact that it provides its workforce with competency enhancement training. This ensures that they become competent to take up different roles in the organization and have an insight into various managerial soft skills, which are almost as essential as the technical ones. Training programs have been put in place to address competency development at various levels by leading engineering companies like L&T and Essar. They are customized taking data from Assessment center reports and from interactions with domain experts in the area. Faculty members from reputed institutes conduct these programs on a regular basis. Pro-grams like ‘Leading high performance teams’, ‘Resource Optimization’, ‘Risk management’ etc have been put together to address managerial competencies by these leading companies.

The one important resource that can build and transform any organization is its human resources. And this makes it essential to groom one’s workforce in order to ensure that maximum productivity is generated. In the fiercely competitive market, one can actually score above others if one’s workforce is well equipped and trained appropriately to meet industry requirements.

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