The increasingly automated and advanced technical nature of manufacturing can appear to leave human guidance and interaction out of the equation. Fortunately, savvy leaders recognize the importance of leadership, people skills, and communication as key factors in a company’s overall performance.
SRC Electrical’s Human Resources Director, Erin Malone, realized that employee retention was becoming more and more challenging. With the confluence of the COVID 19 pandemic and a constrained community labor market, she could see that new strategies were in order.
As a longtime participant in the Missouri One Start Customized Training Program, Malone fully recognized the importance of upskilling the SRC workforce. After conducting an employee satisfaction survey, she discovered a growing concern surrounding front-line leadership: a lack of cohesive supervisory skills.
To address the issue, Malone took the survey information to their Missouri One Start Local Education Agency, the OTC Center for Workforce Development (OTC-CWD). Together, they developed a comprehensive Leadership Development program for Supervisors and Team Leaders. The new program was designed to address the unique issues facing the company, and included leadership essentials, improving communication with others, managing conflict, along with developing and coaching others.
Fifteen participants, Supervisors or Team Leaders for both production and warehouse departments, participated in half-day sessions held over a 10-week period. Comprised of a mix of both tenured and newly-promoted team leads, the program was designed to provide participants with energy, new ideas, and a better understanding of how to lead and motivate their employees.
One of the teachings mentioned by the attendees was the Can/Can’t Will/Won’t Matrix. Leaders were told to view their staff over the following week and determine how they fit into the matrix. Once the leaders knew where their associates lay on the matrix, they reported better understanding in working and creating an environment where people are motived to succeed. Immediately following the 10-week Leadership Development program, positive results were seen. Malone reported that all fifteen participants provided the same feedback – that the training was fantastic and that they learned a lot about themselves, others, and the best ways to communicate.
Malone noted that SRC Electrical has participated in Missouri One Start’s Customized Training Program for more than ten years. She has the following to say regarding their partnership with OTC-CWD and the training opportunities provided by Missouri One Start’s assistance:
“The partnership with OTC-CWD and SRC Electrical has never been better. We are so fortunate to work with a group of people who are passionate about training and developing the workforce. OTC-CWD listens to our company needs and has proven time and time again to be a solution provider. I highly recommend that companies apply to take part in Missouri One Start’s program. Training and developing your workforce are key to retention. This program gives companies the ability to pair the right training to your unique business challenges.”
About Missouri One Start:
Missouri One Start is a Division within the Department of Economic Development. Training programs are administered regionally by local education agencies (LEAs). In addition to meeting certain eligibility criteria, companies must be making a capital investment five times greater than the amount of training funds they receive.