MiMfg Magazine August 2019 - Page 14

14 MiMfg Magazine August 2019 Step 1: Organizational Analysis Before you change everything, it’s important to identify current states of practice where you could be doing things very well or areas where slight tweaks to a process are better than starting over from scratch. “Leaders should identify the existing governance, support methods, technological applications and tools used to perform the work,” Mall suggested. He continued, offering that manufacturers could avoid the “redundancy in both data storage and data entry” that tends to arise within siloed departments and ensure a more sustained process for knowledge sharing and retention. During this step, it is important to assess existing procedures in preparation for the initial efforts to develop a company-wide survey tool. Step 2: Job Task Analysis As you go through step one, you’ll discover which jobs should be prioritized for deeper analysis. At EDSI, they use a Skills Balance Sheet as a visual representation of skills, responsibilities and tasks assigned to each position. Whether you use this or something similar, a deeper dive into each job can help employers learn what parts of a job are under- stood and can be replicated if a new person is hired and what tasks are more intuitive. The less concrete the process is, the more important it is that further analysis — surveys, interviews, mentoring — would be required to secure that knowledge in the event of an employee leaving the company. Analysis can be done one-on-one or through broader department or company-wide conversations. The larger the business or the more facilities a company has, the more likely the job task analysis process should be segmented out. Step 3: Skill Assessment Survey Like any other process, you don’t know what you don’t know and a skill assessment survey can paint the big picture of where knowledge is missing. A ranked survey with a scale from no knowledge >> awareness >> limited ability >> acceptable ability >> expertise will help identify not only the level of knowledge each employee has about a given task but also the amount of knowledge necessary to achieve a desired outcome within the task. Step 4: Skill Gap Analysis Once your survey results are compiled, you can record them in a database for analysis and comparison across departments. The Skills Balance Sheet of EDSI is one way to provide your full team with a comprehensive accounting of what gaps exist and can set the stage for deeper conversations on what needs to happen to close those gaps. At a Glance Burke Architectural Millwork’s Mentorship Program The demand for mentorship remains on the rise in manufacturing as the industry continues to push for new job creation. “Without mentorship, employers would see skill development grind to a halt,” explained Kelly Victor- Burke, majority owner and CEO for Burke Architectural Millwork. “Too many great workers are retiring and it can still be a struggle to locate the talent to replace them. If manufacturers don’t realize that knowledge is meant to be shared, not horded, we’ll lose out on countless experiences that future generations could benefit from.” The team at Burke has discovered two effective paths for maximizing mentorship — lasting partnerships with local educators and a robust social media presence. “It doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario; in fact, it’s probably better to use both in a way that works for you,” said Victor-Burke. “Whether it’s going into a classroom or promoting your brand online — or developing an in-house mentorship program — the act of mentorship is what will transition you from a single-generation business to a manufacturer with a decades-long life.”