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Basic Business Cents: How do you 'manufacture' good workers?

At a recent Rotary meeting, the speaker was the CEO of a manufacturing company. He said his company does not hire outstanding workers; they manufacture them. This is his solution to the dilemma that our society seems to have with a high number of people out of work and at the same time a high number of job openings. Finding the proper match seems to be difficult. Finding the people ready to step in and do an outstanding job immediately may not be the solution.

So how do you manufacture good workers? Find the people who have potential to be good at the job, train them, and develop pride of workmanship within them.

Finding potential for the proper fit, both physically and mentally, is important. Look for growth capability. With proper education and training will they be able to do the job? What will you have to do to put them into a position to succeed?

Training is not a one-time event. Technology, market needs, company capability, and worker's ability constantly change. Therefore, skills training must be continuously advancing. It is, of necessity, never ending. Mental training may be of equal importance to skills training. Encouragement will help build self-confidence and self-worth. The work processes must be capable of producing quality results. The worker will do the best job they can within the processes they are given but management's job is to continuously improve the processes.

Positive reinforcement is key to building confidence. There is a saying, "Dogs like a pat on the back, and people do, too." This is not to say that we should not use corrective training to correct wrongs but don't tear down the worker's pride and self-confidence; always to work toward building the worker's self-esteem. Put workers in positions where they can grow and develop.

Bill Norris, the founder of Control Data Corporation, had a belief that a major key to solving society's needs was jobs.

Developing your workforce on a continuing basis will result in loyal and dedicated employees. You will not only solve your own needs, but also one of society's.