What You Need to Know About On-The-Job-Training

By Chris Duffy-Waldman
Can you relate to either of these hypothetical situations? At Lab A, the lab manager estimates that he loses three out of four entry-level new hires within their first three months with the company. He knows that if he can keep them through the first 90 days, turnover decreases to about 10 percent. Once they’ve been on the job for six months, they basically stay forever. The lab manager attributes the initial high turnover to two reasons: • Not being as selective as possible • Not adequately preparing the new hire for the work environment, tasks and pace. Like a lot of labs, Lab A sometimes subscribes to the philosophy that a warm body is better than no body. Then they bring in this new person, who may be apprehensive about working in a fast-paced environment, and drop them with more experienced people. The long-term employees are asked to show new hires the ropes while maintaining the same level of production. Resentment can build up. This affects morale, production and breakage. Not surprisingly, the old timers don’t even want to learn the new employees’ names, suspecting the new hire won’t be there by the end of the week. Employees expect the new hires to quit—and they often do. At Lab B, staff was already swamped when it received an order that would require production to increase by 25 percent. Upon learning of the new order, the lab manager ordered all staff to work overtime — including managers and supervisors who were already doing so — in order to keep up with current demand. Lab B was looking at bringing on quite a few new employees quickly to fill the big order. They went from swamped to slammed and didn’t have anyone who could stop production to train new hires. Sound familiar? Linda Eschenburg, president of Eschenburg Training & Consulting in Tampa, FL, heard these problems—and more like them while working with optical laboratories. She looked at how new hires could be brought into labs more successfully. As a result, she developed a three-hour hands-on workshop, A Crash Course: How Bosses, Leads and Co-workers Can Develop and Deliver On-the-Job-Training, to meet this need. Says Eschenburg, “Bosses, leads and co-workers aren’t taught how to train others—they’re taught how to do their own jobs. This workshop examines basic on-the-job-training principles of developing and delivering training. It’s specifically designed so that staff members with no previous training experience can effectively train others in an organized, methodical process that can be replicated,” she added. Five key skills are covered in the workshop: • Getting the boss’s buy-in • Identifying objectives • Setting success measurements • Giving feedback and • Applying the 4 D’s—describe, demonstrate, duplicate, and debrief When the workshop is over, the participants are confident in their ability to train others in their workplace so they can quickly become as productive as possible. Observed Eschenburg, “Ineptness costs money. Turnover costs money. Training costs money. Not doing training costs even more money.” Before founding Eschenburg Training & Consulting, Linda Eschenburg served as training and development manager at Essilor Lenses’ North American headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL. Essilor developed and led programs for a global network of 17 plants and 183 prescription laboratories. She has special expertise in the areas of team building, leadership, managing change, conflict management, performance management and customer service. This course is pending ABO approval. Eschenburg Training & Consulting offers employers guaranteed results from their training programs. For more information, you can contact Linda Eschenburg at leschenburg@ij.net or 813 805-2131.

CURRENT ISSUE


May/June LabTalk 2017