8 Ways to Attract and Retain Talent
Manufacturing Leaders Can’t Afford to Ignore

Labour and skills shortages are the most pressing challenges facing manufacturers today. CERB, industry stereotypes and shortages of skilled employees in hot markets across the country create significant pressure on CEOs and leaders to make the best use of the talent pool on hand, attracting and retaining the key employees manufacturing needs to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic Canada.
Labour and skills shortages are holding your company back? Lean may be the solution. In this post, CME covers 8 ways to attract and retain talent that manufacturing leaders can’t afford to ignore. To sign up today for a Lean assessment, Click Here.

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NAVIGATING LEAN REQUIRES A ROADMAP

Looking to take these 9 simple steps to your own workplace? Leveraging Lean requires a roadmap. Companies that engage in Lean certification are more likely to succeed and thrive in challenging times than their counterparts.

 

CME’s core Lean programs offer a path to certification with multiple entry points, no matter where your organization is starting or wants to go on their Lean or engagement journeys. Designed for manufacturers by manufacturers, CME’s certified courses help manufacturers across the country to improve their operations, their competitiveness and their bottom line.

 

Benefits include:

  • Increased Employee Engagement
  • Improved Production Capacity
  • Increased Team Productivity
  • Reduced Lead Time
  • Reduced Cycle Times
  • More Efficient Business Processes
  • And much, much more.

 

GET STARTED

TAKING THE FIRST STEP

From the first industrial boom in Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been helping manufacturers grow. Nearly 150 years strong, we work with 2,500 leading manufacturers from coast to coast. Our business is manufacturing, just like yours, and we have our finger on the pulse of the sector. CME training programs are designed by manufacturers, for manufacturers.

 

CME works wherever you are – with regional chapters in every province, championed by local manufacturers just like you. Whether you’re looking for in-person, face-to-face facilitation or online, remote delivery – CME has you covered.

 

CME’s Lean Blackbelt certified facilitators have extensive manufacturing experience. We understand your constraints because we’ve lived them – and led transformational changes to embrace excellence ourselves. From productivity to leadership and more, CME is your training provider of choice. With more than 2,000 participants engaged in Lean training last year alone, CME supports hundreds of companies in their productivity and engagement journeys, from across the country. What’s more, graduates give CME training programs consistently outstanding reviews.

 

LEARN MORE

WHY CME?

From the first industrial boom in Canada, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) has been helping manufacturers grow. Nearly 150 years strong, we work with 2,500 leading manufacturers from coast to coast. Our business is manufacturing, just like yours, and we have our finger on the pulse of the sector. CME training programs are designed by manufacturers, for manufacturers.

 

CME works wherever you are – with regional chapters in every province, championed by local manufacturers just like you. Whether you’re looking for in-person, face-to-face facilitation or online, remote delivery – CME has you covered.

 

CME’s Lean Blackbelt certified facilitators have extensive manufacturing experience. We understand your constraints because we’ve lived them – and led transformational changes to embrace excellence ourselves. From productivity to leadership and more, CME is your training provider of choice. With more than 2,000 participants engaged in Lean training last year alone, CME supports hundreds of companies in their productivity and engagement journeys, from across the country. What’s more, graduates give CME training programs consistently outstanding reviews.

 

LEARN MORE

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REVIEW THE RECRUITMENT, DEVELOPMENT AND SUCCESSION PLANNING PROCESSES FOR OVERALL EFFECTIVENESS

Begin at the start. Analyze your recruitment and people development process first (hint: if you don’t know it already, you’ll almost certainly discover that it simply takes too long.) Many manufacturers report an average of six months to fill vacancy and often there is little forethought, succession planning or focused onboarding. The result is that when a key position leaves, everyone scrambles. Through CME, organizations that have Leaned out their onboarding process have brought days in process down from six months to nearly zero.

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REVIEW AND ENHANCE THE LEADERSHIP SKILLS THROUGHOUT THE ORGANIZATION

Ask yourself: does everyone have the skills to support the vision and mission? In manufacturing, it’s especially critical to think of business as a system. Everyone, but especially supervisors and managers, must be strategic in their thinking and less focused on the day-to-day tasks of the role. Delivering value to customers requires more holistic, systemic thinking. It can be a mistake to think that good people come to the organization with these skills. Investing in people development is one of the most important things you can do on your Lean journey.

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Review the vision, mission and value proposition of the organization to ensure clarity of direction and expectations at all levels

Most businesses get by without a clear strategic plan that draws a clear line from vision and mission to operational priorities, but high-performing businesses make this a priority. As a leader, it’s important that working on the business be more than a cliché. Don’t leave your strategy in a binder on a shelf: be focused, engage the doers and build your efforts around your value proposition.

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Build a culture of engagement, empowering doers to solve problems

Go to Gemba (meaning go see where the work is done – walk the shop floor) and put a dollar to employee engagement. Employees are assets; they can drive measurable change (turn times, waste from system) so it is incumbent on good leaders to overcome our natural reluctance to let go. At a large Canadian wood working operation, productivity went up 20 per cent when the company decided to give staff 20 minutes a day to focus on an improvement of their choosing. But it takes a brave leader to allow this to happen.

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Ensure alignment of the organization around clear goals, measures and targets

“In god we trust, all others bring data” is a quote often attributed to Edward Demming, father of the third wave of the industrial revolution. But it must be the right data. Years ago, a call centre set KPIs to improve customer satisfaction by reducing time on the line. What they found was that satisfaction promptly tanked as call centre employees, eager to exceed performance targets, quickly transferred calls to other agents rather than taking the time to resolve customer concerns. Data is critical but so is setting and measuring the right KPIs to drive business performance in the right direction.

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Engage employees in problem solving through a Lean/Continuous Improvement/Operational Excellence program

Lean is a proven strategy for engaging employees to deliver more value to customers in less time and, with less effort. The core concepts of Lean aim to create a better flow of information, product or service and to spend more time adding value and less time on wasteful activities. Harnessing the power of people, from the shop floor to the c-suite, in the spirit of continuous improvement drives growth and benefits employees, customers and stakeholders alike. Companies that adopt Lean as a strategy develop a culture that unleashes the power of people and allows them to scale up while remaining nimble, flexible, agile and above all else, hyper-focused on the needs of the customer – a distinct competitive advantage in today’s global economy.

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Allow employees a few minutes every day to innovate and drive waste out of the organization

Recall our manufacturing example in point #4? At a large Canadian wood working operation, productivity went up 20 per cent when the company decided to give staff 20 minutes a day to focus on an improvement of their choosing. In other terms, the same number of people produced 20 per cent more product all while working fewer hours. Provide employees the tools to identify waste and empower them to do so and the results will astound.

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Ensure the reward and recognition program is motivating and encouraging staff

It’s important that senior leadership just give employees time, recognize their successes and celebrate accomplishments. Make a commitment to “go see” and walk the shop floor and the office – leaders should be visible. Show an interest, encourage and recognize successes.