DISCOVER Lines below our 9 surefire tips to scale up when labour supply is tight; then connect with us as you prepare your application! Funds are limited, so be ready to act!

We are pleased to share that the Province has recently confirmed the second intake of the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant, scheduled to accept applications on September 6, 2022. We encourage all members to be ready with a submission as soon as the portal opens, as there is less funding available for distribution during the second intake.
Important Details:
*Employers can apply for up to $10,000 per new or existing employee.
*Manitoba’s contribution will not exceed $100,000 per Job Grant.
*Small companies with 100 or fewer employees can apply for up to 75 per cent of eligible training costs.
*Companies with 101 or more employees can apply for up to 50 per cent of eligible training costs.
*Many of CME’s certificate courses and workshops qualify for CMJG, including our Lean programs, Leadership Development.
*Note: Conferences such as Dare to Compete are not covered under this grant.
Click here to access the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant Application and other program details.


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9 Surefire Tips to Help HR Pros Scale Up Manufacturing Production Capacity

As an HR professional, you juggled Covid like an all star. You managed internal communications, coached leaders on increasing engagement, advised the CEO in a rapid pivot to work from home and implemented health and safety best practices seemingly overnight to keep employees safe. You navigated collective bargaining agreements, managed vendors and coached other managers through tough times, possibly while homeschooling several different grades during lockdown. But as the business recovers from the impact of COVID, new pressures are emerging. Do you have enough staff to meet demand? Are you struggling to recall employees from layoff, manage workshare and onboard new hires to meet new sales and production forecasts? Are the shortages of skilled labour and engaged employees keeping you awake at night in the new normal? Most weeks this comes to you as simply “hire X number of people by Monday”. But there are many contributing factors, some of which are outside your area of responsibility. First you know you need to implement improvements in the HR department, but next you need to turn your sights to larger organizational change. Yes, more change! In this blog post, CME covers 9 surefire tips to help Human Resource professionals scale up manufacturing capacity. To sign up today for a Lean assessment, Click Here.


Know your business

This means setting HR strategy to align with corporate strategy.
Cascading departmental strategy from corporate strategy ensures the right people work on the right tasks, and all are focused on driving towards the same outcomes. By doing this, team members more easily understand their impact on the “big goals” of the company, and it requires that HR activities drive real business results. Even better, make sure that these goals have a home that isn’t just collecting dust on a shelf. Visual boards are key to aligning big picture objectives with departmental tasks.


Have a recruitment strategy that can be pivoted on a dime

Ensure you have a robust recruitment process that can be tailored to a need. The Japanese phrase Hoshin Kanri means “strategy deployment” and is used by leading manufacturers across the globe to deploy nimble strategy while obtaining buy in from the frontline up and the C-suite down. Using Lean Hoshin Kanri and patented “X-matrix” process map tools will ensure you have a streamlined and efficient process to deliver high quality candidates quickly. Build in decision points so adjustments can be made quickly and easily. Hiring for a Director of IT is very different than hiring for an entry level packer. Ensure you understand the differences, and the approaches and strategies required to successfully deliver every time.



Review your interview process to ensure the right people are included and asking the right questions. In Lean Greenbelt, change agents within your organization are trained to ensure that all the right process owners are in the room. (Hint: Those character trait questions most people roll their eyes at? If you know how to ask and interpret an answer, character questions like these will be a far greater predictor of success than the skill set required). There is no one size fits all approach to recruiting; however, your process to determine a match on values should be. If humility is a company value for example, ask the candidate to tell you about their most embarrassing professional experience and what they learned from it. People will either tell you they do not have one, or that story is still very clearly imbedded in their memory, along with the lesson they learned. Which response demonstrates a better character fit for your company?



Know when to ask for help, and then find a few external partners. Hiring for a very unique position, where your hire is likely to be found outside the province or country, may mean that you tap into the expertise of a recruitment firm and leverage their ability to find passive candidates. If you understand the potential roadblocks of an individual recruit, you can easily determine which piece may require additional support. From there you should spend some time building your network of partners and areas of expertise so when the time comes, a quick reach out means things are set in motion to deliver candidates quickly. In many ways, HR is no different than the Lean and Just In Time supply chains mastered by manufacturers like Toyota and GE. Integrating suppliers is critical to success.



Recruiting is a hard function to fake and deserves 100 per cent engagement. For many HR professionals, recruitment is a necessary evil that comes with the job. If that is the case, little energy, enthusiasm or sense of urgency will occur. It is also extremely difficult to recruit well if it is done off the side of your desk. The best recruiter in your company many not necessarily be a part of your HR team, so find someone who loves meeting new people, is a good judge of character, and loves representing your company and pair them with the hiring leader for a great combination of assessing the candidate’s “fit” and the technical skills required. Pro tip: these are also often the best change agents in the company. Consider investing in their professional development (see Greenbelt above!)



Set and measure recruitment KPI’s for continued improvement, including setting realistic time to hire targets. Setting KPI’s that are agreed on with your internal customers ensures everyone understands the critical steps that cannot be shortchanged in order to deliver a quality candidate. As the saying goes- good, fast and cheap: you can only have two. Be careful what you measure and drive toward – and understand what gets left on the table as a result. Visual management and huddle boards will ensure there is visibility into current status for all stakeholders, and where bottle necks tend to occur.



Use value stream mapping to ensure the onboarding process is engaging and encouraging. For best success, map your process to ensure you are spending time where it really matters (and not spinning your wheels where it doesn’t). Build in milestones to boost recognition and engagement at key points. Pro tip: Onboarding doesn’t need to wait until Day 1. How can you engage your new team member and build their excitement before their first day? A welcome video from the team? A personalized note from the CEO?



Ensure compensation drives those behaviors and results the company is looking for. Money isn’t everything, but it drives behavior- make sure you’re supporting the direction. You will need to find a good balance of quality, efficiency and output. A poorly designed piecework system for example can have disastrous financial implications if it only focuses on volume without taking into account customers expectations on quality. Join an industry association like CME and tap into a network of peers like the HR Special Interest Group to gut-check your assumptions.



Employees are your best brand ambassadors. All star employees should be your go-to for referrals. Likeminded people group together, so there is no better way to reinforce your culture than tapping your biggest network of champions. Pro tip: Companies that embrace Lean have more engaged workforces, and outperform others by a wide margin. Employees who feel empowered to solve problems and own results with Lean culture and tools drive change. Plus, companies who can claim a commitment to Lean principles have a natural recruitment advantage over their competitors. Lean can help with all of this, and more!