May 31 2015
“Lean in manufacturing staffing requires a close review of your current staffing procedures so that you can identify areas where to eliminate waste.”
Michel Baudin‘s comments:
Human resource (HR) management is a topic that deserves more attention than it has been getting in Lean Manufacturing, but this article’s recommendations amount to little more than “Be careful!”
It says that you should be picky about whom you hire, automate the onboarding paperwork, spend more on initial training, and provide attractive benefits to retain your employees.
“Seeking out employees with the skills and experience required for your organization” can mean different things. In Ohio, for example, Honda set up shop in an agricultural area and recruited locals with no prior experience of car manufacturing with the objectives of retaining them and training them from scratch in the Honda way.
By contrast, in Kentucky, Toyota recruited people with the highest possible level of formal education, even for assembly line jobs. Neither one recruited people for a specific skills to fit in a pigeonhole. Instead, they looked for people who would be able to fill a variety of positions over a career. And both organizations are successful.
For new employees, you can do more than just eliminate paper forms. For example, as part of Change Point Management, you can ask each team to develop its own plan or checklist for integrating new members.
There is also more to retaining your existing employees than just “ramping up benefits.” For example, you might help them plan their careers within the organization by identifying goals and defining with each individual training needs and career steps towards his or her goal.
This needs to be said and repeated because, over the past 30 years, the trend in the US has been towards cutting down on HR services rather than beefing them up.