Proactive Technologies Report – February 2016

Recurring Training Cost vs. Decreasing Training Cost

by Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.Dean

There is no way to avoid the recurring costs of classroom or online-delivered training. Historically, classroom training has been priced on a “per seat” or “per event” basis. It is model that has continued to today. Many online courses have used this pricing structure, as well, probably because it is familiar to everyone. Some online training providers offer “block pricing” based on number of course credits offered or “subscription pricing” based on the number of attendees during a set time frame. Nevertheless, these are recurring cost models given thorough scrutiny by accounting departments for evidence they are necessary and “add value to the business model.”

In the November and December issues of the Proactive Technologies Report’s two-part article titled, “Costs Associated With Unstructured, Haphazard Worker Training,”  I touched on the notion that there is another approach to worker development that can clearly be seen as more of an investment than recurring cost. It is the formation of a job task-based, structured on-the-job training infrastructure that, once established, has declining per person costs for each additional trainee.


All factors considered, this is more like a “return on worker investment” model.


Training is occurring at all corners of an operation, all the times, whether anyone is aware or not. One person shows another person how to perform a required task of the job. It is often hard to see, hard to explain, hard to control for consistency and hard to document since it operates on a ad hoc, haphazard and unstructured basis. Miraculously it produces some skilled workers or we would not see any product or service output. But I believe everyone instinctively sees this as nothing more than a “seat of the pants” approach with malperformance as the only metric of ineffectiveness – which can be costly.

By simply structuring the unstructured an employer can take that which has marginally worked and make it deliberate, measurable and controllable. Read more.



Training The Skilled Labor You Need – An Investment That Keeps on Returning

by Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.

In a recent Manufacturing Institute-Deloitte survey, 82% of manufacturers surveyed reported encountering a moderate or serious shortage of skilled workers to fill their positions.Over the next decade it is expected 3 ½ million manufacturing jobs will likely need to be filled. Skill gaps are expected to result in 2 million of these jobs remaining unfilled. More than 75% of manufacturers report that the skills shortage has hampered their ability to expand and 69% of manufacturers expect the shortage in skilled production workers to worsen.

In a recent article in IndustryWeek by Glenn Marshall – formally with Newport News Shipbuilding – entitled “Closing the Nation’s Skills Gap, Marshall discusses a program used during World War II to rapidly develop the skilled workers needed to quickly ramp up U.S. manufacturing to meet the needs of the war effort. Obviously there was a shortage of skilled workers; U.S. manufacturing had never been required to produce at such levels. In many cases workers were using new technology, so skilled workers could not possibly be available. The need was exacerbated by the fact that the world was in crisis. Read more.



Internships of Value – For Employer AND Intern

by Stacey Lett, Regional Manager – Eastern U.S. – Proactive Technologies, Inc.Stacey

In my college years, a number of my classmates participated in internships in an effort to gain real-world work skills and experiences, and to be able to add a line to their resumes. Over the years when we compared notes, it seems the results varied from company and by job area. But the common sentiment was that the experiences were not as helpful to building workplace skills and personally fulfilling as they could have been.

According to a NACE (“National Association of Colleges and Employers”) 2015 survey entitled “Internship & Co-op Survey,” “The primary focus of most employers’ internship and co-op programs is to convert students into full-time, entry-level employees (70.8 percent and 62.6 percent, respectively).”  So, it appears most employers view internships as a potential recruitment tool and a way of evaluating candidates for employment.

“Shadowing” without being able to touch and interact can be done with a DVD at home. Fetching coffee and making sure the break room is stocked with paper plates and napkins do not test the skills developed after 12 years of educational learning and 2 or 4 years of technical and academic study. Do not get me wrong, those who were paid while interns are appreciative for the opportunity and the resume line. However, they all seemed to wish they could have been able to learn and experience more. Read more.



Task-Specific Performance Reviews – An Accurate Metric for a Structured On-Job-Training Outcome

by Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.

We have all been through it. For decades this has been the topic of comedy shows and movies…the dreaded annual performance review. And when it is over, we might tell our confidants how non-reflective of reality and unfair it was. We calm down over the next few months and grow more anxious each month as we get closer to the next one thinking we are at its whim.

Why are they used? Are they supposed to be a good measure or performance or just a way to meet a human resources department obligation. More times than not they seem like a justification for not giving a wage increase than guidance on how an employee can continually improve and contribute to the organization.


It is bewildering why management would spend the time and money, and risk employee morale time and again, on a employee measurement that isn’t.


Conceptually, the performance review has a purpose. It is to measure employee performance during a review period, identify areas of weakness and strength, and offer guidance on how an employee can improve on shortcomings and expand potential. But that is only possible if it is accurate to the job classification against which an individual is measured. Read more.



Use Business Cycle Lulls to Develop Unused Worker Capacity…With Minimized Costs

by Dean Prigelmeier, President of Proactive Technologies, Inc.

For those of us who have been around a while, business cycles come and go. Yes, there are the not-so-typical but horrific business disruptions like the S & L Crash of 1986, Stock Market Crash of 1987, Dot.com Crash of 2000, and the Crash of 2008 (with scandals like the SBA and HUD woven in between), but if a business is run sharply and lean enough to survive these disruptors they most likely focus on using the downward part of the a busy cycle to perfect their operations, build capacity and prepare for the upward part of the cycle.

One important business asset is often overlooked in this preparation. A lot can be done to build and increase worker capacity (during a period when workers are paid to perform at less than capacity) so that they, too, are ready for a sustainable recovery on the upward swing. An employer is paying labor costs for each worker it retains through the slump anyway. Why not utilize every labor dollar spent in a downturn to make it worth more on the upturn? Read more.


Read the full February 2016 newsletter, including linked industry articles and online presentation schedules.

Posted in News

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  • 7:00 am-7:45 am
    2017-08-08
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; the many benefits the employer can realize from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; examples of projects across all industries, including manufacturing and manufacturing support companies. When combined with related technical instruction, this approach has been easily registered as an apprenticeship-focusing the structured on-the-job training on exactly what are the required tasks of the job. Registered or not, this approach is the most effective way to train workers to full capacity in the shortest amount of time –cutting internal costs of training while increasing worker capacity, productivity, work quality and quantity, and compliance.Approx 45 minutes.
  • 9:00 am-9:45 am
    2017-08-08
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; building related technical instruction/structured on-the-job training programs and supporting them for employers across all industries. ISO/AS/TS and similar quality programs have a requirement that: standardize work processes guide quality, auditable task performance; training matches the process; training is documented for each worker; and a system is in place to ensure all are up to date and in sync. In addition to hiring, structured on-the-job training and performance evaluation instruments, PROTECH produces reports such as Technical Document (best practice for each task), Qualification/ Certification Checklists and more. One-revision updates all materials! Efforts like Lean, Kaisen, continuous improvement strategies all can render a lesser model obsolete and non-compliant in a few months. This model provides the lacking support needed to employers who want to easily and cost-effectively establish and maintain compliance. Approx. 45 minutes
9
  • 7:00 am-7:45 am
    2017-08-09
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; building related technical instruction/structured on-the-job training partnerships for employers across all industries and how it can become an cost-effective, cost-efficient and highly credible apprenticeship. When partnering with economic development agencies, public and private career and technical colleges and universities, this provides the most productive use of available grant funds and gives employers-employees/trainees and the project partners the biggest win for all. This model provides the lacking support needed to employers who want to easily and cost-effectively host an apprenticeship.  Approx. 45 minutes
  • 9:00 am-9:45 am
    2017-08-09
    (Mountain Time) This briefing explains the philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of human resource development in more that just the training area. This model provides the lacking support employers, who want to be able to easily and cost-effectively create the workers they require right now, need.  Approx 45 minutes.
  • 1:00 pm-1:45 pm
    2017-08-09
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; building related technical instruction/structured on-the-job training partnerships for employers across all industries one-by-one. How this can become a cost-effective, cost-efficient and highly credible workforce development strategy – easy scale up by just plugging each new employer into the system. When partnering with economic development agencies, and public and private career and technical colleges and universities for the related technical instruction, this provides the most productive use of available grant funds and gives employers-employees/trainees and the project partners the biggest win for all. This model provides the support sorely needed by employers who want to partner in the development of the workforce but too often feel the efforts will not improve the workforce they need. Approx. 45 minutes
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  • 7:00 am-7:45 am
    2017-08-15
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; building related technical instruction/structured on-the-job training partnerships for employers in across all industries. When partnering with economic development agencies, public and private career and technical colleges and universities, this provides the most productive use of available grant funds and gives employers-employees/trainees and the project partners the biggest win for all. This model provides the lacking support needed to employers who want to easily and cost-effectively host an apprenticeship.  Approx 45 minutes.
  • 9:00 am-9:45 am
    2017-08-15
    (Mountain Time) This briefing explains the philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of human resource development in more that just the training area. This model provides the lacking support employers, who want to be able to easily and cost-effectively create the workers they require right now, need.  Approx 45 minutes.
  • 1:00 pm-1:45 pm
    2017-08-15
    (Mountain Time) The philosophy behind, and development/implementation of, structured on-the-job training; how any employer can benefit from the PROTECH© system of managed human resource development in more that just the training area; building related technical instruction/structured on-the-job training programs and supporting them for employers across all industries. ISO/AS/TS and similar quality programs have a requirement that: standardize work processes guide quality, auditable task performance; training matches the process; training is documented for each worker; and a system is in place to ensure all are up to date and in sync. In addition to hiring, structured on-the-job training and performance evaluation instruments, PROTECH produces reports such as Technical Document (best practice for each task), Qualification/ Certification Checklists and more. One-revision updates all materials! Efforts like Lean, Kaisen, continuous improvement strategies all can render a lesser model obsolete and non-compliant in a few months. This model provides the lacking support needed to employers who want to easily and cost-effectively establish and maintain compliance. Approx. 45 minutes
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