How to increase the technological knowledge of employees?

F

Fillemon

#1
Hello all,

recently my manager has given me the task to increase the white collar's technological knowledge on the products we produce here in the company. After some discussions, we decided to split this in two main goals:
- To increase the basic technological knowledge of non-engineering people (purchase, logistics, accounting...). Some of them do not even know basic things like what kind of material the products we sell here are made of.
- To get the technological knowledge of engineering people at the same (higher) level. Basic technological knowledge is no problem here, but the problem is more that the 'extra' knowledge is too fractured over a large number of people, and that there are a lot of differences in knowledge levels (due to longer experience in the field or different backgrounds).

Do you people have some kind of idea on how to handle this? Any experiences? Working with some kind of 'Wiki' was one of the things I thought of when trying to get this thing started, but maybe there are others?

thanks in advance,
Eric
 
B

brahmaiah

#2
Hello all,

recently my manager has given me the task to increase the white collar's technological knowledge on the products we produce here in the company. After some discussions, we decided to split this in two main goals:
- To increase the basic technological knowledge of non-engineering people (purchase, logistics, accounting...). Some of them do not even know basic things like what kind of material the products we sell here are made of.
- To get the technological knowledge of engineering people at the same (higher) level. Basic technological knowledge is no problem here, but the problem is more that the 'extra' knowledge is too fractured over a large number of people, and that there are a lot of differences in knowledge levels (due to longer experience in the field or different backgrounds).

Do you people have some kind of idea on how to handle this? Any experiences? Working with some kind of 'Wiki' was one of the things I thought of when trying to get this thing started, but maybe there are others?

thanks in advance,
Eric
I suggest following step by step action for your problem:

1.Identify a few experianced employees who are experts in their trade.

2.Make them adress your staff in groups and speak to them on the nitty
gritty of the processes involved on various products.Make use of even hourly operators who are experts on their operations

3.Compile an FAQ on your products and distribute among staff

4.Conduct a test with objective questions among staff.

5.Inform everyone in advance that the test results of test go into their annual appraisal report.

V.J.Brahmaiah
 
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Stijloor

Staff member
Super Moderator
#3
I suggest following step by step action for your problem:

1.Identify a few experianced employees who are experts in their trade.

2.Make them adress your staff in groups and speak to them on the nitty
gritty of the processes involved on various products.Make use of even hourly operators who are experts on their operations

3.Copile an FAQ on your products and distribute among staff

4.Conduct a test with objective questions among staff.

5.Inform everyone in advance that the test results of test go into their annual appraisal report.

V.J.Brahmaiah
Tests (written) measure knowledge retention, not necessarily competence.

Stijloor.
 

qusys

Quite Involved in Discussions
#4
Hello all,

recently my manager has given me the task to increase the white collar's technological knowledge on the products we produce here in the company. After some discussions, we decided to split this in two main goals:
- To increase the basic technological knowledge of non-engineering people (purchase, logistics, accounting...). Some of them do not even know basic things like what kind of material the products we sell here are made of.
- To get the technological knowledge of engineering people at the same (higher) level. Basic technological knowledge is no problem here, but the problem is more that the 'extra' knowledge is too fractured over a large number of people, and that there are a lot of differences in knowledge levels (due to longer experience in the field or different backgrounds).

Do you people have some kind of idea on how to handle this? Any experiences? Working with some kind of 'Wiki' was one of the things I thought of when trying to get this thing started, but maybe there are others?

thanks in advance,
Eric
Hi Eric,
herebelow my feedbacks:
1. Probably a training (at basic level) on the production flow could be beneficial for this kind of personnel, focusing with some aspects where they support the core process.
For example procurement has effect because they buy material that need to build up the product and so on...
Also illustrate them the application of your product, pointing out the relevance of the quality ascpect where they contribute.

2. here it is very difficult. You could perform an initial need analysis overall.
I would suggest to work in multidisciplinary approach on specific project s( with expert people and less ones together) in order to favourite a cross fertilization of the knowledge.
You should see the result on the medium-long term ( 2-3 years) and undestand if the involved people are acquired more knowledge and could be eligible as project manager as well.
Clearly we can also use class training on specific themes ( you could do a survey to inderstand) and also work in multi-site projects to allow a continuous sharing of ideas and competences.
I think that in this case people learn by doing.
hope this helps
 

trainerbob

Inactive Registered Visitor
#5
In the past I have put all members of the organization through a training class that included all of the parts machined and then a final production by each person of the product before it goes out of the door. People were amazed at what they learned. I don't know if this feasible for you, but it works well when done properly.
 

sulkinsf

Involved In Discussions
#6
Do you have a training department? Do they have skills profiles for every position? Maybe the profile list should be updated or the execution is lacking.

If you dont have a profile system setup then you can scratch up a quick revision 0 to get you started. What technical skills do they need at each position. Try to be very conservative at the beginning. Start very small and add later, otherwise your training department will be overwhelmed. I agree with the previous post - using internal experts to teach.

Technical skills to consider

The function of the product in the end user environment and key principles which cause your product to work.
Key failure modes
Current developments in the end user environment
The company's current "road map" for product development
Discussion of product performance compared to competition. Include short comings and reaction plans to close any gaps.

These classes can be updated periodically, based on your product life cycles and changes in the business.
 

Jeff Frost

Inactive Registered Visitor
#7
Fillemon

You have tapped into a wealth of information here at the cove and this will help you develop your training process.

Since you are located in Belgium I would first look at what training/education assistance is available for your company from the local or national government and then maybe EU.

Start with the very basics for the groups within your company. The product we make is X it is used in X our competition is X they make X and so on. After the first round of training then start the next level. Department X does X within the company their inputs are X and their output is X and their internal customer is X and they are a customer of X department.

Training is like walking up a set of stairs. The first step should be the basics and with each step upward becoming more advanced until the student gains mastery of the subject matter.

Jeff Frost
 
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Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
#8
Hello all,

recently my manager has given me the task to increase the white collar's technological knowledge on the products we produce here in the company. After some discussions, we decided to split this in two main goals:
- To increase the basic technological knowledge of non-engineering people (purchase, logistics, accounting...). Some of them do not even know basic things like what kind of material the products we sell here are made of.
- To get the technological knowledge of engineering people at the same (higher) level. Basic technological knowledge is no problem here, but the problem is more that the 'extra' knowledge is too fractured over a large number of people, and that there are a lot of differences in knowledge levels (due to longer experience in the field or different backgrounds).

Do you people have some kind of idea on how to handle this? Any experiences? Working with some kind of 'Wiki' was one of the things I thought of when trying to get this thing started, but maybe there are others?

thanks in advance,
Eric
Welcome to the Cove. :bigwave:

I think this is a commendable desire, but rather than increasing technical knowledge, you should focus on getting people to understand how their work affects others in the company. People who aren't hip to technical knowledge are usually in that condition on purpose, just as engineers might have only vague knowledge of what accountants do all day and like it that way. What people should know, is (for example) why making sure the right material is ordered is important, and that the specifications they deal with aren't just a lot of arbitrary alphanumeric characters.

This is part of the process approach that's frequently overlooked and misunderstand. Lots of people struggle when it comes to describing interactions of processes and we have lots of ugly, indecipherable turtle diagrams that demonstrate the problem. People not knowing what other people need causes much waste, confusion and loathing.

Sally in purchasing sees a good deal on some sort of packaging material and buys it while the poor guy in shipping has to struggle to make it work (while Sally gets a pat on the back for saving money). Finance finds a new payroll provider that costs 25% less than the present supplier, and now no one can decipher their check stubs. Engineering asks inspectors to collect data on a certain process and never tells them to stop after they've got all the information needed, and data is collected needlessly for years. I've seen all of these things happen (and more) when there was a lovely turtle diagram in the quality manual that's supposed to be evidence of the understanding of process interactions.

You can get people to understand what other people in the company do for a living--and how what they do affects others--without going overboard on the technical end of things.
 
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P

Polly Pure Bread

#9
I suggest you establish an Individual Development Plan. Document the plan for each employee’s career, guide the development and assess progress towards career goals.
 
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BradM

Staff member
Admin
#10
When I was in High School, I had studied three semesters of Spanish. However, I learned more Spanish spending three weeks in San Luis Potosi, than I ever would have in any class. Being a teenager and being hungry tends to accelerate one's communication ability.:tg:

My post is intended to go in line with Jim's good post on the subject. Saying, I don't think every person needs to know every little detail of everything. Kings need to know how to be Royalty, as that is what their job is.

I think there are specific processes and such that more people need to observe; to "learn" that not everything is like "sweeping the floor". Identify specific opportunities where the company would benefit more seeing the whole process. Then have an opportunity.

I'm thinking you can have a five minute trivia presentation at the beginning of a meeting. Show a couple of slides of decisions that have to be made at other parts in the company. It can be light-hearted, short (notice the key word-short), informative, but maybe spark a little bit of respect for the organization as a whole.

Not everyone needs to have the technical knowledge, but they should know where to find it.:)
 

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